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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Remodeling & Home Improvements | Fireplaces: A Feature Buyers Will Pay More For

According to a recent Market Watch survey and data from the National Association of Realtors, fireplaces are one of eleven most popular home improvements that homeowners are willing to pay more for. Approximately 40% of recent home buyers that do not currently have a fireplace are willing to pay an average of $1,400 more for this amenity.  The president of speculated that this could be due in part to the trend of reduced television watching and increased tablet/e-reader use. Perhaps it's not the Rockwell-ian vision of the future, but families curling up in front of a warm fire with an e-book or handy app is at least slightly better than being hypnotized into a stupor by the LED flashes and noise pollution of the boob tube. Over the years, Key Residential projects have featured a wide range of  fireplaces that have each added a sense of warmth (no, not just literally) to the spaces and below are a sampling of different styles and why we think the homeowners love them.

Textural Stonework

Both the Caruth Master Bedroom Fireplace (left) and the Southcrest Family Room Fireplace (right) boast unique, textural stonework. Whether smooth, rounded Creek Rock or rugged stacked Ledgestones, both beg to be touched adding visual interest to the space. Consider not only the type, but the scale, shape and color variation of the stone for your fireplace surround as modifying any one or a combination of these factors can have dramatic results.  And with the materiality making such a statement in these fireplaces, the mantels are smaller and simpler, acting as support for a statement art piece. 

Sleek Integrated Electronics

Let's face it, regardless of the advances in modern technology, most people are not going to chuck the tele out the window. So the challenge arises to integrate electronics into our spaces. Both the Greenbrier  (left) and Edmondson (right) Family Rooms  have TVs that are recessed to be flush with the wall above their respective fireplaces. The  fireplaces are kept simple and sleek with Absolute Black Granite and painted wood molding (lt) full Basaltina Stone (rt) surrounds. And whether gas or wood burning, remember to consider potential heat gain when determining the placement and distance of your electronics from the heat source.

A  Hefty Wood Mantel

From traditional to contemporary, one of the most common materials for fireplace mantels is wood. The Caruth Study remodel features the original stone fireplace surround capped by a hand-carved wooden mantel with various wood inlays highlighted by a distressed paint technique. The Sitting area adjacent to the kitchen includes a new brick fireplace topped with a faux-beam, created from real hardwood and manufactured to resemble a structural framing member, with custom corbels added. Whether old or new, solid or manufactured, these wood mantels pay homage to the craftsman traditions of yore.

See- Through Fireboxes

Besides just plain looking cool, see through fireplaces offer many benefits. They area a great way to connect adjacent spaces and maximize the visibility of your showpiece. You get double the fireplace without doubling the cost by allowing you to experience the heat from both sides. The Joyce Way Formal Living (lt) has a traditional framed see-through fireplace that connects to an adjacent Sunroom while the Hollow Way Den (rt) shares a raised gas insert with the adjacent informal Dining Room. See-through fireplaces are available in a wide range of styles, vented or non, and wood burning or gas, offering tremendous flexibility to achieve your dream design. 

A Grand Focal Point

Finally, the most obvious way to integrate a fireplace is to make it magnificent! The Brookridge Grand Salon features a Rumford Fireplace that extends to the full height of the double-volume space and is enclosed by a Sapele wood surround with a high-gloss Piano Finish.  As compared to it's predecessors,  the Rumford is much more shallow with angled walls to increase radiation with a streamlined throat and restricted chimney orifice to increase updraft and prevent unnecessary heat loss. Traditionally, they are known for their heating efficiency and elegant height, something this fireplace has in spades. Following the overall architectural aesthetic of the home, the fireplace makes stunning use of materials to create a simple and elegant focal point for this open plan living space.

Check out the original article featuring 10 more popular home improvement trends: