If you are concerned that removing your fireplace would negatively impact your home’s resale value, speak with a real estate agent in your area before making a decision — a local agent will be your best resource for getting to know your market. If your home is small, having a fabulous wall of built-in cabinetry could easily trump the appeal of a fireplace. Light is another top item on many home buyers’ wish lists, so trading the fireplace for a beautiful window could be smart.
Here are eight signs it may be time to say goodbye to your fireplace.
1. It doesn’t work. Especially out West, where earthquakes are an issue, it’s quite common to find homes with fireplaces that are structurally unsound and unsafe to use. Why keep a feature around if it poses a safety risk and is not adding anything to your quality of life? It’s true that even a nonworking fireplace can be a decorative feature, like the one shown here, but if you have the will and the means, why not put in something more useful in that space? (Unless it’s a historic home, but that’s another ideabook.)
It’s a lot of effort, so it’s no wonder many folks with fireplaces don’t actually use them very often. If you rarely or never use yours, instead of looking at a roaring blaze like the one shown here, you are likely staring at a cold, black hole in the middle of your living room for most of the year.
If you love the look of a proper mantel, and enjoy the ambience a fire brings to the room, consider converting your old wood-burning fireplace to gas.
Why keep a feature your family can’t use?
Tell us: Where do you stand on fireplaces? If you have one, how often do you use it? Would you ever consider getting rid of yours?
More: Learn about cleaner-burning woodstoves