Why You Shouldn’t Settle for a Builder Grade Fireplace

From pouring over different tile samples to weighing the best location for your laundry room, the options and, ultimately, the decisions in front of you can seem endless when you are building a new home or remolding your home. With all of the choices, and expenses, involved, it can be tempting to accept builder grade materials that your contractor suggests when your budget is stretch or you are being pressured to make a quick decision. Accepting a builder grade fireplace may seem like a smart comprise if you don’t know very much about fireplaces but it could be a big mistake.

These are the 4 reasons why you should not settle for a builder grade fireplace:

1. It’s a Short-Term Solution for a Long-Term Investment

Builder grade materials are only short-term solutions. In the hierarchy of construction material grading, “builder grade” is at the very bottom because builder grade materials only meet the bare minim of qualifications to be acceptable to be used for construction. They are typically low to average quality and mass produced. Builder grade fireplaces lack the high performance and longevity of a higher rated fireplace.

Due to its low quality and short lifespan, a builder fireplace will eventually need to be replaced. Replacing a fireplace is a disruptive and, typically, costly project. Having a higher quality fireplace installed from the start will save you an extra headache and more expenses down the road.

2. It Can Increase Your Home’s Energy Costs

Much like windows and entry doors, the fireplace you choose will play a role in your home’s energy efficiency. A builder grade fireplace, especially if it is not built or installed by a fireplace expert, can significantly increase your heating and cooling costs. All masonry fireplaces allow some air from your home to escape up the chimney but a poorly constructed masonry fireplace or the installation of a mediocre prefabricated fireplace can allow much more air to escape forcing your heating and cooling system to work overtime to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.   

Along with increased energy bills, you will also miss out on the energy saving potential of a higher quality fireplace. Today, there are many energy saving fireplace models available from high-efficiency wood fireplaces to clean burning gas fireplaces. With the right fireplace, you may be able to bring down your heating costs in the winter by effectively zone-heating your living spaces.

3. It Can Decrease Your Home’s Value

A beautiful, high quality fireplace with attractive features can add up to $15,000 to your home’s resale value. You could miss out on thousands if you opt for a builder grade fireplace instead. Along with having a shorter-life span and lower efficiency, builder grade fireplaces often lack the charm and special features of higher rated fireplaces. You may only increase your home value by an extra $1,000 if you put your house on the market with a builder grade fireplace.

4. It Might Not Be the Best Fit for Your Lifestyle & Taste

A fireplace is the focal point of a room. If you settle for a builder grade fireplace, you will miss out on the opportunity to inject your unique taste into its design. You could also end up with an eyesore that doesn’t produce the amount of heat or offer the convenience that you want. Only you know what will suit your taste and lifestyle. Whether you prefer the sleek, modern design of a gas fireplace with firestones and remote control operation or a traditional masonry wood burning fireplace with a rustic mantel, you are sure to find the ideal fireplace for your home if you turn to a fireplace expert with a wide selection of fireplace options. Marsh’s Stoves and Fireplaces is the premier choice for hearth products in Toronto because our showroom offers the largest selection of wood and gas fireplaces in the GTA.

Instead of settling for a builder grade fireplace, stop by our showroom so that you can see for yourself the wide variety of fireplace styles and features that you can choose from! The goal of our friendly and knowledgeable in-house consultants is to help your vision become a reality as smooth as possible. Reach us at (416) 762-4582.