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What are the Pros and Cons of a Large Hearth?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A large hearth can be a visually striking addition to any home, but there are pros and cons to an addition such as this. First, a large hearth certainly has practical purposes for adding heat to a home, whether the fireplace is wood burning or a more modern electric or gas fireplace. On the downside, a larger fireplace with a wide open hearth can be a less efficient type of heat, because a large amount of heat can escape back into the fireplace and up the chimney, or even right back outside if the fireplace is not well insulated on the outside of the home.

For many people, a large hearth is the focal point of the room. It provides a visually interesting backdrop to a room, and can be a great place for family and friends to gather. It can be a good place to display decor, and provide additional heat for a home. Most people do not use a fireplace such as this for the soul source of heat in a home, but it can be done. Generally, a large hearth will be made of some type of brick or stone, which is also very aesthetically appealing in many different types of homes and decor.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

These are many of the pros to a large hearth, but there are certainly others. The cons are varied; first, a large hearth can be quite expensive to build into a home, particularly so if it is not added when the home is first built. It can be challenging to clean, because soot will build up on the walls of the hearth, which can be aesthetically unappealing as well as dangerous. In addition, making repairs can also be difficult and expensive if one of the bricks or stones in the hearth is damaged.

Fire safety is also an important concern with a large hearth. This is true for any home, because many larger hearths do not feature glass doors or a barrier between the flame and the room, leaving the potential for a spark to start a fire. In addition, homes that have children or pets will typically want to put up a type of gate or wrought iron barrier between the hearth and the rest of the room to prevent potentially deadly accidents. A large fireplace can be a great addition to a home, but it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons and discuss it with a home builder before making any changes.

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