As you search for your new home to rent or to buy, there are many things to consider. You will want to make a list of the possible options or print one of the ready made ones that can found online and prioritize what matters to you.
One of those items to think about is the fireplace. I live in a tropical climate, yet I still wanted a fireplace. For me, it was more of an ambiance feature than a means of keeping me warm. As you think about whether to get a home that has one, look at the relevant points listed in this article.
Points to Consider
If you are leaning towards getting a fireplace, how often do you think you would use it? I use mine in January and February, as that is only time the weather makes it possible. If I used it any other time, I would be sweltering. I justified the fireplace because it was high on my list of things I wanted. If it was at the end, and I only used it 4-5 times a year, then having one would not have mattered to me.
There are expenses with the fireplace. It should be inspected yearly, the shoot must close properly, and it may need repairs. The upside is that a maintenance man can do most of these repairs, except structural. Structural issues are pricier, and may require a specialized chimney repairperson or a mason. The costs are not something you have to worry about on a weekly or monthly basis.
You will also need to order wood, or buy gas for the fireplace. I had a difficult time finding wood in the tropics. Once I found a reliable person, I made sure to keep his information for future services. Because it was a rare thing to need in my area, I paid a lot more for the wood. Gas can be easily obtained and is not expensive.
My chimneysweeper was also more expensive because not many people need the service where I live. In colder regions, you can expect to pay a moderate price for a quick service call of less than $100.00.
- Gas or Wood
Do you prefer a gas or a wood stove? I am old fashioned and wanted wood. I was looking for a fireplace like my grandmother had. It is messier and it can get smoky with certain woods. I love the smell, whereas I am not fond of the gas smell. It is advertised as odorless, but I can still smell it. I want to hear the snap and crackle of wood, as the glow creates a perfect place for me to read and sip hot chocolate by in the cool evenings.
As mentioned, there will be expenses. You need to look at your budget, and make a list of the possible costs. They were minimal for me, and the reward of having a fireplace was important to me. Expenses could be repairs, cleaning, wood or gas, and masonry fees.