Q. My fireplace is looking rather tired. I'd like to update the mantel and surround, as well as convert the fireplace from a wood-burning unit. What options are available for remodeling both the function and the appearance of the fireplace?
A. Changing the fireplace can dramatically refresh the look of the room at a reasonable cost. There are many options for gas fireplace units. You will find units that provide ambience, a supplemental heat source, or both. These units are available in many styles, making it easy to find one that fits into your room's decor. Some fireplace models are specifically designed to replace existing units and are sized accordingly.
To upgrade the appearance of your fireplace, look for a mantel kit, available in many wood species and architectural styles. These mantels can be painted or stained to complement your taste. You might also wish to consider a custom design to match existing elements in your home.
Another option is to add tile, brick, or cultured stone to the surround and/or hearth. Again, numerous choices are available in both materials and styles.
Companies specialize in the sale and installation of fireplaces. They can be a great resource. Your local lumberyard will have access to mantel kits from various manufacturers.
You can find a list of qualified contractors, suppliers, and designers in your area by visiting the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) website. Good luck with your project!
Jay Statz, certified remodeler, National Association of the Remodeling Industry
About Jay Statz
Jay Statz, certified remodeler, owns Statz Construction Services, LLC, in Middleton, Wisconsin. His company has specialized in full-service residential remodeling since 1995. He is past president of NARI of Madison and currently serves as chairman of the board. Statz is also a member of the Wisconsin Licensing Council, helping to establish the rules that will govern this new licensing program.
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