Many homeowners dream of waking up on a cold Sunday morning and curling up next to a crackling fireplace with their family. Installing a fireplace is all it takes to make their dream a reality. However, some people are hesitant to invest without knowing whether a fireplace will add value to their home.
This guide will explore the value of adding a fireplace so you can feel confident in your decision.
How Much Value Does a Fireplace Add to a Home?
There are several advantages to adding a fireplace to your home. They create a beautiful focal point in any room and make the space feel warmer and cozier. But will these benefits provide the return on investment you want? The answer depends on many different factors, such as:
What Kind of Fireplace Do You Want?
Gas, electric and wood-burning fireplaces offer unique benefits at different prices. The type of fireplace you choose will influence the value it adds to your home and lifestyle.
Here’s an overview of each one:
- Wood fireplaces: A traditional wood fireplace provides the stunning beauty, relaxing sounds and comforting scent of actual burning logs. They typically cost the most to install and maintain, but many people think it’s worth it for the nostalgic charm they provide.
- Gas fireplaces: A gas fireplace provides the same heat and aesthetic appeal as a wood fireplace, but comes with much less upkeep. They burn natural gas or propane to create a real flame over ceramic logs that look just like the real thing. You can easily adjust the flame to maintain a comfortable temperature.
- Electric fireplaces: Electric fireplaces are a cost-effective flameless alternative to wood and gas fireplaces. Instead of burning fuel or wood, they use electricity to emulate the look and feel of a real fire. They don’t emit any ash or fumes, so there’s no ventilation required.
Where Is Your Home Located?
Real estate markets and what buyers find valuable varies by location. For instance, a fireplace is worth a lot more in areas with long freezing winters than on the Florida coast. If you were to list your home on the market, would your fireplace be an in-demand amenity?
What Is Your Home Like?
Think about what kind of fireplace fits with the style and quality of your home. Large wood-burning fireplaces are a standard amenity that people expect in mountain lodges and luxury homes. Alternatively, an electric unit would be sufficient to add coziness to a suburban townhome.
Do You Already Have a Chimney?
The cost of purchasing and installing a fireplace significantly impacts its value. Prices vary depending on the type of fireplace and how much work must be done to make it work in your home.
For instance, installing a wood-burning fireplace from scratch can cost thousands of dollars with the chimney construction and masonry work. However, you’d pay a fraction of that to update or replace an existing fireplace that already has a chimney.
Alternatively, electric and vent-free gas fireplaces don’t require any venting so you can save a lot of money on construction and installation.
Why Do You Want a Fireplace?
Most people get a fireplace for the following reasons:
- They provide beauty and charm to enhance your home’s interior.
- They create heat to make the room feel more comfortable and inviting.
Do you want a fireplace that heats the room, creates a stunning focal point or a mix of both? A wood fireplace is the most aesthetically pleasing, while an electric fireplace is the most efficient at maintaining a comfortable temperature. Gas fireplaces are somewhere in the middle, providing a real flame that’s easily adjustable.
To get the most value from your investment, choose the fireplace that suits your needs the best.
How Much Will You Use It?
Do you see yourself lighting a fire daily or only around the holidays to make your home festive and cheerful? If you plan to use your fireplace often, a wood-burning or gas fireplace is worth the additional investment. Otherwise, an electric fireplace is a cost-effective option for seasonal use.
How Does a Fireplace Add Value to a House?
Investing in a fireplace can enhance your home, lifestyle and finances. Consider all the ways a fireplace can add value to your home:
1. Provides Heat
A fireplace creates a significant amount of heat, so you can give your furnace a break during the winter. Instead of turning up the heat in your entire house, you can light a fire where you spend the most time. The fireplace will maintain a comfortable temperature and potentially lower your utility bills.
2. Enhances the Interior Design
Fireplaces create a beautiful focal point in any room. There’s a wide range of styles to choose from with customizable features, so you’re sure to find one that blends with your interior. Adding a mantel above the fireplace allows you to display family photos, seasonal decor, artwork or anything else that makes your space feel like home.
3. Increases Resale Value
Did you know that homes with fireplaces get an average of 550 views per listing? That’s more than homes with open concepts and multiple bathrooms. They’re a good investment whether you plan to sell your home soon or decades in the future.
4. Creates a Cozy Ambiance
The crackling wood and glimmering flames create a calm atmosphere where people feel comfortable and relaxed. If you like to host family gatherings or seasonal parties, a fireplace will make your home feel cozy and inviting for guests.
5. Inspires Lifelong Memories
If you had a fireplace in your childhood home, the odds are you can recall years of fond memories around the fire. Perhaps you warmed your toes while watching cartoons on the weekends or sat around the hearth to open gifts on Christmas morning. Installing a fireplace ensures your family has the same opportunity to create lifelong memories.
Cost vs. Resale Value
Comparing the cost of a fireplace with its estimated resale value can help you decide if it’s worth the investment. Let’s take a look at specific price comparisons:
How Much Value Does a Gas Fireplace Add?
A typical gas fireplace insert costs $2,300 to $10,000 depending on the style and installation costs. The majority of real estate agents believe indoor or outdoor fireplaces add $1,000 to $5,000 to the resale value of your home. So, if you go for a reasonably priced insert, you could breakeven and potentially earn a profit on your investment.
How Much Value Does a Wood Fireplace Add?
A wood fireplace insert costs anywhere from $950 to over $11,000, excluding the cost of installation. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 48% of home buyers rate wood-burning fireplaces as a desirable item. They make the home feel luxurious and are often associated with a higher sale price.
How Much Value Does an Electric Fireplace Add?
A high-quality electric fireplace insert ranges in price from $1,300-$2,200. Since electric fireplaces are more affordable and easy to install, they don’t have the same resale value compared to wood or gas fireplaces. However, 16% of buyers include a fireplace on their list of essential household amenities. So, even though they don’t add much in terms of monetary value, they’ll attract buyers that might not consider your home otherwise.
What About Maintenance Costs?
The cost to maintain your fireplace is another important factor that will impact the value of your investment.
Since electric fireplaces produce zero fumes, ash or debris they’re very simple to keep clean. All you have to do is dust yours occasionally. The only recurring cost is a slight increase in your electricity bill.
Gas fireplaces are affordable and easy to maintain, as well. They require a gentle cleaning every once in a while, or you can hire a professional. If your gas fireplace has a vent, yearly inspections will ensure the gas line and flue are clean and functioning properly. A professional cleaning typically includes a standard inspection. You should also budget for the cost of natural gas or propane to fuel the fire.
Wood-burning fireplaces require the most maintenance because they produce a lot of smoke and ash. To keep them running safely and efficiently, you must schedule a chimney sweep and inspection once per year. Although they cost the most to maintain, wood is the most affordable fireplace fuel.
Which Fireplace Location Is the Most Valuable?
Where you choose to install your fireplace will contribute to how much value it adds to your home. Think about which room would benefit most from an extra boost of heat in the winter, and where a fireplace would be most efficient. A wood fireplace must be connected to the chimney, which may limit your placement options. A gas or electric fireplace can be installed in almost any room.
Here are some popular locations to consider:
- Living room: Many people choose the room they use most such as the family or living room. A fireplace creates a beautiful centerpiece where people can gather for holidays or typical evenings at home.
- Bedroom: Fireplaces also make a luxurious addition to the primary bedroom. Plus, small rooms are easier to heat.
- Bathroom: A bathroom with a fireplace creates a relaxing spa-like experience in your own home.
- Kitchen: A crackling fireplace is a perfect backdrop to family meals around the kitchen table or formal dining room. You could also install a multi-view fireplace between the kitchen and living room so you can enjoy it from both sides.
- Backyard: An outdoor fireplace will enhance your backyard and provide heat so you can spend more time outside during chilly evenings in the spring, fall and even the winter.
To find out which location is the most valuable in your area, check out local listings and remodeling trends. See where other homeowners are putting their fireplaces and check with your contractor for their professional advice.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Old Fireplace?
If it’s in good shape, an old fireplace will add value and help your home stand out in the real estate market. However, if it doesn’t pass inspection, it may discourage potential buyers from moving forward with your property.
To avoid the hefty costs of replacing a fireplace, you can repair the chimney and install a new fireplace insert. Depending on your setup, you can typically install an electric or gas insert into a wood-burning fireplace, or a wood-burning insert into a gas fireplace. Alternatively, you can keep the same type of fireplace and simply upgrade to a newer insert.
Other Important Considerations
Many variables determine if a fireplace will add value to your home. Here are some other important factors to help you make a decision:
What Is Your Budget?
The money you spend to install a fireplace will impact the value it adds to your home. Once you’ve figured out a price point that will maximize your return on investment, it’s important to stay within budget. Don’t forget to factor in the price of the unit, installation costs, utility fees and construction charges.
Do You Have Time to Maintain Your Investment?
The key to maintaining the value of your fireplace is keeping it in good condition. Wood-burning and gas fireplaces must be cleaned and inspected yearly. If you’d prefer a low-maintenance option, an electric fireplace is ideal. Simply wipe off the exterior a few times throughout the year.
Which Design Features Have the Highest Value?
Many fireplace inserts allow you to customize certain features like the interior liner, trim color, facade, surround and even the controls. Some design details cost extra and may impact the resale value of your fireplace.
To get the highest return on your investment, choose a design that everyone will like that complements the rest of your home — classic colors and patterns never go out of style.
When Are You Planning to Sell Your Home?
If you want to sell your home soon, estimating the resale value of a fireplace is a good way to plan your investment. But, if you want to enjoy your fireplace for decades to come, there are other important factors to consider.
The value of a fireplace goes beyond monetary gain. Subtracting the cost to install a fireplace from its resale value provides a basic estimate, but that doesn’t account for the years of memories you could make celebrating holidays, hosting game nights and hanging out with your family by the fire.
Install a Fireplace From Quality Overhead Door
At Quality Overhead Door, we offer incredible wood, gas and electric fireplaces to fit a variety of budgets and styles. We offer a selection of luxurious Astria® fireplaces, which are made with the latest technology and utmost craftsmanship to add beauty and value to your space.
Our family-owned and operated business has been helping customers improve their homes in the Toledo area since 1982. Contact us today to learn more about our fireplaces and how they can add value to your home.
Additional Resources on Fireplaces: