Fireplaces And Their Alternatives

When you’re renovating a house, you have a lot of options when it comes to how you design it. That’s one of the beauties of taking on a renovation project in the first place – you get to customize just about every aspect to your liking, as long as your time and budget allows.

One great feature in any house is a fireplace. It gives a central warmth where family friends can gather round, and this is especially loved when the weather outside is cold. If you’re renovating a house it’s always something worth considering, as it’s a great time to make accommodations for installing a fireplace. Even if you can’t install a traditional fireplace, there are some alternatives that you can implement to get much of the same benefits.

When A Traditional Fireplace Makes Sense

If the house you’re renovating already has a chimney, then it’s worth keeping even if you don’t think you’ll make use of it. The exception being those cases where you just need more room, and getting rid of the chimney is the only way to go about getting it. Removing existing chimneys takes a lot of work, and it’s a huge mess.

Now, if you’re someone who loves having a real fire in your house you’ll probably want to install a chimney if you don’t have one. Keep in mind that this is a big project that will certainly cost you quite a bit of money. Take a look at your numbers before you get started to make sure you’ll have enough to cover all of your important costs.

Gas Fireplace Alternatives

If you like the idea of a fireplace but you don’t want to burn wood in your house, then gas fireplaces can be a great alternative. They are substantially cleaner burning and as a result they are much safer for your home and much safer for the environment. They look great and they actually still have real flames, so many people are quite satisfied with them.

If you don’t have a chimney you can still install a gas fireplace, though you may need to get a little creative. Work with a contractor to find a good place to recess it into the wall. You’ll just need to make sure to have proper ducting for ventilating all of the heat that the flames will produce.

When It’s Best To Go Electric

In some cases you’re best off with an electric fireplace. The great thing about electric fireplaces is that there are no real flames, so you shouldn’t need any ducting. Granted, there are inserts that can still fit into existing fireplace hearths, so that’s still an option. But they’re also relatively easy to install in a number of different ways so you can really get creative with them.

If you’re interested in going the electric fireplace route, you should check out some of the products by Dimplex: They make some of the most realistic fireplaces out there, and they have a range of products to suit just about any application. You can get anything from a freestanding model all the way to a fancy recessed installation like you’d see at a luxury hotel.

Fixer Uppers: How To Find A Home That You Can Bring Back To Life

Like a perfect sunny vacation, our home needs to be just as special and life changing. Our home is more than just a place you go to sleep at night, our home is a place where life long memories are created. How do you transform a building made out of walls and paint, into a fortress of solitude and security where families gather and grow? How do you make a simple house, become a home? The answer, make it truly yours; so original and unlike any other home around. In a world where pre-manufactured homes are around every corner, the dream of the perfect home can be difficult to find, but not impossible. One of the best solutions around, is the idea of the “fixer upper” home. A fixer upper home has a lot of options. Perhaps, it means transforming an older home into your dream home or even finishing an incompletely built home. Whatever the choice, the fixer upper option is the ultimate DIY a home owner can embark on. Yes, it is true that the fixer upper process involves a decent amount of work, however, the results are life changing. The results are the creation of your dream home. So how does one begin the fixer upper process?

HUD HOMES or Incomplete Building projects

Financing a house is an expensive and complicated process. Unfortunately, many people struggle with the finically aspect of building a home, and this leaves a unique option open for the fixer upper. One type of house the fixer can look for on the market is a what is called a HUD home. In short, A HUD home is a home that needs to be sold fast. Often time these homes are foreclosures or homes that hit some sort of unforeseen financial set back. Whatever the case may be, the goal for the HUD home seller is the same; sell the house fast. Often times, HUD homes that are being sold are in need of serious renovation or perhaps are even incomplete. A HUD home almost always needs some kind of work. This is not desirable for a lot of people looking for turn key homes, however, for the DIY fixer upper, a HUD home can be a gold mine. Not only are these homes in a state of renovation already, but also, many time they are priced extremely low. HUD homes are not always easy to find because they sell fast, however, if planned correctly a HUD home is a perfect start for a fixer upper DIY home.

Older Homes

As cities grow and develop, older neighborhoods are often times forgotten and overlooked as an option for buying a home. Many individuals prefer the look and smell of a brand new home, and don’t even bother looking to purchase in older parts of a town. This trend creates another unique opportunity for the fixer upper individual. The older home market offer an array of advantages. First, they are almost always priced lower than the new home market. This low price leaves plenty of finically wiggle room for renovations. Lastly, older homes provide more unique designs that newer homes, that allow for more interesting renovation options. Purchasing an older home as a fixer upper home is a solid and smart option.

Demo Day: Important Precautions to Take When Gutting Your Fixer-Upper

Buying an older home or living in one requires special precautions before you can start the gutting process. There are a lot of variables to consider and for homeowners with no construction experience, this guide will be a useful tool to help you safely gut your old fixer-upper. Older homes hold all kinds of hidden secrets in the walls, attics, and foundations. Before you start the demolition process, you should read this guide fully in its entirety.

Important Precautions

 Building Permits: It is illegal in a lot of states and communities to undergo a construction project without a building permit. You can go to your local city hall or town office and apply for a building permit. Building permits are dated with an expiration date, so you only have so much time to get your project done or you’ll have to go back and get an extension on your permit.

 Historical Buildings: There are a lot of old fixer-uppers that are classified as historical landmarks by the state you live in. Before construction begins you need to know if your project falls under these guidelines because any alterations to your project need approval from elected officials in your community. In most cases, the exterior of a historical building must remain the same. Professional restoration contractors in this sector are highly advised.

 Structural Safety: A certified home inspector should be called in to access the structural integrity of your building. There are a lot of older buildings that have wood framed exterior walls and interior support walls in older buildings that are subject to termite damage, rot, and water damage. If you start gutting wall coverings, it could weaken the structural integrity and unexpected collapses can occur with the possibility of bodily harm.

 Mold Spores/Asbestos/Lead Paint: All three of these are very dangerous substances that can cause serious internal injuries and even death. Call a professional remediation business and have your building inspected for dangerous airborne contaminants that are magnified tremendously when disturbed. This can be a very costly mistake and one that needs to be taking seriously.

 Debris Removal: Gutting your fixer-upper is going to generate a significant amount of waste materials. If you have access to a truck with a universal open box-style trailer this is one option of removing your debris; however, there are a lot of landfills that will charge you per load by unit weight for disposal at their facility.

You can also call your local waste management providers and order a contruction dumpster to place at your job site. This is the best method for removing construction debris because once you put the debris in the dumpster, you’re done. There’s no need to handle it a second time and in most cases is more cost effective.

The Rewards and End Results

Gutting your fixer-upper can be a lot of work, but in the end it’s one of the most rewarding experiences. Restoring and modernizing an old house has a lot of long term benefits as it pays homage to the time period it was constructed, gives your community a classic look, and is a reminder of when most of these houses were built with hand tools.