My husband and I are trying to renovate a fireplace from 1878 (which appears to be made from slate and marble). It has been painted numerous times, and we have got most of the paint off. We made some inquiries on getting someone to refinish the stone (which will cost ~3500 dollars). Right now we are unsure as to whether or not we should refinish the stone and try to get a new gas insert (which is another problem because the space is very small), OR install a brand new fireplace and mantle.
Both options will probably end up costing the same amount of money, but we don't know:
a) What will look better (e.g., we have to get a new hearth, which will be difficult to match to the existing marble and slate; additionally, the fireplace insert will be quite small)?
b) What will be better in terms of the resale value of the home?
Any assistance anyone can provide with regards to these questions (and what refinished stone fireplaces look like) would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance (and sorry for the long post).