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SCROGGS BLOG // How to Remodel a Fireplace: Step by Step

A fireplace can be the statement centerpiece of a living room. It adds warmth and makes the room feel homey. But it can also add a lot of style to your overall decor.

With so much resting on this classic element, it needs to be a commanding detail of the room. But the large structure can be a challenge during the renovation process. So how do you transform a fireplace?

Here is how to remodel a fireplace so it’s a standout feature of your home.

Demolish or Refurbish?

Before you begin your fireplace remodel, you should create your strategy. The first step for how to plan a fireplace remodel is to decide whether you’re going to demolish or refurbish the fireplace.

Demolishing entails removing the current fireplace to replace it with a newly built one. This is best if you’re doing a total remodel of the house or the room because this can be an extensive process.

However, you can still demolish a fireplace while not remodeling the rest of the room. It simply requires more caution and care to keep other features of the room intact.

Refurbishing a fireplace involves improving the existing structure in some way. This can include painting, tiling, or adding details like a new mantle or built-in bookcases on the side.

A refurbished fireplace can still have a stunning transformation in a room. With refurbishing, you can change the style and shape of the fireplace to fit your home decor.

The cost of a fireplace remodel is greatly affected by how much work you want to do during the renovation.

The Burn Method

When you remodel a fireplace, the next decision you have to make is how your fireplace will burn. The fuel you use to burn can add to the overall feeling and decor of your room. So how your fireplace burns can make a big difference.

Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace is great for people who live busy lives, especially families and young couples. You don’t have to deal with the hassle of chopping and gathering firewood. And many gas fireplaces are controlled with a remote.

Wood Fireplace

For a cozy, classic, and rustic feel, a wood fireplace is the way to go. Because of the rarity of this type, wood-burning fireplaces are often considered a luxury in a home. However, they do require more preparation and maintenance.

Electric Fireplace

Growing in popularity in recent years, the electric fireplace is the most modern style. They offer an easy installation and work well in small spaces. Though the flames are faux, the image is highly realistic and similar to natural flames.

What Size Fireplace?

During the planning stages, you should also address what size your new fireplace will be. This often goes hand in hand with refurbishing vs. demolishing, as the size can play a role in your remodeling method.

If you don’t want to adjust the sides, you can do some cosmetic upgrades to improve the appearance of the fireplace design. Keeping the base of your fireplace means less construction to get the completed look.

However, changing the size of your fireplace is a much more involved task. Whether you’re making it larger or smaller, there are more costs, structural needs, and experience required.

It’s important to keep in mind a fireplace’s size relative to the size of the room. Do your best to keep the two sizes proportionate, so the fireplace is neither over- or underwhelming in the space.

Keep Parts in Working Order

A fireplace remodel is a great time to check up on the safety. As stunning of a centerpiece that fireplaces can be, they also have the potential for harm or danger if not properly maintained.

No matter what type of fireplace you choose, be sure to have all of the parts you need. This is also a great time to perform some routine maintenance and cleaning on the fireplace box, chimney, and/or exhaust.

It’s essential when doing a safety check of your fireplace to include your chimney. Be sure to check on the damper, flute, and chimney cap, or crown.

You should also have your fireplace and chimney inspected before you being any remodeling work.

Choose Your Materials

The fun part of a fireplace remodel is deciding what it looks like. That’s where choosing the materials comes into play. The materials and designs you choose directly dictate the scope of the project.

You can transform your fireplace with cosmetic upgrades like a new coat of paint or a new mantlepiece. A coat of paint is often the best way to remodel a brick fireplace.

Or you can completely overhaul it, changing the look with new materials.

Most commonly, renovated fireplaces feature marble, stone, or tile around the firebox. Marble offers a chic and timeless look and has the benefit of a variety of styles and patterns.

Stone fireplaces have a lot of texture, and tile can bring in color and pattern. Of course, brick fireplaces are a classic option. And stainless steel is growing in popularity for modern designs.

DIY or Contractor?

All renovations must as the essential question to DIY or not to DIY? This is especially true of a fireplace remodel, which can be a little more complicated than the standard home renovation.

If you want to DIY your transformation, you should probably stick to cosmetic upgrades like painting the brick or adding your own tile. However, if you’re looking to make big changes, you should probably hire a contractor.

Any fireplace remodels that require you to change the size or cause structural changes should be handled by a professional. This ensures your fireplace meets all the necessary safety and building codes.

How to Remodel a Fireplace

Your fireplace is an area you can gather around with friends and family. It’s a place where you can get cozy on chilly nights. And it can be one of the best features of the room.

But first, your fireplace may need an update. So, if you’re wondering how to remodel a fireplace, use this guide to help you start your renovation journey. You can enjoy a warm, roaring fire in no time.

Ready to transform your home with a remodel? Contact us for a free estimate to create your dream home.