A Holiday Hearth – Keep the Fire burning in your Luxury Custom Built Home
The first signs of winter have finally shown themselves after such an unseasonably warm Wisconsin fall. While mild temperatures are always welcome with shorter days and the promise of bitter cold to come, brisk nights and early dusk often mark the start to fire season. A roaring fire in the hearth is a Norman Rockwell image of a warm and welcoming home. A fire is powerfully hypnotic; it draws one in, invites gatherings, promises warmth and comfort, and lends a traditional yet personal atmosphere to any holiday gathering.
Too many homeowners love the idea of fireplaces and a roaring fire, yet sadly underutilize the beautiful hearths that were so carefully planned and executed in the building of their luxury dream home. Fireplaces are not meant to just be admired, but to be used. After all, a roaring fire in the hearth brings attention to the artistry and craftsmanship that frames it.
The beginning of fire season should also serve as a reminder for the yearly maintenance that should be performed to ensure the safety of the homeowners as well as the longevity of the chimney. As with all matters related to protecting the investment in a custom built home, regular checks, cleaning and maintenance easily prevents unnecessary and more complicated repairs in the future, as well as potentially dangerous accidents. Chimneys and fireplaces that are either seldom or frequently used have their own concerns (such as critter habitats, creosote build-up or cracks) and should all have yearly checks performed.
Firewood storages is also worthy of consideration leading up to this season. When designing a hearth that is to be regularly enjoyed, the thoughtful planner is rewarded by a designated space both indoors and outside to store firewood, ensuring it is always ready and available to burn. The experienced fire-builder knows that soft wood varietals are less dense, burn faster, and tend to more sap resins, which may cause excess deposits in the flue. Dense hardwoods have a much better heat output and last longer. Additionally, the optimal wood for fires should be well seasoned and thoroughly dry to produce pleasant, trouble-free heat.
Most importantly, use your fireplaces regularly and enjoy the welcoming sight, warmth and sounds of a crackling fire. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start lighting the fires and celebrating your family and home.