A fireplace is such a lovely way to add warmth and feeling to your living space. If you are dreaming of installing a custom fireplace, or remodeling an existing one, there are many things to consider. If you are starting from scratch, you will first need to decide whether your new fireplace will be gas or wood burning. If you are wanting a low maintenance option, think gas. This will also give you warmth that is almost instant with a turn of a switch. If you desire the age old real deal of a wood burning, these can be a beautiful addition. Wood burning fireplaces allow you to burn many types of wood. This adds to the aroma of your home.
If you are replacing an existing hearth and mantle, you will simply be choosing the cosmetic elements of this venture. If you are creating one from the beginning, please take the advice of professionals and do not try to do all of the work yourself. This type of work is best done by someone who really knows their stuff. You are dealing with the health of your family and this should not be taken lightly. Also consider choosing a direct-vent gas fireplace if you wish to eliminate the need for a chimney. If you are renovating an older home, it is also always a wise decision to have the old fireplace or even the structure of the home to determine if this is a safe option.
Once you have jumped through all of the technical hoops, it is time to custom design your fireplace! When deciding on a desired look, you will need to crunch numbers. If you have a very tight budget, consider purchasing a kit from your local home improvement store. The selection may not be as diverse, but you can get a kit that includes a mantle, columns, basic surrounds, and accessories for $400-500. If you would like to purchase the mantle only, you can get a nice wooden mantle for less than $200. Another money saver is to go with faux finishes. This gives you the look of the expensive materials without the great expense.
If money is not as big of an issue for you, there are many options available. A custom mantle deigned just for you by a professional can run anywhere from $1,000 to several thousand. The price varies as much as the materials vary. Most companies will give you a basic estimate and give you suggestions to cut down on expenses if need be. As far as finishes go, there are many ways to create an amazing focal point and turn your mantel into a work of art.
Log mantels give a charming and rustic look while brick, stone, and marble give more traditional looks. If you wish to follow emerging fireplace trends, there are amazing things to be done with granite tiles. You can even use stainless steel faces as mantels. If you can imagine it you can probably find a company to help you create it. You can go the DIY route with the mantel creation. This can also be contracted out. Do your research, find a reputable company to work with, and enjoy quiet nights beside the fireplace of your dreams.