As we head into autumn, just thinking about relaxing in front of a fireplace evokes warm feelings of comfort and family togetherness. Maybe that’s why we love them so much. A fireplace serves as a focal point in a room, creating ambiance and providing a gathering point in the home when the weather is cold and snowy or rainy and raw. It is also considered a sought-after feature that adds to a home’s value, and it’s never been easier ─ or more energy-efficient ─ to have one.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can add a fireplace with a touch of old-fashioned coziness and a dash of 21st century style and technology.

Screened porch with fireplace

Screened Porch & Fireplace by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Fuel Sources

You may think that there’s nothing like a crackling wood fire. But older fireplaces provide more ambiance than actual heat, because they send most of the heat up the chimney. They can compromise your indoor air quality and create dust in your home. When you add or update a wood fireplace, a smart solution is a new energy-efficient fireplace insert certified by the EPA. Having a glass door also makes it cleaner and more efficient, reducing smoke and dust as well as stopping it from sucking heat out of the room.

Gas fireplace idea

Gas fireplace photo courtesy Heatilator

Gas stoves and gas fireplaces burn very cleanly and are a popular low-maintenance alternative to wood. They can easily be turned on or off instantly and produce very natural-colored flames.

Electric fireplaces are a new addition to the mix. They burn so cleanly they don’t need a vent, flue or chimney. That means you can put one in almost any room of your home. You get the warm glow of flames with none of the ash or soot.

Think Outside the Box

Location is everything when adding a fireplace. An old wood-burning fireplace came with limited placement choices: a floor-level or a raised hearth on an outside wall.

Two-sided gas fireplace idea

Gas fireplace photo courtesy Heatilator

Today, gas or electric fireplaces can be wall-mounted in any room and at any height, the possibilities are almost endless. Imagine dining by firelight with the glow of the flames at eye level for all your guests to enjoy. If you have an open floor plan or a great room, the fireplace can be in the center of the room, a focal point for your décor. Use a double-sided fireplace as a room divider, open to 2 rooms. This is a popular option in a master bedroom and bathroom.

Pick Your Style

Your fireplace doesn’t have to be a traditional brick hearth with a wood mantel for displaying family mementos. You can go clean, modern and sleek with a metallic, slate or glass mosaic tile surround. For a natural, rustic look, there are several ways to use stone that look great and inspire a muted palette of grays and browns for the room. Forgoing the mantel allows you to add soaring height to the room with a floor-to-ceiling surround.

Family Room Fireplace by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Family Room Fireplace by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits

Turn your backyard into another family room and extend the time you can spend outdoors with a fire pit on the patio. You’ll love snuggling up around a fire on a cold, clear night making s’mores! A covered or screened porch with a fireplace makes 3-season entertaining possible by adding cozy spring and fall options to your party planning.

Fire pit on patio

Photo courtesy Pella Windows & Doors

If this is the time of year when you’re starting to think about ways to make your home a little bit cozier, we have lots of ideas, including adding a fireplace almost anywhere you might want family and guests to gather. Contact us today!

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