A fireplace has positive associations for many homeowners—it’s an attractive focal point as well as a cozy, relaxing spot on a cool evening. Since many houses built in the last four decades have not included fireplaces, adding one is a popular update. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about adding one to your home.
First of all, you need to be aware of local regulations. In Southern California, in both Orange and Los Angeles counties, you cannot add an open-hearth wood-burning fireplace to an existing home, due to air quality concerns. Thus any new open-hearth fireplace must have a gas or alcohol-fueled log set. Fortunately, there are a wealth of options for gas fireplaces in both traditional and modern looks, so this requirement shouldn’t discourage you.
Second, although a majority of home buyers consider a fireplace something that they would pay more to have, that’s only true up to a point. If you’re considering the impact adding a fireplace would have on your home’s resale value, the most advantageous placement is in a frequently used room such as a living room, family room, or great room, and the overall project should fit the style and quality of the rest of your home for the greatest appeal. This is probably not the project to consider if you’re looking for something to boost your home’s value immediately prior to a sale—rather, add a fireplace when you anticipate having the opportunity to enjoy it yourself for several years.
Adding a gas fireplace gives you a great deal of flexibility in both style and placement. While you can opt for a natural vent, which uses a metal chimney to vent air through the roof, direct-vent technology can vent the exhaust from your fireplace to the outside through an exterior wall. This means you can consider design options that would not be possible with a traditional fireplace, such as having a window above the fireplace. Prefabricated fireplaces, which are lightweight and highly insulated, can be installed very close to framing and other combustible materials, also adding to design flexibility. Consult with an expert, who can give you the most up-to-date information on what’s available and give you recommendations for your home.
The design options for fireplaces run the gamut from traditional to ultra-modern. You can opt for a traditional hearth and a wooden mantel with a brick or tile surround framing a realistic gas log that mimics the look of a wood fire, or you can choose a sleek modern fireplace surrounded by granite and flames leaping out of a bed of fireplace glass or river rocks. You can have a fireplace with glass on both sides, offering a view through to the next room. There is truly no limit to the customized look you can achieve for your own home.
If a fireplace is the perfect touch your home needs, contact the experts at Sea Pointe Construction today. We can help turn your dreams into beautiful reality.