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The fireplace tends to be forgotten when record high temperatures are hitting many parts of the country. But, regardless of the season, buyers often find fireplaces alluring.

However, if your fireplace has lost some of its appeal due to an outdated look, it might be time for a makeover. Creating a unique look for your fireplace can make it very enticing to buyers. Fireplaces can be eyesores or focal points in a room. So, take a look at your fireplace and decide if it will spark buyers' interest. "If anything is out, it is brick. Nobody is really doing brick anymore. It's mostly concrete or stone," says Rick Gardella, President of Concepts in Concrete Construction.

Style. Of course, every home décor style is subjective. As the times change the mass appeal of certain materials fluctuates. Gardella says concrete is now being used for many areas in the house from indoor flooring to concrete fireplace surrounds. If you're thinking of giving your fireplace a facelift, Gardella says be sure to consider these tips.

Consider the bigger picture. Your fireplace should complement the rest of your home. Be sure to consider not just what type of material you will use to cover the fireplace but also what types of décor will be sitting on the mantel or near the fireplace. Take a look at the rest of the room and see what statement you want to make with the fireplace. For instance, a stone surround that extends up the fireplace and the entire wall to the ceiling can create a bold and rustic look.

Two-sided fireplaces. A look that's popular and provides double the enjoyment is a two-sided fireplace. It's not always practical or possible but if it can be done this feature creates appeal and warmth in multiple rooms. Use cardboard boxes to see the true size of your new surround. Sometimes it's difficult to determine how the new fireplace surround will actually fit into your room. Experts recommend using cardboard cutouts and placing them around the existing fireplace so that you can see exactly how much space is taken up and how the new fireplace surround will impact your living area. Use samples. Have you ever decided to paint your house?

Wrong color.You put a splash of the color up on the walls and then realize you hate the color that you had loved so much in the store. Let that be a lesson. Be sure to take samples of the materials you will use for your fireplace surround. Take them home and let them sit next to your fireplace for a few days. Give it time to see the materials in different lighting and through your changing moods. Taking the time to test the materials in your home will likely save you disappointment and extra cost in the future.

Straight or curved? Typically, curves and more intricate designs will increase the cost of your fireplace surround. So if budget is a concern you might consider replacing curves in the design with straight lines and also minimizing small details. This can be done without compromising the overall appeal.

What should it cost? That's a tough question as the price can vary considerably. However, Gardella says size, materials, design, and the inclusion of other décor such as hearths and mantels contribute to the overall price. "If you're remodeling your existing fireplace you're probably going to pay $2,500 to $5,000."

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