Try a fresh winter fireplace!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

If you don't already have one, the subject of a new fireplace might well have come up in many homes in recent times. After all, the weather has become more than a little chilly.

But there are several things to think about when you want to make such a potentially major change.

For one thing, you'll need to remember that chimneys might suddenly go from being a feature you hardly noticed about your house to something vital!

Putting in a fireplace will be a struggle where there's no existing chimney, advises MyBuilder.com CEO Ryan Notz.

"If it is a new home without a fireplace then it may not be possible to fit one in," he admitted.

People who live in older houses, where fireplaces have been taken out leaving chimney breasts intact, should be able to get new ones installed, though. 

"But some people want to take that space back in the room, so they actually remove that chimney breast," the expert went on.

"If that has been done, then to put it back in is impractically expensive. It is just not worth doing."

So the sad news for some people with a hankering for a fireplace is that it won't be practical in the absence of a chimney breast.

Those who can go for fireplaces, though should consider the sort of fuel they want to feed it. Providing heat using a fireplace can prove costly, but that is dependent on the source you get your fuel from, according to Mr Notz.

"If you live in the country and you can collect your firewood, it can effectively be a free way to heat your house while getting a bit of exercise in the process," he said – though doubtless people will want to stock up so they don't have to make a trip every day! 

But for those of us who are not so lucky as to have rural homes and would require a trip out to buy the likes of coal and wood, things can get expensive.

"It's pretty inefficient as a lot of the heat goes right up the chimney. Those are the main things to think about really: whether the structure allows you to easily put a fireplace in and whether you have got cheap access to fuel," said the expert.

"Another option would be to put a wood burning stove or something in, but again, you still need a chimney," advised Mr Notz. These create less mess compared to open fires, though.

Posted by Noel Martin. 

Copyright Adfero Ltd. 

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