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Homes Without Fireplaces-What?

Wed 10 Jan 2007 - 16:56

Homes Without Fireplaces-What?
By Jessica Brylan

If you've ever walked into a house and found no fireplace, wouldn't you wonder why any person in their right mind ever built a house without one? They are cozy and romantic. They provide a rather inexpensive source of heat. And they look great in any room. So, why aren't they in the floor plans of all houses?

If you ever walked into a house you were planning on purchasing and you found that it came without a fireplace, would that ruin the deal or not? For many people, I think it would. But then, there are those who would immediately begin thinking about where they would want the fireplace and what kind they would need. Well, that takes a bit of thought.

A traditional fireplace would run you anywhere from $5000 to $7500 and possibly even more. A chimney would have to be built, which would mean cutting holes in the wall, building an entire apparatus that reaches to the roof and making sure everything works exactly right. Fireplaces aren't anything to play around with. Things can catch on fire. Smoke can literally ruin a house. But, nothing beats the ambiance of that roaring fire when everything is done right. Nothing beats a fireplace period.

So, there are alternatives. A gas fireplace makes things a little easier. A fire can be lit with a switch and there is no need to store logs. There are neat cement ones that look just like logs and the fire is very real and very warm. So, a gas fireplace does a nice job at replacing the traditional fireplace. Not in the construction costs of it though. Everything that went into panning for the traditional fireplace must go into the gas fireplace. And we haven't even mentioned ripping up the floor to put in a hearth. You should always have a hearth when you are dealing with a roaring fire. You can't have leaping flames hitting a wooden floor and drastically ruining your good time.

Someone came along with the idea that electric fireplaces would solve all those problems. And they started out great. There wasn't an actual fire, but there was a source of heat. The fireplaces looked just like traditional fireplaces. Only you didn't need to tear your walls and your floors up to install them. They were perfect until someone spilled a drink on one. And then the other reason they weren't so perfect arose. There was a power outage and an alternative source of heat was needed. So, if you have an alternative source of heat, what good is the fireplace doing you?

It was time to go back to the drawing board. People were preparing themselves to eat the cost of installing a traditional fireplace or even a gas fireplace. Even though it was a bit expensive, it was worth it to have a fireplace in their homes. They were just about ready to write the check and order the materials when they realized something. There is one final alternative, the ventless gel fireplace.

The ventless gel fireplace installs as easily as an electric fireplace. It looks just like a traditional fireplace. It has an actual fire as a source of heat. But, there is no chance of leaping flames because the gel is like a burning candle, a huge burning candle that actually puts out heat. A ventless gel fireplace can run as low as about $250. But, there are some as high as $2,000.

From the traditional to the gas, the electric to the ventless gel, those are all your options for a fireplace. When you are in pre-construction of a house, some of these decisions are easier to make. But once the house is built without a fireplace, there are some decisions to be made and they don't always center around money. Safety factors and usefulness are also part of the considerations. Regardless of which you choose, I hope you enjoy your fireplace and all the great times it will bring you.

Jessica Brylan is a home improvement expert. She loves remodeling homes. She has even built a few. In all her work, she has split off into interior design every once in awhile. But, actual construction is her first love. She knows enough to get by with the big guys.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jessica_Brylan

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