Lighting a fire in one sets the mood for quiet contemplation or romance. A fireplace adds warmth and charm to your home, and increases its value. Fireplaces today come in a wide variety of shapes flood damage Melbourne, styles and sizes, but deciding which one is right for you is as easy as surfing the Internet or visiting a fireplace retail outlet near where you live.
Unless you are planning on building a new house or adding a room to your existing house, you probably don’t want to go to the expense of having someone install a fireplace built into a wall. Nowadays you can purchase freestanding fireplaces made of steel, ceramic, or stone and the installation of these requires only cutting openings for the vents and stove pipe – which is much simpler, and far less expensive than tearing open an entire wall.
Fireplaces can burn wood, specially made fireplace logs, natural gas, or propane. Some of the gas and propane fireplaces even come with remote controls enabling users to switch them on and off, and raise and lower the flames without having to get up from their easy chair. Most modern fireplaces also come equipped with glass doors enabling their owners to enjoy the flames while greatly reducing the risks of fire spreading to their house.
Many newly constructed homes in the Rogue Valley have fireplaces, and sometimes buyers can select the style before the house is built. John Dorsh, a finish carpenter builds fireplace mantels in some of the newer homes in this region. “Before I build a mantel, I first have to know what kind of finish will surround the fireplace so when I build the legs of the mantel I can allow the proper relief to fit up against whatever kind of stone is used,” he said adding that even mantels come in a wide variety of styles. “Some people like plain box legs with a simple shelf on top of the fireplace,” he said. “Or you can be as intricate as you want to be.”
Dorsh uses a router to make fluted mantel legs and sometimes his customers want him to match the molding on the ceiling. “Beyond the shape and pattern, you can have a painted fireplace mantel or it can be stained to the homeowner’s specifications,” he said. “Stain grade mantels are more expensive to produce and they’re usually made of cherry, oak or alder.”
The finish carpenter explained that the area immediately above a fireplace must be non-combustible, and mantels made of wood have to be a safe distance from the heat and flames. “Some people like to have double or triple decked mantels,” he said. “The wider the top deck is, the higher above the fireplace it has to be.”
Dorsh noted that a professional carpenter can install a typical mantel in about one day, but the average do-it-yourselfer should plan on it being a weekend project. “You usually have to put in additional framing,” he said, “and a mantel must be absolutely level because people put pictures and grandfather clocks on them.” He added that you can buy prefabricated mantel kits which take a lot of the work out of installing one.
Whether you have a mantel above a traditional fireplace or a newer freestanding fireplace installed after your home was built, one thing is sure: There’s nothing like arriving home at the end of the day and setting the mood for relaxation and contemplation by lighting a fire. Sitting down to watch the flames alone or with a loved one can give you a real sense of being home.