How to Remodel Your Fireplace – Via Houzz.com
New project for a new year: Bring your fireplace design up to snuff with this makeover lowdown.
Naturally you want this element, and everything that surrounds it, to complement the rest of your home. In many older homes where large brick fireplaces prevail, this can pose a challenge. What do you do? Cover it, paint it, rip it out? Here’s what to consider.
Why: Replacing a fireplace wall is mostly an aesthetic choice, but besides pleasing you now, an updated fireplace can also can add resale value.
Who to hire: Someone with plenty of experience remodeling fireplaces is recommended if the job is more than just drywalling or plastering. Someone like Rita Henry, at Distinctive Mantel Designs, will consult with clients through email and provide renderings and design plans so they can hire a local general contractor to do the actual work.
Brick fireplaces are the most popular to replace. Henry says a quick and easy solution is to simply wrap the brick in either tile or wood, leaving the exposed brick for the firebox. “It’s a more updated look that’s one of the least expensive,” she says. And that way the brick will remain beneath the new material in case a future home buyer prefers brick.
For the brick fireplace shown here, she wrapped the whole thing in tile.
You could also choose to drywall or plaster over the brick, creating a blank canvas that you can then do pretty much anything you want with.
Length of project: A standard drywall installation with mantel and surround can be completed in two days. A custom mantel or more extensive ductwork or electrical installation can take five or six weeks.
Cost: Drywalling over a brick fireplace could run about $1,500. Parko says a 6-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling paint-grade oak or poplar fireplace with a tiled hearth could run around $2,000. Wrapping an entire fireplace wall in stone and adding a custom mantel could run around $9,000. The most expensive remodel Parko did was for $12,000, which included bookcases, hidden drawers and a mantel leg that concealed a shotgun.
Permit needed: Only if you’re altering the firebox, adding a wood burner or converting to gas.
Best time of year to do this project: This is a year-round project, but if you’re considering adding hardwood to a room or doing anything to the walls, including painting, it’s best to do the fireplace first.