Relight My Fire

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.

Fireplace Before

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.

Fireplace Opening

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.

Edwardian Fireplace

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.

Edwardian Fireplace After

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.

*You can check out our complete guide to Restoring, Maintaining and Running a period fireplace here!*


  1. Alison says

    Hi both – lovely job you are dong! just a question re. chimney – I am getting conflicting advice from various HETAS engineers I have asked for quotes as to whether or not I need to line the chimney before installing a cast iron fireplace. Some say yes others no. Chimney sweep who checked it for me says its ready to go but now am not sure! did you have this problem?

    • says

      We had a load of conflicting advice, too. Basically it all depends on the condition of your chimney. If your chimney sweep says it’s okay, it probably is, as he’s not trying to sell you a flue liner. We heard that companies will try to sell you a liner whether you need it or not! Our chimneys were both in a decent condition and our open cast iron fireplace in the living room doesn’t have a liner. Our new wood burner in the dining room on the other hand does, because were advised, that the stove would work more efficiently with a flue liner. I doubt that a liner would effect the efficiency on an open fireplace though.
      If you do decide to go for a flue liner, there are different types available. If you burn coal (as opposed to wood), it burns at a very high temperate and there are flue liners available that are more suited to that.
      As long as you get the necessary HETAS certificate, it probably won’t matter which option you go for.
      Hope that’s some help!


  1. […] Yep, you#8217;ve guessed it; the award has to go to our newly fitted original Edwardian fireplace in the living room. You can read about the full project here. […]

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