Woodburning or Gas Fireplace?
What Kind of Fireplace Should You Choose for Your New Home?
When the air starts getting crisper, you might find yourself yearning for a woodburning fireplace. But you’ll need to check with your custom homebuilder to see whether they can add a woodburning fireplace to your new home.
Materials, cost, and even where you choose to live could have an impact.
Here’s what you need to know:
Woodburning or Gas Fireplace - Where you choose to live
Some districts no longer allow installation of woodburning fireplaces, due to air pollution issues. Check with your custom homebuilder to find out where they’re allowed, before you choose your lot.
Woodburning or Gas Fireplace - What it costs
A woodburning fireplace usually costs more than a gas fireplace.
The firebox must be built to withstand higher heat: Wood is hotter than gas.
Custom homebuilders will make sure that the fireplace vents directly to the roof instead of through the wall, the way a gas fireplace does. Thus the chimney must be taller – which adds to the cost of building.
Today's woodburning fireplaces usually consist of a woodburning insert with a metal flue that reaches the roof, but this is still more expensive than a gas fireplace.
A traditional masonry or brick chimney or firebox can add considerably to the cost, and are extremely rare in today's new homes.
Woodburning or Gas Fireplace - What you’ll use for fuel
Woodburning fireplaces are intended for the burning of wood – and that can take more effort than you realize.
Even if your property has a lot of trees you’re planning to chop into firewood, you need to make sure your community allows you to do that. If there’s a Homeowners Association, check the rules to make sure you’re allowed to take down the trees.
Woodburning logs are getting harder to find, and when they’re sold by the bundle, they can be expensive. Ask custom homebuilders if they’re aware of local costs and availability for a truckload of wood to be delivered to your home, if you’re unable to get it, yourself.
Woodburning or Gas Fireplace - Where to store wood
Keep in mind that with a woodburning fireplace, you'll need to store wood somewhere. Storing wood in preparation for burning can attract insects or rodents. If you store wood too close to the home, those critters can get inside. You’ll also need to protect the wood from the weather – too much rain will make soggy logs difficult to burn.
Woodburning or Gas Fireplace - When you’re not allowed to use your woodburning fireplace
Local restrictions can include special rules for days when air quality is low, due to pollution. When this happens, you may only be allowed to light a fire if you have a gas fireplace – which doesn’t have as many emissions that affect air quality.
Woodburning or Gas Fireplace - Where you can put a woodburning fireplace
It isn’t always possible for custom homebuilders to put a woodburning fireplace where you think it might be fun in your new floor plan.
Because a woodburning fireplace has to have a vent that goes straight up, the home needs to be designed with that in mind. Gas burning fireplaces have more options - and have a much lower installation cost when place on an exterior wall.
Due to the extra heat involved in burning wood, you also may not be able to add a recessed entertainment center above a woodburning fireplace, like the one seen here.
Woodburning or Gas Fireplace - What you need to do
Ask your custom homebuilder what the best option is in your area.
Give custom homebuilders the floor plan you're considering, and let them know what area you want to live in BEFORE you buy a woodburning fireplace.
Other Top Custom Homebuilder Questions:
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