Sitting in front of a roaring fire as the snow falls outside is the quintessential New England experience. All eyes are naturally drawn to a warm, cozy fire in the fireplace of any room. It has a commanding presence.
Naturally, homeowners want the fireplace and its surrounding elements to reflect the decor of their home. Many older homes have large brick fireplaces which cover an entire wall and can seem to be a harsh contrast. If you own an older home, or are simply looking for a change, you may wish to update the fireplace and surrounding wall to better reflect your personal taste and style. As with most remodeling projects, it is important to hire a professional to guide the process. At Distefano Brothers, our team will work with you and your budget to create your vision.
Once your remodeling team is in place, it is time to explore different options for the mantle and fireplace surroundings. One quick, easy, and simple way to update a fireplace with a brick surrounding wall is to simply wrap the brick in either wood or tile, leaving the firebox faced with exposed bricks.
Another option is to drywall or plaster over the brick surround to create a blank canvas ready for you to create your ideal ambiance. Drywall installation with an added mantle and a surrounding wall can take as little as 2-3 days. A custom mantel, extensive duct work, or electrical installation will increase the project calendar depending on the specifics desired.
Brick can also be painted. This is a less expensive option that can be changed in the future. Our knowledgeable professionals will help you determine the quality of the brick in your home and will ensure the proper paint is used.
There are also many choices when updating the surround face of the fireplace. Below are some of the latest trends in remodeling the fireplace surround and/or mantle:
- slab– a slab of marble, granite, or another solid surface
- stone– comes in many varieties with many shapes, colors, and textures
- paint– easy on the budget, provides endless color choices, and suits all styles
- river rock– a naturally round stone of many sizes and palettes, suitable for both traditional and rustic styles
- poured-in-place concrete– a great-looking choice, modern style, needs a specialist to install
- ledge stone– a texture lovers choice, comes in many colors, can be installed horizontally and vertically
- prefabricated travertine or limestone– an elegant traditional look, requires an expert mason
- ceramic and glass tiles– many colors, shapes, and textures, endless design options
On a chilly evening, a traditional wood burning fireplace is warm, beautiful, and inviting. The work involved in creating that fire takes time, effort, and wood. Planning a fireplace remodel often includes a possible conversion from wood burning to gas or electric energy. This change can provide an equally pleasant experience, but with the flip of a switch. So, other than ambiance…..why switch?
- Wood fireplaces do little to heat a room. In reality, a fireplace draws warm air up the chimney causing the house to chill.
- Fireplace irritants can cause respiratory issues, such as allergies or asthma, to worsen.
- Wood burning fireplaces cause air pollution and are therefore regulated in some areas.
- Wood fires cause house fires due to the buildup of creosote in the chimney. There is a need for regular cleaning by a professional chimney sweep.
There are many options when converting from wood to other energy sources. Read below to determine which might work for your needs:
- wood to gas-provides significantly more warmth than wood, has adjustable flames to control the amount of warmth given off, energy efficient, no health or environmental concerns that are associated with wood burning.
- wood to electric-does not need to be vented outside, has no actual fire but can have a realistic LED flame for ambiance, good choice for non-functioning chimney or if you wish to mount a tv over the mantle.
- wood to vented gas log-a good budget option if you are looking more for ambiance than heat.
- wood to wood pellet fireplace insert– cleaner burning than wood, provides lots of heat, inexpensive to operate, energy efficient, provides ambiance with real flames, does not require a gas line.
As the winter chill sets in, our thoughts drift to sitting by a warm, cozy fire. If you are also ready to update with a remodel of your existing fireplace and surrounding wall, your first step is to hire a professional to guide you through the process. Then, once all choices and decisions are made, sit back and enjoy the New England winter ahead!
Contact our team and get started today!