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JLeslie's avatar

Would no fireplace in a house be a deal breaker for you?

Asked by JLeslie (65077points) August 17th, 2022 from iPhone

I’m especially interested if you live in a Southern state.

Does it matter how big the house is? How expensive it is?

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34 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Love my gas fireplace in North Carolina !

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Not at all, unless it was advertised that it had a fireplace.

Zaku's avatar

I like fireplaces, and lacking one would be “a minus”, but no, not necessarily a deal-breaker.

kritiper's avatar

No. A plain regular fireplace, with a flue, would/could generate a draft that would/could suck the warm/cool air out of the house in winter/summer. It would be nice if it was a sealed fireplace, like natural gas, with a cold air intake for combustion (to eliminate any draft.)

gorillapaws's avatar

I generally expect at least one fireplace in a higher-end home. Not having one would be weird, but certainly not a dealbreaker. With central A/C and heating they’re more aesthetic than functional for many homes. I’m in VA so that’s the South.

LostInParadise's avatar

I never use the one that I have. Definitely not a deal breaker.

RayaHope's avatar

We have a fireplace, it has a door on the front and we never really use it. Don’t even know if it is for wood or gas but my mom has a couple of lights in it that look like flames burning.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It’s not, and in certain situations I’d rather not have it. These days they’re aesthetic or for emergency use. When I was a teenager during the blizzard of 93 we were without power for a week or so. Our fireplace became the primary source of heat and also a cooking hearth. It was very nice to have. A year later the family down the street were opening their gifts in front of the fireplace on Christmas morning when suddenly the house caught on fire and burned to the ground. The cause was the fireplace. A little investigating revealed that it was the same pre-fab model we had so it was never used again.
The lesson here is that a pre-fab fireplace is really a liability. I’d consider one converted to use with gas logs but never with a real fire. A purpose built gas “fireplace” is not really a fireplace, it’s another gas appliance that looks like a fireplace. Those a re fine. A pre-fab fireplace is about all they install in houses built here since the late 70’s, They have a bout a 15–20 year life-span and then it’s a roll of the dice after that. I won’t have one, they’re ticking time bombs IMO. In the south to get a real, brick fireplace that’s safe you’ll likely need a house that’s 50 years old or older. My house has a real one and we have used it like twice but I still consider it emergency only an it has pictures and stuff in it now anyway. If you have a real one and you want to heat your house with it I’d get a stove insert and regularly check or have it inspected.

canidmajor's avatar

When I bought my current home, I had a wood stove installed. It would have been a bit more expensive but not a dealbreaker to install an in-wall unit with an outside flu.
My wood stove has glass doors, so I can see the fire.
In a warmer clime, I would likely install a gas fireplace.

chyna's avatar

It’s not a deal breaker for me, but I do have a fireplace.
It was a wood burning fireplace, but after 20 years of hauling wood in, the mess, the smell, I converted it to a gas burning fireplace last year. I totally love it. So easy to press a button and have a fire.
A couple of reasons I like a fireplace is that we have a lot of power outages all year long and it’s like a safety net to have back up heat. Also, by running my fireplace I cut down on my electric bill. Gas never ran more than 40.00 a month and it’s 13.00 in the summer.
A generator would be really nice as back up, but those are very expensive to install.
I guess it would depend on what part of the country you will be living in to determine if it’s a dealbreaker for you.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks to everyone so far. I don’t want a fireplace, but I was wondering when I need to sell the house if it will cut my buyer pool.

These houses with small family rooms if the TV goes above the fireplace it’s way too high and two feet into the room. I don’t understand how anyone finds that comfortable. My last house with a fireplace the TV went to the side of the fireplace and I didn’t like how it looked, and it limited the size of the TV.

In Florida I don’t have to worry about these things, no one expects a fireplace. When I lived in NC and TN people seemed to expect fireplaces. Not only for heat and asthetics, but people bring up Christmas also. Growing up in MD we didn’t have a fireplace, we lived in a small townhouse, no gas in the house.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Not sure if I’m southern enough but no. Most people here who have them use them rarely if ever. After growing up with a wood burner, I’d pass on the mess and fire risks.

ragingloli's avatar

I would never use it, so no.

zenvelo's avatar

Not a deal breaker here in Northern California, because we can’t burn wood when one would most want a fire.

I have been in an apartment with a fireplace for 15 years, we have never had a fire.

cookieman's avatar

No. I’ve never lived in a house with one.

jca2's avatar

I have a fireplace and have not used it in the over 20 years that i have lived here. I am scared of fires, having lived in a building that burned and left over 165 people homeless. I like a fireplace for aesthetic reasons, but I wouldn’t insist on having one if everything else about a house was to my liking.

Forever_Free's avatar

No regarding Fireplace. Wood Stove is completely different and depends on where the house is.
Size doesn’t matter!
No Wood Stove in a house in Northern New England might however be a deal breaker.

I have a wood stove in my house in the Berkshires along with a gas fireplace. The woodstove is in constant use from mid November through mid March. The Fireplace is warm and nice to look at, but only used maybe one a week.

My place on the Beach has a gas fireplace and never used in the summer, but weekly again on weekends I am there.

jca2's avatar

I should add that a gas fired fireplace, I might use and it would be an attractive benefit. We stayed at a resort once that had a fireplace with a wall switch, and when you flipped the switch, the fire went on and I believe it was gas.

The fire with wood, not an attractive benefit. I love going places where they have a fireplace, and when it’s someone else’s house and they’re tending to it, that’s great. My house, I’m paranoid.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 I was raised by a mother who was paranoid about fire, her father was too, and I inherited it as well. It’s the only thing I’m a little OCD about regarding checking before I leave the house. Stove off, curling iron unplugged, and I almost never use candles.

When I stayed at Mohonk Mountain House, not very far from you, there was a fireplace in the room, and I wondered in the winter if guests actually made their own fires. It kind of freaked me out. Random guests being responsible for a fire in the rooms. If a fire spread it would be tragic for multiple reasons. Not just people being in danger, but the historic value of the place.

When we used to stay in a cottage on Cape Cod my dad used to put on a fire in the fireplace at least one evening while we were there. I just cared about toasting the marshmallows.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie My mom and my grandmother always taught me not to play with fire, and that taught me a respect for it, bordering on paranoid, and then when I lived in the building that burned, that did it.

Mohonk Mountain House would go up like a tinder box if there were ever a fire there, since it was built in the late 1800s, and is all wood. I wonder if they have a fireplace policy for guests, like the staff will assist you in making a fire in the fireplace, and the staff has to put it out or something similar.

There was a story in the news here, around 12 years ago, about a woman in Stamford CT who had 3 little girls. I believe it was Christmas eve, and the woman’s father was staying over, and her boyfriend lived there, I think if I remember correctly. The boyfriend was a contractor and the house was very large, maybe the boyfriend was doing construction on it. Anyway, they had a fire in the fireplace, and then when they went to bed, the boyfriend put the bucket of ashes out, outside the front door. The fire was apparently not out and the whole house burned down. The woman and the boyfriend survived, the 3 little girls and the father of the woman did not survive. Imagine the anguish the woman has to live with for the rest of her life? Unimaginable pain. I’m going to try to find a link for it. The conclusion was that the bucket of ashes should have been doused with water, not just left smoldering outside the front door.

RayaHope's avatar

@jca2 Oh that was so horrible and sad :( I just can’t imagine

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 Tinderbox is right! I keep thinking about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris now that we are taking about this.

That tragic story you told is familiar to me. I don’t know if I was aware of that specific story or one that was similar. I would be suicidal if I was the mother.

My mom always required water and for the fire to be out a very long time before assuming it was truly out. Even a match didn’t go in the trash without being put under water and sitting on aluminum foil for a while.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: I will also put a match under the faucet or into water after it’s lit.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie I wonder if the Mohonk Mountain House doesn’t allow the fireplaces to be used in the rooms because they don’t allow smoking in the rooms or anywhere in the resort, as per the rules

Nothing mentioned about fireplaces.

jca2's avatar

Here’s the article about the people that died in the fire in CT:

jca2's avatar

I know they have a fireplace in some rooms but I wonder if they have a policy relating to it. I am tempted to call but don’t have time to now.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 From the photograph it looked like the fireplaces can be used, and it states “wood-burning fireplaces” but your point about smoking makes sense too. Let me know what they say.

KRD's avatar

No but I can install one if I want to.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: I called Mohonk and asked if guests are allowed to make the fires in their rooms and put the fires out, and the lady said yes, you just request the wood and they’ll provide it. Amazing, really, that they are trusting that guests will know what they’re doing. I am imagining that if you don’t know how, they’ll assist.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 Wow. I wonder how many people use the fireplace in their room.

SnipSnip's avatar

Anywhere other than the Florida peninsula needs secondary heat and a fireplace is my first choice.

RocketGuy's avatar

No, we took ours out during renovation. Put a big window there instead.

nightwolf5's avatar

I don’t have one now, and not used to using one. So no. However I would expect some source of heat, even if not by a fireplace. I have baseboard heaters.

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