How to Choose the Best Fireplace for Resale Value

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Fireplaces are more than just heat sources and ambiance boosters. They’re hidden persuaders, whispering promises of warm evenings and cherished memories to potential buyers.

A gas fireplace in a living room.

In fact, homes with fireplaces can fetch up to 12% higher listing prices and sell faster. However, not all fireplaces are created equal. Choosing the right one is like picking the perfect accessory – it can elevate your space and make it sing or leave it feeling flat and outdated.

So, ditch the guesswork and find the best fireplace for resale value in this guide. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to choose the perfect fireplace – and watch your resale value go up in smoke (the good kind, of course!).

Ready to turn your living room into a buyer’s dream? Let’s get started!

Understanding Return on Investment (ROI) of Different Fireplace Types

Before we dive headfirst into choosing the perfect fireplace, let’s talk money. After all, you want a warm home, not a cold, hard reality check. Understanding the value of having a fireplace is crucial in this discussion, as it significantly influences your home’s overall appeal and market value.

So, let’s compare the costs of different fireplace types and see how they translate into that sweet, sweet ROI.


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Cost vs. Return on Investment

Different fireplace types come with varying average costs, ranging from traditional wood-burning options to modern gas or electric alternatives. Here’s what to expect.

An electric fireplace.
  • Wood-burning fireplaces: The classic charmers, averaging $2,500-$5,000 installed. While they offer unbeatable ambiance and the sweet scent of burning logs, they require an annual chimney cleaning (around $200). However, their rustic appeal can boost your home value by 6-12%, meaning a potential $24,000-$48,000 return on a $200,000 home. Plus, some states offer tax credits for wood-burning fireplaces that meet EPA emission standards.
  • Gas fireplaces: Clean, convenient, and averaging $2,000-$4,000 installed. They require less maintenance and offer instant warmth with a flick of a switch. You can expect a similar 6-12% home value increase, potentially translating to $24,000-$48,000. And the cherry on top? Some gas fireplaces qualify for energy rebates, further sweetening the deal.
  • Electric fireplaces: Budget-friendly at $500-$2,000 installed and virtually maintenance-free. They’re perfect for apartments or homes lacking a chimney. While they may not boost your value as much as their fire-burning counterparts (expect around 3-5%), they still add a touch of elegance and can appeal to buyers seeking eco-friendly options.

Now, let’s talk about short-term vs. long-term costs.

Wood and gas fireplaces incur ongoing fuel expenses, while electric ones, though initially cheaper, can balance out due to fluctuating electricity prices. 

Wood and gas average annual fuel costs range from $500 to $1,500, while electric fireplaces average $50 to $200 in yearly electricity expenses. 

The initial electric fireplace cost runs between $500 and $1,500. The cost of a wood/gas fireplace is between  $1,000 and $5,000.

Remember, ROI isn’t just about numbers. It’s about the intangible joy of cozy evenings, and the emotional connection buyers feel with a fireplace. So, while crunching numbers is important, don’t forget to factor in the “feel-good” factor!

Choosing the Best Fireplace for Resale Value

Now that you’ve got a handle on the financial side of things let’s dive into the heart of the matter, choosing the fireplace that’ll make your home an irresistible haven for buyers. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer – it’s all about understanding your unique property and target audience.

Traditional Wood Fireplaces

  • Average cost: $3,000 to $10,000+ for the fireplace unit.
  • Installation costs: $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the complexity.

There’s nothing quite like the crackling warmth and intoxicating aroma of a wood fireplace. It evokes images of snuggling under blankets, sharing stories with loved ones, and creating lasting memories. This timeless charm translates to a potential 6-12% increase in your home’s value, making wood fireplaces a solid investment.

However, charm comes with responsibility. Wood fireplaces require regular cleaning and maintenance, including chimney inspections and creosote removal. This can add between $500 to $1,000 annually for maintenance and may deter some homebuyers. Plus, wood availability and price fluctuations can impact your budget.

How much is a wood fireplace worth on an appraisal? It depends. A well-maintained wood fireplace in a house with ample wood supply can add $2,500-$5,000 to the appraisal. However, a neglected fireplace with chimney issues could detract from the value.


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Modern Gas Fireplaces

  • Average cost: $2,500 to $7,500 for the fireplace unit.
  • Installation costs: $1,500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the complexity.

If you crave the ambiance without the fuss, gas fireplaces are your fiery friend. They offer instant warmth with a flick of a switch, eliminating the need for chopping wood or cleaning ashes.

Plus, they come in a variety of styles and designs, from sleek and modern to classic and ornate, allowing you to match your home’s aesthetic perfectly.

Gas fireplaces also come with potential energy rebates, making them even more appealing. However, gas line installation can add around $500 to $2,000 to the initial cost, and some buyers might prefer the “real” experience of burning wood.

All in all, expect an additional $2,000-$4,000 on your appraisal, depending on the style, efficiency, and overall quality.

Electric Fireplaces: A Cost-Effective Option

  • Average cost: $500 to $2,000 for the fireplace unit.
  • Installation costs: Generally lower compared to wood and gas fireplaces, as they often require minimal installation. It can be a DIY project or may cost a few hundred dollars if professional installation is needed.

Looking for an affordable way to add warmth and style? Electric fireplaces are your answer. They require minimal installation (just plug it in!), boast a wide range of modern designs, and offer surprisingly realistic flames. Plus, they’re incredibly safe and energy-efficient, making them ideal for apartments or eco-conscious buyers.

While they might not boost your value as dramatically as their fiery cousins (expect 3-5%), electric fireplaces still add a touch of elegance and appeal to a growing segment of buyers.

Expect an additional $500-$1,000 on your appraisal, depending on the size, features, location, and overall quality of your electric fireplace.

Evaluating Other Fireplace Options

Don’t limit yourself to the usual suspects! Explore these options to create a truly unique selling point:

Wood burning stove.
  • Wood-burning stoves: Delivering rustic charm and efficient heating, these beauties can add 4-6% to your home value.
  • Pellet stoves: Eco-friendly and budget-friendly, pellet stoves offer a modern spin on wood-burning with minimal mess. Expect a 3-5% value boost.
  • Outdoor fireplaces: Perfect for extending cozy evenings to the patio, these showstoppers can add 5-7% to your value, especially in areas with mild climates.

Remember, the key is to choose a fireplace that complements your home’s style, appeals to your target buyer, and fits your budget.

Other Features that Add Value to a Fireplace

Beyond the basic components of a fireplace, several additional features contribute to increased desirability and, consequently, a higher resale value.

1. Mantel Magic

A fireplace mantel.

A well-crafted mantel can transform a fireplace into a focal point, adding charm and character to any room. Choose a design that complements your home’s style, whether it’s a traditional wooden mantel or a sleek, modern alternative.

Potential buyers often appreciate the versatility of a mantel, envisioning it as a showcase for decor, family photos, or holiday ornaments.

2. Hearth Highlights

The hearth, that welcoming platform at the base of the fireplace, is more than just a landing pad for logs. It defines the space and adds a sense of grounding. Choose materials like brick, tile, or even polished concrete to complement your mantel and flooring. A stylish hearth can add another 0.5-1% to your valuation.

3. Built-in Brilliance

Turn that awkward space around your fireplace into a functional haven. The construction of built-in shelves flanking the fireplace is perfect for displaying family photos, treasured artifacts, or even firewood. This not only adds visual interest but also creates a cozy, curated feel.

4. Cleanliness and Maintenance Matters

No matter how impressive the features are, regular maintenance is key to preserving the value of your fireplace. A clean and well-maintained fireplace not only ensures safety but also reflects the overall care given to the property. Regularly clean the chimney, inspect the flue, and address any repairs promptly. 

A pristine fireplace and its surroundings create a positive impression, assuring potential buyers that the feature is not just about aesthetics but also functional and well-maintained.

Remember, these features are like the finishing touches on a painting. They add polish, personality, and that extra layer of charm that makes buyers fall in love with your space.

So, invest in the right accessories, keep things clean and well-maintained, and watch your fireplace transform from a heat source into a valuable asset that sets your home apart.


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Selling Your Home: Marketing the Fireplace

Now that your fireplace is a masterpiece of warmth and style, it’s time to make it sing for potential buyers. Let’s explore how to market your fiery asset and turn it into a powerful selling tool:

Highlighting the Fireplace in Your Real Estate Listing:

  • Words that paint a picture: Don’t just say “fireplace.” Use evocative language like “crackling hearth,” “cozy haven,” or “centerpiece for family gatherings.” Paint a picture of warm evenings spent gathered around the flames.
  • Be specific: Don’t forget the details! Mention the type of fireplace, fuel source, mantel material, and any unique features like built-in shelves or a raised hearth.
  • Emotional appeal: Connect with buyers on an emotional level. Talk about the memories made around the fireplace, the feeling of warmth and comfort it evokes, and the potential for creating new traditions.

Professional Photography Tips:

  • Light it up: Capture the fireplace in action! Show it roaring with flames, casting warm shadows, and illuminating the room with a soft glow.
  • Stage for success: Dress the mantel and hearth with inviting accessories like family photos, cozy throws, or a vase of fresh flowers.
  • Multiple angles: Show the fireplace from different perspectives. Capture close-ups of the flames, the mantel’s intricate details, and how it integrates seamlessly into the living space.

Open Houses and Viewings:

  • Make it a focal point: Arrange furniture around the fireplace to create a natural gathering space. Light it up and let the warmth fill the room.
  • Have a story ready: Be prepared to share the history of the fireplace. Did you build it yourself? Was it a cherished feature from your childhood? Share anecdotes that add a personal touch.

Potential Buyer Concerns:

  • Address the practicalities: Don’t shy away from questions about efficiency, maintenance, or safety. Have records and warranties readily available, and be prepared to explain how the fireplace operates.
  • Safety first: Address safety concerns proactively. Highlight regular chimney inspections, discuss smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, and provide any relevant safety certifications.
  • Efficiency matters: Talk about the fireplace’s fuel source and its efficiency rating. If you have an older model, consider upgrading to a more eco-friendly option.
  • Maintenance made easy: Don’t let upkeep scare buyers away. Provide a simple guide to cleaning and maintaining the fireplace and emphasize its user-friendliness.


Selecting the best fireplace for resale value is a strategic decision that can significantly enhance a home’s market appeal and overall value. Throughout this guide, we have emphasized the benefits of choosing the right fireplace to maximize its impact on potential buyers. 

A well-designed and energy-efficient fireplace not only adds aesthetic value but also serves as a functional asset, catering to the preferences of diverse home buyers.

Whether opting for a traditional wood-burning fireplace, a modern gas fireplace, or an electric variant, the key is to align the choice with the overall style and needs of the home.

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Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.