Since no one likes spending more money than necessary, it’s a good idea to buy your fireplace when it’s on sale if possible.
The best time to buy a fireplace is in the summer as the retail demand is lower and supply is higher. This will drive down the prices. However, some retailers keep the price of fireplaces consistent, so it may be difficult to find some on sale. You can also wait for clearance.
While summer is the best time to buy a fireplace, the answer isn’t as cut and dry as you may think. Any store in your neighborhood or online can have sales on fireplaces throughout the year.
Sometimes they’re getting rid of older stock, which can provide savings. Sometimes they’re having “theme” advertising where a fireplace plays into the entire setup. Or, then you might face seasonal holiday offerings.
Let’s take a closer look at when fireplaces are on sale and when we can snag those deals.
Buy Your Fireplace in the Summer
Having said all that, the overall best time to buy a fireplace is in the summer. Beyond the advantage of being able to prepare for your build in good weather, you’re not facing the winter rush on fireplaces which can limit your options. Plus, if the project faces delays, you still have plenty of time to have it running smoothly before cooler weather prevails.
Installers will also have greater availability during summer. Not everyone is forward-thinking, and you can take advantage of that. By winter, finding a decent installation expert is very difficult. Service fees are also higher along with the waiting list.
Supply and Demand
It’s natural for fireplace demand to increase as winter gets closer. There’s no real need for a retailer to lower their prices. By purchasing in the off-season you may be able to snag a package deal with both the fireplace and installer bundled together.
A lot of the best stores offer add-on services to make your experience run more smoothly.
Where Can You Buy Cheap Fireplaces?
When you start hunting for a fireplace, do “window shopping” on the web. You’ll be able to review both new and used products and get a feel for what you truly want.
Common Fireplace Retailers
Some of the most frequented places for inexpensive fireplaces where you can compare features include:
- Best Buy
- Big Lots
- Home Depot
- Sams Club
You know how you want to have a close-up, personal view of a car before buying? Used fireplaces are a lot like that. You want to check out the condition and ask the seller important questions like:
- Why are you selling it?
- How often was it used?
- Has it ever been repaired (and if so, do they have receipts)?
- What type of fuel did they use?
- Did the fireplace receive annual maintenance?
- Is there any warranty (transferable) on the product?
Beyond the basics, it’s also important to check out your local ordinances about fireplaces. A bargain product doesn’t help you much if you cannot install it, or would need to have considerable alterations done to bring it up to specifications.
Generally speaking, if you see obvious signs of heavy wear and tear, just say no. You could well end up spending MORE on a used fireplace than you would a new one in repairs alone.
Types of Fireplaces
If finding the best place to shop for a reasonably priced fireplace wasn’t frustrating enough, you have to figure out what type of fireplace suits your home and lifestyle.
- Electric: This isn’t a coal or wood-burning product. Electric fireplaces are convenient, plug in your wall, give off no fumes, and are pretty easy to maintain. They’re also generally less expensive than gas or wood.
- Gas: A gas fire mimics a wood fire with less smoke. You control the amount of heat desired and adjust it with a simple switch. Gas products can provide zone heat. The second you’re done, you just turn it off. There are no residual coals to tend. Keep in mind that there are both vented and ventless gas fireplaces.
- Wood: There really is no comparison to wooden fireplaces. The ambiance, warmth, sound, and smell delight your senses. Not to mention the fire’s relaxing effects. You can buy the amount of wood you’ll use (sometimes in bulk) and keep it stored until ready. During that time, the wood continues drying seasoning (a good rule is to season one year in advance). Should the electricity go out in your home, you light the fire with kindling, and perhaps you can even cook on it in an emergency.
Are Fireplaces Worth the Money?
A fireplace is worth the money for most homeowners. By having a central hearth, the home has a point of gathering, warmth, and comfort. It’s also beneficial for the home’s value and a good selling point for buyers.
There’s also the question of energy use. Gas-insert and electric fireplaces are energy efficient if they’re used mindfully. However, most homeowners end up using more energy with a fireplace instead of less. Your best bet for lowering heating bills is buying an electric fireplace.
Ecologically speaking, wood-burning fireplaces are not environmentally friendly The efficiency rating on a traditional wood-burning product is only 20%. The rest of the heat goes out of the chimney. The smoke they produce can cause air quality problems to the degree that some cities are starting to ban wood-burning fireplaces. To avoid pollution, opt for an EPA-certified stove, or a gas-fueled insert.
Return on Your Investment
When shopping for large price-tag items for your home, it’s easy to get caught up in the pretty, shiny, new mindset where you get all excited and practicality wanes. Before opening your wallet, consider how much use you’ll actually get out of it. You may want to have every weekend together by the fire, but then all manner of responsibilities get in the way.
Balance the total cost of purchase, installation, and maintenance of a fireplace against how many times a year it’s in use. It can’t hurt to talk to friends with similar products and see how they measure investment vs reward.
Things You May not Immediately Consider
What about children and pets? Each may have some fear of fire or play all-too-near it for comfort. Now you’re not only being a responsible fire-keeper but also watching for unwitting accidents.
For wood-burning fireplaces, remember to keep the damper open when in use to prevent the smoke from entering the house.
Summer is the season when you’re most likely to find fireplaces on sale at the best prices. Sometimes you’ll snag a deal outside the season, but it probably won’t be as easy on your budget as summer offerings.