The renovation of a fireplace can happen for different reasons and can make it look either younger or older! Sometimes called a “fireplace facelift”, “looking older” is not the result that many homeowners are after. It is, however, for those with historical homes and that is another common reason for fireplace renovation.
The ‘Face Lift’
In the first case, homeowners are trying to get the looks of their fireplace to match its better condition. At least, we hope that is what they are trying to do. We hope the system has been found in really good condition. However, discussing ‘face lifts’ opens a can of worms with regard to ‘apparently new’ fireplaces… (so appropriate inspections are recommended if you did not approve the ‘surgery’.)
Increasingly popular with homeowners who know their fireplace systems are in good condition, ‘fireplace face lifts’ reflect that ‘youthfulness’. Removing and replacing the outer face of the fireplace allows them to have one that looks as good as it actually is. Although a ‘facelift’ is traditionally recommended for safety reasons, it is increasingly a largely cosmetic choice for many.
The ‘Traditional’ Renovation
Outer hearths need to allow certain clearances that nobody thought about when lots of fireplaces were built. Mantels have to extend certain distances if they exist, and materials have to conform to all kinds of standards. Fireplace renovations are often required for compliance with municipal codes and fire safety standards. Until fairly recently for many homeowners, its necessity for fire safety was the only reason to renovate a fireplace.
It has also always been the case that if you have an old stately home full of antiques, a fireplace that fits the decor of its environment is appealing. As a result, some homeowners make their fireplaces look older – to suit historical homes and vintage trends alike. A ‘shabby fireplace’ is not exactly what you would expect to find chimney sweeps involved in, but they are increasingly chic!