living area with fireplace

Nothing beat the warmth and comfort offered by genuine fireplace. Not only does a fireplace provide an ideal centrepiece to a living room, it adds a sophisticated touch of functional luxury to a space. If you are planning a home renovation or extension in Melbourne, you might be wondering if it’s worthwhile to restore old fireplaces back to their former glory or incorporate a new fireplace as a statement design feature. Duncan Thompson Extensions is a trusted home renovation builder, specialising in period homes in Melbourne’s exclusive eastern and bayside suburbs. Here we will take a closer look at fireplaces and whether they are a worthwhile inclusion in your Melbourne home extension.

Adding a Fireplace May or May Not Add Value

While some homeowners may use a fireplace as a practical source of heating, fireplaces aren’t considered a necessity in contemporary homes so it is hard to appraise their value. The value of a fireplace depends on several factors, in particular the local real estate market and price range. Generally, in lower to moderately priced homes, they are not expected and therefore they rarely add to the value. Fireplaces make more of a value impact on homes in high-end neighbourhoods, where they are often viewed as a design statement and luxurious requirement for an upscale property. Fireplace value also depends on the overall home and how well the fireplace matches the home’s quality.

I Want a Fireplace – How Much Will It Cost?

For some people, especially period and heritage homeowners, a fireplace is an essential inclusion. Not only were they an original feature in most old homes, many people like the still cosy ambience they create on a wintery Melbourne night. If you plan on including a fireplace for warmth or aesthetics, the cost to install your dream fireplace will depend on whether you choose wood-burning, gas, or electric, as well as whether you have any kind of existing fireplace setup. The less fireplace infrastructure you have to work with from the outset is likely to make your home renovation a little more expensive and a little more complicated.

What Are the Different Fireplace Options?

If you have your heart set on a fireplace, it’s important to understand the different options available to you before making your choice.

Wood burning fireplaces

A feature of many older traditional style homes, these look, sound and smell the most authentic with the crackling of real burning wood surrounded by stone or brick with a stone or timber mantle. Wood-burning fireplaces have a lower utility expense but they require the most complex installation

Closed combustion wood-burning stoves

Popular during the 80’s and 90’s, however they have seen a resurgence in recent times. Either standalone or inserted in an existing chimney and masonry, newer models are very energy efficient

And come in different varieties, including circulating, combustion, and radiant heat.

Gas fireplaces

Modern gas fireplaces typically have realistic faux logs and ‘embers’, pebbles or glass fire crystals enclosed with a glass panel in front and often fan assisted for greater efficiency. They can be retrofitted into an existing open hearth fireplace, or the flue can be directly vented through the rear wall or ceiling. A gas fireplace requires little maintenance and are economical to operate.

Electric fireplaces

Electric fireplace sales have been on the rise in recent years, as their sleek design and easy installation is appealing for many modern homeowners. Far more realistic in appearance than earlier models, they hang on the wall like a TV screen and simply plug into an electrical socket. Fan assisted for greater heat output, they don’t require venting so they are an ideal solution where a gas flue is impossible.

While fireplace installations may be trending downhill in new constructions, they still have a place in many Melbourne homes. If you are undertaking a home renovation or extension, adding a fireplace to your home is worthwhile addition and may even add some value if you’re in a luxury or high-end location. If you’re dreaming of snuggling up by flickering flames while it’s freezing outside, speak to your home renovation builder about the best way to incorporate a cosy fireplace into your plans.

Duncan Thompson Extensions has over 30 years’ experience transforming Melbourne homes with award-winning home extensions and renovations. Get in touch with us today and see how we can bring your vision to life.