Fireplaces Ideas – Should You Keep or Block it up?

It used to be that the fireplace was one of the main features in a room. With modern heating systems it's unlikely that you will find on in a modern home these days. The reason for this is that the chimney is a place for heat to escape easily. A fireplace is also an in inefficient way to heat a home.

There are two sides to the coin here. People buying a modern home often ask if they can install a fireplace. The other being people with a fireplace wanting to know what they can do with it or if they should remove it.

Should You Keep or Block a Fireplace?

There are many arguments for and against keeping a fireplace in an older home. One of the main reasons to keep is that they are a structural part of the build. Removing them means structural adjustments of the house, a procedure that has to be done by a professional. One that understands the structure requirements of your home.

Choosing to block a fireplace

Taking out a fireplace doesn't just mean knocking out a few bricks and boarding it up. Blocking up a fireplace can add extra space to a room and even improve the heat efficiency of your home. This is because the fireplace is an easy area for heat to escape. But is the extra space really worth it?

Keeping your Fireplace

Choosing to keep your fireplace doesn't mean it has to be used as a fireplace. You can keep the space as a feature of the room and in many cases install a more efficient option over having a coal fire.

These options include installing a modern log burning fire or use it as a fireplace and have a regular chimney sweep come in and keep it clear for you.

The added benefit of keeping the fireplace is that you can decorate it how you choose, with many modern options it's just a case of contacting a specialist about which options best suit your fireplace.

Upgrading Your Fireplace

If you are upgrading your coal fire to a log burning fire, you will need to install a chimney liner. The reason for needing a chimney liner is upgrading to a log burner produces a lot of heat than your normal chimney was designed for.

While you can install a chimney liner yourself, it is best left to the professionals. The reasons is a professional they will have experience to deal with any issues that might arise. We often see a tradesperson is called out to fix a job a homeowner started. One that would have been much cheaper had they called the professional out in the first place.

Installing a Fireplace in a Modern Home

If you have a modern home, the chances are there will not be a fireplace. This is because heating systems are designed to heat the house without the need for one. This doesn't mean you can't install a ‘fake fireplace', one that has a surrounding and can give the impression of a real fire but doesn't actually have any flames.

Why would you want a fireplace that isn't providing heat? The main reasons for adding a fake fireplace would be to create a focus point in a room, installing a mantelpiece around the fireplace means you have an area of the room to decorate, often pictures of family, ornaments and a place to hang stockings at Christmas.

Installing a fireplace also adds character to a room and somehow just finishes it off.

It is possible to install a wood burner or a gas fire in a new build home, but you will need to speak to a professional to ensure it is possible in your home.

How to Decorate Your Fireplace

If you have a period fireplace whatever you don't knock it out or paint over it. Many of the reasons people buy a period property if for the features that it offers. So let's look at some of the options to decorating a fireplace:

The Cover Up

If you don't like the way your fireplace looks, you can easily cover over it with a surround that can give a modern look without removing the original fireplace behind.

The idea is that you keep the original features behind should you or a future owner want to reveal them, as original features in a property do add value.

Replace the Mantelpiece

Do you have a modern mantelpiece but don't like the look of it? You can probably easily remove it and replace it with something you do like. Your taste in decor will decide what to put in its place.

You replacement fireplace can be made from anything. Wooden or maybe install an oak beam to represent where a fireplace would be and give a feature.

Other options include finding and old fireplace from a reclamation yard. Adding period features to a newbuild style property can give the feel a character building gives but retains the heating efficiency of a new property.

So, Which Should You Choose?

Deciding what to do with your fireplace is up to you, but if it's a modern or traditional, you'll want to make sure it fits in with the rest of your home. Keeping or adding a fireplace will give you a cosy feeling in autumn and winter, but in summer you might prefer the extra space.

Whichever option you choose, there are specialised tradespeople ready to help you achieve a professional finish to your home. Post a job with MyJobQuote Today and get up to 3 free quotes!

Last updated by MyJobQuote on 14th October 2020.
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