With the heartening sight of flickering flames, the comforting sound of crackling logs, and the simple warmth a fireplace generates, it’s no wonder many aspire to own a home with a fireplace.

“A fireplace and a beautiful mantel shelf crowning a hearth are often among the most attractive features of any home,” observes Mark Wolle, broker-owner with Royal LePage Wolle Realty in Kitchener, Ontario. He recommends these five guidelines when choosing a fireplace or a home with that special glow:

1. Fireplaces and stoves can be affordable additions to a home. If an otherwise perfect home doesn’t include one, consider adding a fireplace that fits your budget. Visit specialty shops to explore the options.

2. Know your area’s building codes. Some areas prohibit wood burning stoves or fireplaces, so you’ll be wise to investigate the codes for your area and buy accordingly. Building permits are required in many areas before installing wood stoves and fireplaces and there are other considerations to remember, such as installing a fire-proof chimney liner.

3. Establish your personal style. Do you favour an arts and crafts style or a clean contemporary look? Do you prefer modern or traditional? Establishing your personal style will help you to narrow your search.

4. Wood or gas? Gas is often more convenient, but some homeowners still prefer the allure of a wood-burning fire. There appears to be no difference between gas or wood in a home’s resale value.

5. Make do with what you have. If you have an older fireplace and lack the budget for refurbishing it, consider putting the project on the back burner and fill your hearth temporarily with the warm glow of an assortment of pillar candles, a sculpture, or a floral arrangement.

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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