Building a new home can feel like stepping into quicksand and you get in deeper practically every time you take a breath. This feeling of being overwhelmed is, no doubt, why so many houses everywhere are built with a builder-grade fireplace. It’s one less decision to make and it helps to cut costs. Unfortunately, a builder-grade fireplace is nearly always a mistake. It’s like a placeholder for what you really want. Below, learn more about why it’s rarely a good idea to settle for a builder-grade fireplace.
The Basic Problem with Builder-Grade Fireplaces
Any materials that are “builder grade,” including fireplaces, lack the type of quality homeowners typically want. Builder-grade fireplaces qualify as acceptable but only because they meet the bare minimum guidelines for construction. They have poor performance and durability and an uninspiring appearance. Due to the low-quality materials, builder-grade fireplaces eventually need to be replaced, which is disruptive and costly. It makes more sense to have a high-quality fireplace installed in the design and style you really want.
A Missed Opportunity
Because fireplaces are very popular amenities, homebuyers are often willing to pay significantly more for a home with a fireplace—up to $15,000 more. The resale value of a home with a builder-grade fireplace, however, is increased by only about $1,000. The reason is that builder-grade fireplaces are too basic to have real visual appeal and they are terribly inefficient.
A Drain on Energy Efficiency
In order to lower winter costs, it helps to have supplemental heat sources that make it possible to comfortably turn off central heating for a while. That’s not something a builder-grade fireplace can do. A full 90% or more of the heat produced by one of these fireplaces goes up the chimney. A mere 10% of the heat from fires isn’t enough to warm a chilly room, especially in a place with cold winters, like Pasadena MD.
In fact, builder-grade fireplaces cost money instead of helping to cut expenses. When the fireplace isn’t in use, heated air from the home is typically drawn up and out through the chimney and adds a significant amount to heating costs. Having a builder-grade fireplace is like keeping a window open all the time.
Tips to Boost Heat from a Builder-Grade Fireplace
If you already have a builder-grade fireplace, there are some simple and more radical changes you can make to improve the situation, as follows:
- Add a temperature-controlled blower to your builder-grade fireplace. The blower circulates heated air from the firebox into the room.
- Switch your ceiling fan direction so that heated air is well-circulated throughout the room.
- Have a fireplace insert professionally installed. An insert is a highly efficient appliance approved by the EPA, and it transforms a builder-grade fireplace into a viable heat source. You can count on lower heating costs if you put your fireplace insert to good use in winter.
At Complete Chimneys, we offer top-notch chimney services and sell high-quality heating appliances. We’ve begun using heightened precautionary practices, due to the impact of the coronavirus. Our technicians are following additional hygiene practices. They always use personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the nature of our work, and we are making use of hand sanitizer, gloves and wipes much more than previously. Contact us today at 410-544-7600 for a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, masonry rebuild, fireplace insert installation, retail assistance, and any of your chimney-related needs.