4 Considerations Before Adding a Fireplace to Your Home

Do you dream of being able to curl up in front of a cozy, crackling fireplace in the comfort of your own home? If so, then you may be wondering what it would take (or if it's even possible) to add a fireplace to your existing space. The good news is that this project is easier than you might think; in most cases, it is possible to retrofit an existing home to accommodate a fireplace. Still, there are some considerations you'll need to keep in mind before you begin shopping around.

Fireplace Location

Start by thinking about where you'd like to see a fireplace added within your home. Formal living rooms and family rooms are popular locations for fireplace installation, but adding a fireplace to your master bedroom or office is another option to consider. When deciding on a location for your new fireplace, try to think about where it will get the most use throughout the year--as well as where you have the most open wall space (with no obstructions like doors or windows) to work with.

Type of Fireplace/Fuel

Another important decision you'll need to make is choosing a specific type of fireplace to install. Some of this may depend on the location where you want the fireplace installed in your home, but some options to consider include:

  • direct-vent gas fireplaces
  • wood-burning fireplaces
  • zero-clearance fireplaces

Each type comes with some of its own potential benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to carefully consider each option before deciding which may be best suited for your home.

Local Laws and Ordinances

There's a good chance that you'll need to get a permit to add a fireplace to your home, but the specific laws here can vary from one city or state to the next. The best way to avoid permitting headaches will be to work with an experienced fireplace installer that can handle applying for any necessary permits or allowances on your behalf.

Costs and Return on Investment

Finally, take some time to consider the money you'll be putting into this project versus what you might get out of it. Adding a fireplace can cost around $10,000 up-front, and you'll have ongoing maintenance costs to consider as well. At the same time, a fireplace can add significant value to your home, so you may be able to recoup some of those costs if you plan on selling down the road.