DENVER, CO – When building a custom home there are many design and décor details that will make it an address for a lifetime, and one of the key components is the custom fireplace. Many people planning to build a custom home see the fireplace in the main gathering room as the focal point of the space, not only including the welcoming allure of the fire, but incorporating a wide-screen television and entertainment center, creating a truly cozy retreat. Also, many custom homeowners desire to create that same atmosphere in other rooms, making a modern basement an inviting gathering space, or adding a touch of romance and elegance to a master bedroom suite.
At Chase Custom Homes in Denver, we take great attention to every detail in a custom home to the Nth degree, and we know from experience that fireplaces, along with kitchens, entries, master bedrooms and baths, are high on the list of special amenities our clients make up for their dream home.
There are many different ways to go with a fireplace, and doing it right will make your new home into the showplace you envision, but also the kind of satisfying retreat that a custom home – built just for you – demands.
The first concern in any fireplace design, of course, is the overall décor and style of the home – rustic, classical, modern. If the kitchen, entry and exterior of the home is to feature stone work, then the fireplace components probably should too. If beautiful woods are to define the home, then the fireplace should reflect this as well.
There are several components in any fireplace – the mantel (generally the shelf above the fireplace), the surround (the side pieces that form to top and side of the fireplace opening), the flooring in front of the hearth, the hearth itself (where the fire is located), the screens and doors that cover the hearth, and incorporated high-tech equipment.
Probably the most important piece, at least in our experience, is the mantel, as it tends to be the most ornate and prominent piece of the fireplace build. These can be custom made of wood, either stained or painted, ordered from catalogs, claimed from historic salvage operators, or custom built by craftsmen on-site. Your architect will most likely specify the size, and you custom builder probably has experience in sourcing just the right piece whether purchase, reclaimed or custom built. Many people – again depending on the décor and style of the property – also elect to go with stone – granite, marble or any number of materials – and again it can be purchased, found from restoration houses, or custom built on-site. Often, we have discovered, homeowners find a mantel piece that is just right for their tastes but slightly off size for the architectural design, and most builders, like us, are quite adept of altering plans to meet a unique opportunity.
The surround is also very important, and often is can be a part of the mantel. Some mantels are simply shelves, while others are like upside-down U’s which include the shelf, the side pieces and the facing between the shelf and the hearth. Once again, these surrounds can be wood or stone, bought from a catalog or restoration specialist, or custom built on-site.
The flooring in front of the hearth, which generally extends a few feet out in front of the hearth and the full width of the mantel and surround, can be made of wood, but is usually made of stone or ceramics. The color choices available are wide ranging, so any décor can be met, and fireplace flooring is most typically created on-site by a to-notch stone and tile vendor.
The hearth itself must, of course, be made of stone or brick or some other thick, non-flammable material, and the key components are the depth of the fire pit and whether is it is to be a wood-burning or gas-log fireplace (the Denver area, for instance, often features wood-burning restrictions, so most homeowners opt for the utility, beauty and ease of a gas fireplace).
The screens and/or doors one chooses to protect the fire area from the living space also afford the homeowner the opportunity to make a décor statement. Wrought iron and brass fixtures are popular, but we’ve also seen stainless steel, pewter and other heat-resistant materials. Once again, these can be ordered from catalogs, or found in restoration, and they can even be custom forged by metal-working vendors for a truly unique addition to the home.
These days, the incorporation of a home entertainment system and flat-screen television is an essential component of many fireplaces. They are generally placed above the mantel shelf, with framing materials that match the mantel and surround. While a quality wood worker or stone vendor is going to be involved in making the entertainment center fit the overall look, it is important to also include the expert services of an electrician and/or home entertainment vendor to insure the electronics are installed properly and fully safeguarded from any heat or other issues involved in the fireplace.
There’s an old saying that “home is where the heart is,” and while true, we at Chase Custom Homes have come to understand that it might better be said that “home is where the hearth is.”
It can be the most comforting place and space in any custom home.
For more information of building a unique custom home – “an address for a lifetime” – contact Chase Custom Homes in Denver at 303-204-9254 and visit the company’s website at http://denvercustomhomebuilder.com/