Fire pits were a popular feature homeowners wanted in their yard in the summer of 2020, but today? Today’s homeowner is reimagining the firepit and is fawning over outdoor fireplaces – and everything else that evokes feelings of luxury and relaxation. They’ve become so popular, HomeLight’s End of Year Report reveals 65% of realtors in the South Central region of the United States report seeing a 69% increase in buyer interest for outdoor fireplaces.
One realtor in Montgomery, Alabama (of all places!) says that many of their clients love to be able to unwind after the workday by their rock outdoor fireplace and it’s a great place to chat and relax with friends and loved ones.
Which is better: wood or gas?
If you’ve been contemplating installing an outdoor fireplace in your home, you could go with a wood-burning set up or a gas-burning set up. Both are great options, but it appears that a gas-burning fireplace is a little more popular. 48% of surveyed agents say their market favors gas-burning fireplaces and it adds the most value – which is great if you’re going to sell a house with one of these in the future.
But, why is gas the better option? Well, for one thing they don’t require as much maintenance as a wood-burning fireplace. Perhaps the more notable reason why gas is more preferable is because homeowners don’t have to worry about violating local wood burning and air quality ordinances.
What is the ROI of installing an outdoor fireplace?
When we’re planning our next big renovation, we usually look at how it’ll improve our lives or the home’s livability. We also take into consideration if it’ll be worth the investment… Meaning how much value will the improvement add to our home.
If a homeowner was to install a gas-burning fireplace in the home, say in a living room or den, there would be a mere 17% value increase, from $3,743 to $4,385 (as of March 2020). That’s not a huge increase in value, but it’s still decent.
Now if you were to install a gas-burning outdoor fireplace, you’d get a 72% value increase, from $3,337 up to $5,753! The most dramatic increase of value is seen in the Pacific region. An outdoor fireplace in this region will increase in value by an incredible 123%, from $4,254 to $9,497!
Note: Keep in mind that the actual return on investment of installing an outdoor fireplace on your property is going to be determined by how much you’re actually spending on the custom work that needs to be done to create the permanent structure, which could easily surpass the $20,000 mark!
Is an outdoor fireplace right for you?
Families who enjoy spending time outdoors can benefit greatly from having a simple fire pit in their yard. However, for families that want to have a fancier outdoor living space, a custom outdoor fireplace is a great option – especially if you opt for a gas-burning set up! Of course, don’t get us wrong, you can definitely go for other alternatives like wood-burning or an electric fireplace, but they don’t really add as much value to your home as gas.
Now, is an outdoor fireplace right for your home? Well, that all depends on how often you’re going to use it and whether there’s even a market for it in your area (if you’re selling soon). While outdoor fireplaces are in demand across much of the country, buyers in your area may not be too interested in this particular trend.
If you want to know more about your market prior to doing any renovations prior to selling, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted realtor in your area and ask for their insight.