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Fireplaces are coveted by home-buyers and homeowners alike.
They are decorative and functional, bringing stateliness, warm vibes, and real heat into a home.
It can be costly to have a fireplace added if your house does have one already in it.
But there is a less costly option: the freestanding fireplace.
Freestanding fireplaces provide the coziness and warmth of a fireplace without the hassle and cost of installing one in your wall.
Is a freestanding fireplace the right choice for you?
In this article, we cover everything you should consider when making that decision.
A freestanding, or standalone, a fireplace is what it sounds like. It is freestanding, so it does not have to be built into a house the way a traditional fireplace does.
This may be appealing for homeowners who need a fireplace but do not have the budget to set up a fireplace in their home.
If you need a fireplace in your home and are currently thinking about a freestanding one, consider what you want from your fireplace.
Do you want something which will help warm your home, or do you want something going to add value as well?
That said, installing a built-in fireplace in your home is an expensive project. But still, you could see a return on that investment if you ever choose to sell your home.
If having a fireplace is something you want for your own enjoyment, however – a cheaper, freestanding model might be a better option.
While installing a freestanding fireplace is easier than a built-in, there is some installation needed depending on the type you get.
If your stove or fireplace has to be vented, you will need to have a chimney pipe installed. But there are ventless or even electrical models available that do not require a chimney.
You also have alternatives when it comes to your fireplace location if you go with a freestanding one. You can optimize your fireplace’s heat output by placing it somewhere central so the heat can radiate in all directions.
If you’re considering installing a fireplace in your house but do not want to undertake a renovation project, then a freestanding unit is best suited to your needs.
Having a built-in fireplace installed can cost $10,000 per HouseLogic.com.
Meanwhile, HomeAdvisor.com says wood stoves cost $3,000 — $4,000, including installation.
Other types of freestanding units often cost much less, depending on the installation.
You have three basic options for freestanding fireplaces: wood, gas, and electricity.
Of these, some will require venting, and some won’t.
Wood fireplaces require venting, so make sure to factor in the price of having a chimney pipe installed if you decide to have a wood stove.
Ventilation may be needed by a freestanding gas fireplace. If you don’t want to go through the difficulty of having a pipe installed, you might think about a ventless gas fireplace that doesn’t need to vent to the outside.
There is some debate over how safe ventless gas fireplaces really are, so make sure to do your homework and find out how to use the appliance so that you don’t create safety hazards.
With either kind of gas fireplace, you’ll need to get it hooked up to a gas line, so make sure to take into account the cost of installing a gas line or having a new line included as part of your total charges.
The lowest maintenance / cheapest option is a freestanding electric fireplace, which produces heat using electricity instead of combustion.
These units require very little upkeep and are extremely simple to install.
That said, freestanding electric fireplaces cannot deliver as much heat as other types.
And if you want a super-trendy, modern style model, they can be expensive.
Here’s where an integrated fireplace pulls ahead.
There is just no comparison between a freestanding model and a traditional built-in fireplace when it is about the aesthetic value they bring to a home.
If you are dead-set on the traditional fireplace look or expect to enhance your house’s worth, then you will definitely pony-up the cost for a built-in fireplace.
However, that does not mean you can not get a gorgeous freestanding fireplace to heat your house up while complementing your decor.
If you want the familiar wood-burning fireplace ambiance but are not prepared to take on the price and installation of a built-in one, there are lots of models available that imitate the classical stone fireplace appearance for a fraction of the purchase price.
Are you short on storage?
Many freestanding fireplaces now come with attached cupboards or shelves, making them spatially efficient.
This is a great place to store all those books you like to read while curled up by the fire.
A beautiful wood fireplace can add a touch of elegance to any space. It is easiest to get this look with a vent-free gas fireplace.
Whether you like the old-fashioned appearance or just need a no-frills way to heat your house, a wood-burning stove will provide plenty of heat and keep you warm when it gets cold outside.
These are helpful if you reside in an area that frequently loses power, as they don’t require electricity to operate.
Whether or not a fireplace is well worth it really comes down to what best suits your needs and budget.
While they can be less costly, it’s essential to weigh all your alternatives, as some of the higher quality freestanding fireplaces can be a fairly significant investment.
It could be that you end up getting an excellent deal for your money by choosing for a built-in fireplace when you consider the value it adds to your home.
You also need to consider what you want from your fireplace.
If you want something that’s going to give a source of warmth even during the power cut, a wood stove could be the best option.
On the other hand, if you desire a classic setup of curling up by a magnificent stone fireplace and have the funds to do it, you might need to look into having one built into your home.
Finally, there’s no right answer to this question. It’s about what works best for you.