It’s finally time for that home remodel! How can you make sure you’ll get a good return on your investment? Will a fireplace add value to your home?
Adding a fireplace can raise your home value by as much as 6-12%. But is it always worth the investment? The solid answer is: sometimes. Keep reading to find out more.
1. The right kind of fireplace
Fireplaces vary in style, heat sources, and price. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of fireplaces available to homeowners.
Gas fireplaces are most commonly found in homes ranging around $450,000. They’re a great way to enjoy the heat and ambiance of a fire without the mess. Since they’re gas-powered, these fireplaces are enclosed and don’t require wood to run.
Thus, no ashes, smoke in the house, or opening and closing a flue. Gas fireplace owners can create a warm, cozy fire by simply flipping a switch.
Gas fireplaces cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
An electric fireplace offers the lowest cost fireplace option. If you want a linear wall fireplace or cozy corner unit, look into an electric fireplace.
Many electric fireplaces are portable. The ability to move your fireplace from one room to another increases its versatility. This may help you stage your home for re-sale which could make it more appealing to future buyers.
An electric fireplace costs $100 to $2,200+, and the installation labor ranges from $0 to $360. Considering their versatility and ease of use, it’s an investment to consider.
Wood burning fireplaces
There really is nothing like the smell and real-live crackle of a wood-burning fire. Some people find the charm and nostalgia of a wood-burning fireplace irreplaceable.
Wood burning fireplaces require more maintenance than their gas and electric counterparts. They put out heat by burning wood, which produces heat, smoke, and ashes.
Homeowners are responsible for cleaning up ashes. Fireplace owners should be careful sparks from the fire don’t fly out of the fireplace and damage flooring.
For many, the heat and ambiance of a wood-burning fireplace are worth the effort. The costs of installing a wood-burning fireplace are anywhere from $1,900 to $3,300.
Fireplaces that run on pellets, sawdust, wood, or similar materials are a great option for the eco-friendly home improver. These fireplaces run on fuel pellets made from factory byproduct materials. Instead of heading to the landfill, leftover sawdust, wood, and other materials are burned in your fireplace.
Average installation costs of pellet burning fireplaces range from $4,000 to $10,000. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly upgrade, you’ve found it here.
2. Location, location, location
Like any good home improvement, location is key. Where will your fireplace be the most efficient? Which room in the house is a little more drafty during those colder months?
Maybe you’re going for a cozy, romantic master suite. A gas or electric fireplace would likely be the best option.
For large gathering spaces, you may want to make your fireplace the centerpiece of the room. A large fireplace could provide a lot of heat while creating a warm atmosphere for friends and family.
Take a look through current remodeling trends to help you decide. What does your contractor recommend? Browse through house listings to see where other homeowners have put their fireplaces.
Where you decide to put your fireplace will have a lot to do with how much it increases your property value.
3. Remember: It’s going to get hot
Keep in mind that your fireplace will put out heat. Depending on the style and size, it could make your space uncomfortably warm.
If you live in a climate that sees cold winters or even cooler nights, virtually any place in your home could use a fireplace.
However, if your environment is warm and humid year-round, this may not be the smartest update for you. Talk to your contractor or real estate expert in your area to find out how common fireplaces are in your region.
What you see as a positive improvement may be a negative feature to potential homebuyers in your area.
4. Size and style matter
Additions to your home are only improvements if they add something positive. Placing a giant fireplace in a small room will make the room feel cramped, not cozy. On the other hand, a small, corner fireplace could look ridiculous in a great gathering space.
The same goes for style, what kind of tone does your remodeled space have? If you’re going mid-century modern, then a large, wood-carved fireplace wouldn’t fit in very well.
With so many options available, you should be able to find the size, style, and type of fireplace you need for your room.
5. Existing fireplaces
To keep or not to keep? That is the question.
If your house was built in the 1980s or later, chances are you have a zero clearance fireplace. These are pretty easy for builders to work with. You may want to choose an electric or gas fireplace to insert in the space.
If your home is from the 1900s your fireplace is likely connected to the foundation. Removing these older fireplaces requires major home surgery. Most of the time, it’s better to repurpose the space or insert a new fireplace in the same spot.
You could have the chimney closed off and place decorative candlesticks in the space. If you decide to demo an existing fireplace, consult with a licensed contractor. Removing a fireplace could cost more than you expect.
6. What’s the enclosure?
If you install a gas or electric fireplace, they’ll likely be enclosed with glass. If you’d like to update your space without replacing the entire fireplace, try swapping the glass doors or enclosure.
Looking to update your wood or pellet-burning fireplace? Get creative with the screen. Fireplace screens come in many sizes and styles. Choose one that best fits your remodeled space.
7. Maintenance costs
Gas and Electric fireplaces maintenance costs vary. The size and type of fireplace determine how much you will be charged for a visit. Because they have mechanical parts, they’ll likely need repair over time.
Wood and pellet-burning fireplaces need to be serviced annually by a chimney sweep. They also require an annual flue inspection. The cost of maintaining these fireplaces depends on the geographical area and size of your fireplace and chimney.
All types of fireplaces need annual servicing. Check with local professionals to get an estimate on costs in your area. Unless you’re a licensed professional, DIY fireplace maintenance is not recommended.
Why doesn’t every home have a fireplace?
According to a 2019 survey, only about 41% of new constructions have a fireplace. If fireplaces add value to a home, why are they left out over 1/2 of new builds?
Nixing fireplaces are a great way to cut costs. Many homeowners don’t anticipate added expenses of new construction. As a result, fireplaces are often on the chopping block.
Most home builders view fireplaces as a luxury, not a necessity. If you’ve decided to leave a fireplace out of your new build, don’t abandon the idea altogether.
Ask your builder to leave a space for a future fireplace. This will make it easier for you to fit it in when it’s time to remodel.
Will a fireplace add value to my home?
When a fireplace is the right size and style for your home a fireplace will add value. You may not get a dollar-for-dollar return on your investment. However, the enjoyment you’ll get from using your fireplace has value as well.
Many homes with high property values have fireplaces. This is a good indication that fireplaces are desirable for high-end home buyers.
When planning your next remodel, don’t overlook the many benefits of fireplaces. They can heat your home in a more efficient way. They’re aesthetically pleasing.
Fireplaces can be tailored to your personal style. You can find the right screen or glass door to fit almost any space.
What’s my home worth?
So will a fireplace add value to your home? Many homeowners don’t realize how much value their home already has. Why not check out your home’s value before planning that remodel?
Our online iValuation can help you find out how much your home is worth. You can even see our cash offer on your home.