photography by Christina Kiffney Photography
After the mildest fall I’ve experienced thus far in my 21 years in Colorado, I think it’s finally time to start thinking about winter. And when I think about winter, I think about outdoor snowy adventures juxtaposed against being lazy indoors around a fireplace. A room with a fireplace is a place in the home to rally around. A place to gather. A place to feel comfortable and warm no matter how windy and blizzardy it may be outside.
We’ve done a ton of fireplaces, and the one thing they all have in common is that they all create a strong sense of home. The ledge in front of a lot of fireplaces is called the hearth. The word hearth has the word ‘heart’ in it, as well as the word ‘earth.’ I don’t know if that’s a coincidence or not, but it sure is fitting. Fireplaces are grounding. When well done, people gravitate towards a lit fireplace like moths to... well, a flame.
So let’s dig in a little bit. There are infinite ways to create a fireplace in your home. Quick note: another sub-universe to explore is stand-alone stoves. Wood and gas stoves are awesome. For the purposes of staying on a specific theme, however, I’m avoiding discussing this style of stoves. eg-units like this:
So let’s outline the most common versions of fireplaces we deal with in remodeling:
Many of the homes we work with already have a brick or stone fireplace. Using this structure can make a lot of sense. Here are the options:
Often times we simply build a new fireplace where there was nothing previously! The main advantage to this is that you have the freedom to create a design you like and not be beholden to size/height/location of an existing fireplace. When we do this it usually means we’re installing a new gas fireplace.
Here’s a 4 picture series showing the framing and build-out of a fireplace and surround from scratch: In this first picture you see the rough framing. We framed the fireplace inside of the existing building envelope. This created a recessed area to the left of the fireplace that we utilized for open shelves.
Here’s the finished product showing the fireplace in the context of the whole living room.
Here’s a little photo gallery of new fireplaces we built completely from scratch where there was no fireplace or chimney to work with.
Thanks for reading, happy Winter!