A Few Things To Know About Adding A Wood-Burning Fireplace To Your Home

There's nothing quite as romantic and cozy as snuggling up to a wood-burning fireplace. If you've always wanted to live in a home with a fireplace, but you don't want to move, then you should look into having a fireplace installed in your existing home. While it is certainly easier to install a fireplace when a home is constructed, it is usually possible to have one built into an existing wall and add on a chimney. Here are a few things to know:

Local Building Codes May Apply

Before you get your heart set on a particular type of fireplace, be sure to check your local building codes. There may be regulations concerning how and where a fireplace can be added. There may be codes that concern the chimney location and height. There might even be regulations concerning the type of fireplace you can install in an existing home. A contractor will know the codes and abide by them, but learning about them up front will help you know what to expect when you decide to have a fireplace and chimney installed.

Construction Considerations Are Important

A masonry fireplace is very heavy, plus the chimney adds a lot of weight to your foundation. For that reason, you may need a new foundation under the chimney, or your contractor may need to reinforce your current foundation to hold the weight of a new fireplace. There's a lot of construction science that goes into installing a fireplace to prevent backdraft and smoky odors from filling your home. The location of the fireplace, the exhaust system in the house, and even the height of the chimney come into play. You'll want to bring a contractor in early when you plan to install a fireplace so you understand what your realistic options will be when it comes to how the fireplace will function with your existing home layout.

An Outdoor Fireplace May Be An Alternative

Installing a wood-burning fireplace from scratch is exciting because you get to control its appearance. If you love the aroma, sound, and feel of burning wood, you probably don't want to settle for a gas or electric fireplace alternative. One way to have the drama of a real wood-burning fireplace without demolishing your home is to have a fireplace installed outdoors in a seating area or near an outdoor kitchen. It's not quite the same as having an indoor fireplace, but you'll still be able to enjoy the romance of a crackling fire on a cool evening.

If you've always dreamed of having a fireplace, then talk to a contractor about your options. A fireplace adds value to your home and makes it more desirable to buyers, so pampering yourself with a new fireplace could be a good investment in your home. Contact a company like Alpine Fireplaces for more information and assistance.