A Freestanding Stove by Heta with soapstone cladding to release heat slowly into the room

Looking into a new fireplace project and wondering where to start? We can help!

For most people a new fireplace is a significant change to their home and one that we would expect only to be needed once in a decade for each room. A fireplace often sets the focus of the living areas, may provide a primary source of heat and should ideally continue to look attractive and well-presented throughout its lifetime.

A great fireplace can add 5% onto the value of a property and will affect the ambience and style of the room where it is placed. The key things to keep in mind when visiting a showroom are:

Look

Many people arrive with an idea in mind of how they wish their new fireplace to look. Here at Ambience: Fires and Stoves, if people have seen a particular fireplace they like in a magazine or online we are keen for these to be shared with us so we can help you achieve the look in your home.

Other people have a more overall sense of the style they are hoping to achieve with their fire. For example, you may be hoping for a look which is more Modern, Traditional, Elegant, Antique, Simple, Rustic, Polished or Imposing.

At Ambience, we have experience of collating products from various manufacturers, or even advising on adaptations to existing products, to match the look our customers are hoping to achieve.

Budget

Your budget may be a few hundred pounds or a few thousand pounds, either way we believe you can still have a choice and will work with you to identify options which would be possible within your identified price range. We pride ourselves on having a variety of products from dozens of manufacturers that should help keep a project within budget.

We list the cost of the products we display in our showroom, inclusive of VAT. The cost of fitting and (if necessary) lining a chimney vary, depending on a number of factors and these are additional to the product prices listed in our showroom. We offer a free home visit to all customers before drawing up a quote, which gives exact costs for complete projects taking into account chimney work and fitting.

For many people at first, their ‘dream fire’ may appear to be beyond the limits of their budget. One of the things we pride ourselves on at Ambience is helping to tailor products and suggest satisfactory compromises to allow you to retain the key features of your fireplace whilst reducing the overall cost to within budget.

Features

Much like when considering buying a new car, once you begin to look into what features are available, a surprisingly wide range of choice becomes apparent. By visiting our showroom in Oxford we can show you a host of different features and help you choose the ones most appropriate for you.

  • Gas fires come with a range of control options. Some customers find it uncomfortable, awkward or even impossible to reach and operate more traditional manual controls under the front of the fire, close to the floor. If you're worried about this we have alternative options that can make operation much easier, such as remote operated fires or waist height slide controls.
  • Concerned you may be left without heating in the event of a power cut? Most gas fires can still work even if your boiler doesn't. If this is important to you, please let us know.
  • The addition or inclusion of lights as part of your fireplace can be a lovey feature, helping to highlight the feature, even if the fire is not on. This feature is especially useful in well insulated homes that might not need the heat produced by modern gas fires.
  • In the summer, or if you have a well-insulated property kept warm by central heating, you may not want or need additional heat from your fire. In this circumstance an electric fire, which can give a nice visual effect with no heat and minimal cost, may be a good option.
  • In a rental property or if you enjoy being able to rearrange your space regularly you may want to consider an electric suit. These all-in-one, relatively light fireplaces with an integral fire give the focal point of a fireplace, but can be installed, moved or removed without any permanent changes to the property.

Efficiency

Nearly all of our fireplaces are capable of generating heat for your room. If you plan on using a fire for its heat on a regular basis look for more efficient products that give the best value. Whilst the humble open fire can generate a lot of heat, the lack of control means that around 70% of the heat produced is lost up the chimney. To contrast with this we have glass fronted gas fires capable of delivering over 80% of their heat into the room by controlling the combustion behind glass and convecting as much heat as possible off the fire and into your home.

More efficient fires generally cost more to install but the increased efficiency means that will regular use they will recoup this cost more quickly in reducing fuel bills. If used for heat electric fires on average are more expensive per hour of use than gas fires. However, if you only require additional heat infrequently or for short bursts then they can be a great cost effective option.

Whatever your situation if you are looking for a new gas fire, electric fire, or fireplace we believe we will have something for you. Why not call in to see us between 10am and 4pm Tuesday to Saturday to look at our products or tell us about your project.