If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, it’s vital to consider which home improvement projects offer the best return on investment. For prospective buyers, every detail counts, including the overall appearance of the home to its features, location, and age.
While some features may seem inconsequential, others can have a significant impact on the home’s resale value. One of them is the fireplace.
Which is better for home resale value—a gas or wood fireplace?
We’ve put together an overview to help homeowners make educated decisions regarding choosing the best fireplace to boost home value. Read on to learn more.
About Return on Investment
Before you install a new fireplace, it’s wise to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI). How much of what you invest in purchasing and installing a fireplace can you expect to get back when you sell your home?
Whether you install a gas or wood model, several factors determine your ROI, including:
- Cost of the unit
- Installation cost
- Fuel costs
- Energy efficiency
If you have a large space and plan to use it often, you may want to consider the fireplace that offers greater functionality and efficiency. On the other hand, if you have a small space and rarely use the fireplace, you may be able to get by with a less expensive model.
It’s possible to recoup up to 75% of the investment you make when you install a fireplace.
The future owners of your home may not be as curious about ROI as you are, but they’ll come to the bargaining table with a perceived value based on what they think a fireplace may be worth.
Buyers May Prefer a Gas Fireplace
In recent years, more homeowners have chosen gas fireplaces over wood-burning models. One reason people prefer gas fireplaces is that they are easy to use and maintain.
Gas fireplaces also emit few pollutants, making them a more eco-friendly choice.
Another reason homeowners like them better is the added features they can enjoy. For example, a gas fireplace offers adjustable heat settings. Many models also offer remote controls.
These features and others can make a home with a gas fireplace more attractive to potential buyers, especially those who value ease and convenience.
Including the cost of installation, a gas fireplace can run is between $2,700 and $15,800. Installing a fireplace in a more expensive home may increase the cost up to $30,000.
The Allure of a Wood Fireplace
Wood fireplaces have a certain charm that some homebuyers find irresistible.
A wood fireplace offers the traditional crackling and popping sounds of a real fire, which can add to the overall ambiance of a home.
These factors can make a home more attractive to potential buyers who value authenticity and character.
If you decide to install a wood fireplace it may cost $10,000. While you may pay less upfront, you’re likely to pay more to operate a wood-burning model.
Both gas and wood fireplace options have features people love. But is there a clear winner when it comes to resale value?
Which Fireplace Costs Less to Operate?
A gas fireplace is usually more economical to operate than a wood fireplace. Natural gas and propane heat efficiently. It’s also easier to control the heat using this fuel.
Wood fireplaces rely on an ample supply of firewood. It’s harder to control the heat, which can result in excess heat or wasted energy.
Another drawback is the amount of ash and debris produced by wood fireplaces. This can make maintenance more difficult and more expensive. Even so, with attention to maintenance, a wood fireplace can provide years of enjoyment and value.
Even if they admire the rustic charm of a wood fireplace, most savvy homebuyers want a fireplace that costs them less to run and maintain.
What the Builders Say
The National Association of Home Builders says that 55 and 48 percent of home buyers rate gas and wood fireplaces, respectively, as a feature they want.
Whether or not homebuilders suggest a fireplace in new homes as a way to increase resale value likely depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Regional climate
- Local building codes
- Construction costs
- Buyer preferences
In regions with cold winters, such as Pennsylvania, a fireplace can be a desirable feature for many buyers. In other areas with milder climates, a fireplace may not be as important to buyers.
Local building codes may also impact the decision to include a fireplace in new homes. For example, some areas may require a specific type of fireplace or prohibit them altogether due to safety concerns.
Whether you’re considering installing a fireplace in an existing home or including it as a feature in your new build, these factors deserve discussion, particularly when it comes to increasing home value.
How Your Realtor Views Fireplaces
Setting a listing price for a home is one of the biggest challenges most homeowners face. There’s usually a difference in the seller’s perceived value and the price suggested by the listing real estate agent.
More than 83 percent of realtors view fireplaces as adding between $1,000 and $4,999 to a home’s value.
Regardless of whether you install a gas or wood fireplace, several factors will affect the added value, including:
- Quality of the installation
- Age of the fireplace
- Condition of your existing heating system
And, of course, the preferences of the buyers looking at homes in your neighborhood play a significant role as well. When you’re ready to list your home, your realtor is your best resource, but today, why not reach out to a trusted fireplace specialist?
Should You Install a Gas or Wood Fireplace?
When considering the best fireplace to increase the resale value of your home, is there a clear winner?
Everything we’ve talked about in this article affects home value. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want to spend today, whether you prefer the features and benefits of a gas or wood fireplace, and what buyers want when you’re ready to sell your home.
Here at Dreifuss Fireplaces, we bring over a century of experience helping homeowners decide which type of fireplace will best meet their needs. Let us help you choose the fireplace that will add the most value to your home.