Will adding a fireplace add value to my home?
Monday, 3rd October 2016, Paul Dore
We all like to do things that add value to our home, whether we want to sell in the near future or not. A new bathroom, a fresh coat of paint, perhaps even replacing that tired kitchen worktop with a fabulous new granite version – these can all make your home appear that bit more desirable and have the added bonus of swelling the asking price.
One feature that you may not have considered as ‘value-adding' is a fireplace. Once a mainstay of every home, a central feature and the essential source of heat in the room, the fireplace has taken a bit of a back seat lately. Yet it's heading for a resurgence, not least because it adds value to the home.
Why get a fireplace?
The appeal of a real fire has increased a lot in recent years. Thoughts of warmth and a cosy glow has prompted many people to relocate the flat screen TV and install/construct a fireplace or restore what was already there.
The warmth which a real fire creates naturally means that you can reduce use of your central heating, which leads to cost savings. Heating just the room you're using will make savings over the long term and as heat rises, you may find it sufficiently heats the upstairs, too, if you remember to keep all of your doors open.
A fireplace – whether or not, you have a fire there or use the hearth purely for decorative purposes – provides that focal point which so many new-build lounges have been lacking. Even in an apartment on the tenth floor, it's possible to have a fireplace and create that same sense of warmth and cosiness in the winter. And what could be nicer than decorating the mantelpiece for Christmas?
What's more, newer technology (some wood burners are DEFRA-approved and use smokeless fuels) means that real fires can be installed in properties that would previously have been deemed inappropriate, such as terraced houses.
How much money will a fireplace add?
Let's cut to the chase, you want to know whether the outlay is worth the end result, yes? While fireplaces vary in cost (sought-after authentic Georgian ones can cost up to £30,000, if you're that way inclined), it's about the wow-factor. One estate agent claims that spending £3,000 on a wood burner could add as much as £10,000 in value.
Fortunately, the more modest ones won't stretch the wallet quite so severely, but even so, it's more than reasonable that a fireplace could add as much as five per cent to the price.
Timing is important – if you are selling your house and want to get the most out of your fireplace's value, put it on sale at the beginning of winter and ensure it is lit when your viewers come round.
What to choose
Reportedly, many homeowners are scrabbling about to find original fireplaces; ‘period features' are highly desirable and lots are seeking out ones which were made in the same year as their home. Whether they suit it or not.
Of course, when it comes to adding value to your home, you want to also combine aesthetic elegance into the mix. You wouldn't buy any old wood burner simply because you might wish to sell your home in the next decade; it's something you'll have to look at every day and use.
Choosing the right fireplace is a big part of that. Fortunately, most stone hearths and fireplaces are neutral in colour, so can equally blend seamlessly into a room or stand out, depending on what effect you'd like to achieve. Understated, limestone is a classy and elegant choice, while slate hearths provide a rustic element which compliments the limestone or works just as well on its own. Granite is another favourite material – durable, beautiful and able to withstand the residual heat.
If you're thinking of putting a fireplace in your home, whether or not to add value to it, we can give you all the advice and guidance you need. Get in touch with one of our friendly advisors or send us a message to chat through your requirements.