Builder Grade vs Consumer Grade

When you start the process of building a home there are a hundred different things to consider. From flooring to paint to counterops and everything in between. Often overlooked is the potential opportunity to upgrade your builder grade fireplace at minimal expense.

Builder Grade Fireplace vs Consumer Grade

The time to upgrade your fireplace is during the construction of your home. Waiting till your interior finishing is done only adds to the cost, mess and time to complete. Fortunately most home builders are willing to work with home buyers at the planning and selection stage to make sure that the home delivered is the home the buyers really want. It is important that if you are going to upgrade your fireplace, you make the decision early as it is likely framing changes will need to be made.

What is the difference between Consumer Grade and Builder Grade ?
The difference between builder and consumer grade varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. In general you can expect a consumer grade fireplace to have the following:

Higher BTU and heat output
Ceramic glass upgrade from tempered glass
Upgraded, more realistic looking logset
Upgraded media and interior firebox liner
Full function remote control.
There are countless varieties of fireplaces within each manufacturers line and countless options for each of those fireplaces. A builder would have to be awfully lucky to pick the perfect fireplace for you and set it as the build specification. Considering that the fireplace is likely going to be a main focal point in your home, it is worth spending the time to pick one you will love.

Fireplaces range from modern linear, to full traditional to many hybrids in between. All burn differently, offer different flame presentations and have a different feel. With the advent of photoshop you definitely can’t pick out a fireplace from what you see on the internet. The most important thing to consider is not how the fireplace burns, but how it burns in your home. To know that you should drop by a hearth dealer see one burn in a showroom and discuss venting configurations for your home.

Take some time to see everything available. To imagine the various styles in your new home. To visit a hearth store and see it burn and finally to pick a fireplace that will be perfect for you. The investment of time is well worth it.