A fireplace remodel can be a relatively cost-effective way to improve your home’s aesthetics, depending on how you do it. However, that doesn’t mean your project will be cheap, especially if you are doing more extensive rebuilding work.
Here are some fireplace remodeling options and what you can expect to pay in the U.S. today.
Refacing a Fireplace
There are several ways to reface your fireplace. Stone tiles, drywall, and sheetrock are some of the most popular materials right now for creating a new look.
Is it expensive to reface a fireplace?
Here are some average costs for refacing a fireplace. Keep in mind that these numbers are averages in either the Pacific Northwest or across the country at a specific point in time – averages in your area may be much higher due to local labor costs, material shortages, inflation, and other factors.
- Refacing with stone: The cost of refacing with stone can vary quite a bit depending on what kind of stone you choose. In the Pacific Northwest, refacing a fireplace with stone generally starts at $3,500 or more.
- Refacing with drywall: Both in the PNW and across the U.S., the average cost to install or hang drywall was about $1,690 in 2022, according to Home Advisor data. However, the cost has been quickly rising in recent months.
Changing the Color
Many homeowners today are choosing to give their living room a lift by repainting their fireplace. The paint should be heat-resistant so it doesn’t peel or blister.
Is it expensive to paint a fireplace?
The average cost to paint a small fireplace in the U.S. was $656 in 2022, according to Home Advisor, but again, the cost has been quickly rising in recent months. The cost may also depend on what kind of surface you are painting and whether you hire the labor.
If you DIY paint over an existing brick fireplace to give it the popular white-wash look, you might only pay the cost of a gallon or two of paint. If you want to hire a professional painter, the cost would go up to include labor and supplies.
How Much Does it Cost to Rebuild a Fireplace?
Rebuilding a fireplace is more expensive than refacing, painting, or redecorating. Depending on whether you are rebuilding the mantel alone, switching fuel sources, or rebuilding the entire fireplace, you can expect very different cost ranges.
Building a New Mantel
Many homeowners choose to add new mantelpieces based on their particular tastes. Ordering a mantel usually starts at $800-1500 in the PNW, not including installation. If you hire a separate interior designer or decorator, you may end up spending significantly more depending on the scope of the project and the designer’s rates.
Switching from Wood to Gas
Gas fireplaces are safer, cleaner, and lower maintenance than wood. Many homeowners opt to switch from a wood fireplace to gas. In the PNW, the price to install a gas fireplace unit, set up venting, run gas lines, and complete installation usually starts at $5500-$6500 as of July 2022.
Rebuilding the Entire Fireplace
Building a gas or wood fireplace from scratch usually starts at $7,000-$10,000, depending on the design and fuel source. If you hire a separate interior designer or need to remove an existing prefab fireplace, the cost may be higher.
However, if you are simply installing a new electric fireplace, your quote may be much lower. A new electric fireplace usually starts at about $1200-$2000.
Summary: Starting Costs For Fireplace Projects
*Note: Keep in mind that these are starting costs based on 2022 data. The actual cost of your project may be much higher depending on labor, workmanship, material quality, and inflation.
How Can I Update My Fireplace Cheaply?
The cheapest way to update a fireplace is to simply decorate it with accessories, like travel knickknacks or seasonal decor. If you are looking to make a large change, your next cheapest options are to add a touch of paint, add a new mantel, or get an electric fireplace.
For wood fireplaces, regardless of how you plan to update them, make sure your chimney is filtering smoke properly and any materials you plan to use are fire-rated before you begin any updates. We recommend getting a chimney cleaning and inspection to ensure your family stays safe – this is not an area where you want to cut corners.
How to Finance a Fireplace Remodel
Many homeowners are not ready to pay the full cost of their fireplace remodels up front. Thankfully, contractors often offer financing options so you can choose an affordable monthly payment option instead. You don’t need to wait or compromise on quality just because you don’t have the full amount in your bank account yet.
At Four Day Fireplace, we offer financing for fireplace projects through Hearth Financing. (No pun intended — that’s really what the company is called!) With this financing partner, you can break your costs down into smaller payments that fit your financial situation.
We like Hearth Financing because:
- There are no prepayment penalties if you want to pay off your balance early.
- You can use the financing network even if your FICO score is as low as 550.
- There are no hard credit checks before you decide. Instead, you can see your estimated monthly payment options based on the information in your pre-qualification form.
- You may be able to afford more than you think! Hearth Financing can offer loan amounts as high as $250,000, depending on the buyer and project. Terms can go from 2 to 20 years.
- Rates go as low as 4.99% APR with 0 per-loan fees.
Financing options can help you make a project happen now instead of later, but they don’t shave any money off the total cost of your fireplace project. Let’s talk about some ways to save now.
Tips to Help You Save Money
Depending on where you live and what kind of remodel you’re doing, there may be tax credits or incentives available that reduce the net cost of your fireplace remodel.
In 2023, U.S. consumers can receive a 22% tax credit on highly efficient wood stoves and larger residential biomass heating systems. It’s an uncapped credit, meaning the amount of credit you receive is solely based on the unit cost with no upper limit. For tax purposes, the full cost of the unit includes installation.
To qualify for this credit, you need to purchase and/or install a biomass-fueled heater between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2023. The product should have a thermal efficiency of at least 75% based on the higher heating value (HHV) of the fuel. To find out which products qualify, look in the EPA certified wood heater database or reach out to the Four Day Fireplace team.
Homeowners in Snohomish County, WA, have an additional government incentive that reduces the cost of some fireplace remodels. The Puget Sound Wood Stove Program (PSWSP) gives homeowners a credit if they replace their existing wood- or coal-burning unit with something more efficient. You can get a $1,500-$2,000 discount on a qualifying clean heating alternative.
To qualify, you will need to remove and recycle an old wood stove, wood fireplace insert, or coal-burning device that either is uncertified or doesn’t meet the 2020 EPA standard. The device must come from a property you own. You are responsible for removing and transporting the device to an approved recycling facility.
The PSWSP credit you receive must go toward buying a replacement system that meets PSWSP-specific efficiency and emissions requirements. If you buy a qualifying electric heat pump, you can receive a $2,000 discount. If you buy a furnace, boiler, stove, or insert that runs on pellets, natural gas, or propane, you can receive a $1,500 discount. You are also required to have an approved heating contractor do the installation.
Some eligible devices that can be removed and replaced for the PSWSP program include:
- Wood stoves that are uncertified or don’t meet the 2020 EPA standard
- Fireplace inserts that are uncertified or don’t meet the 2020 EPA standard
- Free-standing manufactured fireplaces
- Wood-burning furnaces
- Coal-burning devices
Unfortunately, traditional brick fireplaces, zero-clearance fireplaces, and built-in units do not qualify for the PSWSP program. However, remodeling these types of fireplaces is often worthwhile even without the extra incentive.
Want a Quote on Your Fireplace Remodel Cost?
Four Day Fireplace designs and installs or remodels fireplaces in four days or less. With over three decades of experience, we know how to work efficiently. Our service model offers unmatched convenience and quality at a price you can afford.
We serve homeowners throughout the Puget Sound region. If you are looking for a fireplace contractor that can handle your entire project from start to finish, contact us today.