Corner fireplace in new home

Do I Need a Fireplace in My New Home?

By Jennifer Nixon on December, 8 2017
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Jennifer Nixon
Jennifer Nixon

Marketing Consultant
Jennifer has experience in graphic design, brand development, and digital media. She is passionate about architecture, typography, and black & white film photography.

Fireplace or no fireplace? You might be wondering - do homes today need fireplaces, especially in warmer climates?

In primitive architecture, a small fireplace was centrally located in the home to provide an even distribution of heat and also serve as a heat source for cooking.

With the invention of brick, homes were built with larger centralized fireplaces and more expensive homes often included more than one to provide more localized heat for occupants.

As heating & cooling technologies advanced, the fireplace took a less centralized role and became more of an aesthetic feature in the home.

corner fireplace in family room with recessed ceiling

A corner fireplace can add character to your family room while still maintaining a traditional layout with your furniture parallel to the TV wall

 

Does a fireplace add value to a home?

There are many home builders who continue to build new homes with fireplaces included; however, about 15 years ago, our team decided to remove fireplaces from the standard features of our homes and allow customers to decide if they wanted to add one to their home.

Since then, less than 10% of our homes are built with fireplaces.

 

corner fireplace as focal point in living room

The fireplace can be the focal point of your space with the TV hung above and the furniture angled to optimize visibility

 

Do I need a fireplace?

The most popular reasons for having a fireplace in new build homes are:

  1. Architectural / visual interest - creating a focal point in the main area of your home

  2. A place to hang stockings and/or display decor items

  3. Children aren't the only ones who know that Santa needs a chimney

A lot of our homebuyers who have a fireplace on their "Must-Have List" are relocating to Texas from out of state, usually somewhere much colder, and it doesn't quite feel like home to them without one.

For most though, it comes down to aesthetics & personal preference vs. cost savings.

 

Are fireplaces still popular in Texas?

Winter in Texas isn't usually defined by how many inches of snow there is, but rather by the shorter days and the more bearable temperatures - that is not to say we don't see frost and get the very rare snowfall.

 

Castlegate II Model Home with snow in texas

 

Cooler temperatures might make you miss having a fireplace, but it really comes down to what is most important to you - how often will you use an interior fireplace? Could you use the extra space for a different purpose? How would you spend the money that you save by not having a fireplace?

 

One idea you might consider is whether you would benefit more from having a fireplace outside.

 

fireplace on covered patio in texas

Having a fireplace on the patio has become a popular option, allowing you to enjoy it more often throughout the year

 

built-in grill on patio in texas

Many homebuyers choose to add a built-in grill on the patio rather than a fireplace to allow their purchase to play a more functional role

 

If you're still not sure whether to include a fireplace in your new home (or add upgrades to new home), check out: Should I Add Upgrades to My New Home?

 

What are the must-haves on your list?

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