As the weather cools in the Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Manassas areas, bring warmth to your home with some remodeling projects that will cozy up your living space and save you money in the short and long term. Turn your kitchen, family room or great room into a warm spot using both natural heat and fireplace options.
Kitchen remodels and family room remodels can create an ambiance and cozy atmosphere with lots of windows or full glass doors that let the heat of the sunshine in during the day. Add a fireplace for those chilly evenings and nights. A beautiful stone masonry fireplace can give a room character and strength, but it is a large undertaking. First, you and your custom remodeler need to determine that your room can handle all the codes necessary for safety. You should see a plan for firewall thickness, damper and chimney clearance, flue liners and size, hearth size and energy efficiency. A wood-burning fireplace can help with heating and energy efficiency, provided it maximizes the amount of heat that stays in the room and the amount of air that escapes from the chimney. While stone masonry can be expensive, don’t discount the use of manufactured stone, which can be up to 25 percent cheaper than natural, but provide the same look.
Gas insert or non-masonry fireplaces are relatively easy additions and can be more economical. The options are endless for decorative stone, tile or marble around the insert or on the hearth. These fireplaces will still change the atmosphere of the room and can provide some energy efficiency. Zone heating using a gas fireplace can also help you to redirect the heat to certain areas of your home. Ask your custom remodeler for suggestions for both efficiency and design, and stay warm as the cool air arrives.