Wood vs. Gas: The Fireplace Showdown

When you live in a place with cold winters, like Wisconsin, having a fireplace is almost a necessity. But which is better? Gas or natural wood?

People love fireplaces because not only do they warm up your home, but they make your home feel warmer. There’s just a sense of coziness and comfort that comes with having a fire burning in the fireplace.

The question of gas versus wood has been around since gas fireplaces were invented. If you’re having a hard time deciding, we’ve dissected the pros and cons of each to help you decide.


Efficient Heating

Gas fireplaces are hands down the more efficient choice. They are designed to pump a lot of heat into your home while using minimal energy.

Wood-burning fireplaces are surprisingly inefficient. Unless you live near a forest and are willing to chop, split and dry the wood yourself, a gas fireplace will cost much less to run.


Cost of Installation

Gas wins again, unless you already have a fireplace and chimney in place. Gas fireplaces can be installed in just about any home and just require a simple vent.

Wood fireplaces require a lot more materials and labor to build. If you already have a wood fireplace and chimney in your home, modernizing it might be relatively easy. But if you’re starting from scratch, a gas fireplace is much less expensive.



Once more, gas wins.

Wood fireplaces require much more maintenance and cleaning to keep them in safe working condition. There is ash and soot that needs to be cleaned, and the chimney needs to swept to prevent creosote build-up.

Gas just needs to be inspected and cleaned every year, but they don’t come with the daily headaches that wood fireplaces do.



Safety is an issue with every fireplace, especially if you have small children or pets in the home.

Most modern gas fireplaces are designed to eliminate hot surfaces that can burn curious fingers.

With wood fireplaces, you have to be diligent to make sure sparks don’t fly onto your rug or smoke doesn’t build up inside your home.



With all factors coming down in favor of gas fireplaces, why would anyone want a wood fireplace?

But there’s nothing like cozying up in front of a crackling wood fire, watching it slowly burn out as your evening goes on. The smell of the wood, the warm glow of the coals. Gas fireplaces can’t do that.

Sometimes, the practical reasons for gas can’t make up for the ambiance a wood fireplace provides. And if you’re up to the task of maintaining them, wood fireplaces are perfectly safe and functional.

If you’re still not sure which is best for your home, give us a call and we’ll help you think through the options.



Ware’s Services

Get to Know Us & What We Do

Our goal at Ware Design Build is to make your vision a reality, and we take the time to listen and understand precisely what you are hoping to accomplish.

At Ware Design Build, we work on new construction and remodeling projects. We have also helped numerous clients whose homes have been destroyed by fire rebuild quickly and in a way that honored their visions.

Our work spans residential and commercial, remodeling and new construction.

What are our services, exactly? Here is a brief overview:

Custom Building

New construction projects allow us to create brand new spaces by bringing smart design and premium building products together.

If you’re taking on the huge undertaking of a new construction project, our design-build team will work with you from start to finish. We keep your budget and lifestyle in mind while helping you create a space that is uniquely yours.

We will start by learning about what you envision the end product to look like. We then put a plan together and start building.

You will be kept up to speed every step of the way to ensure everyone is happy. The end result will be more than you could have imagined.


Slide the divider to view the before and after

One of the biggest benefits of working with a design-build company is you get a full-service partner working for you.

Ware Design Build works with experienced architects and interior designers who all collaborate to bring your vision to life. We remain in contact with you throughout the entire project, so you are never left wondering what is next.

Whether your project is simple or highly complex, we are up for the challenge!

Interior Design

If you feel like the space you’re in doesn’t quite reflect your personality, we can help!

You’ll be invited to our design studio where you can choose finishes, furniture, and lighting in a laid-back, intimate atmosphere. We will never pressure you or rush you to make choices, but we can help you with colors and styles that we think you’d like.

The end result will be a gracious, comfortable space that fits your lifestyle.

Commercial Construction

Ware Design Build is not just limited to residential projects. We are part of Venture Construction Group, a full-service design-build company.

Similar to our residential services, we start by learning about what your wants and needs are and take it from there.

Whatever your project entails, we would love the opportunity to discuss it with you.


The Guide to Energy-Efficient Windows

Whether it’s in the frosty winter or scorching summer, windows are an essential part of making your home more comfortable while saving energy. As much as 50 percent of a home’s energy loss is through windows, specifically the glass, so they are critical to keeping your home comfortable and utility costs low. 

You might have noticed that your home feels colder than usual, you can hear outside noise more easily, or maybe your furniture is looking a little faded. If so, it may be time to look for some new windows.

With so many different window options to choose from, where do you begin? If you’re in the market for new windows, here are some things you should know.

Window Construction and Design

Window frames can be made from various materials, each with their own pros and cons. What materials are best will depend on your needs and budget.

The design of the windows is another important factor to consider since windows play a significant role in the curb appeal of your home and can drastically change its appearance. The most common types of window frames are the following:

  • Wood – Best for keeping conditioned air (heated or cooled) inside your house. Wood-framed windows provide more than 1,800 times the insulation of aluminum window frames.
  • Aluminum – A commonly used window frame material due to its flexibility and low cost.
  • Vinyl – These low-maintenance, durable windows are made to last, but don’t have the elegant look many homeowners want.
  • Fiberglass – A more expensive option, but is incredibly sturdy and provides excellent insulation, making it one of the most energy-efficient options.

Along with the material, you will need to choose a glass that works best for you.

  • Insulated Glass Units – Insulated glass units are also called IGUs or double pane windows.  This type of window contains two pieces of glass separated by a layer of gas which improves energy efficiency. Your heating and cooling bill will be lower since the IGUs will maintain your desired inside air temperature reducing the need to use your heating or cooling systems. IGUs are some of the most popular types of windows installed in residential homes.
  • Low-E Windows, The Energy Efficient Choice – The type of glass you choose is extremely important when you decide on which windows to purchase. Windows should keep drafts to a minimum, protect your home from water damage, and filter UV rays from coming in. You should consider Low-emissivity, also called “Low-E”. This type of glass will do an amazing job at minimizing how much infrared and UV light gets in your home, and they will save you a fortune in energy costs. These windows typically last 10-15 years, so they are well worth the investment. 

Don’t Forget About Installation

A window is only as good as its installation. Since installation can be complicated, it is best to have this done by a professional. If your windows are not properly installed, they will not protect your home from the elements. The way a window should be installed varies based on the window’s material and the overall construction of the house. Windows are an important investment in the look, comfort and efficiency of your home. If you need help deciding which windows are best for you, we are here to help. We will take a look at your practical needs as well as your aesthetic needs when helping you choose a window. Once you have that figured out, will be there to install them for you properly.

To get the process started, contact us. We are here to help!


Why You Should Use a Design-Build Firm

Whether you’re building from the ground up or doing a major home renovation, what should be an exciting undertaking can oftentimes be full of frustration and disappointment.

One way to avoid some of the stress that comes with a home build or remodel is to consider using a design-build firm.

If you aren’t familiar with a design-build firm, it is a company that takes you from start to finish with your project. Instead of having to interview and hire an architect and individual contractors, we coordinate everything, making the process move more efficiently.

We start by creating a design concept based on your vision, then finalize a detailed plan together, and ultimately bring your vision to life through the completion of your project.

Feeling a little skeptical? According to our clients, these are three of the main benefits of using a design-build firm:

Faster Finish
Though we take extra time during the design process, it is to ensure that the rest of the project will be smooth sailing. This extra time helps to make sure there are minimal delays and scheduling problems.

Once we understand what you’re looking for and have put together a comprehensive plan to make your dream a reality, the scheduling and execution of the project go much more quickly when you use a design-build firm. 

Since we act as a single point of contact throughout the process, you will not have to worry about coordinating the schedule of multiple vendors and contractors, we do it for you. This eliminates confusion between parties, allowing for a more efficiently run project that typically gets wrapped up in a more efficient manner than hiring multiple contractors yourself.

Sticking to the Budget
Another benefit of working with a design-build firm is that you will have more control over your project costs and are less likely to exceed your budget.

We work with you from the initial design through the development and construction, always keeping your project goals in mind and making sure not to spend more than you are willing.

If an issue comes up where more is spent on a desired aspect of the project, we will work with you to keep the overall budget on track.

Higher Quality Work
Design-build firms have strong relationships with reliable and trustworthy subcontractors. Our relationships ensure your project is getting the attention it requires and the high-quality end result that we expect and you deserve.

You won’t have to worry about one contractor missing the mark, which can put the rest of the project on hold. Each subcontractor chosen will have your best interests in mind and will be kept well-aware of the project’s goals.

That’s Just the Beginning
If you’d like to experience the difference hiring a design-build firm, Ware Design-Build is at your service to create a custom space, perfect for your lifestyle.  Feel free to contact us to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation design consultation.  We will find a way to turn your unique vision into reality.