How to Choose a Fireplace

This project was completed by Forward Design Build:  Transitional Rustic Redesign

This project was completed by Forward Design Build: Transitional Rustic Redesign

Consider these options before adding a fireplace to your home.

A fireplace can be the center of the room: a place that people gather around for warmth, company and good times. Yet while fireplaces are a welcomed home amenity, they can be difficult to select.

Choosing a Fireplace Guide

The heating industry offers three main types of fireplaces: 

  • Gas-burning fireplaces are generally installed as inserts that fit into a retired brick-and-mortar fireplace, but they can also be stand-alone fixtures. They can be either non-heating or heating, and they burn natural gas to operate. Popular for their simplicity, cleanliness and ease of installation, these are a great option for many homeowners.
  • Electric fireplaces are inexpensive and simple to install. What’s more, they don’t require any ventilation (which gas-burning stoves and fireplaces often do), and they can provide a decent amount of heat. While many electric fireplaces are decorative, some are strong enough to warm an ample-sized room.
  • Wood-burning fireplaces are the old-fashioned fixtures of the group. Designed to burn wood, these fireplaces require the most maintenance (and make the largest mess), but produce the largest amount of heat.

Fireplace Considerations

Now that you know the types of fireplaces out there, let’s talk about what’s involved with choosing a fireplace. Regardless of which fireplace you’re interested in, you’ll need to make a selection based on the following considerations:

1. The atmosphere it provides

The atmosphere offered by a wood-burning fireplace is much different than that offered by an electric one. While many gas-burning and electric fireplaces offer realistic flames and crackling noises, there’s simply no substitute for the real thing, and people concerned about atmosphere may choose to opt for a wood-burning fireplace instead.

2. The heat needed

Different fireplaces offer vastly different heat outputs. If you’re attempting to heat a large space, a wood-burning fireplace is likely your best bet. These fireplaces burn hot and kick out a good amount of heat. Plus when they’re equipped with fans and duct systems, the heat can spread throughout the entire home. If you don’t need that much heat, or you have a smaller area to heat, a gas-burning or electric model may be ideal. Both options are clean and easy to maintain, and newer varieties are very efficient in their heating.

3. Local regulations

Local regulations can quickly put the kibosh on wood-burning fireplaces, depending on where you live. If you’re in a densely populated or highly polluted area, check your local regulations to ensure they allow for each type of fireplace you’re considering. If they do, you can choose freely based on other considerations.

Choosing a Fireplace, Made Simple

Whether you’re in the midst of remodeling, renovation or home improvements, choosing a fireplace is a great way to cap off the look and feel of your home. If you need guidance during the decision-making process, contact us. We specialize in helping our clients ensure that their current goals support their long-term desires, and we’re here to assist you today!