You have several rental properties with wood burning fireplaces. You have some concerns though because of tenants having a live wood fire. The thought of an unattended fireplace and your apartment building going up in smoke worries you. Is there a better way?
You do always have the choice of just covering the fireplace over or blocking it. But it is a useful renting point when looking for new tenants. So, another option would be to have installed a gas fireplace insert. You would still have the appearance without the danger of someone accidentally burning down your building.
Also, there are other advantages to gas fireplaces. A fireplace which takes wood can take some work to get the fire going correctly which can be a danger with an unskilled tenant doing this. With a gas fireplace insert though, a flick of the switch and the fire is lit.
Also, with a wood burning fireplace, you have burned-out logs and ashes which need to be cleaned out; and if thrown away without being cooling, this is a fire danger. This wood burning creates soot which leaves creosote in the chimney too which needs to be removed by a chimney cleaner. If you don’t have it removed, it can cause a chimney fire. With a gas insert, there aren’t all of these problems. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a professional check it out once a year or so.
Cost of an insert
The cost of an insert cost about $3000 to $4000, depending on the size, which includes the installation of the insert and the liner for the chimney. It will heat an area of between 1,000 to 3,000 square feet which depends on the size of the insert. You will need to talk to a gas fireplace insert dealer to decide what size you need and the heating capacity of the insert you want for the apartment.
Wood burning fireplaces have the snap, crackle and pop of a fire. However, gas fireplace inserts are more convenient and safer.
There are different types of finishes which can be used on the outside of commercial buildings, multi-family dwellings and apartments. These finishes can be used for decorative purposes or weatherproofing or a combination of both. Below are some different types of exterior finishes:
- Stucco: This is a weatherproof and decorative finish which can be put directly onto bricks, blocks or metal laths. It comes in three different types of finishes. The first one is smooth stucco which has a slight texture on a smooth finish. Patterned stucco has patterns tooled onto a smooth stucco finish. The third is Pebbledash; this look can be achieved by putting on a coat of smooth stucco which is damp and throwing pebbles at it.
- Pebbles finish: This finish is applied by using cement mortar to paste small pebbles to the walls. This type of finish can be applied on an exterior facade. It can also be used in exterior landscaping for waterfalls for a beautiful look.
- Flakes finish: This material is used on exterior facades. It’s additionally used to add to the elevation treatment of a dwelling or commercial building. The flakes are put on walls with a trowel over a coat of adhesive. It is not used indoors because of even a small amount of flakes falling off inside over time is unsightly.
- Siding: Siding is used on the outside of a building over a wood cavity wall. It can be used as a decorative side effect but also as weather proofing. There are options such as wooden boards, but siding comes in vinyl, alumni and fiber cement board too. These options need less upkeep than wood siding does. Plus, some of the options can be painted for a more personalized look.
- Tile cladding: tile comes in granite, glazed, marble or vitrified tiles. It comes in different shapes and colors. Where it is used depends on what types of tiles can be applied to the building.
There are lots of choices for exterior finishes to make a commercial building better looking and more rent-able.