Fireplace Fitter St Albans Hertfordshire (AL1): Installing a new fireplace or re-opening a disused in your St Albans property is an effective way to add character and a homely feel to any room. Cold winters' evenings can become a pleasure as you relax in front of your fireplace surrounded by the crackling of firewood, and if your fire is combined with a back boiler you can even benefit from plentiful hot water to boot.
Before you go bashing away at a blocked up chimney there are a few things you will need to think about to ensure you can install your new fireplace in an efficient and safe way. Any work which is performed on your chimney breast, hearth, flue lining and fireplace must follow the United Kingdom's building regulations, Part J for combustible appliances. If you reside in a listed building, or a dwelling that's within a conservation, you'll need to find out if planning permission is necessary for the installation of a fireplace.
PROFESSIONAL FIREPLACE INSTALLATION OR DIY?
A simple remodeling of an existing fireplace can be accomplished by a competent DIYer, but if any construction work is needed there's the chance of running into structural issues which need to be resolved by a professional. If you're fortunate when you expose a blocked up fireplace you might find a decent lintel, hearth and chimney breast that requires nothing other than the services and advice of a chimney sweep to get it ready for use. However, a stopped up flue and crumbling, old brickwork that involves structural reinforcement is what you'll most likely find.
Because of the acute fire risk and health problems that can be caused by an improperly fitted or renovated fireplace, it is preferable to rely on the experience and knowledge of a certified fireplace fitter in St Albans. For a fire to burn safely in a space with a fireplace, there should be plenty of airflow to create an adequate amount of oxygen. A fire that is burning inefficiently in an inadequately ventilated space can cause a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide fumes.
It may be necessary to fit airflow vents in floors and walls to allow the fireplace to receive enough oxygen to burn effectively and safely all the time. Blocked off and unused chimney flues might also have to have air vents installed because they can trap moist air within them and cause damp to occur inside the chimney breast.
BEFORE WORK COMMENCES
Massive quantities of soot and dust will enter your home when you are having an unused fireplace opened up. A fireplace installer will bring dust sheets to cover up your home furnishings and supply some form of protection, however it's advisable where possible to remove carpets and furniture from the room before any work commences. If you are conducting a full restoration of a room or house, the fireplace ought to be opened up and worked on before any plastering or decorating is undertaken. This will limit damage to other stages of your restoration project (i.e. newly painted walls or fresh plasterwork), by soot and dirt that is expelled.
STRUCTURAL AND CONSTRUCTION WORK
It will be time to sweep and clean the hearth and chimney and determine what is fit for refurbishment, as soon as the fireplace has been opened up. The very first job on your checklist should be to call in a decent St Albans chimney sweep. Not only will they ensure your chimney and flue are nice and clean, but they can additionally take a look at the state of the chimney and flue liner and provide guidance if you need to replace any part of the chimney and flue.
After an assessment by an experienced chimney sweep, and in line with the UK Building Regulations, work to install a new liner and/or strengthen the chimney structure may be necessary. A reliable fireplace installer in St Albans will be needed to accomplish this work, and should have the knowledge and skills in construction to closely follow all building regulations.
In older buildings you might discover that the exposed fireplace is too wide for your purposes, in which case a concrete supporting lintel will be required to adapt the opening. And after this, restoring or replacing the fireplace hearth should be the next step in your fireplace renovation project in St Albans. In the past the hearth was sunken into a void in the floor, but the latest UK Building Regulations require it to be raised above normal floor level. Pre-made options from concrete, marble or stone are available on the market to accomplish this, or yourin St Albans should be able to provide you with a bespoke, made to measure hearth to match the style of your room.
STYLE OF FIREPLACE
If you visit a fireplace showroom you will find that you have plenty of choice with the range of different choices open to you. The suggestions and advice from your installation team, which will be based on your specific requirements, will enable you to choose a fireplace which is both appropriate for your existing chimney and flue, as well as for your decor.
A wood burning or multi-fuel stove may be appropriate for some rooms and properties in St Albans, whilst an open fireplace will be a better choice for others. A cast iron wood burning stove for instance, will look magnificent when placed in an inglenook fireplace, which deflects any heat that's produced back into the room and emphasises its charm and elegance.
For homes in St Albans that do not have a chimney, a multi-fuel or wood burning stove is a good solution. This style of fireplace can be fitted with its own flue that is taken through an external wall and doesn't require a chimney, to be installed safely.
WOOD, GAS, MULTI-FUEL, OPEN OR ELECTRIC FIREPLACE?
If this type of fireplace isn't suitable for your St Albans home, what other choices are there?
Electric Fireplaces - Can be fitted easily and safely by any competent individual and there are styles which are suitable for just about any room and type of home in St Albans. When set into a regular fireplace, today's electric fires can replicate a genuine fire, with authentic looking flame effects and sometimes even the sound of crackling wood.
Wood Burning Stoves - These stoves can even be a free standing feature, and there is a vast selection to complement any kind of property in St Albans. When used in tandem with a back boiler, these types of stoves can supply extra heating possibilities by connecting the heated water to cold areas of your house by means of a radiator.
Open Fireplaces - Having the capability to burn almost any solid fuel on the market, the open fireplace can create a crackling fire as an eye-catching focal point for a room or living space. An open fire is a sight to behold and contemporary fireplaces are no more the draughty, smoky and inefficient items they used to be.
Gas Fireplaces - Supplying instant heat and being more efficient (thermally) when compared to open fireplaces or wood burning stoves, there are a multitude of styles and designs to suit any St Albans home. Only a Gas Safe heating engineer is qualified to install one of these fires.
Multi-Fuel Stoves - Running on a selection of fuels such as gas, oil, smokeless coal or wood, a multi-fuel stove can be made into a stunning focal point in your living space. The AGA range is renowned as being capable of providing heating for an entire house, a constant hot water supply and a hob and oven all in one useful appliance.
A safety feature that allows your chimney to operate more efficiently, a flue or chimney liner is a crucial element of your chimney set-up that should never be neglected. Crafted from metal, clay or ceramic material, flue liners are conduits that are installed inside chimneys to transport smoke and fumes to the outside. Some chimneys in older homes in St Albans may not even be fitted with a lining, or if the current liner is compromised, may need to be relined.
Your fireplace flue can soon be weakened by the harmful gases and fumes which are formed by burning a fire. When you're having your chimney swept, it is wise to get the chimney sweep to look around for any damage and possible issues. If there is damage, those harmful gases might seep into your home instead of being safely expelled outside. There's an added threat with defective flues, in that they can enable extreme heat to penetrate the structure of the chimney, which might lead to fires.
Practical Ideas On How To Retain Your Fireplace And Lower Your Heating Bills
With concerns over the environment, the traditional fireplace has lost some of its charm, although it's still a favourite with many householders in St Albans. Sitting in front of the comfort of an open fireplace, brings back many precious memories for a lot of people. Having an open fireplace has its benefits but there are several issues that could affect its usefulness. Because of power costs going up so rapidly nowadays, your fireplace must be a good source of heat, not one of inefficiency. When a fire is burning, it may possibly warm up those standing in close proximity to it, but it can in fact pull warm air out of your room, making your heater work even more. The hearth damper is expected to prevent cold air from coming in to your home when you haven't got a fire going in the fireplace. The thing is, fireplace dampers can be very inefficient in keeping cold air out, and warm air in.
A great many people in St Albans who have fireplaces do not know how it can influence the cost of heating. Rather than keeping heating charges down, it could actually do the complete opposite if one isn't careful. Nevertheless, there are some techniques that you can do that will be able to turn your budget smashing fireplace into something a bit more efficient. There are four simple things that you could do to change your fireplace into a cost-effective heat resource. All of these will make your fireplace very affordable and very efficient.
The first point is to replace your current fireplace damper with a more efficient top sealing damper. This form of damper is mounted at the top end of the chimney, and acts like a storm door. The top sealing damper keeps the air in the house from leaking out and will work remarkably well in both cold and warm weather conditions. This doesn't take much time to install and you can get one online. Next, you will need to have a fire-back in the rear area of your open fireplace. This is a cast iron plate that is intended to add to the room decor, while protecting the back wall from damage due to the heat. The fire-back will take the heat from a fire, and sends it back inside the room, enhancing the overall performance of the fireplace.
Another approach is to buy a fireplace fan/heater, which draws in air in a room and warms it up. These heaters are enclosed systems, therefore no smoke is released, and they really can make a difference in the temperature of your property. Lastly, you may install glass doors which could be the most expensive. If you do your homework, you can definitely get a great deal on glass doors and they are not that challenging to install yourself. Glass doors is able to keep the air in your home from escaping and it also helps to save your children and pets from fires.
The advice we've just given is not all that hard to implement, and all of the products can be readily purchased online. Keep your current fireplace and cut heating bills by making it more efficient.
A favourite among property owners in St Albans seeking to improve their conventional fireplaces, are fireplace inserts. These inserts have been specifically created to maximise the efficiency of a fireplace by increasing heat output into the room and reducing heat loss. For those who appreciate the ambience of a fire, these inserts provide a less complicated and safer option, free from the drawbacks of conventional wood-burning fireplaces.
There is an extensive range of styles and sizes to choose from for, including electric, gas and wood-burning models. Gas fireplace inserts are easy to use and require minimal maintenance, while electric inserts offer convenience and flexibility with their variable settings and remote control. Wood-burning inserts are the best choice for householders who desire the genuine experience of a crackling fire and the aroma of burning wood.
Fireplace inserts are good for the environment, in addition to their convenience and efficiency. They reduce the amount of air pollution caused by traditional fireplaces by producing fewer emissions and burning fuel more efficiently.
A professional installation is necessary for a correct and safe installation of a fireplace insert. An excellent investment for any property owner seeking to improve the comfort, convenience, and value of their home, fireplace inserts provide numerous benefits.
Chimney Sweep St Albans
The regular sweeping of your chimney is vital if you have an open fire or a stove in your property in St Albans. Chimneys need to be swept and cleaned at least once each year, if not more.
So as to get the work done correctly and without any mess, the best approach is to contact a professional St Albans chimney sweep, who'll be happy to help you. While the chimney sweep is cleaning your chimney, he will also be keeping an eye out for any safety issues or problems, so that they can then be promptly dealt with.
A build-up of ash, creosote and soot can lead to chimney fires if you neglect to sweep your chimney. An equally hazardous situation that can arise as a result of a poorly maintained chimney is carbon monoxide fumes flowing back into your home.
In the unlikely event that any accidents or damages occur while you're having your chimney cleaned, ensure your chosen St Albans chimney sweep has public liability cover. You can CLICK HERE for chimney sweep prices in St Albans.
Fireplace Installers Near St Albans
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