What’s the ultimate joy in owning your own home? Is it having a comfortable place to entertain friends and family members? Perhaps that is part of it, but another part of the joy of owning a home is watching the value of the home rise. There are countless ways to boost the value of your home, from refurbishing the roof to adding an outdoor pavilion in the backyard. One way to increase the value of a home escapes many homeowners.

It’s adding a fireplace.

Fireplaces represent a value-boosting accessory for any home. Even homeowners that live in the scorching hot desert landscape that surrounds Phoenix, Arizona benefit financially from installing a fireplace in the den and/or living room. Of course, fireplaces really start crackling when the temperature dips below zero.

Does a Fireplace Increase the Value of Your Home?

You might be skeptical that such a small space can increase the value of your home. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, homeowners ranked a fireplace as one of the most coveted additions to their homes. The National Center for Real Estate Research released the results of a recent study showing on average that adding a fireplace boosts home values by 12%. Nearly 70% of real estate agents polled by Angieslist stated they notice home values increase whenever a fireplace is installed.

How Fireplaces Increase Home Values

We know adding a fireplace will increase the value of your home, but the question remains how fireplaces boost home values. First, fireplaces exude a luxurious lifestyle, which includes surrounding an elegantly designed fireplace with beautiful materials and accessories. Second, both a gas and natural fire fireplace generate enough warmth to decrease the cost of heating your home. Although modern technology has upgraded home heating systems, nothing beats sitting next to a roaring fire blazing within a fireplace. Finally, installing a fireplace enhances the ambiance of a home by making it much more cozy and welcoming.

5 Fireplace Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home

We have established that adding a fireplace boosts home values. We understand how that happens. Now, the time has come to reveal the five tips that help you install a fireplace that increases the value of your home.

It Starts with a Budget

The key of any successful home improvement project is to enjoy a positive return on your investment. In other words, you want the increase in the value of your home to exceed the money you put into a home improvement project. This is especially true for adding or remodeling a fireplace. Remodeling projects typically cost less, but you have to decide if budgeting less for a home improvement project will generate enough of a boost in the value of your home. Carefully budgeting for a fireplace remodeling or installation project is the first step to realize the maximum return on your investment. Make sure to compare the cost of different materials.

Location, Location, Location

Answer this question: What’s the primary reason you want to add a fireplace? Is it to warm up a room that sees little, if any sunlight? Do you want a roaring fire to greet guests the instant they enter through the front door of your home? Have you made installing a fireplace the most important improvement you want for the primary bedroom? You have to decide why you want to install a fireplace and in return, your answer will dictate where you strategically install the home value-boosting accessory. Technological advances allow you or a contractor to install a fireplace into any wall within every room of your home. If you really want to capitalize on the home value-boosting benefit of adding a fireplace, consider installing a large fireplace in the living room and then adding a second, smaller fireplace in the entertainment room.

Surround it with Elegance

Although adding a fireplace in and of itself is a home value booster, you can accomplish much more by surrounding a fireplace with elegantly designed materials. For example, you can accentuate the sparkling beauty of a brass fireplace by surrounding it with a combination of the following materials: brick, stone, concrete, and wood paneling. Think several rows of bricks directly above the fireplace, with wood trim set along both sides of the fireplace. You can make a room more charming by placing glass and metallic vases on end tables located next to the fireplace. Another item that surrounds a fireplace is flooring material, such as finely buffed teak wood or a tile mosaic consisting of several different colors.

Let There Be Light!

The most visually appealing fireplaces produce a cascade of light colors coming from the logs and reflecting off the materials used to design a fireplace. By adding mood lighting above and to the sides of your new fireplace, you can create any type of ambiance you want. Darker colored mood lighting exudes intimacy, which makes a fireplace ideal for placing in the master bedroom. Brighter mood lighting colors do a great job of generating more energy for the living room.

What about the Mantel?

As an invention from the medieval era, a fireplace mantel ensures the chimney catches all the smoke produced by a roaring fire. It is imperative to select the correct type of mantel to keep the fireplace clean and more important, safe. An improperly designed mantel can turn a potentially home value-boosting fireplace into an accessory that turns your home into a money pit. Fireplace mantels come in a number of materials that including wood, marble and cast iron. Choosing the right fireplace mantel enhances the visual appeal of any room by adding more types of colors.

Nothing beats the ambiance created by a crackling, brightly illuminated fireplace. Just make sure you spend the time required to add a fireplace that increases the value of your home.

This post originally appeared on the NapoleonFireplaces.com Blog.