One of the first things you notice when you walk into a house, is also something that the majority of homeowners tend to overlook. It’s something we all sat around during holiday get togethers at our grandparents’ house, has been the quintessential centrepiece in homes for centuries, and is Santa’s “unofficial entrance”. That’s right, it’s your fireplace; and it’s time to start paying more attention to it.
You can click on the ‘ole electric light show or switch on the gas flames in an instant, but nothing quite resembles the classic, wood-burning fireplace of years past. The crackle and pop of tinder breaking down, coupled with the dance and flicker of the flames, allows us to de-stress, relax, and unwind.
If you have one of these appliances, whether it’s a wood stove, wood-burning insert, or the classic open fireplace, their use can be discouraging. Many people switch to gas or simply stop using them for this very reason, but a solution can be closer than you think. Sometimes that solution may be costly, but it can also be an opportunity to create a whole new look and focal piece in your home. There any many options for a remodel, such as natural stone, reclaimed bricks, faux stone veneers, or even a custom creation (with maybe a hand-hewn mantel?).
Whether you just moved into a home with a fireplace, you’re unsure about the one you already own, or you’re just looking for some answers on maintenance and upkeep there are a few reliable sources you should tap into. Getting in touch with a local masonry company that specializes in restoration would be a good place to start, and you can also contact your local WETT certified technician or inspector for additional information. These are the guys the insurance companies look to for inspections, and they typically remain unbiased to any favoured style, look or brand.
As the weather starts getting cooler and the days start getting shorter, the thought of wool socks and warm drinks next to the fire will gradually start working itself to the forefront of your consciousness, and you’ll want to be prepared. And the moment presents itself, you won’t care about trekking in that firewood or tearing up newspapers; you’l be too busy warming up this fingers and toes. Because after all, owning a wood-burning fireplace isn’t just maintenance or an expense: it’s a lifestyle.
“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.”
- Marcus Tullius Ciccero c.73BC