Monday 27 February 2012

Increasing The Value Of Your Home

Modern homes are generally no longer built with fireplaces as the need for open fires is no longer part of our lives and unused chimneys can be drafty. For many this is a pity, as a fireplace can make an interesting and very exciting feature of any room, and in particular a well designed and presented living room that needs something to make it look the part, a well chosen fire, fireplace or stove could even add to the value of your property!
According to one source, homes with fireplaces have a higher resale value because they are considered a luxury feature, adding class and sophistication to a home.  They recommend: "If you live in a home without a fireplace and are thinking of adding one to improve resale value, the electric fireplace can be a good option because this type of fireplace is often the least expensive to purchase and install." Installing a woodburning stove into a period or rustic style property will add a touch of character to a room and further entice buyers to part with that extra bit more cash!
There is little need to explain that fireplaces have been with us for centuries; visit any almost any historical building and you will be presented with a majestic fireplace of an immense size, designed to burn and heat the surroundings, sometimes even used to cook over, all the while with a massive chimney to draw the air away. Moving on and the likes of Adams style fireplaces became the norm – all plaster and carvings – followed in the Victorian era by the beautifully tiled fireplaces so popular and common in even the smallest of homes of that era, each and every one a delight to look at and a thing of beauty.
Of course, in modern times it is quite possible you may live in a house that was built some time ago, and in cases where this is so it is very likely that a fireplace was at one time present in one – or in many – rooms in the house. In Victorian properties it was common practice to have a fireplace in the downstairs and upstairs rooms adjoining the chimney – or in the case of bigger houses with more than one chimney a variety of fireplaces – and over time it is likely that these have been boarded over, sealed and forgotten about.
Tapping the walls where the chimney breast is will give you an idea of whether or not there is a hollow behind, and it is isn't unusual to remove the cladding and find an intact and very beautiful fire surround, sometimes complete with original iron fittings and untouched tiling, as many renovations during the 1950’s and 1960’s centred in modernising houses and hiding away antique features. See this previous article about opening up your fireplace.
Restoring old fireplaces is not a difficult process, especially if yours has simply been hidden away in the years gone by, and when it comes to redesigning a room around a Victorian, Edwardian or other fireplace there is much scope for beauty and style. But be aware, installing a vintage style fireplace in a modern new-build can look very out of place.
The availability these days of modern feature fireplaces is another element of interior design that has taken on a life of its own; some very modern styles of gas powered fireplaces can be found that are both beautiful to look at and extremely functional, and everything from wood burning stoves to minimalist and very extravagant brushed steel designs can be incorporated into fireplaces these days.
Whether your desire is for an antique fireplace or a more modern stone design, a cast iron fireplace or a beautiful and very neat up to the minute version, there is much to be gained from the interior design aspects of fireplaces, and we would strongly recommend that you look around before making your decision.
Fireplaces can be for effect or looks, or for function too, and they make a very stylish and great looking addition to any room; make sure you choose the style that would suit your room or, if you’re one of the lucky ones, why not open out that old fireplace and restore it to good as new?

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