Common Design Mistakes for DIY Fireplaces

diy fireplaces

Last year, 81% of homeowners took on DIY projects. If you’re one of the millions of people who love a good do-it-yourself home project then you’ve likely looked at your fireplace at least once with intrigue and thought, “I could improve that fireplace design myself.”

Creating a stylish and inviting ambiance in your living space with DIY fireplaces is one of the most exciting projects you can take on as a luxury homeowner. After all, you get to choose from endless design options that reflect who you are all while improving the look of your home.

However, few things dampen the spirit more than seeing an exquisite room become undone by common design mistakes. Before embarking on this home improvement endeavor, be aware of these easily avoidable pitfalls and make sure your DIY fireplace is nothing but sheer perfection.

Tips for New Fireplace Installation

Installing a fireplace in your home is an exciting project, but it can also be time-consuming. To ensure that the installation is safe and successful, there are some useful tips that you should keep in mind when you’re ready to install your new fireplace.

Namely, you’ll want to make sure to purchase the right type of fireplace for your home. Look for one that satisfies both your heating needs and design style.

Additionally, regardless of the design, it can help to find a certified technician with experience in installing fireplaces. While you can DIY some aspects of this project, hiring a technician can guarantee your safety. It’ll also help you avoid any potential problems. 

Finally, familiarize yourself with all local ordinances or regulations governing wood-burning appliances. This includes chimney inspections or combustion-air requirements. Doing so will ensure your finished product works efficiently and looks beautiful!

7 Mistakes to Avoid With DIY Fireplaces 

DIY fireplaces may seem straightforward but they often come with a few pitfalls. After all, fireplaces are often the design centerpiece of the most elegant living rooms. Before you get started on any home project that involves fire, there are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

1. Making the Fireplace Too Small

Generally, the size of the fireplace should be proportionate to the size and shape of the room; this means that if your living room is large, your fireplace should be larger as well. 

A good rule of thumb is to make sure your fireplace has at least one square foot of surface area for every 16 square feet of floor space in the room. This means that you can get an estimate of how large it should be just by taking some basic measurements.

When all is said and done, a properly sized and installed fireplace won’t just look better. It will be safer, more efficient, and more capable of showcasing decor around it.

2. Not Choosing the Right Kind of Fireplace

Choosing the right kind of fireplace for your home can be a game-changer when it comes to refreshment, ambiance, and overall aesthetic. 

With a variety of options to choose from, each kind of fireplace offers something different so it’s important to do your research. Does a gas fireplace consume too much gas? Will an electric fireplace be cheaper? Those are all great questions to ask yourself before installation.

Choosing the perfect fireplace is all about understanding your wants and needs. For example, gas fireplaces are generally more expensive than electric but they offer a wide range of potential designs, increased safety, and ease of use. 

Electric fireplaces usually come with more convenience as the installation is much simpler. However, you have to make sure you’re getting the right amount of heat for your living space. Otherwise, you risk wasting energy or not having enough heating power. 

Ultimately, regardless of which kind you decide on, make sure that the style fits in with the rest of your home. This ensures an enjoyable environment all year round.

3. Ignoring Accessibility

When adding a new fireplace and mantle to your home, accessibility should be one of the first criteria you consider. When accessibility is planned for from the start, you can ensure that all the members of the family, regardless of age or ability, can move about easily and safely. This is true if you do it yourself or have professionals help with installation.

Additionally, it’s important to choose an accessibility-friendly location where the fire cover won’t hinder movement around it and everyone will have ample space to enjoy its warm ambiance. Try not to forget about tasks such as clearing away any logs or other blocks.

It’s important that you perform inspections regularly to make sure the control panels, grates, and handles are all easily reachable. Finally, keeping track of bulb and electrical repairs for safety purposes is essential for accessibility, too.  

4. Choosing the Wrong Location

Choosing the right location for your fireplace is essential; when done wrong, it could lead to a multitude of problems. For example, improper vent systems can cause serious damage to your house’s structure. They can also create safety hazards like gas leaks or overheating.

Even the size and design of the fireplace can make all the difference when considering the most suitable location — too much heat in one corner of a room could cause issues such as warping of materials or excessive smoke in an area that receives little ventilation. 

Taking all these factors into account is critical for ensuring your safety. It’s also important for the safety of your home itself. So, take the time to weigh up all your options and choose the right location for your new fireplace.

5. Placing the TV Above the Fireplace

Placing the TV above a fireplace may seem like a great idea; it looks cool, it’s out of the way and more importantly, it doesn’t have to take up floor space. However, this isn’t always the best choice. In fact, it’s one of the biggest design mistakes most people make.

Placing the TV directly near a heat source can cause damage to the electronics, shortening its lifespan. Not to mention, heat interference can mess with the signal connection. 

All in all, it’s important to consider the placement of the TV in terms of viewing angles. For example, when you’re seated comfortably, you should be able to view the TV with optimal picture quality and with no glare from windows or light fixtures.

When you place the TV over the fireplace, it’s often too high for accurate, comfortable viewing. This leads to glares and reduced image quality (not to mention the strain on your neck).

6. Choosing Contrasting Colors

Choosing contrasting colors for your DIY fireplace may seem like a good idea at first, but it can be one of the biggest design mistakes you make when redesigning this important feature in your home. 

Choosing too many dramatic tones that are very different in hue can make the fireplace look garish, detracting from its elegant atmosphere. To avoid this common misstep, try to find a color palette with shades that are close together on the color wheel and complement each other. 

Monochromatic schemes often look sophisticated and timeless while analogous ones (colors that are beside each other on the wheel) provide an easy palette to create an interesting and balanced design

Choosing muted or natural tones is also a great approach to drawing attention to your fireplace’s features without distracting from its intended purpose.

7. Not Grounding the Space

A fireplace mantle without something to ground the space above it can quickly become a void within a living environment. This means that not grounding the space above your fireplace mantle can make a room feel off-balance and empty. 

However, an easy and economical way to bring life back into your living area is by adding something large and decorative, like a mirror. 

Not only does a mirror look aesthetically appealing, but its shapes and lines can create dimensions of depth that give the room more depth than it originally had. Not to mention, you get the added benefit of increased light diffusion from the reflection in the mirror! 

Whether you’re looking for a bold statement or something more subtle, incorporating a large decorative object like a mirror to ground the space above your fireplace mantle is always a great idea.

Should You DIY Fireplace Installation?

The short answer is: it depends. There are a few factors to consider before starting the project, like the type of fireplace and its required materials, as well as your comfort level with construction and installation. 

If you have experience with DIY home projects, it can certainly be a rewarding endeavor. Conversely, a professional installer will generally have more experience with:

  • Different types of fireplaces
  • How to properly flue the fireplace
  • How to properly connect the firebox to the gas/electrical source safely
  • The insurance coverage needed for the installation process

So unless you’re sure of yourself when it comes to DIY projects, taking the time to hire a professional fireplace installer may be your best choice.

Get Professional Fireplace Installation Services

If you’re looking for a cozy and hassle-free way to heat your home, look no further than our professional fireplace installation services. At Dreifuss Fireplaces, we have over 100 years of experience installing quality fireplaces for residential and commercial customers.

Rather than going through the complicated process of DIY fireplaces, which includes sourcing supplies, cutting brick, and hauling materials, get it done with our seasoned professionals. 

Dreifuss Fireplaces can help you find the perfect model that fits both your lifestyle and budget. This leaves you with time to sit back, relax and enjoy the warmth of your new hearth. Contact us now!

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