Can a Freestanding Gas Fireplace Add Value to My Condo?

Xfire.jpgQ. I live in a condo apt. and would love to have a fireplace. Do you think a gas burning fireplace that can be taken with you when you move, is still considered a value enhancing addition to a condo once we're ready to move? Or is it best to put the money else where in our new construction condo? (from Vanpinni)

A. Thanks for your question! The answer will depend on a few variables. It's hard to say where you should put additional money in construction and/or decorating. Our initial recommendation, however, is to put the money into what you're going to get the most enjoyment from and what means the most to you.

Since you want a fireplace, that might be the #1 reason to add one. If you want a fireplace more than a Sub-Zero, then the high-end refrigerator is not where you should put your money.

earthfire.jpgBear in mind that someone else should love what you add when you resell. Blue granite isn't everyone's taste, so selling a condo filled with blue granite might be tricky. Fireplaces, on the other hand, are usually easy to sell, but perhaps not if you're taking yours away.

Consider keeping yours in as a valuable extra when you sell; and then move into a new home without having to find just the right spot to install your old fireplace. Start fresh!

If the layout of your room works well with a fireplace, then add one. But if the fireplace is in addition to windows, doors, and a large TV, then it might be too busy.

The seating in the room needs to lay out well, too. Having two chairs facing a fireplace with their backs to the rest of the room isn't going to look great.

There are many fireplaces, both functional and decorative, that work well and can enhance a room. They can make for a great central focal point of a space and "pull a room together." Read fireplace installation instructions carefully, as even some ventless models may require an open window nearby for fresh air.

Here are a few freestanding gas-burning fireplaces that really caught our eye:

1. Earthfire Gas takes a lovely freestanding ceramic firepot (see the white crackle-glazed model in the photo above) and combines it with gas components from American Gas Log. This is a great indoors or outdoors fireplace solution.

Paloma.bmp2. Heat & Glo offers a variety of freestanding gas models, and their Paloma was a clean, fresh design (see photo).

The company makes a wide variety of models, right for any decor. Try their Cyclone if you are looking for "fire art" (this is a new one, with a cylinder that showcases a spiral of fire!). The Tiara II is a large traditional cast-iron stove model that looks great in a traditional home (the Tiara I is smaller).

Heat & Glo also offers some nifty built-in gas fireplaces like the Southwestern flavored kiva in their Bravo model (beautiful!) and the sleek, modern, stylish Soho.


Chimo.jpg3. The Chimo Ventless Fireplace is a great modern addition to any condo. It burns ethanol, a corn-based liquid, and burns cleanly (see photo on left). This is one solution that would be very easy to take with you to another home when you sell your condo.

4. The DelRay Rio Pedestal Stove is a lovely model with "dancing flames" and embers so it looks like a mature fire. It also is a double burner, so the BTU output is high, keeping you nice and toasty.

5.  The Bainbridge Ventless Gas Fireplace is a sweet early American style that we thought had great looks to match the right kind of traditional decor.

6. The first photo above shows the West Country Fires (UK) X-Fires Limestone Flueless Fire. It's a sleek beauty, but the company offers a wide range of flueless gas fireplaces.

ecosmartcube.jpg7. We've saved one of the most fun recommendations for last. Feel guilt-free with the EcoSmart Fire line of products. These are ideal freestanding, ventless units that you can absolutely take with you when you sell, and they look terrific.

They have many models to choose from, but we went ape for their Cube (see photo), a freestanding piece of furniture-turned-fireplace, that can be custom colored in any number of ways.

Sometimes an antique mantelpiece from any architectural salvage yard can look a 1,000 times better than a new mantel and can make a new fireplace look "old" and like it's been there forever. We like that kind of decorating touch if you're considering installing a more permanent gas fireplace versus something freestanding.

Fireplaces and fire accessories will be switched out soon for air conditioners and fans at home stores, so if you're thinking of buying a new fireplace, you'll be able to get them on sale now, or quite soon. We hope these tips help!

New idea.  Watch our Design2Share Q&A video on the Value of a Fireplace to get more great ideas about decorating in and around your hearthside.


Photo Credits: West Country Fires, Earthfire USA, Heat & Glo, Relish, I Want - I Got

Jay Johnson2 Comments