Don’t Settle for a Builder-Grade Fireplace
Building a house or remodeling your existing home can simultaneously be an exciting and daunting task. Decisions are made every day while trying to fit everything into a budget and time constraints – which can inevitably lead to some cutbacks and advice-taking from the professionals assisting in your projects. However, when it comes to fireplaces, don’t make the common mistake of settling for a builder-grade product.
Builders & contractors are not fireplace experts
Today’s fireplaces, stoves, and other fire products come in a variety of styles, sizes, looks, and performance features, and can be difficult even for experts to stay on top of what’s new. Builders and contractors know building and other specialty work – but often times lack the knowledge and understanding of what works for certain applications or what may be in your best interest. If you were building custom cabinets, would you take your roofer’s advice on what to build?
Builder-grade fireplaces provide little value
Because of this, builders agree on ‘builder models’ or ‘builder boxes’ that meet most applications while maintaining lowest possible cost to fit inside budgets. These fireplaces often times end up overly generic while lacking efficiency, charm, and features available in today’s market. The same technologies that have advanced both gas and wood fireplaces in the last decade will likely not appear in these builder-oriented products, and end up being a poor value.
High-efficiency fireplaces and stoves, available in gas, wood, or pellet fuel, may be a higher-priced product but often ends up being a much better value, depending on your wants & needs. Newer gas fireplaces come with thermostatic remotes while wood-burning fireplaces have the ability to heat 2,000+ square feet while maintaining the fire view and beauty most people cherish.
Since a fireplace is an investment and a product that is not easily exchangeable, like say a TV, special attention should be made on the front end to avoid getting a product you’ll end up disappointed with. Stopping in a specialty hearth or fireplace store can make a big difference while giving you professional advice and ideas to ponder.
Get What You Want
Again, fireplaces come in various fuel types, sizes, styles, and more. Come up with what matters most to you and how you can make it work with your house and with your budget. Take your builder’s advice but also take a moment to look and find something right for you. Determine what your desired fuel type will be – whether its gas, wood, or something else – and don’t get fooled into ‘dual-fuel’ fireplaces or the idea of being able to ‘burn both gas and wood’. In truth you cannot do both at once and it does neither especially well.
Then determine the look you’re going for, the size, and any other features you think are important. Find a fireplace store that knows the ins & outs of different products and can give you tips based on experience.
The fireplace will end up being a jewel and gathering spot in your home, so make sure you pick the right fireplace in the long-run that will make you & your family happy. With the products and selection available today, don’t settle for a builder-grade fireplace or let your builder choose the fireplace he or she feels is right for you.