Fireplace Fitters: Re-opening an old disused fireplace to put in an open fire, a wood burner or a gas fire is a great way to add a homely feel and some charm to any UK home. Nippy winters' evenings can become very enjoyable as you relax in front of your new fireplace surrounded by the crackle of a burning fire, and if your fire is combined with a back boiler you can even benefit from plentiful hot water as well.
But before you begin knocking down the walls of a boarded over fireplace there are some important things to consider if you are to wind up with a safe and efficient fireplace. Any combustible appliance in residential homes in the UK must comply with Part J of the UK's Building Regs, and this covers hearths, flue linings, chimney breasts and fireplaces. Planning permission may also have to be sought before work begins if your home is listed or in a conservation area.
DIY OR PROFESSIONAL FIREPLACE INSTALLATION?
A simple restoration of a current fireplace can be accomplished by a skilled DIY enthusiast, but if any building work is required there's the chance of encountering structural issues which will have to be resolved professionally. It might be your good fortune when you pull back the covering from an old fireplace to uncover a hidden gem that needs nothing more than a quick clear out and a call to a chimney sweep to get a roaring fire going once again. It is much more likely that you'll come across a stopped up flue and old brickwork that requires structural modifications.
Due to the serious fire risk and health problems that can be caused by an incorrectly fitted or restored fireplace, it's best to draw on the experience and knowledge of a professional fireplace fitter in the UK. Airflow must be satisfactory in any room in which a fireplace is to be installed; and it's a key requirement of the Building Regulations (Part J) that this is so. Toxic carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate from a fire burning inefficiently in a poorly ventilated space.
It might be necessary to install airflow vents in walls and floors to enable the fireplace to get enough oxygen to burn safely and efficiently all the time. They may also have to install vents into unused chimney flues which can sometimes trap condensing air and cause damp spots and staining to your chimney breast.
BEFORE WORK BEGINS
A large amount of soot and other dirt can be discharged from an old chimney upon reopening it for renovation. A thoughtful UK fireplace fitter will bring dust sheets to cover up your home furnishings and provide a bit of protection, but it's wise where possible to remove furniture and carpets from the area before work starts. If you are conducting a complete renovation of a house or room, the fireplace should be opened up and worked on before any decoration or plastering works are undertaken. This stops any discolouring damage to any refurbished work you might have already completed.
STRUCTURAL AND CONSTRUCTION WORK
With the fireplace opened up, it is time to see what is in a fit state to be restored and to give the hearth and chimney a comprehensive clean. Bringing in a proper chimney sweep to de-soot your chimney is one of the initial things on your checklist. They will not only make certain that your chimney and flue are completely clean, but they can additionally take a look at the condition of the chimney and flue liner and offer advice if you need to upgrade any section of the flue and chimney.
If you need to install a new flue liner or strengthen the chimney all current Building Regulations must be complied with. This sort of work must be done by a qualified craftsman who is acquainted with the appropriate building regulations and good construction practices.
In older buildings you might find the original fireplace is too big for your purposes, in which case a supporting concrete lintel will be required to adapt the opening. When your concrete lintel is in position and secure you may now get on with the installation, updating and repair of the fireplace hearth. You might find your existing hearth has been sunken into a floor void, however to conform to latest regulations it must be raised above floor level. You can find tailor-made options to fit virtually any style and size of fireplace, or you can pick from a variety of common sized hearths to match your decor.
STYLES AND DESIGNS OF FIREPLACE
A trip to a fireplace showroom or a browse online will show the options that are available for the different fireplace styles and designs. Not all fireplaces may be appropriate for your existing flue and chimney and it is sensible to accept any advice and guidance from your sales and installation team with regards to your specific situation.
The age of your home, and the theme that you're trying to develop for your room, will all help you to decide on the type and design of fireplace which is best for you. As an example, an attractive inglenook fireplace can be an ideal backdrop to a traditional cast iron wood burning stove, highlighting its charm and reflecting heat back into the room.
Even if you haven't got a pre-existing chimney in your UK property, it is still possible to install a wood burning or multi fuel stove. As long as you've got an exterior wall through which a flue from the back or top of the stove can be routed, you don't need to have a chimney in place to enjoy a "real" fire.
GAS, MULTI-FUEL, WOOD, OPEN OR ELECTRIC FIREPLACE?
The charm and look of an open fire can't be beaten, but what alternatives are out there if this sort of fireplace isn't possible in your UK home?
Gas Fireplaces - There are a variety of styles to suit all types of home and their efficiency to warm a room is better than wood burning stoves. A Gas Safe registered contractor must fit and maintain any gas fireplace in your home.
Electric Fireplaces - Can be fitted safely and easily by any reasonable competent person and there are styles and designs that are appropriate for virtually any room and home in the UK. Even if your room has a conventional fireplace, an electric fire can be installed that looks almost like a genuine fire with dancing flames.
Open Fireplaces - A roaring fire is an attractive focal point for any room in your home and it has the capacity to burn almost any solid fuel that you can purchase. An open fire is a delight to the eye and modern fireplaces are no more the draughty, smoky and inefficient objects they once were.
Multi-Fuel Stoves - As the name suggests they can be fired up with with various fuels, such as gas, coal, oil or wood, and become an attractive focal point in any kitchen or living room in the UK. They can be used not simply for heating an individual room, but some styles such as the AGA collection, can provide useful cooking areas, supply hot water and can be used to heat the complete house when plumbed into a radiator network.
Wood Burning Stoves - An array of different styles to suit any type of house in the UK, and can even be free standing. A model with an integrated back boiler will provide supplementary heating capabilities by transferring the hot water to a radiator in a cold spot of your property.
How To Keep Your Open Fireplace And Lower Your Heating Bills
Along with worries about the environment, the classic fireplace is missing some of its charm, although it is still a favourite for many homeowners in the UK. There's nothing like feeling the warmth of a fireplace throughout a chilly winter evening. Having a fireplace has its advantages but there are a handful of drawbacks that could affect its usefulness. As power costs increase, you need to make sure that your fireplace is giving you heat efficiently. When a fire is burning, it may give warmth to those who are standing right in front of it, but it can actually pull warm air out of the room, making your heat source work even more. The hearth damper is supposed to prevent cold air from coming in to your home when you don't have a fire going in the fireplace. Unfortunately, dampers often have an inefficient seal, so cold air can get in, and warm air goes out.
What the majority of people in the UK usually do not understand about their fireplace is that it doesn't necessarily do what they believe it is doing. Instead of managing the heating of a house naturally, a fireplace can essentially add 100s of pounds to the cost of your heating. However it's not all bad news because there are techniques for making your fireplace much more cost-efficient. There tend to be 4 simple steps that you can take to change your fireplace into a cost-effective heat resource. These definitely will make your present fireplace more efficient, and reduce your energy bills.
The initial thing that has to be done is to replace the current damper with a new top sealing damper. A top sealing damper is installed right at the top end of your chimney which also behaves the same as a storm door. The top sealing damper keeps the air in the house from leaking out and operates very well in both hot and cold weather. It doesn't take much time to install and you can get one online. Another thing that can be done is to fit a fire-back at the rear of your fireplace. A fire-back consists of cast iron and it is meant to shield the wall behind from fire damage, whilst making your fireplace look more elegant. The fire-back gets warmed up by the fire and sends the heat back into a room, hence boosting the fireplace's efficiency.
The next thing that could also help is a fireplace heater, which heats the room air that is being circulated through a chamber, and blows it back towards the room. These devices do not release any smoke and should be very efficient in keeping your house warm and toasty. Lastly, it is possible to fit glass doors which could be the most costly option. If you do a bit of research, you can find glass doors at a reasonable price and mount them on your own. These glass doors help to stop the heat from escaping and additionally it keeps pets and youngsters from getting burned.
Every one of these suggestions are simple to implement, and the required products can be easily found online. Take care of your fireplace and observe your energy bill tumble.
Chimney Sweep UK
If your house in the UK has an open fire or a wood burner, it is important that you get your chimney swept regularly. Chimney sweeping and cleaning should typically be carried out at least once every year.
The best approach to get this done is to contact a specialist UK chimney sweep, who'll complete the work properly and without any mess. If there are any safety issues with your chimney, your chimney sweep will be able to identify them and advise you accordingly.
Failing to sweep your chimney in the UK could soon result in an accumulation of ash, soot and creosote which can lead to chimney fires. Another dangerous situation that you want to avoid at all costs is carbon monoxide fumes flowing back into your home, which can also be caused by a blocked or poorly maintained chimney.
In the unlikely event that any damages or accidents occur while you are having your chimney cleaned, ensure your chosen UK chimney sweep has public liability cover. You can GO HERE for the latest chimney sweeping prices in the UK.
Fireplace Enquiries UK
Recently posted UK fireplace installation customer enquiries: Mr and Mrs Ford recently enquired about the possibility of opening up an old fireplace and fitting a new electric fireplace in Aylesbury, UK. Rafe Ashworth and Laiba Ashworth recently asked for a price quote for re-opening an old fireplace and installing a new wood burning stove in a terraced house in Chester, UK. Ryley Brook and Alexandra Brook recently requested an estimate for the installation of a wood burning stove in Chichester, UK. Milan and Josie Duff recently asked for a quotation for fitting an electric fireplace in Leicester. Miah and Darcy Street recently asked for a price quote for the installation of a multi-fuel fireplace in Dumfries. Viktor and Grace Douglas recently enquired about the possibility of the installation of a wood burner in a semi-detached house in Matlock, UK. Frances and Leon Swift recently enquired about the possibility of the installation of a gas fireplace in a cottage in Galashiels. Liam Hoyle and Tabitha Hoyle recently enquired about getting a price for opening up an old, boarded up fireplace and fitting a new multi-fuel fireplace in Preston.
UK Fireplace Related Tasks
There is a range of work that can be undertaken by your local UK fireplace company including wood burning stove installations, bespoke fireplaces UK, inset stoves, brick fireplaces UK, chimney strengthening in the UK, fireplace removal in the UK, cast iron fireplaces in the UK, Victorian fireplaces in the UK, fireplace hearths UK, chimney lining, Victorian fireplace installations UK, marble fireplaces UK, fireplace repairs, fireplace refurbishment UK, fireplace installation, fake fireplaces, double-sided stove installation, fake fireplace installation, electric fire baskets in the UK, oak beam fireplaces UK, electric fireplaces in the UK, freestanding stoves UK, fireplace suites, chimney modifications UK, fireplace fitting, wood burning fireplace installations in the UK, and more.
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