The homify guide to building your own fireplace

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
Google+
Loading admin actions …

If you've taken one look at the title of this article and decided that it is too complex for you, think again! Creating a fireplace that you will love and enjoy using in your home can be a staggeringly straightforward task, as long as you approach it methodically and logically.

Your self-build fireplace dreams are about to come true as we have compiled a foolproof step-by-step guide, so curl up and get ready to bask in the light of your new fire and your own brilliance!

Sketch what you think will look good

country Living room by Boley
Boley

Schouw

Boley

Never underestimate how important it is to plan and sketch out a new home design project. What looks good in your head might be very different when translated into real life so the sketching stage is vital. Ask friends and family to give you their opinions and keep drawing until you find something you are really happy with.

We think this fireplace, from Boley, is utterly stupendous. Large, dramatic and impactful, it has a real authority but it too will have been mocked up to see how it would look with the rest of the room. While it's great to trust your design instincts, a little visual aid never hurts.

Decide on the fuel type

modern Living room by muenkel design

This is a key consideration as the type of fuel that you plan to sustain your fireplace with can have a direct impact on what type of style and materials you go for. Are you planning to have a real open fire or a gas-powered one? Perhaps electric is your thing? 

Once you know what type of fuel you will be using you can start to think about materials that are safe to employ and how they can be manipulated to work with your style. After all, if you go for a real fire and have to have a clay-lined chimney installed, your budget could simply burn up!

Consider decorative and functional materials

Speaking of materials, you need to have a think about those that will be playing a functional role as well as the ones that are going to simply be decorative. Both will have a significant impact on your self-build fireplace project and, as such, need to be given equal thought.

Lime render is commonly used inside fireplaces as it won't crack when exposed to heat, unlike regular plaster, but how you decorate the outside will be totally up to you. Smooth walls, exposed bricks or pebble murals, as seen here, are all options but only you can make the final choice.

Allow for the right flue

Have you thought about what type of flue or chimney you will need? You have probably already got a chimney in place but it would be foolish to plough on with your new self-build fireplace before checking that it is fit for purpose, clear and ready to use. 

You might need to either have the lining replaced or a brand new chimney built. For some more modern incarnations of fireplaces, a separate flue might also be a consideration but all of this will add to the cost as this would be a job for professionals to come and quote for.

Think about room décor

modern Living room by KAMINBAU | KRAUSE
KAMINBAU | KRAUSE

KAMINBAU KRAUSE KAMIN MODERN

KAMINBAU | KRAUSE

With your fantastic new self-build fireplace selected, you need to be sure that it is going to work with the rest of your interior design scheme. If you are installing a fire into your living room, for example, it is unlikely that you will want any rough finishes or imperfect touches.

Consider all the ways that you might be able to blend your new addition in with your existing scheme and from there, really tailor them to suit your needs. We love this example of a fairly minimalist room that has sought to box out the fireplace and shroud it in clean, white lines. What great camouflage!

How will it impact on the exterior?

You'd be forgiven for assuming that the visual impact of your new self-build fireplace would only be felt internally but don't forget that your chimney will be seen from outside the house. If you have to have a new one built, it would be worth mocking up how the proposed addition will look or if you are simply adding a flue, visualise where the vent would be placed. 

For a great way to make your chimney a stunning feature, why not think about a decorative and functional chimney topper? It won't break the bank but it will integrate your new functionality perfectly!

For more fireplace know-how, take a look at this Ideabook: There's No Smoke Without A Fabulous Modern Fire. Hopefully there will be some hot ideas for you to take inspiration from! 

Are you keen to add a little warmth to your home? What style of fire would you love to install? Let us know, below!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

Need help with your home project? Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!