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Can a Fireplace Increase the Value of Your Home?

It’s natural to take pride in your home. You want it to look its best, you want to enjoy yourself while relaxing in it, and of course, you want it to sell for the highest price possible when it’s time to move. Accordingly, every year, millions of homeowners consider which upgrades and additions they can make to their homes to boost their value as much as possible.

One of the most popular upgrades in recent years has been a fireplace. But can installing a fireplace truly increase the value of your home?

The Many Types of Fireplaces

First, it’s important to recognize that there are many different types of fireplaces available – and shopping for a fireplace can be difficult, mostly because there are so many viable choices. It’s possible to install a brand new fireplace into a home that’s never had one in the past, but it’s also possible to install a fireplace insert into an old fireplace that is no longer used. 

There are traditional wood burning fireplaces, but also fireplaces that run on electricity, natural gas, and/or propane. And of course, there are countless styles and aesthetics to choose from, so no matter what type of home you have, you can find a fireplace that fits perfectly into it.

Because there are so many options, it’s hard to ballpark an initial cost. Chances are, you can find something within your budget, whatever that happens to be.

The Basic ROI Formula

A fireplace will certainly increase the value of your home; the real question is, does that make the fireplace worth the investment? If buyers are only willing to spend $20 more on your house if it has a fireplace, it’s not exactly worth purchasing.

That’s why we have to consider return on investment (ROI). Essentially, we want to figure out how much value a fireplace adds to a home compared to how much you spend to install it.

A standard fireplace can increase the value of your home by $1,000 to 5,000, according to a survey of real estate agents. Depending on the type of fireplace you have and the overall nature of your home, this figure may vary. We’ll explore some of the factors that can influence this value increase in a forthcoming section.

Other Sources of Value

When it comes to increasing the value of your home, most people immediately think of sale price. But there are other forms of value that a fireplace can provide.

For example:

  •       Supplemental heating. The purpose of a fireplace is to provide a supplemental source of heating. While few fireplaces are capable of heating an entire home, they are extremely good at heating individual rooms and central locations. Many types of modern fireplaces are highly efficient – and environmentally sustainable, helping you stay warmer in winter for less money in some cases.
  •       Cozy vibes. Many people enjoy their fireplaces for the cozy vibes and the relaxing atmosphere. If you can reduce your stress on a daily basis, the fireplace might pay for itself in an alternative way.
  •       An excuse to gather. If you love spending quality time with your family or hosting cocktail parties, a fireplace is the perfect addition. It can instantly elevate any formal or informal event.

Factors to Consider

The main factors you’ll need to consider as you explore whether a fireplace is “worth it” are:

  •       Type. Different types of fireplaces have different pros and cons attached to them. Some are cheaper than others, and some are more valuable than others. Also, buying a type of fireplace that anyone can enjoy will likely increase your home value more than a niche fireplace that some people might find questionable.
  •       Price. You’ll also need to consider the price. If you spend $50,000 on the most ostentatious fireplace you can find, and you overpay for installation, you may not see a proportional increase in the value of your home.
  •       Local laws and regulations. Before installing a fireplace, review your local laws and regulations. In some areas, fireplaces are either illegal or highly regulated, so it’s important to keep your house up to code.
  •       Typical homebuyers. Some demographics favor fireplaces more than others. When considering whether to install a fireplace for the sake of increasing your home value, keep the typical buyer in mind.
  •       Selling plan. If you’re trying to sell the house as quickly as possible, don’t install a fireplace in the hopes that it’s going to drive the price up by more than you paid for it. In most cases, it’s not going to happen. Besides, if you do, you’ll miss out on all the peripheral sources of value that a fireplace can provide. It’s usually better to install a fireplace at least a few years before you plan to sell.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that yes, fireplaces add value to a home. However, to figure out exactly how much value they add and whether it’s worth installing a fireplace, you’ll need to consider a host of different variables. Always do your due diligence when making any home upgrade decision, and review all your fireplace options carefully before pulling the trigger; finding the right fireplace for the right price can elevate your personal experience and help you get the highest possible ROI when it’s time to sell.