When living in the colder climates of the world, a fireplace is one of the most beneficial assets your home can have, providing heat as well as the visual and emotional appeal of a warm hearth. However, due to their substantial nature, they are often overlooked when considering possible overhauls or architectural updates and upgrades to a home. There are several possible ways to improve your home fireplace without breaking the bank - or the wall. One of the easiest and most economical ways to improve your fireplace is to buy or replace your existing fireplace screen, provided you have an open wood burning fireplace. A new fireplace screen is also a safety upgrade, as they prevent sparks from floating into the room. You can also modernize the look of the hearth, with a new coat of paint on a wall. They are available in a large variety of styles to suit your home and the size of the hearth. Similarly, you can install or replace fireplace doors, allowing you to effectively seal off the fireplace for the night while also providing a new aesthetic to the room. The doors; typically made from specially treated glass; are being installed in more and more homes as they increase the efficiency of your fireplace, as well as being an almost necessary safety upgrade. Another rewarding way to improve your fireplace is to replace or modify your fireplace mantel. If you have a wood fireplace mantel, painting, sanding and/or staining the wood can refresh the look of your fireplace for relatively little cost to yourself, especially if you’re willing and able to do it yourself. You can also replace your existing mantel with a mantel shelf or a more elaborate marble or stone mantel. While these are the messiest and most time-consuming options, they will also provide the most dramatic aesthetic change. The most expensive and complicated upgrade option is the installation of a fireplace insert or gas fireplace. If you have an antique masonry fireplace, this might be your best option, but may be the most expensive. Both a fireplace insert and a gas fireplace preserve your fireplace’s antique visual appeal, while also bringing its appearance into the modern era. They are also far safer and vastly more efficient than older fireplaces, saving you money and giving you peace of mind in the long run. Due to their complicated installation, they will need to be installed by professionals, but overall they’re worth the extra cost.