Fireplace surround: which is more expensive to build?
I'll keep this as short as possible. I know there are probably a lot of factors that can come in to play when determining costs but I'd like to get a general answer.
What would be cheaper to build? A fireplace surround that consists of a basic wood with pedestals and a mantel shelf or a surround made out of stone veneers and a floating mantel shelf?
The story is that we are having a house built and after discovering that a bulkhead would be above about one third of our fireplace and that the planned upper wood mantel would look odd if it were to be built with one "column" higher than the other. So we decided that the only real choice we had was to lose the upper mantel altogether. We asked for a price adjustment from the builder since we'd be losing all the wood above the mantel piece and the labor it would take to install it and they came back and said that they would change it to a stone fireplace from floor to ceiling if we wanted to go that route. The pessimist in me thinks that maybe it's cheaper to go all stone and that the builder just wants us to think that he's doing us right (since it was their oversight with the bulkhead) by upgrading us to it instead of crediting us for not using the wood.