Resources and Tools

Fireplaces in Our Homes and Yards


A fireplace can be the first thing you notice when you walk into a room.  Maybe it has a subtle presence or perhaps it is the focal point.  It will impact the ambience, enjoyment and overall design of the room.  

Beyond providing warmth, a nice fireplace can contribute to your space feeling cozy – something most Canadians probably want – especially during our cold winter months!

When home shopping with my buyers, more times than not, a fireplace is a nice addition in their opinions and very rarely do I have buyers telling me they would prefer a family room without one.

Traditional wood burning fireplaces have a certain old world charm to them for sure – crackle crackle!  Some things to keep in mind:

Logistically:  No remote control or easy on and off switch for these!  There is definitely more effort required to gather wood and to actually get the fire going.  They will make a bit more of a mess and of course, will leave the room smelling a bit smokey in comparison to a gas or electric alternative.

Maintenance:  You should schedule a chimney inspection every two to three years and ash removal as needed.

Safety:  Consider having a WETT inspection done by a professional.  This Wood Energy Technology Transfer inspection will be done by a qualified technician who can identify local code compliance standards.  (Your insurance company may require this to be done before insuring the home).  If you are making an offer on a home, this can be a condition within your offer to purchase.

If you are home shopping and see a home you love but do not care for a wood burning fireplace, rest assured that there are plenty of ways to work around it.  You can paint it, design a new mantle and/or trim, convert it to an electric or gas insert and even replace the hearth.

There are also many contemporary fireplace designs that can be incorporated directly into the wall.  More of these sleek linear options are popping up in bedrooms and offices and the options are endless.  

In addition, there are multi-view fireplaces that can be enjoyed from three sides and can work well to unite two separate rooms.

More and more outdoor fireplaces are being incorporated into our backyards and have become a popular element of outdoor design.  They enhance these gathering spaces for entertaining and even for cooking.

If you are looking to redesign an existing fireplace (inside or out) or perhaps you are seeking to add one into your home, hire the experts for a functional and safe outcome.  

Contact me for names of some reputable companies that can help you with design, installation and any future maintenance.