The fireplace was traditionally the heart of every home, but changing lifestyles over the past four decades have relegated many of them to the scrap heap, with many families choosing to huddle around the TV instead.
However, the fireplace has seen a huge resurgence in popularity as a design feature among buyers, so if you are considering selling, it might be worthwhile investing in a fireplace or revamping your old one before going on the market. There’s a huge choice.
If you are replacing a bricked-up chimney breast with a fireplace, here are a few things you may wish to consider:
• Check that the chimney actually works. Many have been capped, and in some cases the chimneybreast on the upper floors has actually been removed altogether.
• If you don’t have a chimney-breast, a solid fuel stove can sometimes be installed, even using a horizontal flue through a ground floor wall.
• If you live in a smoke-free zone, make sure you buy the appropriate fuel.
• Don’t feel you necessarily have to find an old fireplace for an old house. Many people feel that contemporary fireplaces can complement traditional surroundings.
• A fireplace in a large bathroom is a particularly luxurious selling point.
• An instant and more practical alternative to solid fuel is a real-flame gas fire using ceramic coals. Note that you may need to line your chimney and have the emission levels professionally checked.
• How about a gel fire? This recent innovation using bio-fuel can usually be burned safely in a fireplace even if the chimney itself is sealed as there are no toxic fumes.
So why not embrace the pleasures of a real fire that gives warmth and comfort and is a more sociable alternative to the TV as the focal point of any room? It could help you sell your home!