Houses once relied on fireplaces for heat, cooking and hot water. In historic New England where I lived for 15 years, there are many beautiful fireplaces like this one in Newburyport MA. Today we think of the kitchen as the heart of the home. That’s because fireplaces were once located in the kitchen where meals were prepared, … Read More
Fireplaces for Fun, Not Warmth
Fireplaces once provided heat for our homes. Many homeowners wanted to add a fireplace but there were challenges. You needed an exterior wall to vent the gases created by burning wood. Today's ventless fireplace solves this problem.
Picking a Fireplace Requires Many Decisions
Like buying a car, there are lots of decisions to make when buying a fireplace. You can research them online or visit a local fireplace store to get ideas. Here are the key decisions:
- Vented or ventless - affects where the fireplace can go, because vented fireplaces need to be on (or very near) an exterior wall.
- Location and style - a traditional hearth, a corner fireplace or one of today's new wall fireplaces.
- Fireplace inserts - start with your choice of fuel - wood, gas, electric, propane or one of the new alcohol based gels. You should also review options to improve fireplace efficiency.
- A fireplace mantel, once required is now optional with many fireplace designs.
- The fireplace surround - involves all of the trim surrounding your fireplace. Check out these fireplace ideas for different rooms in your home, or visit our fireplace board on Pinterest.
Homeowners tend to come in two groups: Those who have a fireplace, and those who wish they did. Even if it’s old and completely out of commission, the hearth seems to have been the focal point in the living area, at least until super size televisions arrived. So it’s time to give your fireplace a … Read More
There’s nothing cozier than a crackling fire when outdoor temperatures dip. But safety is as important as comfort, so you’ll need to take certain steps in order to have both. A good fireplace maintenance program is important to keep everything in good working condition. Fall is the right time to have your fireplace and chimney … Read More
Everyone loves a fireplace so here are some fireplace ideas to fire you up! After all there’s a saying that home is where the heart is and when it’s cold outside, it’s also true that home is where the hearth is? Maybe that’s not exactly right, but there is some truth to it. A beautiful … Read More
Painting a brick fireplace is a good option for homeowners who want to update a room and give it a more modern look. White seems to be the most popular color although I’ve seen some really nice white and gray fireplace walls on Houzz.com. When you’re painting a brick fireplace, you should take more time … Read More
Fireplace mantels are for hanging Christmas stockings, right? In many ways that’s true because the original function of a fireplace mantel was to catch smoke, and today’s fireplaces no longer need help. Fireplace mantels like many other functional features of a home, remain as a decorative feature and many homeowners use them to display collectibles … Read More
When building a house or adding a fireplace, there are lots of decisions to make. The most important decisions are structural or functional like placement of the fireplace (exterior or interior wall) and type of fuel (wood or gas). Many homeowners though, focus on the look of the fireplace, from style and materials to the … Read More
Firewood is a popular way for many homeowners to heat their homes on chilly nights, gaining heat and that special feeling that comes with the soft glow of an open fire. A cozy fire often will remind you of nights spent sitting around a campfire, and this might be your only experience with firewood growing … Read More
Fireplaces are romantic. Who wouldn’t love a fireplace in their living room, family room or even the master bedroom? They help us relax but do you realize how little heat we get from older fireplaces? The average masonry fireplace is inefficient because it draws air from the room when a fire is burning and if … Read More
Fireplaces used to heat our homes and cook our food but today, fireplaces are more about creating an environment for relaxing at home. Strangely fireplaces aren’t very good at heating a house because most of the heat goes up the flue, and draws more of your furnace heated air up the flue too. Today’s fireplaces … Read More