A simple guide to adding a fireplace to your home
Wednesday, 22nd May 2013, Lucy Mccoy
The revival of the traditional living room fireplace has been one of the most remarkable interior design trends of the 21st century.
After central heating became the primary investment for keeping warm back in the 1950s, it appeared as if the home's humble hearth would eventually become a distant memory. Yet, in a remarkable turn of events, homeowners seem to be keener than ever to huddle round the fire on a cold winter's evening.
As such, a bespoke fireplace can now add tremendous value to a home as well as transforming the aura of any lounge or dining room.
The internet has made it far easier for homeowners to pick out the perfect fireplace to brighten up their home, but there is still plenty for them to bear in mind before having one installed.
No matter much of a DIY expert you think you are, it is highly recommended to leave the installation of your fireplace to a seasoned professional. A qualified fireplace fitter will be able to evaluate your chimney to see whether or not your choice of fireplace will fit inside it. They will also be to advise homeowners on whether their chimney needs a sweep, cowl, flue liner or any other maintenance work.
If you opt for a gas fireplace, then you need to invest in a Gas Safe-registered engineer to fit it. Failing to do so could cause unnecessary risks to your health, invalidate any guarantee on the fireplace and make it illegal for homeowners to let out a room in their house.
Your chosen size of fireplace will be somewhat limited by the size and location of your chimney, but part of your decision is still likely to be based on what looks best in a room. A large custom fireplace might look incredible in a huge guest room but could be too overbearing in a small more intimate room, for example.
The shape and material of the hearth is a key decision which will be based on design preferences. Limestone has proven to be a popular choice of material in recent times. It's soft enough to manipulate and create some innovative designs with, whilst it also looks great in a variety of environments.
Limestone can be easily scratched and stained though if it's not properly maintained, which is why some homeowners opt for other materials like brick or granite.
A mantelpiece above the fireplace allows homeowners to turn their display into a true work of art. Mantelpieces are commonly made of limestone, granite or fine wood. With most suppliers, it should be possible to order a matching mantel with your fireplace. Of course, they can be practical as well as stylish. There's arguably no better place to hang your Christmas stockings, place your sports trophies or position a family portrait.
Often, a cheap, inadequate fireplace can actually decrease the value of a home so if you've got an old, disused chimney in your living space, now is the time to renovate it. With these tips in mind, it should be easy to create an awesome, secure, cosy atmosphere in your living space.