If you’re looking to give your home a makeover, a fireplace remodel could be a great option. A well-designed fireplace adds a lot of value and style to your living space.
From switching fuel sources to revamping the room with a beautiful new mantel, there are plenty of fireplace remodel ideas to consider. There are some remodeling projects you can’t do without a large budget, but there may be others you can do with your existing fireplace for relatively cheap.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most popular fireplace remodel ideas and whether they can work with your existing fireplace.
But Wait, Can You Remodel Your Fireplace?
Any fireplace can be remodeled. However, your remodeling options may be limited in some cases, especially if your fireplace is prefabricated.
Pre-fab fireplaces are mostly made of metal, which gets extremely hot. You should never use regular latex paint or add wood too close to these fireplaces. However, you may still be able to add an insert or a new non-combustible surround. Check the owner’s manual to see what is and isn’t safe with your fireplace.
Masonry fireplaces also have some remodeling limitations — you should not use regular latex paint on the inside of these, either. However, it’s usually safe to paint the bricks on the outside.
The fireplace fuel source also affects your remodeling options. You cannot safely put a TV above a wood-burning fireplace, but you should be just fine if you have a gas or electric fireplace as long as you are referring to the owner’s manual.
A fireplace remodel can add to the value of your home. Depending on the type of remodel you do, it can also make your fireplace much more efficient to run or add beauty to your living space.
Popular Fireplace Remodeling and Modernization Ideas
Adding a Fireplace Insert
A fireplace insert is a tool for making your fireplace more heat-efficient. It’s a box placed inside of the existing masonry fireplace that creates a closed combustion system, which traps heat and helps push more of it into your home.
If you use your fireplace a lot, adding a high-quality fireplace insert could help you save money on heating in the long run. You may also be able to switch to a new fuel source with an insert (e.g. putting an electric insert into a traditional wood-burning fireplace), although this kind of remodel is usually much more expensive.
Adding a New Mantel
The mantel (or lack of one) is an incredibly important part of your fireplace from an aesthetic perspective. By changing out the mantel, you can make your space appear much more rustic, modern, or sophisticated.
If you are looking to create a warmer, homier, or more rustic-looking space, you might want to consider a simple wood mantel. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more classic elegant look, you might want something more ornate. Depending on the type of fireplace you have, you can also use your mantel as a shelf for houseplants, decor, or even a TV.
Painting Over Brick
White fireplace exteriors are very popular today. If you’re looking to update your red brick fireplace, a fresh coat of white paint could make quite a difference. You could also choose a different paint color for a more unique design.
However, you cannot use just any paint on a fireplace, and some fireplaces should not be painted. It’s not safe to paint most pre-fab fireplaces because they are largely made of metal that gets too hot even for heat-resistant paint. Even with a masonry fireplace, you will need special heat-resistant paint.
Fireplace Remodel With a Linear Design
Linear fireplace designs are very popular right now. These designs present a smooth appearance, often from floor to ceiling. They make a bold statement, especially in homes with a modern or transitional interior design style.
You can make your linear fireplace design unique with stunning tilework, brick, or stonework. Shiplap has also become a popular choice in design magazines, but in real life, this material is not safe to use around some types of fireplaces.
How Much Does It Cost for a Fireplace Remodel?
Different fireplace projects can cost wildly different amounts, and average costs are constantly changing. Material trends and sourcing issues, labor, and inflation can all play into the cost of your project.
Here are a few fireplace project starting costs based on 2022 U.S. data for fireplace projects. Keep in mind that the actual cost of your project may be much higher, depending on workmanship, material quality, and inflation in some areas of the market.
- Painting your fireplace exterior: May start at $656
- Purchasing a new mantelpiece (not including installation): May start at $800
- Installing a new electric fireplace: May start at $1,200
- Installing a drywall surround: May start at $1,600
- Refacing a fireplace with stone: May start at $3,500
- Switching from wood to gas: May start at $5,500
Keep in mind that you don’t always have to pay the full cost of a fireplace remodel upfront. Some fireplace remodeling contractors, including Four Day Fireplace, offer financing options. Our financing partner, Hearth Financing, can work with credit scores as low as 550 and loan amounts as high as $250,000.
You may be able to save on your fireplace remodel through tax credits. As of 2023, U.S. consumers can receive a 22% tax credit if they purchase a highly efficient wood stove or larger residential biomass heating system. For tax purposes, the full cost of the unit includes installation.
If you live in Snohomish County, WA, you may also be eligible for the Puget Sound Wood Stove Program (PSWSP). This program gives you a $1,500-$2,000 credit for replacing your existing wood- or coal-burning unit with a qualifying unit that runs on electricity, pellets, natural gas, or propane.
How to Find a Fireplace Remodel Contractor
If you’re hiring a contractor for any kind of home project, you need someone who knows what they’re doing. Your fireplace contractor should have well-trained technicians, good references, and experience with the kind of project you’re doing.
Many people find contractors by asking family, friends, and neighbors who have done similar projects for recommendations. Others search online and then interview contractors about their past projects and references.
At Four Day Fireplace, we design and remodel fireplaces in four days or less. With over three decades of experience, we’ve done a wide variety of projects and 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, including maintenance and repairs on some types of fireplaces, contact us today.