There’s nothing quite like the crackle of a warm fire on a cold winter day. Anyone that owns a lake home can tell you that half the fun is sneaking away to a cozy cabin during the “off” season. A great fireplace in your lake home is a must.
The decision to have a fireplace is an easy one. However, designing and installing the perfect fireplace for your home can be very complicated. A great fireplace can be the “heart” of the home and it requires a great deal of thought to get it right.
One of the most important decisions is “where” to locate the fireplace. The fireplace should be located in a central location with plenty of seating around it. Make sure you’ve thought through the furniture layout. Locate the fireplace so that you have great views of it as you move through the house. Be careful not to pick a fireplace location that blocks the views of the lake.
What type of fireplace will you build? A true masonry fireplace is preferred, but expensive. This type of fireplace will cost between $5,000 and $20,000. A great alternative is a wood burning insert fireplace that can be covered with rock. The cost of this version is between $750 and $2,500 depending on the size and style of the fireplace selected. The finished product looks great and may save you enough money to buy a boat.
The availability of flat screen televisions has further complicated fireplace design. If you like the idea of a T.V. over the fireplace, there are several things to consider. A raised hearth is great to sit on, but it causes the T.V. to be placed higher on the wall. Consider a hearth that is flush with the floor to lower the T.V. and improve the viewing angle. Television cables and power outlets can be placed on the face of the fireplace or can be cut into the mantle. The T.V. cable should be looped to a nearby location so that satellite receivers and DVD players can be hooked up without being placed on the mantle. The television can be left in plain view or can be disguised behind wooden doors or a piece of art.
What type of materials will you use on your fireplace? Stone seems to be the material of choice at the lake. There are hundreds of great choices of fireplace veneers in real and artificial stone. Will you use a stone or wood mantle? Do you want an arch over the fire opening? What about a wood box for storing firewood?
The outdoor fireplace has also become very popular, especially at the lake. An outdoor fireplace can be located on a back porch or in the back yard near the lake. Consider the view of the fireplace and the view of the lake when choosing a location.
A fireplace at the lake is a “must have”. With attention to detail and a little planning, your fireplace can truly be the “heart” of the home.