What kind of fireplace should I install?
If you are looking for a full-fledged renovation, there are a lot of decisions to make on the type of fireplace you want to purchase. Initially, you should consider how much time you want to spend maintaining your fireplace. A wood fireplace or stove requires a lot more prep time and clean-up time, since you will be responsible for buying wood and getting the fire started, oftentimes without any help. Although they require more work, they often produce a more authentic, warmer fire. Consider the cost and availability of the wood in your neck of the woods. If you are looking for simplicity or the local ordinance has restrictions, a gas or electric fireplace is ideal for you. With the flip of a switch, you’ll have a roaring fire, though not of the same quality.
Can I have a fireplace if I don’t want to renovate?
You can still easily have a wintertime fire if you don’t want the hassle of a built-in unit. Stand-alone electric fireplaces are popular and inexpensive options, and they can be placed in any room with an outlet. For something that takes up less space, try a tabletop gel fireplace. These handy products can be placed on any table, indoors or out, for a touch of warmth and added interest.
What fireplace accessories are available?
After you determine what fireplace is best for you, you’ll want to purchase all the accessories that go with it. If you have kids or pets, you’ll need to invest in a fireplace screen, which will create a barrier between your living space and the fire itself. To keep the warmth going throughout the night, you’ll need fireplace tools, such as matches and pokers, as well as a log basket or wood rack to ensure wood is always nearby. For an extra decorative element, consider installing an ornate or interesting fireplace mantel as well.
Just a reminder…not trying to nag. Wood fires must be supervised at all times. Setting a fire, in our home, is risky business. Just a few days ago, I placed one hard-wood log on a medium hot bed of coals and it ignited like it was soaked with gasoline.
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