Hearths are Hot in Homes
A growing number of American homeowners have a burning desire for fireplaces.
"A fireplace is standard in every new house these days ? just like a dishwasher," said Mike Lotto, president of the Wisconsin Builders Association and owner of Lotto Homes LLC in Greenleaf, Wis...
Manufacturers shipped 1.6 million of what they call "hearth units" last year, 5% more than in 2002 and 108% more than in 1992, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association in Alexandria, Va.
At least 640,000 of the nearly 1.1 million homes built last year featured at least one fireplace ? 59% of the new-home market, compared with 58% in 2002 and 35% in 1970, according to the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.
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