A home needs a fireplace for various reasons. Apart from the obvious need for warmth during the colder months, other benefits include improved energy efficiency as well as elevating your interior design. However, the cost of having one installed can run quite high for homeowners, with Impressive Interior Design estimating up to $5,600 for the structure alone — in this case, a masonry chimney installation. This doesn’t yet factor in the demolition and maintenance of existing fireplaces, which can cost up to thousands more. However, it won't necessarily mean you have to live in a home without one. Understanding the costs and intricacies of getting one installed may help you make better choices about your fireplace installation.
What can make a fireplace expensive?
Before budgeting for a fireplace, it's important to understand the breakdown of potential expenses.
It’s essential to understand what influences a fireplace's price. You’ll have to consider whether it's the electric, wood-burning, gas, or masonry type. Electric fireplaces cost about $25 annually to run, while gas and wood are more expensive at $60 and $190 respectively. The Financial Times also details how some unique pieces like antiques can cost as much as $1,770 — and that's considered to be on the affordable side. This doesn't yet account for the other parts of the fireplace, such as the insert, gas line installation, firebox, wiring, assembly and customization, and ventilation, among other things. Certain fuels also require different things. For instance, masonry wood-burning fireplaces won’t need inserts, gas lines, and wiring, while gas masonry fireplaces require these components. These additional expenses can add up quickly. Common installations can range between $3000-$10,000, with super custom installations exceeding $50,000!
Costs also vary depending on the type of fireplace that you want to build and the quality of the materials used. You can go for pre-fab fireplaces which can be more convenient and more affordable, but you can also go for masonry fireplaces that have mid-range to high-end options — although these will be more expensive since they require custom materials and installation. Ultimately, fireplace installments can cost a hefty sum, especially if you are looking to get one of decent quality. But they can be very much worth the investment.
How to meet the costs of fireplace installation
Some areas for consideration are hiring an NFI certified professional, considering financing options, and selecting low cost fuel fireplaces.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can successfully prepare funds on top of simply saving up for your fireplace installation.
Choose the right contractor
It’s important to find a contractor that has your best interests at heart when helping you choose the right fireplace. At Starfire Direct, we make sure to work directly with vendors to find and offer the best quality products for your needs. It’s important to rely on professionals so that you can avoid the costs of repairing any DIY installations. Aside from that, the right contractor will ensure the safety of the entire installation process while maintaining the integrity of your home’s existing structures.
Take out a home improvement loan
Another way to secure funds for your fireplace is to take out a home improvement loan. There are various ways to secure such a loan, and fireplace installations will usually qualify, especially if it will be a major project and renovation. As a guide to personal loans by Marcus explains, a home improvement loan is one of the most common types of loans. These types of loans have relatively low interest rates, which means they won't take too long to repay. A fireplace will increase the value of your home, making a home improvement loan a short-term expense that will lead to profit in the long term.
While wood-burning fireplaces lead the trend regardless of location, how much it adds value to a home will depend on who's buying it. Older generations will prefer the traditional wood-burning fireplace while younger people are more interested in gas-burning ones. Cost-effective pre-fab or insert fireplaces are easier on the wallet since masonry fireplaces require much more labor. Using a pre-designed fireplace, which nearly all electric ones are, will significantly reduce the cost. The cost of electricity is more affordable and convenient than gas or wood, too. Start by saving up for an electric fireplace if it’s really a necessity in your home, then upgrade to a different type if need be.
Before getting a fireplace, it’s important to consult with a contractor that you trust to ensure you get a quality installation for the right price. It's best to hire a certified professional in this case, especially as fireplaces are a significant investment. Look for a contractor that is certified by the National Fireplace Institute (NFI) to ensure that they have gone through a rigorous process and examination for the installation of fireplaces, stoves, and heaters. NFI is an independent and non-profit certification agency that ensures the professionals building your fireplace have the competency and skills to do so. A portion of our Starfire Direct staff is NFI Hearth certified so we can assist you in designing your dream fireplace safely.
Fireplaces are a must-have in most homes that experience colder weather. Not only do they look aesthetically pleasing, but they provide much-needed warmth, comfort, and ambiance to a home.
About the author
Riane Cameron is a freelance writer and a home DIY enthusiast. Having moved around the country frequently since childhood, Riane is familiar with the ins and outs of turning every house into a home. When she’s not working on a new piece, you can find her upcycling old furniture in her garage.Main Image: A line drawing design for a fireplace addition to a modern living room.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Starfire Direct is pleased to partner with guests contributors--who are experts in their field-- to offer our readers specialized insight, inspiration, and techniques for projects and designs that they can implement in their own homes and businesses. For details on this article's author, please see above.