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wave9x 07-04-2012 02:30 PM

Layout advice needed
I am trying to decide what to do with a large chimney wall in the middle of my living/dining area. The living room currently doesn't get much light, and this would make the house much brighter. The chimney services 2 fireplaces, one in the living room and one in the dining room. This is overkill for me as I don't really care that much having even one fireplace, and the house is pretty small. The main reason I would keep at least one is for resale value.

The options I am thinking are - keep it as-is, remove half of the chimney and have a single 3-sided fireplace, and remove the chimney entirely and have no fireplace.

I modeled the three options and was wondering if anyone had opinions:

wave9x 07-04-2012 02:34 PM

Something else I should mention, where I live it is no longer legal to build a wood-burning fireplace, so if I remove it entirely, it is gone forever. Also, the chimney cannot be moved and kept as wood-burning.

creeper 07-04-2012 08:14 PM

So where do you live? Half my neighbourhood still uses a wood burning fireplace as the main source of heat.

Hard to make a judgement on an unfamiliar area, but around here the three sided option would definitely be the most desirable in terms of resale value

wave9x 07-04-2012 09:31 PM

I live in Northern CA, south of San Francisco (San Mateo). It doesn't get really cold here very often but there are nights in the winter when having a fire on is very nice.

I think I am leaning towards the 3 sided fireplace. It opens up the living room somewhat but I don't sacrifice the wood burning fireplace, so it seems the most practical.

I haven't been able to find many contemporary 3-sided wood burning fire places, it seems they are mostly gas. The wood-burning ones look a bit dated.

wave9x 07-04-2012 09:45 PM

Actually this one looks pretty nice, something like this but longer on the sides could work:

Bonzai 07-04-2012 10:09 PM

Try looking on to find the sort of thing you like and there may well be product info to tell you where you can get it. I use this all the time to determine inspiration for my clients.

user1007 07-05-2012 08:22 AM

Fireplaces sell houses even in Northern California. Mine in San Jose had a formal one in the dining room and a semi-circular one in the family room. Wood was never burned in the living room and only for a short period in the family room. I converted both to gas. They definitely helped sell the house for a tidy sum.

As for the layout options. I guess I like the three sided the best of what you showed. I might be tempted to make the fireplace longer and rather than gas logs do something more contemporary with crystal blocks and random looking flame.

wave9x 07-05-2012 11:39 AM

Do you think there is a significant difference in value between having a gas fireplace vs having a wood burning one?

user1007 07-05-2012 11:58 AM


Originally Posted by wave9x (Post 958517)
Do you think there is a significant difference in value between having a gas fireplace vs having a wood burning one?

The nice thing about your situation is that currently you can claim to have wood burning fireplaces even if you were to convert them to some gas log set-up. The gas logs I put in were formal looking in the living room and I filled the base of the fireplace in the family room with sand and put a driftwood looking thing on it. The living room was painted white brick and I doubt it ever would have been used if wood burning was the only option.

I found the gas flames as relaxing/mesmorizing as a wood fire and it was certainly safer. I missed the crackling sound of sap exploding and the smell but you can buy stuff like "Campfire Memories" or cedar incense to compensate.

I suspect more and more places will be cracking down on burning wood for environmental reasons. I am not sure burning natural gas is that green long term either. Modern fireplaces are not usually designed for heating so much energy just gets sucked up the chimney including warm air in the room that gets drafted. At least with gas you can close the damper a bit.

Long winded way of saying I am not sure the answer to your question. A good friend of mine develops and sells high end real estate around you. He always has the fireplace going when showing a property. Home and hearth trick I guess. He also makes sure the kitchen has the aroma of fresh baked cookies too.

When I did intimate interior gardens people always wanted to incorporate fire and water features if they had the money.

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