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Fireplace surround: which is more expensive to build?

Posted by terkruse (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 1:16


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.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fireplace surround: which is more expensive to build?

The cost of wood vs. stone veneer does have many factors to consider. The cost of materials is much greater for stonework vs wood but depending on the detail work in the millwork, wood could be much higher than stone veneer. but then again what type of wood? And what type of stone?

I don't think your going to get any worthy answer here. not enough information and too many factors that determine cost. get a quote from another contractor when your GC isn't looking. An option would to take in both drawings to a contractor and get a price on both if will give you peace of mind, but knowing you are wasting someone elses time might give you another thing to fret over.

RE: Fireplace surround: which is more expensive to build?

Thanks for your response. The wood wasn't going to be too detailed or extravagant. I'll be satisfied with thinking that the stone is a little more costly to do over the wood and leave it at that. =0)

RE: Fireplace surround: which is more expensive to build?

“Best” is a concept that includes price consideration as well of course, but this is more about what’s it going to look like. Since you have to live with it for years to come, looking at it daily, one should measure best by how he’ll feel about the fireplace for the next 20 years, long after the money is forgotten.

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