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Outdoor Fireplaces Get Their Glow Up As A Key Outdoor Lounge Feature

During the last two years, backyards have been given luxury upgrades in Wisconsin and across the country, as more and more people are spending time at home. Even as the pandemic is now more in the back of our minds, an upgraded backyard is an amenity that buyers are overwhelmingly saying that they want. 

These backyards that we are talking about are becoming extensions of homes with the same comforts of living rooms and kitchens, lounge seating areas, and one of the most popular features — an outdoor fireplace. Fire pits have been making a comeback for a while, but the outdoor fireplace takes this open-air glow to the next level, for even more luxury. In fact, in the Midwest, 65 percent of agents said that they’ve seen buyers’ interest in outdoor fireplaces increase in their markets since 2020, according to a recent survey fromreal estate expertscompiled by HomeLight. 

Will any fireplace add value? 

As with any home upgrade, you can go for a range of prices and styles when it comes to an outdoor fireplace. In the HomeLight survey, gas and wood-burning were the most popular options when it comes to outdoor fireplaces, and agents were split on which one might add the most value to a home. Some considerations are that gas fireplaces are lower maintenance, while those that run on wood may go against local wood-burning and air quality ordinances. That’s something to keep in consideration as it’s possible that a wood-burning fireplace would need to be replaced for a gas one in the future if rules change. 

How much value will a fireplace add to a home?

It’s probably no surprise to hear that the value of an outdoor fireplace has surged during Covid-19. Nationally, pre-Covid-19, this extra luxury was said to add more than $3,300, while post-Covid, agents are talking about a number as high as more than $5,700. In the Midwest —  where an outdoor fireplace could make your backyard more enjoyable even in winter — pre-Covid numbers valued outdoor fireplaces at nearly $3,000; post-Covid they were up to more than $5,000. 

What’s the ROI of an outdoor fireplace?

Sellers couldget more for a home with an outdoor fireplace, but every situation is different. Estimates show that custom work for permanent outdoor fireplace structures can easily exceed $20,000 — and of course, you can go high-end or not, depending on your budget. However, homeowners will need to weigh their own enjoyment of the feature and overall home marketability against these costs. 

If you are thinking about adding an outdoor fireplace to your current home, there are some compelling reasons why this could be a good investment. Meanwhile, if you have your heart set on having one in your next home, there’s a good chance that more homes will have this upgrade in the post-Covid world. It’s the kind of investment that can be enjoyed for years to come, no matter the season.