Things to consider before getting a fireplace

For some, buying a fireplace has never been an issue. Their house had one installed when they brought it, and they haven’t replaced it since. Others buy a fireplace just because it looks nice, without really putting any more thought into it than that.

But it is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly.

Several factors should be considered when it is time to buy a new fireplace. Some are simply questions of aesthetics. But there are some points you may not of thought of, outside of the looks of the fire or stove, that you really ought to think on. We covered some in our Stove Precaution article, but here are a few more that can apply to all manner of fireplaces and stoves.

Style

Modern living roomWe’ll start with the easiest point. People don’t tend to buy ugly fireplaces. They want something that they like, and that compliments the style of the room. But finding the right fireplace for the job can be very tricky. The amount of variations on interior design far, far outmatch the number of variations in fireplace design. Unless you get something custom made, you have a somewhat finite pool to choose from.

The best way to guarantee success is to take a picture of the room into which you hope to place your new fireplace or stove. You already take measurements to make sure whatever you buy fits into the room from a physical standpoint, so why not take pictures to make sure it will fit in visually? Instead of having to match fireplace design to interior design in your head, you can have both side by side while you shop. This way, you are much more likely to pick up something that will fit in seamlessly.

Size of the room

Following on from something aesthetic to something more tangible, you need to figure out how powerful of a fireplace you will require. Obviously, a tiny fireplace will be no good in a big open room. But similarly, a massive fireplace is likely to overwhelm a small room, both in terms of heat it produces, and how much room it takes up. Striking a balance it key.

Again, take the time to survey the room properly. Take pictures, and be sensible. Most electric fireplaces come in a variety of sizes, so even if you find a style you like that you fear may be too big, it’s worth asking if it comes in a smaller size.

Carbon monoxideCarbon Monoxide detector

Now on to something more serious. carbon monoxide poisoning is a real danger when dealing with gas fireplaces. Though the vast majority are perfectly safe, some can develop leaks, or be leaky due to poor installation work.

So before you buy a fireplace, buy a carbon Monoxide detector. It makes sense to do even without a fireplace, as they are very cheap and do nothing but good. If you would like more information on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, click here.

Building work

Fingers crossed, you won’t have to do any construction work to incorporate your new fireplace or stove. But with some models, a little bit of building work is necessary. Or, of course, you could willingly choose to have some work done in order to broaden the options you have (making a small hearth bigger, for examples).

With the aforementioned risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty installations, combined with the fact that it is never advisable to carry out construction work on your own unless you are highly trained, you need to find a builder you can trust. There are several websites dedicated to combing through all of the local businesses on offer, both big and small, and sorting out the good from the bad. This method is the best way to ensure you pick just the right person for the job.

Child safety

Finally, we have a tip that may not affect everyone, but for those who it will it is a big concern. Fireplaces aren’t ideal appliances for small children to be going near, due to the inherent dangers that come with them. So you need to take every precaution you can. Start by making sure the fireplace you buy isn’t so big that you can’t fit safety measures around it, such as a fireplace grate.

Secondly, try to seek out any fireplace that has been specifically made with young families in mind. Though there is never a way to entirely remove the danger, some electric fireplaces, for example, have been made to keep heat transferred to the outside of the appliance to a minimum.

 

 

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