Stove fireplaces are beautiful additions to the home. They help to conjure up that classic homely ambience that is both practical and aesthetically appealing. There are a few possible alternatives if you’re after a new stove for your home, so here we’re going to walk you through some possibilities.

One of the main choices you’ll want to make is between a gas stove, wood stove or pellet fuelled stove. Each of these has its own pros and cons. If environmental considerations are your top priority, then both wood and pellets are renewable sources, so an eco-friendly choice. In fact, if you are a landowner with access to your own supplies of wood, a wood stove could mean you’ll save money too. It'll be a less expensive cost to fuel your stove and less pollution from transporting it to your home.

But not everyone has access to their own supplies of wood. Storing wood or pellets can be a hassle if space is at a premium. In that case, a gas stove is a very convenient alternative, and you'll have the advantage of less work maintaining your stove fireplace.

Think about the size you’ll need. It depends on the dimensions of your living space. If you have a bigger than the average house, and you’re hoping your stove will be the main heat source, you’ll want to choose a large enough stove to do the job. You'll always need to be sure to place it in a central area where none of the heat will be wasted. On the other hand, if you only have a small room, a large stove would be overpowering, and you should opt for a smaller size.

Stoves are a popular choice, but there could be good reasons to go for an open fire instead. Perhaps you prefer the look, or it just feels more in keeping with your property to have a fireplace rather than a stove. Maybe you don’t need it as the main heating source, and you’re just looking for a traditional design feature for a cosy room. A fireplace could be the way to go.

Unprotected stoves can present a bit of a safety issue if you have young children around. They get extremely hot, so you'll need some kind of effective barrier in place to avoid potential accidents with little ones. Safety issues always need to be considered, whatever option you choose.

Find out about any local legislation that might be relevant to your choice of heating appliance. In some parts of the world, gas stoves need to be vented to be legal. Regulations about fuel use might also apply. A trusted professional such as a domestic heating engineer should be able to give you the advice you need, as well as talking you through the kind of model that would suit your own home.

So there are a few questions that need addressing before you take the plunge. But once your stove is fitted, you’ll reap the rewards for many years to come. Make sure you do your preparation and you’ll have a warm and toasty home for family life.