With fireplaces being among the most desirable feature home buyers want, home builders are now offering fireplaces as a standard or optional feature in many new homes. These fireplaces are generally built using builder-grade materials. Builder grade materials are considered medium quality, a step up from economy-grade, the lowest quality on the grading scale. It uses mass-produced, lesser quality materials designed to replicate a custom-made fireplace at a lower price-point for the builder. Many homeowners who have a builder-grade fireplace discover that they will eventually need to upgrade or replace it within a few years.
Shorter life span
Builder grade fireplaces are usually constructed using plywood or fiberboard instead of higher quality, more durable wood finishing. The standard quality materials are often mass-produced in a factory and assembled on-site. While builder-grade are the most popular materials in homes today, they lack the durability of semi-custom or custom grade fireplaces that use higher quality materials. As a result, the builder-grade fireplace will need to be replaced within 5 to 10 years, depending on usage.
Lower heat output
Most builder-grade fireplaces are built mainly for aesthetics, not as a primary heating source. They often lack the performance of a custom fireplace due mostly to the lower quality combustible materials in its construction. On cold days you may find that you’re using central heating more often than you would like. Therefore, you will notice an increase in heating costs.
Homebuyers often have limited design options when purchasing a home with a builder-grade fireplace. Depending on the builder or contractor, you may not have a choice, or you may have to choose among two to three standardized designs that don’t match your taste.
A higher quality fireplace
Whether you are building a new home or installing a new fireplace into an existing home, you don’t have to settle for a builder grade fireplace. Consult with your local hearth dealer to discuss your home heating needs. They will work directly with you or your general contractor to install a higher quality fireplace that is best for your home and budget.
When working with your local hearth dealer to install a fireplace into a new or existing home, you will be able to choose a fireplace that will suit your taste and complement your home décor. You will also have the option of selecting the type of fireplace, such as traditional masonry, fireplace insert, or prefab, for example. Instead of being limited to a single fuel source, choosing your fireplace gives you the freedom to decide if you prefer a wood-burning or gas fuel experience.
Rather than limiting your option to a builder grade fireplace, choose a higher quality, longer-lasting fireplace for your home. You will enjoy a top-performing, more energy-efficient fire-burning experience that will warm your home for years to come.