My San Diego Home

Let's say you found the perfect home. It's the right price, right size, right schools, just towny enough. The only thing it doesn't have is a fireplace. You can always add one but before you start knocking down walls and punching holes in the roof, let me offer a little insight.

The last thing you want to do is cut holes in a perfectly good roof. Most of the serious roof leaks I find are caused by poor or failing flashing around chimneys. I have a friend in LA who had a "small" leak around the chimney but thought he'd get to it eventually but never did. Five years later he spent $30,000 on mold abatement.

If you're planning on installing a fireplace where none exists, consider a DIRECT VENT fireplace. Direct vent fireplaces can be vented horizontally (out the side of the house). It's a simple process, we had one installed in our home and it only took a week and for less money than you might expect. Your local fireplace stores will have a variety of options from traditional and homey to super modern and clean.

The installers cut an 8" hole in the wall and fixed a vent cover over it. It looks like it's been there the whole time and even with all the rain we had last winter absolutely no leaks.

Direct vent fireplaces typically include a fan that blows air around the firebox and out into the room. Ours heats the whole house, we've barely used our central heating all winter.

So, before you say NO to that perfect house without a fireplace, stop into a fireplace shop and get an idea of how much one would cost and what kind of space would you need.

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