Our main aim after the first winter in our new house was to make sure that we could warm our home and that we will never be so cold again. We already insulated under our living room floor, which helped keep in some of the heat, but we also decided that the 1950’s style gas fireplace in our living room had to go.
Not only did it not go with the style and period of the house, it also wasn’t safe. After much deliberation, we decided to replace it with an original Edwardian fireplace. Because of the quite significant costs involved, we also looked at reproduction fireplaces but these just weren’t as good as the originals.
If you have a new fireplace fitted, you have to use a HETAS registered company (they are the official body that approve solid fuel domestic appliances). Our local fitter also checked the chimney and chimney lining, to make sure that everything was safe and in order for our new fireplace. They also made sure, that everything complies with building regulations and registered our new fireplace with our council.
Our fitters were really friendly and quick. So quick in fact, that the old fireplace had gone before I could even take a picture! You can see our new slate hearth is already in place, too.
After a few more hours of work, this is what it looked like. We chose the tulip design on the tiles to match the tulips in our new stained glass windows.
As we live in a smoke control area, we are only allowed to burn approved fuels. This means that we can’t burn wood. To start with, we struggled lighting the coals. It takes a while for them to heat up and burn, but when they do, they give off a lot of heat. This is what the fire looked like last winter.
It’s such an improvement. Even if the rest of the house is still really cold in winter, we can at least heat the living room. It still sometimes takes us a few attempts to get the fire going, so if anyone has tips on lighting a coal fire, please share them with us.