Everyone loves a fire to bring warmth and comfort to the home, but the old-style, brick-lined opening with log holder and screen isn’t usually the best set-up today.  That’s why many people remodeling older homes in Archuleta and La Plata County upgrade to a new zero clearance fireplace insert.  Residents designing new homes often elect a factory-built fireplace or stove for the sake of efficiency, cleanliness, ease of operation, and sleek, modern lines.

The great news is there are so many options available today that you can probably find the perfect fit.  On the other hand, the choices may make your head spin!  Kira Giehll, head of the Fireplace and Stove Division at HBASC-member Smart Enterprises, clarifies the three basic product lines currently on the market to get you started:

  • Factory-built fireplaces can be good choices for homes in the planning stages and for houses poised for major remodels since “they are placed inside the wall and connected to the studs,” Kira explains.  Wood burning types meet today’s strict EPA standards; they can be high efficiency fireplaces that truly heat a home or zero-clearance models that fit almost any design and space.  Gas fireplaces—traditional, tunnel/see-through, and linear—are another option, ready at the touch of a button.
  • Fireplace inserts. If your remodeling plans include a facelift for an existing masonry fireplace, your best choice may be an insert: gas, wood, or pellet-fueled.  This can be a less inexpensive way to go, and you’ll get extra heat and a cozy feel from a feature of your home you might not use much now.  You may be surprised at the ambience boost a wood or gas insert can give a room, and pellet inserts are a great source of heat.
  • Freestanding stoves can also use wood, gas, or pellets.  These offer flexibility, in that they “can go into a home at any time,” notes Kira, and there may be more than one place that could accommodate a stove with an appropriate hearth and surround.

Obviously, we’ve just scratched the surface of all there is to know.  Work with a trusted professional to settle the operational and style details that will give you just the right fit.  You can contact Smart Enterprises, or get in touch with us at the HBASC if we can help.

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