Article in The Advertiser, 25 Apr 2015 by Trudy Oram Home Editor & Hanninal Rossi.
Featured Project: By Energy Architecture.
Fireplace trend will get Prices burn up your hearth pumping just like firewood.
FORGET artwork or the leather sofa as your hero piece, the fireplace is taking over the living room as this season’s must-have feature.
Homeowners not only see fireplaces as a practical means to keep cosy as chilly weather descends on South Australia but a way to replicate the look of luxury hotels.
The aesthetics of fireplaces are a growing trend, with some being placed in the centre of the room, others freestanding indoor/outdoor fires, triplefacing units built into partition walls or suspended fires you can rotate in any direction.
Modern, efficient systems with a larger heat output and lower energy costs, available with instant gas, electric and sustainable fuel options such as bioethanol, can replicate the traditional look for owners wanting to keep character in their homes, but they also come in sleek, modern versions for those wanting wow factor. There’s even a choice for those who love wood fires.
Adelaide architect and director of Energy Architecture Daniel Manno said many homeowners were making fireplaces the focal point of modern living spaces.
When renovating a Prospect home the opportunity came to add the ultimate fireplace statement: a black, solid metal suspended fireplace that hovers above the floor with an open fire section which can be rotated in any direction.
The energy efficient French-built system, now under the Oblica brand, is the residential version of the “floating” fireplace which wows guests at Kangaroo Island’s luxurious Southern Ocean Lodge.
Mr Manno said the fireplace, which retails at about $10,000, is the focal point of the open plan living space.
The system uses wood as fuel and works like a traditional fire.
Homeowner Leah Jeffries said she loved the fact the fireplace swivels, so it could be enjoyed from all directions. “It really works well,’’ she says. FIRING up the wood-burning combustion heater or open fire will cost about 5 per cent more than last winter, firewood retailers say.
E.G. Hollard and Son managing director Denise Norman said the price of her firm’s split redgum firewood would increase next week by about $15 a tonne, to about $365 a tonne.
“We’ve been advised by our interstate suppliers the price will go up with our next load due in Monday,’’ she said.
“We have been selling it at about the same price as last year ($350 a tonne) till now, but suppliers are putting their prices up due to increased transport costs in collecting the wood further out.’’
Mrs Norman said the peak sales season ‘‘really kicks off after Anzac Day’,’ but with the recent surge in sales of pizza ovens and heaters such as chimeneas, wood sales were less seasonal.
Manager of Hills supplier Stirling Fuel Supply Ben Geddes said they had raised their price by $5 a tonne, to $315 for redgum and cut mallee.
“It should probably be higher,’’ he said.
“We’ve tried to keep it down, but it could go up another $5 a tonne in winter.’’
The average retail price of firewood varies across SA from about $280 a tonne to about $350, depending on wood types and quality and where it’s bought, plus delivery costs.
Australian Home Heating Association general manager Demi Brown said wood heating was still one of the cheapest forms of home heating.
“It can be used 24 hours a day, unlike gas or electricity, which is expensive to run,” she said.