Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Adding Value to your home..................( cheaply )

Good morning everyone!!!

I don't think I've ever shared this story with you - but a long time ago ( when the Earth was green and there were more kinds of animals than you've ever seen )

We lived in a home prior to the one that most of you know by now..................

It didn't have a fireplace - and as much as I wanted one we had already spent a LOT of money on renovations and just couldn't justify having one installed.

( Oh how I wish I had started blogging then - what stories and makeovers I had back in the day )

Anyway on a business trip to Toronto - I took some time off to go " antiquing " with a very dear friend and came across an old - 150 years old - fireplace mantel - it was a double one and my heart stood each time I walked back into the shop - which was probably 4 times that afternoon.

Finally - I couldn't fight it anymore - and bought it - with absolutely no way of getting it home ( Toronto is roughly 550 kilometers or 325 miles ) The purchase price finally agreed upon was 150 dollars.

I didn't mention it to John for over a week because I was sure I could get it delivered for a reasonable price and once it was at the house he'd realize how perfect it was and how the living room had needed it all along!

Well to make the story short - the prices I was quoted were so over the top ridiculous that I had to come clean and beg him to pick it up the next time he was in Toronto on business ( he went quite frequently at that time )

When he got it home - my son and he both agreed that it was horrid - John was furious with me - my son thought I was nuts - I can distinctly remember John saying it was going to end up in the garbage because it was such an eyesore .....................

But I sanded and scraped and sanded some more and scraped some more - I gagged working on that piece because to tell you the truth it WAS pretty bad - but in the end I had a magnificent mantel -
I then purchased a piece of mdf - and had it cut to fit the insert - with an opening in the middle to insert an electric fireplace.......................

I'm so sorry for this photo - preblogging days remember ( and to tell the truth I'm not much better today lmho ) but it's the only one I can find...................but doesn't it look like it was meant to be there?

Anyways - all this to say - that the total cost was
150 for the Mantel
100 for the Electric insert
10 for the piece of MDF

260 dollars.....................

And when the evaluator came in ( when we were selling the house ) we were told it had added 5000.00
dollars to the value of the house.

Sooooo - if you don't have a fireplace - get on Craigs list and buy a mantel  ( I would suggest getting one in your own city mind you )

I just purchased this for 50.00 myself -
I don't think it's going to add any value LMHO - but it may help keep the 3 season porch a little warmer in the new house :)

on cold winter days - it'll be nice to have in here

Have a great one all!!!
Much love,


  1. Hi dear Suzan. Love to read your story. You are so great. Oh, and the headboard under here is beautiful. Love it.

    Hugs from me

  2. Hello Suzan, Oh, what a great story! Us women are good with a vision!! The mantle was beautiful! I think your "heater" is adorable....LOVE it! Blessings~~~Roxie

  3. I'm desperate for a mantle...desperate actually heating would be nice too

  4. I always think a sitting room looks slightly odd without some sort of mantle.

  5. If only I had wall space. :( That's not too bad a price for your mantel/fireplace compared to installing a brand new one. It certainly added value to your home! I would love the mantle for decorating if nothing else. lol Have a great day.

  6. I have one of those and I don't know where to put it!! Need to get rid of more stuff I guess... Happy moving!

  7. You will love having that little electric stove in that room. My sister has something like that and I really love the "mood" it creates.

  8. I super puffy heart fireplaces. Seriously love them!! And, what a great validation for you $5000!! That is awesome...

  9. I think I would have done the same and probably been choked over it...(as in husband would have never let me live it down). Good call on your part though.
    Loving your'll be just the thing for your porch!

  10. We are debating how to heat the garden house, which will soon become the new studio space. I'm thinking wood stove.

  11. I have a DVD of a fire that I play on the tv. Does that count?

  12. By now you would think that John and the rest of your family would know that all of your ideas turn out to be winners.

  13. That fire place turned out beautiful. I have a wall in my house that could use a little tlc...and that would be perfect. Too bad I am not clever with paint.

  14. Lovely, and what a find. The entire story was hilarious! I have been there and thehubs also thought I was crazy and talked me out of getting it. Oh, how I wish I had went ahead and purchased it! It is beautiful! Hey Cheryl in Wisconsin, where can I get a dvd of a fire for my tv???? HELP? I would love to play it in the bedroom while I TRY to go to sleep...

    1. This is actually an excellent time of year to get one. Mine is something like "Yuletide Logs" and it's Christmas based. There's an option to turn off the Christmas carols! I think it was like $5, maybe at Walmart or Target.

  15. I'll be on the look out for a mantel. You've inspired me again Suzan!

  16. i love mantels and i love the story behind yours, suzan:) have a great day!

  17. Great story, we were going to do just a gas fireplace in the new house but after giving it some thought we are going for the real thing again. We are afraid we will miss it too much and with that there is NO do over.


  18. I love the room you are going to put the fire in but I really love that doiley looking mat on the floor -hope all is well-love dee x

  19. I wish I had space for a real fireplace... For now, I have a tiny electric (and ugly) corner one with shelves that doesn't add any value whatsoever but definitely makes room warmer :)

  20. Love how it looked, Suzan. That was a good looking room! You and I share so many like stories. I purchased a STONE mantle several years ago and tried to sneak it in the house and couldn't budge it by myself. It, too, had to be painted but added so much to our small formal living room. It looked like it had always been there when I was done with it- xo Diana

  21. Love your previous LR. The fireplace looked original. I do love the new stove and can't wait to see it there.
    Have a great weekend.

  22. It looks like it was made for that space. And I lurrvvvv that black wall! We bought a mantle for our bedroom, but no electric insert (no room). I can't believe how much value that added to your home - amazing.

  23. Yes, it definitely looks like it was meant to be there!! And I like how you arranged the furniture. I would never have thought to angle the coffee table - it looks good that way.

  24. Hi Suzan!!!!

    Great idea!!! When the realtor said that it added $5,000.00 MORE to the house, did you give John a, 'I told you it looked great,' look?

    I love the new heater for the front room. That room would be my reading room. A chase lounge, little table for holding my glass of wine and a beautiful small chandelier above. From now on you have to refer to that room as "Pam's Room!!!!" Love the sound of that!!!

    Have a great weekend woman!!!


  25. What a gorgeous room you created. I am so going to build a mantle when renos are done. We will be installing an airtight stove but it just isn't the same as a mantle! I hoped you rubbed it in about the value you brought to your home!

  26. It looks like it was always there!! You are going to love your three season porch - I had one in my old house and we used it throughout the year - Christmas eggs benny, cocktails on a rainy summer night. I set up a small pub style table and chairs for the area and it became another eating area. Still miss that room even though I now have a huge eat-in kitchen.

  27. Gosh, you should have written this post before and I would have bought a mantel in my village, following your advice! I bought mine a year ago and had to drive it back home in my tiny, tiny European car! Somehow it's one of my best memories, though!

  28. It does look like it belongs there, it really does make the room. We have a gas 'wood burning' stove in our great room (now my studio) and what a difference it makes. That room used to be a double car garage so it doesn't get as warm as the rest of the house. You're going to love yours!
    Debbie :)


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