Remodeling your fireplace can completely change the look and feel of a room, whether it is a living room, den, great room, family room, bedroom or kitchen. A good Massachusetts fireplace contractor can make the new fireplace the center of focus in the room if you use the right styling and materials. Whether you do the work yourself or hire a Massachusetts Masonry professional, these tips will help you plan the perfect fireplace for your home.
- Check the firebox for damage or cracks. If you find any, they must be fixed before you do anything else. Make sure the damper works properly.
- Check the chimney, the flue, the chimney cap and the spark arrester for any signs of cracks or other damage.
- Clean the chimney to remove any creosote buildup, which can cause a fire.
- Decide what you can do with the existing firebox surround. What materials were used? Can the surround be removed without disturbing the firebox? You might find, especially in an older home, the surround and the firebox are a single unit. You might need to replace both if you want to remodel the fireplace.
- Decide what kind of materials will best result in the appearance you want for your new fireplace? Are you remodeling the whole room? Will the materials you have chosen blend with your decorating style?
- Decide whether you want a working wood-burning fireplace or you plan to use a factory-built unit. You might find it less expensive and less work to just install a factory-built fireplace.
- Design your surround. How big should it be? Remember that even a fireplace that is the focus of a room needs to be proportionately sized for the room.
- Will there be a mantel? Will you add wood moldings of any kind? What kind of mantel will you use? Will you have it built on site? Will you buy an antique? Will you buy a ready-to-install mantel?
- Check the efficiency of your fireplace. One way to improve the efficiency of a fireplace is to add a “fireback.” This is a heavy iron panel that goes in the back of the firebox to absorb heat and reflect it into the room.
- Decide if you want to run a gas line to the fireplace to either supply a gas starter for a wood fire or supply gas logs in your new fireplace.
Following these ten tips will put you well on your way to designing and building the perfect Massachusetts fireplace for your home.