In today’s hot real estate market, fireplaces are a must-have for many discerning buyers. A beautiful Tetristone fireplace can increase your home’s value by 150% of whatever the fireplace costs to build, without requiring a full-scale renovation.

fireplace basics

Fireplaces are either masonry built or factory built. Traditional masonry fireplaces are almost always made from brick – the firebox connects seamlessly to the flue as one element. While masonry fireplaces are unmatchable for ambiance, they are relatively inefficient for heating the home. On average, an open operating masonry fireplace has an efficiency of only 15%. Even worse, if there is no fire and the damper is left open, the fireplace can have a “negative efficiency” allowing heat from your home to escape through the chimney. If you have an older masonry fireplace needing a functional facelift, a wood-burning or gas fireplace insert is your answer. Inserts are around 80% heat efficient and can sit inside an existing brick firebox. With natural stone applied directly to the brick, your living space will be transformed. 

A factory built fireplace is a manufactured metal box installed within framed walls and encased in non-combustible materials (such as stone or brick) while the home is being built. Knowing the difference between a factory built direct vent fireplace and a fireplace insert is important. Make sure you choose the right product for your home and lifestyle. Direct vent fireplaces are extremely versatile and cost effective because they don’t require a chimney and can be put anywhere in your home. Vented either directly through the wall to the outdoors or through an existing wood-burning chimney, they draw air from the outside to maintain air quality and provide even heat distribution. Easy to install, their flexible venting allows us to manoeuvre around joists, beams or supports and avoid you costly renovations. Fireplace inserts are also much less expensive than installing a gas fireplace or renovating your fireplace entirely. However, they must be inserted into an existing masonry fireplace or custom-framed wall. Inserts burn gas, wood or pellets and come in many different styles and looks that rival real fireplaces and fit every decor.

thinking beyond the box

The fireplace is just the beginning. Think beyond the firebox with factory-cut stone mantels (custom shaped and sized), designer lighting, stone lintels and stone surrounds. Top it with a rustic wood mantel – perhaps “live edge” Douglas fir, yellow cedar or reclaimed wood. Ground it with a custom hearth from dozens of different stone styles. The choice is yours. 

We also do custom surrounds and interior heat-reflecting walls for wood-burning stoves. But before you buy any stove or fireplace, be sure to check that it meets local air quality regulations.

These days, we find more and more homeowners are also adding luxury additions to their outdoor living spaces such as free-standing fireplaces and fire pits.

Tell us about your dream fireplace.


Fireplace renovation - replaced aging brick with new materials, basalt and fir


Side view of river rock fireplace, fir log mantel and bluestone hearth


Basalt fireplace surround with Douglas fir mantel and polished basalt slab hearth