Natural Stone Fireplace

Natural Stone Fireplace

Choosing the right fireplace for your home or business seems like it would be a pretty simple decision… it’s just a place for fire after all… right?  Wrong!

There are so many options now, that it can become a complicated decision quickly.

Do you choose gas or log?  Stone, marble…?  What about insulation?  Do you want a place to store firewood built in?  Is it going to heat multiple rooms?  Or be accessible from multiple sides?

See what I mean… complicated.  So let’s take a look at a few tips on how to make this process easier and less painful.

#1 What is the main function of the fireplace?

You need to decide if the goal of the fireplace is to provide warmth, or to look good, or a combination of both?  Deciding if you want form, function, or both, can help the salesman and contractor work with you to give you the best combination of features to suit your needs.

#2 Choose a finish and trim that fits your decor.

You can choose from a wide array of options when it comes to trims and finishes.  Some of the most common types include:

  • Wood
  • Natural Stone
  • Brick
  • and Metal

Many of these will come in a wide array of color options as well, so it can be a good idea to let your sales rep know what colors you are looking for to match your decor.  If possible, bring them actual paint and fabric samples instead of just photographs.  This ensures that the colors he sees will be accurate.

#3 Decide how you want it to be heated.

There are three main choices on how your fireplace will provide heat/fire.  These are electric, gas, and real wood.  Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type real quick:

  • GAS FIREPLACE
    • Real Flames
    • Easy to control how much flame you get with the intensity knobs
    • Reliable since they still work in a power outage
    • Increase your home value since they are a major selling point for the house
  • ELECTRIC FIREPLACE
    • Convenient design choices since they can be mounted into walls, or even transported between rooms
    • The flames are simulated instead of real, so there is significantly less risk of a house fire
    • Can be operated easily with a remote
    • Easy, and precise, temperature control since they operate similar to space heaters.
  • REAL WOOD FIREPLACES
    • The ambiance is amazing – nothing quite compares to real logs crackling
    • Requires more insulation and air flow control to keep the heat in, and the smoke out
    • You have to let it burn out, you can’t just turn it off
    • There is a lot more cleanup involved to keep the soot and ashes cleaned out

#4 Set your budget.

Adding a fireplace to your home or office can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars.  So it’s important to set a budget for this project before you dig too deep into features and end up wanting a lot of features that you’re not able to afford.

Gas and electric fireplaces will offer the most budget-friendly options with the least amount of remodeling involved to install them.  So if budget is a concern, you might lean towards those options.

#5 What types of fuel are available in your area, and how much are they?

After the initial time and cost of getting your fireplace installed, you’ll have the regular expense of providing fuel for it.  For example, you should make sure that if you choose gas, you have a reliable supplier in your area that charges a fee that is within your budget.