By Polly Keary, Editor
It’s fireplace season.
If the look of your fireplace leaves you cold, you might appreciate knowing that you have many options to update it.
According to stonemason Ian Davidson of Davidson Built LLC in Monroe, there’s no reason to stick with an unattractive fireplace when updating it can be so easy and inexpensive.
“A lot of times people have an old brick fireplace that is falling apart, or just looks boring,” said Davidson. “I can usually go right over the top of the structure that’s already there without going through too much expense. Or I can do a total re-do.”
The first thing to do if you are interested in redoing a fireplace is think of what you want the new one to look like. Sketch it out, even if you don’t consider yourself much of an artist.
Think about great fireplaces you have seen, or themes you like; do you like rough stone and a hunting lodge look? Or a sleek, modernist look?
Also consider the materials you would like to incorporate, such as stone from your own property; in Index, Davidson is at work on a huge fireplace incorporating 14,000 pound boulders that Davidson will hand cut and polish. Another of his creations included big tree burls so old they were nearly petrified.
If you have no idea what might look good but you just know you don’t like what you have, let your contractor make some suggestions.
Davidson actually sends people out to look at examples of his work, and then to stone yards to look at different kinds of stone.
Also consider what kind of mantle and hearth you want. Do you want a broad mantle on which you can set large objects? A hearth that extends out from the front of the fireplace?
“There are so many things you can add to make it look more unique,” said Davidson, who also constructs outdoor fire pits, builds rock walls and does just about anything else using stone.
Moneysaving options include having a fireplace constructed right over whatever was there previously. Also, to avoid having to construct a footing to support the weight of a solid stone fireplace, you can use stone veneers in which the faces of stones are cut away with a saw and affixed to a surface.
Gas fireplaces can as be beautiful as those that burn wood, too.
Davidson said that there is a fireplace for just about every budget and taste. And when you get one custom built, you get one that reflects your personality and style.
“There’s no two fireplaces the same,” said Davidson.
So when you hang the stockings this year, hang them on a fireplace you love.