9:24 PM 05/21/2012
We are considering having some of our fireplaces repaired so that they will work. A couple of questions:
Does anyone have experience with renting out an apartment with a working fireplace? Do you get more rent?
What does annual maintenance entail? Approx cost?
(We are also getting info from insurance co.)
Do you have wood under your hearths? Is the material in front of your fireplace new or old? If original, you problably have a stone hearth with brick under that. Perhaps you have victorian era tile. If replacement tile or brick at the floor level, or if the floor has been raised, you may have wood under your hearth. I have seen charred wood there from prior renovations and lots of fireplace use. I have not attributed this to a house fire, but what do you mean by "repaired so they will work"?
8:37 AM 05/22/2012 | 0 Votes
All other things being equal, I would think you could charge an extra $100 a month -- maybe. And/or simply charge the high end of the going rate in your area. Re maintenance, you should get the chimney swept once a year.
8:41 AM 05/22/2012 | 0 Votes
I would never have a working fireplace in my tenant's apartment in a million years. Just asking for trouble.
8:55 AM 05/22/2012 | 0 Votes
asking for trouble in my mind too, but fireplaces are nifty, if it doesn't freak you out, I'm sure it would be part of making a premium apartment: would go in line with having the apartment oozing historic charm, wood floors, shutters, high ceilings, plaster, etc
11:19 AM 05/22/2012 | 0 Votes
For over 25 years I have had a rental apartment (yes, oozing historic charm) with a working fireplace. I do not permit burning wood. I permit pressed logs only (preferably Duraflame) which keeps the fire small and very well controlled and creates very little residue. The great majority of tenants jave been responsible and also have used it very little but they all like the idea of having it.
I do not think it adds anything to the monthly rent but I do think it makes the apartment more attactive which I would think leads to a shorter vacancy between tenants.
8:58 PM 05/22/2012 | 2 Votes
FYI, The burning of wood in a fireplace does not usually lead to the creosote build up in fire place flues that require chimney cleaning.
The inefficiency of the combustion process in a wood burning fireplace involves unlimited air/oxygen, which leads to more rapid combustion, with a higher heat, and... no creosote. Conversely, a wood stove controls the rate of burn, drastically improving the efficiency of the device.
In a nutshell, a wood fireplace dramatically pumps the air that you have paid oil or gas to heat out the flue, simultaneously sucking cold outside air in through every possibke crack. Aside from the romantic smells and pops, it is a green nightmare.
Over the years I have twice been victimized by fires caused by rental tenants. Fool me once, shame on you etc...
What you do want is a gas fireplace like an Empire. It effectively and efficiently heats the room its in, it looks just like a wood fire, and it comes witha remote. It uses two 2" flexible stainless tubes up and down to a special flue cap. A heck of a lot cheaper and more efficient. Much safer also.
We have installed many of these in NJ, we do not work in NYC.
11:44 PM 05/22/2012 | 0 Votes
Had a charming old brownstone apartment once with a woodburning fireplace, which had been converted from the original gas one. Used it rarely, but enjoyed it when I did. It was useful in really cold snaps to supplement the heat, because as in many brownstones, the radiator heat had a hard time getting the top floor warm. that said, I would not specifically pay more rent for one, not then, and not now, even after knowing how nice a woodburning fireplace can be. I considered it just part of the charm of the old apartment, which all charm taken together, certainly did help it rent quickly at market price. If you are concerned aboout your tenants burning the place down, you should perhaps be more discerning about who you rent to, as there are many ways irresponsible tenants can be, in hindsight, the wrong ones...heck, most house fires are started by candles...you need to rent to responsible people, whether you have a fireplace, or not. If I were renovating an apartment in my house to rent, I would not spend the money to convert a fireplace in the rental...unless the layout was such that if I sold, a new owner might want to use it as a one family, and the fireplace was on the garden or parlor floor, in which case I might if I were thinking about future sales. I would, however, spend money, if necessary, to make the fireplace surround and mantel look good, as that is a definite win in a rental, especially if the original summer cover is gone, or the mantle needs stripping or repair. If I owned a building that was all rental, I might convert the fireplaces if I were renovating to a high standard...like to new condo standards...and if it was in a place where I could get high rents, as the fireplaces could also be of value when selling the rental building.
9:21 AM 05/23/2012 | 0 Votes
I'm with the folks who would never permit tenants to use a WBF. Just too risky and/or too anxiety promoting. OTOH, if my mother-in-law were ever to move into our ground floor rental I would give serious thought to making the fireplace gas burning.
2:45 PM 05/24/2012 | -1 Votes
I bought one of these from ChimneyHeaters.com . I installed and it works fine. Heats my 2000 square foot house. I have the pump connected to a UPS but I am not sure how long the pump will run if the electric goes out. I had it installed all winter and did not have to turn on my Electric heat once which saved me about 200 euro a month here in Romania.
The Electric is not stable here so I had to rush to take out the fire a couple of times because the water pump had stopped and the pressure valves were going off. The UPS will solve that but I don't know how long a UPS will keep my central pump going. I will attach a pic of what chimney heaters are in case you are not familiar with them. The pump is a Grundfos and has three speeds.
10:57 AM 06/02/2012 | -1 Votes