If you are planning to remodel a room with an existing fireplace and you want to enjoy the look, smell and sound of a real fire, you should be thinking about a wood-burning fireplace remodel. Whether the remodeled fireplace will be mainly for show, as a decorative focal point in the room, used when you want special ambience, or to heat your home, there are some things to consider before starting.
The first step in remodeling your fireplace will be to check or to have someone check every part of the fire box, the chimney and the flue. You will need to check for any cracks, loose or missing bricks, and holes in the chimney liner. Once you have determined that the fireplace is safe, you can begin to plan your remodel design.

You can choose from many materials for the fireplace surround: tile, slate, granite, marble, wood, stone, brick, faux stone, etc. You might choose to combine these materials in some way, as well. When you have chosen a material, calculate how much of it you will need. Then find out what tools and equipment will be necessary to install the surrounding material for your remodel.
Wood-burning fireplaces have several advantages; but they also have some drawbacks. The first thing to consider is the fuel you will need. Have a plan for accessing the wood you need.  If you plan to collect it yourself, consider locating, cutting, chopping, and splitting the wood. You will also need a place to store the wood while it dries or seasons. If you plan to cut and split your own firewood, you will want to consider the physical effort involved in the effort.
A wood-burning fireplace can often be used as a source of supplemental heat, either to make a particular room warmer or perhaps even to heat part, or all, of your home. If you plan to use the fireplace for heat, you might want to invest in a fireback and a fireplace blower. A fireback is an insert, often made of cast iron, placed against the back wall of the fireplace.  Its main purpose is to protect the back wall of the fireplace from damage. But it will also store heat and keep the room warm after the fire has gone out. Firebacks are made in a large number of designs, some very elaborate, and cost between $100 and $1000.
Fireplace blowers can also be purchased and installed to distribute the heat to other parts of your home. They can also be placed directly in front of the fireplace to push heat into the room. Directing the heat from the fire into another room is a simple matter of installing a fireplace blower in the doorway between the two rooms. A good blower will cost between $75 and several hundred dollars. If you want to heat several rooms with the fireplace, these are a very good idea.
The down side of wood-burning fireplace remodels is that you have important maintenance and clean-up tasks that must be performed to keep the fireplace safe. Old ashes must be removed. Whether you shovel them out of the fireplace and into a bucket and to carry them outside for disposal or you have an ash trap that is emptied from outside the house, this task must be performed after every fire. You must maintain the chimney and flue for proper ventilation and to prevent a chimney fire. You cannot simply walk away from a wood fire. There is no “off” switch. You will also need to have the chimney cleaned each year by a certified chimney sweep.
For some homeowners there is just nothing to replace the crackling sounds and the warmth and aroma of a wood fire on a cold, damp day. If you are one of those people, your wood-burning fireplace remodel will give you hours of enjoyment and a good return on investment.