With the biting winter chill still in the air nothing beats putting your feet up in front of a cosy fire at night.
The traditional open fire still has the most appeal for many in their Donegal homes.
The simplicity of the age old hearth means it is still popular in both new, older and refurbished houses and can come in a range of styles to fit the decor.
A range of materials is suitable for mantels and surrounds but only relatively few materials are suitable for hearths. Marble surrounds, mantels and hearths are usually displayed to demonstrate their style and colour compatibility and there are usually many alternative colours and finishes. Your retailer will be able to provide further information.
Installing a wood or multi fuel stove can save you a considerable amount of money. They are fast becoming a cost-efficient supplementary means of heating houses.
Calculate the economic logic of switching to wood heat, by estimating how much you can comfortably reduce oil consumption by putting a stove in your living room. If the saving over two or three years adds up to more than the cost of buying and installing a wood stove then it could be a good idea to install one.
If you are hoping to get the best of both worlds then one clever alternative is to fit a fireplace cover which allows you to keep the fire place hearth but enjoy the benefits of a stove, such reducing blow down and heat loss