Did you know that 46 percent of home buyers would pay more for a home with a fireplace? When potential homebuyers can imagine themselves relaxing by a crackling fire at the end of the day, snuggled under a cozy blanket with a warm drink in hand, they may be more likely to fall in love with your property.
But there’s one caveat that anyone engaging in a fix and flip should know: Fireplaces only appeal to home buyers when they’re updated and attractive. Fortunately, tiling a fireplace is a do-able DIY task for many handy investors that won’t break the bank.
Read on to discover how to make your fireplace look… hot!
The Value of An Updated Fireplace
For many house hunters, a fireplace is a real draw. Surveys indicate that a fireplace consistently ranks amongst the top three amenities home buyers seek, especially in cooler climates.
Real estate agents agree. According to Angie’s List, about 70 percent of agents say that a fireplace adds value to a home. Research backs this up, showing that working fireplaces add an average of 12 percent to the selling price.
But not just any fireplace will do. If a fireplace is falling apart, outdated, or just plain ugly, it may actually serve as a turn off for homebuyers. And installing an entirely new fireplace can be costly, with prices ranging into the thousands. That may be too much for some fix and flips.
Luckily, there’s a solution: take the DIY approach to tiling the fireplace. This relatively low-cost project can be completed over the course of a few days and offers a way to put a fresh face on an old fireplace. If you are handy enough to do so successfully, a fresh layer of tile can make a fireplace look immediately more up-to-date and appealing and save you on contractor costs.
Fireplace Tiling Tips
As with any home renovation, tiling a fireplace starts with a plan. That means accurately measuring your space, purchasing the right supplies, and planning tile layout in advance.
Tile shape and size is an important consideration. Remember: Just because tile looks great in the store doesn’t mean it’ll translate to your fireplace.
For instance, if you choose tiles that are too large for the space, you may end up with very small pieces, which will just look off. If you choose tiles that are too small, you may end up needing multiple tiny, precise cuts, which will greatly increase your work time. Take your time to find tiles that are the right shape for your particular space.
Plan out your design ahead of time to avoid problems. Save time and effort by creating a cardboard mock-up of your fireplace surround, laying it on the floor, and placing tile by hand first. You will want to take your time to avoid a DIY disaster, which could end up costing you more to fix than it would to have had the tiling done professionally.
For a professional look, start laying horizontal tiles at a center point and work outward from there. For vertical tiles, start placing tiles on the bottom row and work upward.
Even spacing is key to great results, so take the time to insert those spacers.
Fireplace Tile Trends
An on-trend tiled fireplace will appeal to house hunters and add value to your investment. Modern fireplace trends to consider include:
- A long, linear orientation
- Flush, clean tile surfaces
- Natural-looking, stacked stone tiles
- Light-colored tile that contrasts with a black fireplace insert
Check out this gorgeous tiling completed recently by Austin, Texas investor Lauren Novak. Lauren and her team at Capital City Flips like to ensure their flips stand out for all the right reasons and have had a lot of success by giving attention to design details many investors would overlook.
“We have found that putting some creativity into the design and not just doing everything white and gray really can help move your houses quickly off the market because someone will fall in love with the unique design that they’ve seen on Pinterest or on Instagram, and they want that in their home. And when you make that a reality, it makes it a lot easier to sell it.” – Lauren Novak
With just a few days, some elbow grease, and a few hundred dollars, you can transform a tired fireplace into a lovely work of art that will appeal to home buyers.
When you’re ready to find your next investment opportunity, New Western can help. We connect investors across the country with value-rich properties that fit their investment strategy and goals.