‘Tis the season and you’re probably getting ready to host holiday parties! Decking the mantle with boughs of holly! Hanging the stocking with care! And many of you are thinking, “This is the world’s ugliest fireplace!”

Yup. There are some bad ones out there–sitting right smack dab in the middle of the living room to serve as a “focal point.”

If you’re looking at your fireplace right now thinking, “Focal point! Centralized eye sore is more like it,” you need a fireplace facelift. This is the hearth of your home; people will congregate around it all winter long.

Fortunately, there’s hope for the dreary, the dull, even the homeliest of homely. Here’s what we can do to prevent you from winning the neighborhood ugly fireplace contest:

1. Reface the Hearth and Surround

Cover that scabby old fireplace brick with new stone and it will transform the entire room. There are a ton of material choices these days, which makes it easier than ever to find a look that suits your tastes, integrates with your décor, and meets your budgetary requirements.

Hooked on classics? Ledgestone strips, which have the appearance of stacked rocks, are a great choice and extremely versatile. Love the rustic look? Fieldstone will give you the look of a hand-built hearth that would be right at home in a lodge or Old World cottage. Prefer sleek and modern? You’ll want to consider seamless slabs of stone. There are even concrete options if you’re going for a particularly industrial or edgy style.

2. Replace the Firebox

If your firebox is contributing to the ugliness factor—or doesn’t perform well anymore–it can be easily replaced. Or you might want to consider an insert. Wood-burning or pellet stove inserts are far warmer, more efficient, and safer than open fireplaces. They are an excellent choice if you want to use the fireplace for zonal heating. On the other hand, gas inserts are extremely popular, convenient, and come in every style imaginable. Opt for gas if you prefer to start a fire with the flick of a switch.

Newly refurbished and working better than ever, your hearth will finally become the focal point and gathering spot it was meant to be. It will also increase the value of your home. A functional, attractive fireplace raises the value of a property 6% to 12%1–more than enough for you to recoup the cost of the upgrades when you sell. It may even help your home sell faster when that time comes; a fireplace is one of the top three features buyers look for in a house.2

The other piece of good news is, it doesn’t take that long to modernize and beautify a fireplace. Give us a call at 503-735-9255 today and you’ll be able to enjoy your new hearth for the rest of this winter.


1. National Center for Real Estate Research

2. Leslie Wheeler, Director of Communications, Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association (HPBA)