On a cold winter day there is nothing better than a nice, warm fireplace. However, the fireplace will be even more enjoyable if you choose the right type of custom fireplace for your home.
The first consideration is the purpose of the fireplace. It may simply be intended as a decorative piece, or you may plan on using it as a primary source of heat. If you are thinking of using your fireplace as a primary source of heat, ask if you have a lot of access to firewood. Fireplaces are a great way to heat one room, but if you try to use a fireplace to heat more than one room, you will have one room that is overheated in order to ensure that the rest of the home is warm enough.
Modern fireplaces make it possible to place fireplaces virtually anywhere, thanks to direct-vent and no-vent options. While a masonry fireplace comes with its own benefits, you will not be required to construct one to have a fireplace.
If you are concerned about the energy costs of a fireplace, the good news is that there are new, thermostat-controlled, self-modulating fireplaces. Rather than having to constantly maintain the fireplace to make sure it is hot enough, the thermostat controls how much wood is burned and how hot the fireplace is.
Distance From Combustibles
Make sure that you have enough room for the particular fireplace you're considering. The firebox must be at least six inches away from combustible materials. If it is impossible to keep combustible materials the recommended distance away, the firebox may need to be smaller or you may not be able to have a fireplace in that location.
If you are concerned mostly about cost, pre-fabricated fireplaces are generally the least expensive. Also, in terms of operation, gas-powered fireplaces are less expensive than wood-burning fireplaces. Wood is less convenient than gas because gas can be delivered to the fireplace directly through a gas line. Also, gas provides radiant heat and can offer the attractive visual of the hearth flame.
Real Vs. Artificial Flames
When you want a gorgeous, authentic flame, there is no substitute for the real thing. But there are also gas and electric fireplaces that are able to produce artificial flames that are very realistic. Make sure to look at artificial flames to decide whether you would consider them to be a good substitute for the real thing.