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Jennifer L H
Slate and marble fireplace circa 1878

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).

Re: Slate and marble fireplace circa 1878

How bad is the stone? What type of refinishing needs to be made? A lot of that is DIY with the right tools.

I'll say this - spending 3500 on refinishing isn't going to get you 3500 in resale value. Every once in a while you may find a buyer down the line who loves period features and they may pay a little for it, but the chances aren't great.

Re: Slate and marble fireplace circa 1878

Jennifer with out pictures it is hard to give good advice. If you don't have an inter-net site to post pictures you can e-mail them to me and I'll post them for you.

If the stone you are talking about is the hearth stone, in that vintage of a house it may have just been a rough stone. Personally for what replacement would cost I would leave it as is. On one of our fireplaces which is not used, I wire brushed the stone to clean it and applied a coat of Poly.

Most people, but not all, that buy vintage houses prefer vintage appearance, trim, etc.


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