The Heart...and Hearth...of a Home

Brent Buchan, owner of Energy Products and Design fireplace showroom, thinks that fireplaces have moved up in status from a nice "extra" to an expected amenity in a home. "Like CD players in cars that are now 'standard,' builders tell us that customers notice if a certain size home does not have a fireplace," said Buchan. It is also one of the workhorses of the home and can provide heat to the lower level. "In a home with a traditional single thermostat, a fireplace downstairs can support the basement area with more comfortable warmth," he said.

New products are in demand, including the Escape Fireplace by Heat-N-Glo. "It's the industry's first fireplace with absolutely no metal exposed," explained Buchan. "It's all trimmed in brick and a high-efficiency form of heat." As part of the design statement, you can backlight the bricks with halogen lights to create mood lighting in the summer months. The design time when deciding on a fireplace is quick, usually taking about a week's time. Once the installation is on the builder's schedule, it can be completed in a matter of days.

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If you have questions about building or remodeling, call Rochester Area Builders at 507-282-7698.