Fireplace prices and installation costs.

According to US census data, in the last 40 years more than 50% of new homes built have been done so without including a fireplace. This seems a little odd as surveys by the national Association of Realtors clearly show that home buyers value a home more if it has at least one fireplace, and in fact are prepared to pay upwards of $1500 extra for a home with a fireplace.
The beauty and atmosphere that a real wood burning fireplace creates in a home is something which is very difficult to emulate. So if you’re in love with the idea of sitting in front of a real fireplace when it’s chilly outside, what does it cost to install a fireplace in your home?

Is it Possible to Install a Fireplace in My Home ?

With the wide variety of fireplace designs available today it’s more a case of choosing the most suitable and appropriate fireplace for your type of home, the area where you live, and the reason you really want a fireplace.

Local building codes also have a bearing on things such as chimney dimensions, the fireplace construction, vent pipes and emissions that are acceptable in your local area. Visit your county building department online and check out the up-to-date building code information for you area.

Fireplace Costs.

Next you’ll want to consider the type of fuel you’re going to burn in your fireplace. If burning wood is permitted in your area and you have the space to store sufficient wood close to the house then this will give you the best options for installing a real fireplace.

Types of Fireplace Design.

The many different types of fireplace available offer various advantages and benefits for all types of home. Costs for installing a fireplace vary widely and will depend principally on the kind of fuel the fireplace uses as well as the design and exactly how simple or difficult it is to install the fireplace in your home.

One of the most popular fireplace types is a gas/propane fireplace which starts at around $2000 to buy. The fireplace installation procedure including hiring a contractor to make the necessary opening in an exterior wall, constructing the chimney, locating the fireplace and building the fire surround and mantle will probably run around another $5000 in total.

Installing a horizontally-vented fireplace, one that vents directly out through an exterior wall, can cut fireplace installation costs by half, as it requires much less labor and materials and no vertical flue or chimney extension.

Closed Wood-Burning Fireplace Costs.

A wood burning fireplace (EPA qualified) incorporating air-sealed doors to regulate the amount of internal air used in the combustion process starts at around $4000. These fireplace units save energy and reduce emissions produced. Installation requirements and costs will be very similar to those of a gas/propane fireplace with chimney.

Open Fireplace Costs.

The ever popular traditional open-hearth fireplace piled high with flaming wood or logs is a vision often conjured up when people talk about fireplaces. If your aim is to achieve a fireplace as seen in some of the large hotels in mountain resorts you’ll probably have to budget for at least $20,000 as it requires the work of a skilled mason or stoneworker for the construction.

Budget Fireplace Options.

At the lower end of the fireplace cost range you can find vent-less fireplaces which work using gas or gel, as well as those that are electric powered. These start at as little as $400 and expect to spend around $1,000 for a professionally installed one with its own gas/propane feed.

Fireplace Fuel & Maintenance Costs.

You’ll want to consider the ongoing costs for fuel and maintenance when deciding to install a fireplace. Natural gas provides the most popular and cheapest heating option. Propane and heating oil are also very economical although they are not normally provided by utility companies. Electricity is the least economical fuel source, costing almost double that of gas, to produce 1 therm (unit of heat value). Local utility company rates vary from area to area so make sure you check out local rates and make comparisons.

Wood is still the number one choice for those who live in the country and have a cheap source of wood either on their property or nearby. It can work out cheaper than any utility supplied fuel, and along with natural gas, it is one of most popular and economical fuels used in fireplaces across the country.
It’s probably best to take out a cleaning and maintenance plan with a chimney specialist contractor or fireplace inspection company. Costs are typically between $150 - $200 annually for regular cleaning and maintenance requirements.

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