The housing market is starting to come back. People need places to live and some cities are growing fast.
The "old 1980's way" is to build ever more suburban homes but in cities like Denver or Houston the land available for suburban development is twenty or thirty miles out - and a long traffic-jammed commute - from the city.
A newer trend is to move back into the city - less need for a car, better on the environment, convenient downtown amenities. The new apartments or condos are not the same as the old ones. They are really up-scale - more like living in a fancy five-star hotel.
From our masonry and masonry fireplace perspective, I notice what's missing - no chimneys. Whether suburban development or luxury downtown condos - there is very little if any masonry and there are no chimneys - at least not masonry chimneys. If there are fireplaces, they are only the decorative direct vent gas type that don't heat.
People can live in the city without having to live in an appartment of condo. Many are moving back into the city and restoring or remodeling or adding on to older homes in neighborhoods that are fast becoming once again trendy and livable.
Most cities, certainly Denver, St. Louis and Houston, have many thousands of older brick Victorian and craftsman homes in upscale neighborhoods. Many of these homes offer the same or similar downtown or neighborhood amenities as the up-scale condos do. Even more. You get a real neighborhood, your own separate home and generally better construction in neighborhoods with established landscaping and parks.
That seems to be a good market for us. Most older homes already have real masonry fireplaces and brick chimneys that only need to be restored - and in Denver, where wood-burning is not permitted, converted to Rumfords and fitted with gas logs. Many of those who are moving back to the city are upgrading kitchens and bathrooms and adding a room which could have a new real masonry Rumford fireplace.
There seems to be almost unlimited opportunity to build and restore masonry fireplaces and chimneys in these increasingly desirable downtown neighborhoods.This sort of work, however, requires contractors and masons who are familiar with restoration and remodeling and are used to working in lived-in homes.
Rumfordizing Existing Fireplaces
Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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