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Choosing the Right Fireplace for Your Home

November 17, 2020

Choosing the Right Fireplace for Your Home

If you want to keep warm in the winter and add value to your house, consider investing in a cozy fireplace. Setting up a fireplace can yield a return on investment (ROI) of 75%, potentially increasing your property value. Putting one into your new construction home's floor plans also allows you to install it without ripping out any walls or moving around furniture. These tips can help you choose a functional yet attractive fireplace for your house.

Is a Fireplace Right for You?

Before you start designing your house with a fireplace, think about the following ways it can enhance your quality of life:

  • Cozy and sentimental: You may recall moments where you've sat around the fire and shared stories with your friends and family. A fireplace can help a cold house feel like a cozy home as you gather and build new memories with your loved ones.
  • Easy to maintain: Besides cleaning and inspecting it for blemishes, you don't need to spend a lot of time or energy taking care of your fireplace. You can clean a wood-burning or electric fireplace like you take care of your floors or stove, by removing debris and scrubbing it clean with soap, water and a nylon brush.
  • Easy to use: After you've gathered the firewood for your wood-burning fireplace, you can easily use it without much difficulty. Electric units turn on with a remote control, and gas ones have an on/off switch and a dial to adjust the temperature.
  • Raises your resale value: Whether you want to sell your house or build equity, the money you put into installing a fireplace is minimal compared to what you can gain from it. Potential homebuyers appreciate having a fireplace in their living space, so they may even be willing to put in a higher offer.
  • Save you money on your utility bills: Since your fireplace produces heat, you can save money on your energy costs in the winter. It's helpful to place it close to the center of your main living area so the warmth can spread throughout most of your home.
  • Plenty of design options: You have the freedom to design your fireplace according to your aesthetic preferences. This decorative element can complement your modern or traditional home with unique colors and materials that create a focal point.

Things to Know Before Buying a New Fireplace

You may want to ask yourself the following questions for help with choosing the fireplace for your home.

1. Where Should I Put a Fireplace in My Home?

The ideal spot for your fireplace depends on where you want to create a focal point or make a little warmer. Think about the additional space in your house to figure out where a fireplace would be the most effective. Some room options include:

  • In the center of your home: If you have an open concept house, consider putting your fireplace in the center of the house so you can admire it and stay warm in many places.
  • In the living or family room: To create a cozy place for your loved ones to gather, you might want to put the fireplace in the family or living room. You can set up your holiday decorations next to the fireplace to develop a sense of nostalgia.
  • In the dining room: A fireplace in the dining room allows you and your family to enjoy a luxurious meal together.
  • In the kitchen: Even if you don't have a designated dining area in the house, you can put a fireplace in your kitchen to eat meals around the table with the cozy fire crackling next to you.
  • In the bathroom: Electric fireplaces are easy to clean and safe to use, providing a comfortable, relaxing environment for bath time.
  • In the bedroom: A gas or electric fireplace for a bedroom can keep warm as you cuddle up in bed with all your blankets and pillows.
  • In the home library: If you have a spare bedroom in the house, consider setting up a home office with shelves of books for you to read in your spare time. All you need is a cozy fireplace and a comfortable chair where you can sit down and read your favorite book.

2. What Is My Purpose for Installing a Fireplace?

Consider why you want a fireplace in your house. Is it to enhance the aesthetic of your main gathering area or increase your home's resale value? Your reason may even be a combination of both, but knowing this information can help you decide what type to get and where to put it.

It may also help to consider how much heat you need to warm your indoor living area. If you want to use your fireplace to heat the whole house, you may want one with a higher ambient temperature and fewer carbon emissions. Consult your home builder to find the most cost-effective way to provide heat for your living space.

3. How Much Am I Willing to Spend on a Fireplace?

You might want to research how much fireplaces cost before you start looking for one. Besides the price of the unit, the following factors can also affect what you might pay:

  • Installation costs: Laborers may charge you a fee to install your new fireplace, especially if they have to cut into your interior wall to make space for it. If you build a fireplace into your new construction home, you can save money by incorporating it into your floorplan rather than installing it later.
  • Utility fees: Whether you invest in an electric, gas or wood-burning fireplace, it costs money each month to keep it running throughout the year.
  • Placement of your fireplace: If you put your fireplace in an unconventional part of the room, where the installer has to create space for all its components, you can expect to pay more money.
  • Custom design: You can design your fireplace to enhance your home's aesthetic, but certain materials, such as brick and natural stone, cost more money.

4. Do I Have Enough Space for Ventilation?

Some fireplaces require a chimney or flue system to remove carbon monoxide and combustion products safely and efficiently from your home. Without proper ventilation, these harmful contaminants can affect your home's indoor air quality. To accommodate your new wood-burning unit, you may have to consider whether you have the space for a chimney or vent system. Electric and bioethanol fireplaces don't require this additional component, so it might be best to choose one of these options if you have limited space.

5. Do I Have Enough Time to Maintain My Fireplace?

Think about how much free time you have to take care of your fireplace before deciding on the right type to get. Like any other appliance, you have to remove debris buildup and clean it to have a safe environment for your fire. If you neglect to care for your fireplace properly, the debris and carbon monoxide emissions can harm your home's indoor air quality and put you and your family at risk. Consider a low-maintenance fireplace if you have limited time to spare to take care of it.

What Fireplace Should You Have in Your Home?

After deciding that you'd like to install a fireplace in your home, you can review each type's characteristics.

1. Wood-Burning Fireplace

A wood-burning fireplace is most famous for its aesthetic appeal as it crackles wood and warms up the house. If you have plenty of firewood nearby, you can affordably heat your living space. Here are some other reasons why homeowners choose to install wood-burning fireplaces in a home:

  • It can accommodate the aesthetic of any home.
  • It can be the ideal surround or trim for other types of fireplaces if you ever need to replace it.
  • You can use it during a power outage.
  • Having a wood-burning fireplace in your home can increase its resale value.
  • Wood is a renewable heat source.
  • It can be a decorative focal point of a room.
  • Wood fireplaces don't need to connect to your utilities.

2. Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces can connect to your home's existing gas supply. They're efficient and tend to have the highest heat output to provide a warm, comfortable environment. You can install either a direct-vent or ventless version, depending on your home's space for a chimney. Consider the following benefits of a gas fireplace:

  • It tends to be cleaner than a wood-burning fireplace as it creates fire.
  • It makes a lot of heat and saves you money on energy costs.
  • You can install it inside an existing open fireplace.
  • It comes with an on/off switch for easy control.
  • It works during a power outage.
  • It produces fewer carbon emissions and particulates than a wood-burning fireplace.
  • Installing blowers can help send heat throughout the home.

3. Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces feature a heating element and a built-in screen that displays a roaring fire. You can easily adjust the heat to suit your preferences, and the fire can stay on without making the room hot. Think about some of the advantages of having an electric fireplace in your home:

  • It's more affordable than gas or wood-burning fireplaces.
  • You can install it anywhere in the house, including the bathroom.
  • Since it's resistant to corrosion, it tends to last longer than other types of fireplaces.
  • You can turn it off instantly instead of waiting for the fire to die out.
  • It's one of the most efficient ways to heat your home, saving you money on energy costs.
  • Since the flame isn't real, it's the safest option for curious children and pets.
  • It doesn't produce carbon monoxide or reduce your home's indoor air quality.
  • It doesn't need additional space for ventilation.
  • You can remove it to replace it or take it with you when you move.
  • It comes with a remote control so you can easily change the temperature.

4. Pellet Stove Fireplace

A pellet stove fireplace operates like a wood-burning one, except it doesn't need firewood. Instead, you can use compressed wood or biomass pellets that can generate a steady flow of heat. Consider the following ways a pellet stove unit can add value to your living space:

  • It uses cost-effective recycled materials to heat your home.
  • It produces fewer carbon emissions than wood-burning fireplaces.
  • You can install it with or without vents, depending on your home's space.
  • It doesn't attract bugs or rodents like moist wood does.
  • You can control the heat source with a thermostat.

5. Bioethanol Fireplace

In this new type of fireplace, the liquid bioethanol creates a blue flame that can complement a modern design. Most units have a refillable burner that powers the heat source, and they feature an on/off switch that controls the system. Consider these benefits to find out if this type of fireplace is the right fit for your home:

  • It doesn't require more space for ventilation.
  • It can enhance your home's modern aesthetic.
  • It doesn't produce ashes or smoke.
  • A professional can install it quickly and easily.

Matching the Fireplace to Your Home

As you think about designing your home according to the top home decor ideas, remember that part of your decoration involves how you create your fireplace. If you can view the unit in person before you buy it, see how you like the design when it's not burning since it probably won't be on all day.

Consider the design of your fireplace based on these factors:

  • Configuration: Think about how much space you have and whether you want your fireplace to be the room's focal point. You can mount it into the wall or install a built-in fireplace within your existing one. Two-sided fireplaces allow you to sit in various parts of the house and enjoy the same flame.
  • Fireplace trim: The materials and colors you use in the border around your fireplace enhance its design and accommodate the room's aesthetic.
  • Fireplace mantel: The mantel previously gathered the smoke and transferred it to the chimney. Now that some fireplaces don't produce smoke, this component is more decorative than functional. You can design this part of your fireplace with any color or material, depending on your desired style.
  • Fireplace surround: This component on the wall encompasses the fire's opening. It usually features brick, marble, limestone or granite, and it's supposed to complement the room's aesthetic.
  • Decorative logs: For fireplaces that don't require firewood, you can install decorative pieces inside the unit. You may want to provide enough space around these components so that it looks better and prevents the valve from overheating.
  • Fireplace tools: If you need accessories such as screens, pokers and shovels, you can make these elements part of your decor. Consider the material, color and size of these components to complement the surround, mantel, trim and configuration.

SK Builders Can Include a Fireplace in Your New Construction House

When you build a new-construction house with SK Builders in upstate South Carolina, we guide you through every step of the home-building process. You can pick a customizable floor plan that best suits your needs from more than 90 templates. After you let us know which type of fireplace you want, we'll find space for the unit and any ventilation requirements it may have. For more information about our plans and services, you can contact us online or call us at 864-292-0400.


  1. https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-articles-eg/home-remodeling-return-on-investment.html
  2. https://www.builderpeople.com/blog/managing-the-home-building-process
  3. https://www.builderpeople.com/blog/how-to-set-up-a-home-office
  4. https://www.builderpeople.com/blog/top-home-decor-ideas-2020
  5. https://www.builderpeople.com/our-process
  6. https://www.builderpeople.com/plans
  7. https://www.builderpeople.com/contact-us

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