San Francisco Stone Fireplaces

by Jon Nunan

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    While home to one of the most desirable climates in the country, there's still something to be said for having a stone fireplace in San Francisco. Though originally used simply for heat, fireplaces are now used more to make chilly evenings more relaxing rather than heat an entire house. In San Francisco, stone fireplaces are excellent fixtures during cold, rainy weather; they also bring a certain something to social gatherings that no other home fixture can match.

    San Francisco Stone Fireplaces vs. Brick Fireplaces
    If you are considering installing a fireplace, you?ll have several options to choose from. One of the most popular choices in the country for fireplaces is brick. Though in terms of performance you?ll find little difference between brick and stone fireplaces, San Francisco homeowners will find that the latter offers far more variety. Brick fireplaces can certainly vary in size or even color, but no matter what kind of brick you choose, there?s a good likelihood that the end product will bear a striking resemblance to just about any other brick fireplace.

    With a stone fireplace, San Francisco homeowners will have the choice between the variety of stone they want (limestone, marble, and granite will each give you a different look), as well as how the fireplace is to be formed. Mortared stone fireplaces offer a great look for a rustic interior; cut stone fireplaces can appear at home in even the most luxurious settings. Along with these options, you will have a choice in how the fireplace is put together. In a place as diverse and unique as San Francisco, stone fireplaces offer enough options that most homeowners are sure to find one they will enjoy.

    Installing a Stone Fireplace in San Francisco
    Though you can probably put a fireplace in any room you want, their weight (and the fact that they hold fire) makes certain situations a bit more difficult. Generally, living areas on the ground floor that are close to an exterior wall make excellent places to install a stone fireplace. San Francisco homeowners should also be aware that some fireplaces will require a fair amount of onsite work (mortared stone fireplaces tend to be constructed in the home) while others will be made mostly offsite (formed cement and cut stone may be delivered to your home in just a few large pieces).

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    San Francisco Stone Fireplaces: Gas vs. Wood
    Though traditional fireplaces use wood, there are many homeowners who would rather start a fire by flipping a switch. Gas fireplaces require no wood, and therefore require no ash clean-up. Gas fireplaces are also preferable in terms of creosote build-up. When wood burns, the smoke leaves behind a black sticky substance called creosote; if not cleaned regularly, creosote can build up and ignite, creating a chimney fire. Gas fireplaces are certainly much cleaner and easier to take care of than wood burning fireplaces, but (though they?ve come a long way) they still cannot perfectly imitate burning logs.

    Prices of Stone Fireplaces
    According to our figures here at HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of installing a stone fireplace is about $3,100. However, with uncanny consistency, home improvement projects in the Bay Area run a little higher. You can also expect a bigger bill if your fireplace installation requires adding additional structural support.

    Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.
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