Gas fire, open fire or board it up??

(23 Posts)
lambinapram Thu 01-Aug-13 21:24:19

We've recently moved into a 1940's house. Its got a horrible 80's gas fire in the living room. We were thinking of replacing it with an inset gas fire , but the ones i've seen online are pretty ugly or prohibitively expensive. Alternatively we could take out the old gas fire and put in an open fire, it would not really be used and mainly be decorative as we have a 3 YO and baby. Or we could just board the whole thing up which would give us more space but then we would be left with a blank chimney breast.

Any suggestions for nice gas fires under 1000? Would prefer to use the flue than get a flueless one for saftey reasons. Or ideas with what to do with unused chimney breast. We can't afford to have it removed. Or any other ideas I haven't thought of. TIA

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 01-Aug-13 21:32:50

Have you considered a log burner? Super warm and more attractive than gas fires.

wonkylegs Thu 01-Aug-13 22:04:20

I got a very simple fire to replace an awful wall mounted gas burner when I got my back boiler replaced with a combi. I got it from a local company for a very cheap price which also included a new marble hearth. They don't have a website but I have been looking at these guys for our new house.

Bunbaker Thu 01-Aug-13 22:12:26

I would always have an alternative source of fuel for heating in case of a power cut, so I think boarding up the fireplace is not a good idea. My preference would be for a gas fire - no mess and no faffing around re-stoking the fire/stove.

lambinapram Thu 01-Aug-13 22:15:55

Unexpected - i have considered a log burner, but the room is quite narrow so would take up quite a bit of space.

Thanks wonkylegs!! they've got some nice ones at reasonable prices.

DanceLikeJohnTravoltaNow Thu 01-Aug-13 22:16:43

We removed our 70's gas fire, had the gas pipe capped, boarded over and plastered then our boiler packed in. Really bad decision.

We are getting a multi fuel stove now.

hamab Thu 01-Aug-13 22:18:23

I like open fires so I'd probably get a limestone surround and black grate. We've used ours with small dc - just need a spark guard and a fire guard that attaches to the wall. Log burners are tidier though.

Bunbaker Thu 01-Aug-13 22:25:31

The problem with open fires is that they create a lot of dust and you need to repaint your living room ceiling every year.

lambinapram Thu 01-Aug-13 22:36:00

sounds like a gas fire would be the way to go, some on the wonkylegs linked looked good.

primallass Thu 01-Aug-13 22:46:26

We had one like this in a 1940s house. It suited the house well.

hamab Thu 01-Aug-13 22:52:22

The problem with open fires is that they create a lot of dust and you need to repaint your living room ceiling every year.

You really don't. We've not painted our living room in 7 years. There is some dust when you clean it out - but it generally stays on the hearth and you just sweep it up.

MummytoMog Thu 01-Aug-13 23:50:15

You can get quite diddy log burners, I'm thinking of the Little Wenlock for a start. We use ours non stop for nine months of the year, but our house is blinking freezing. My kids never really bothered with it, we only have a fireguard for when we have visitors.

annalouiseh Fri 02-Aug-13 00:07:45

bio fire???

Bunbaker Fri 02-Aug-13 07:46:05

"You really don't. We've not painted our living room in 7 years. There is some dust when you clean it out - but it generally stays on the hearth and you just sweep it up."

MIL had to. After a year of coal fires her living room ceiling was grey.

ComtesseDeFrouFrou Fri 02-Aug-13 07:48:24

Bun coal fires are much dirtier than wood fires, so if OP would use wood, it wouldn't be so much of an issue.

Also you need to make sure the fire draws really well, rather than belching smoke back into the room.

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 02-Aug-13 09:06:39

Could you put a wall hung fire in?

georgedawes Fri 02-Aug-13 09:18:03

I'd get a log burner, there's plenty of small ones

Gas fire, real fires are a PITA and messy. We paid £1200 all in for ours, marble surround with gas fire, fully fitted. It was a local company we used and we knocked them down a bit on the price. I think there is a picture in my profile.

Not coal - Wood is really environmentally friendly!!!
I agree an alternative heat source for powercuts is essential.
From experience an open fire is better with a young child - there is a very visual 'don't touch' element to it, my daughter never believed our wood burner was really as hot as I said until she touched it (luckily it wasn't very hot, but hot enough to put her off!)
Also there are some really nice fireguards around such as these ones, they also do all the grates etc for an open fire.

We removed old gas fires and made feature holes in the walls!
There is a wine rack in one room - but we drink it too quickly to fill it up.
In the other room that hole in the wall is handy for the kids toy displays and sometimes books.
There are very rare stories of children being burned - rare but i wouldn't want it to happen to mine.

I am more concerned about products of combustion from fires coming in to the room - soot will leave tell tale signs, but more you can't see.
NO2, CO and CO 2 and various other particles of concern for the chemists reading this!
Mostly a well maintained fire will not be a problem.
But in studies there are over 11 million gas fires in this country and most are not looked after properly.

Lots of people - perhaps most - do not realise you should get any fire serviced every year by a professional qualified engineer.
If a Gas fire - then he needs to be gas safe registered.
Over time old fires that are not serviced become more dangerous.
So there is an on going maintenance cost to having a fire serviced every year (say £75 appprox)
and chimney swept if necessary
There shouldn't be excessive soot/ dust from any fire - get it checked.

In case you can't guess I'm researching for a book on the subject. I can't stress enough they are perfectly safe - if put in correctly and maintained correctly - but a worrying health risk if not.

Just thought of more!
If you wanted it to be decorative but would rarely use it then an electric appliance would be far cheaper and maintenance free.
There are some lovely electric fires.

Bunbaker Sat 03-Aug-13 09:13:57

"Lots of people - perhaps most - do not realise you should get any fire serviced every year by a professional qualified engineer."

I am surprised at that. I always get our gas appliances regularly serviced. I thought that given the amount of horrifying publicity - remember the family from Horbury who died of CO poisoning in Corfu? that any sane person would remember to have regular services.

Yes bunbaker from studies I have read - that may not be accurate and may be out of date -
Most people get their boiler serviced but a large minority don't.

Almost no-one get's their gas oven checked!

A minority get their fire serviced - and worryingly it tends to be the older fires - over 10 /15 years old that are never serviced.

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