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Covert Makeover

Overview of Remodel

For more than 20 years, Jake Covert built custom homes.  The Coverts, who live in Nevada City, California, recently decided to enhance their living room by remodeling their woodburning fireplace. Jake and his wife, K.C., visited their local hearth retailer, Sierra Timberline, expecting to leave with a new insert. However, during their visit they learned that to achieve maximum convenience, completely replacing their woodburning fireplace with a gas-fired fireplace was the best choice.

Once the Coverts selected their new fireplace, Sierra Timberline staff did a site check to verify measurements and confirm that the selected fireplace could be properly installed in their home.  When work began, the contractors took precautions to protect the areas that were unaffected by the project, making the process easy.


Remodeling began in November 2006, and within two months, installers finished ripping out the old fireplace and replacing it with a beautiful new gas fireplace.  The project was finalized with a new coat of paint and the installation of a steel mantle.

Product Description

The Coverts installed a Mendota 42” gas fireplace. They plan to use this appliance on a daily basis as part of their zone heating plan. To the right and left of the firebox are faux finished areas.  The center portion is Venetian plaster.  The hearth is also Venetian plaster over the original stucco hearth.  

Estimated Cost of the Remodel and Estimated Increase in Property Value

The estimated cost of the remodel was $10,000. However, Mr. Covert expects a 60-70 percent return on their investment in the home. And as a builder, he would know.

Comments about the Experience

"After speaking to the Coverts it became obvious that what they really wanted was a big beautiful fireplace which gave them the opportunity to reface their existing fireplace surround and mantel.  So, after sharing with them some suggestions about what they could do and what would be involved, they settled on the Mendota gas fireplace," said Emily Potter with Sierra Timberline. 

You don’t have to have a construction background to understand the benefits of adding a fireplace or stove to your home.  Today’s hearth retailers have become part consumer educator and part detective in order to guide their customers to the product that will meet their needs.     

Retailer information:  Sierra Timberline, Grass Valley, California Or for a retailer near you, visit HPBA’s retailer search at

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