Whether you’re renovating your home, mid-way through a challenging self-build or reaching the final hurdle of a lengthy extension, there are undoubtedly going to be a few things you wish you’d done differently. Or perhaps, during the process, you’ve flirted with new ideas you just wish you could have planned in from the beginning.
Despite being widely recognised as one of the key features that make a house a home, fireplaces tend to be one of those projects that get forgotten in all the other planning and details of a self-build or renovation.
If this sounds familiar, help is at hand. Leading fireplace manufacturers, such as Gazco, have a number of convenient solutions to help you complete your dream home without the headache of a substantial redesign.
For some time now, high-end gas stoves and fires have been available specifically for homes without a masonry chimney, opening up fitting options for flat roof extensions and new-builds.
Alex Sheldon, Development Manager at Gazco, says: “Whilst not strictly ‘flueless’, these gas heating products expel combustion gases through a twin-walled pipe to the exterior of the property, whilst simultaneously drawing in air for combustion. This flue system is known as a balanced flue, and goes to the exterior of the property with an external terminal similar to that of a gas boiler.”
The upside of this type of gas stove or fire is these products can simply be sited near an exterior wall or roof of the home, needing only a hole in the wall for the balanced flue pipe.
Balanced flue gas fires can also be installed with a false chimney breast made from materials such as fire-proof plasterboard to house the appliance. This means that even where no provision has been made for a chimney breast, the aesthetic is still relatively straightforward to achieve.
If accommodating the depth of a gas stove or fire in the current floor plan is a challenge, it’s worth considering slimline balanced flue products. These types of gas fire can be either partially or entirely built into a cavity wall, minimising how far they protrude into a room. Although shallower than a typical appliance, design features such as a highly reflective black glass firebox interior create the illusion of depth by mirroring the flames from behind.
If a balanced flue system isn’t possible or there isn’t easy access to a gas connection, a premium electric fire or stove offers an even easier way to add a fireplace to your build project.
Moving with extraordinary speed, electric fire effects from manufacturers like Gazco have become incredibly advanced in recent years. Jack Drew, Electrical Development Engineer at Gazco, says: “Multi-layered display systems, which couple LED lighting with highly realistic log-effect fuel beds, have effectively closed the gap between electric fires and combustion flame products such as gas and solid-fuel fires”.
One of the main advantages of an electric fire or stove over gas or wood-burning products is that they have almost no fitting requirements. Other than the need for a standard three-pin plug electrical point, electric fireplaces can go virtually anywhere you have the wall or floor space.
And since there is no need to consider heat build-up around the sides or rear of an electric fire, achieving a chimney breast aesthetic is even easier than with a gas product, and can be made from standard materials such as plasterboard and studwork.
Their versatility opens up a wealth of interior design potential for electric fires, particularly when it comes to adding cutting-edge landscape and multi-sided products to your home. Media wall installations, which typically house the electric fire along with a television, soundbar and other home entertainment, can provide a clean storage solution without having to incorporate a flue system.
The electric fire or stove you choose will; of course, depend on the look you wish to achieve, but the range of styles available today has never been more diverse, with built-in, wall-hung and freestanding designs to choose from.
Whether you opt for a gas or electric fire for your new build, no matter what stage you are at with your project, there are designer fireplace options available that offer some of the quickest and most convenient fitting options imaginable – meaning there’s no reason not to add a heart to your home.