We've just found an inglenook fireplace...

(34 Posts)
Daisybell1 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:26:00

....and I am beside myself with excitement.

So could you all please talk me down and tell me the drawbacks of fully opening it up.

My negatives so far are:

Drafts
It will collapse during the night
Drafts
Will dwarf the log burner which I've already bought (and looked fine when I thought I had a standard sized fireplace)
Drafts

Seriously, are there any drawbacks to setting the log burner back into the fireplace when previously it was going to sit in front? Will I lose a large amount of heat into the fireplace rather than coming out into the room?

OliviaBenson Mon 07-Oct-13 20:52:49

Eeeeek! No idea about your actual questions, but how exciting!!! You have to open it up! In my experience, they are usually bricked up because, in part, they didn't give a big enough 'draw'- a woodburner won't have that issue anyway.

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 07-Oct-13 20:56:29

If your putting a wood burner in then what about a register plate? Would solve your drafts worry and heat escaping to.

Daisybell1 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:58:50

A register plate - is that something that goes horizontally across the fireplace and holds the flue?

I can see how that would stop the drafts and spiders

headlesslambrini Mon 07-Oct-13 20:59:44

err Inglenook - need we say anymore! If it's starts to cost too much to heat because of the drafts then can't you just use bits of your DH to stop the drafts, I'm thiningk to start with his clothes but feel free to chop bits off if that's not quite enough grin

GrendelsMum Mon 07-Oct-13 21:13:53

We have 2 inglenook fireplaces (and 2 more we can't face opening up!)

Yes, tbh they do actually cut down the amount of heat given out by your wood burner very significantly, even when most of its blocked up. They are also a source of drafts.

However, if you dont mind about the inefficiency, it's very attractive. Just not attractive enough for us to have one in every bloody room in the house.

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 07-Oct-13 21:27:44

A register plate fills the chimney opening, just out of view. It has a hole for the flue pipe to go though, that gets sealed to the flue pipe. Theres also a hatch for cleaning out te chimneyand any dust build up outside te flue.

If you google images register plates you'll get a better idea.

georgedawes Mon 07-Oct-13 21:46:45

We have one and a register plate, painted black to match the flue. It looks awesome and the heat is amazing.

Daisybell1 Mon 07-Oct-13 22:12:30

Grendles mum - do you have register plates?

GrendelsMum Mon 07-Oct-13 22:15:15

Oh yes smile

Without them, I think we might as well live outside. With them, it's just unpleasantly drafty and heat is lost smile

Having said that, we've got a large house, large rooms, stone floors, big windows, etc, so it's not surprising it's cold.

Longtallsally Mon 07-Oct-13 22:19:31

Ooh how exciting. Dooo open it up but don't open it up tonight. I had a friend discover an inglenook, whilst home decorating one evening, and so thought she would explore just a little further. The local builder was very kind and came out to her at 2am, to stop her house falling in on itself . . . .!

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 07-Oct-13 22:32:46

You can insulate a chimney above a register plate. Again the internet search function is your friend.

I love inglenooks. We're recently moved into a modern box from a very warm house with two huge inglenooks that we had professionally overhauled, flues fitted, insulation added, register plates fitted etc.

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 08-Oct-13 08:06:02

Get yourself a stove fan to help circulate the heat to the room, rather than just heating to fireplace.

Daisybell1 Tue 08-Oct-13 08:40:50

Thank you all!

Don't worry, I didn't touch it last night - apart from my OH's cousin who came around for a look and who poked around a bit with a torch. Its not nearly as deep as I feared/hoped, and there already seems to be a stone 'lid' across it.

You're worrying me Grendles - the whole idea of the woodburner was to make the house blistering warm. If I'm going to lose all the heat I think I'd rather just leave the lintel/oak beam exposed and keep the rest bricked in.... (although it would kill me to do that).

Brown sauce I need to investigate these fans - we've only bought a 7kw stove...

mamapants Tue 08-Oct-13 15:25:51

I must be missing something. We have just opened up an inglenook in our new house (yet to move in) and the chimney is all sealed up with a hole for the flue only so don't see why it would cause draughts and heat loss. Everyone I know who has an inglenook has the same set up.
We have had to plaster/render parts though as the stonework was in a poor condition in places. Which you won't really know till you've done it.
I know quite a few people with inglenooks and have lived in a house with one and they were all toasty warm!
I think you should definitely open it up but am a big fan of original features in houses.

GrendelsMum Tue 08-Oct-13 22:12:06

Our fireplaces are very large (about 4m across?) so I can see that most people might not have the problem to the same extent. Plus we've got the original doors which aren't exactly precisely fitting, stone floors, etc etc.

I have to admit I'm also a bit of an energy efficiency geek, so spent time when we moved in tracking down the air flow and draughts around the house...

Our stove is warm if you're jammed up against the hearth, but if you sit on the sofa a few metres away, you don't get the benefit.

JessicaLundge Tue 08-Oct-13 22:16:47

GrendelsMum, out of pure nosiness, how old is your house? I am a shocking Old Buildings geek. blush

Belindabelle Tue 08-Oct-13 22:34:05

GredelsMum please please please post a picture of one ( or both) of your inglenooks. Go on you know you want to.

While you are at it what does your kitchen look like. I am imagining stone flags? Am I right.

JessicaLundge Tue 08-Oct-13 22:39:13

Oh God do you have a Screens Passage? <panting>

ExcuseTypos Tue 08-Oct-13 22:45:20

If you burn good seasoned wood and have a register plate, your house will be toasty warm. smile

Our drafty Tudor house has been transformed by installing a wood burner in an inglenook. We don't need to have the radiators on in that half of the house, as it heats the upstairs too.

Belindabelle Tue 08-Oct-13 22:50:38

Screens Passage! Gasps. Faints.

ThePuffyShirt Tue 08-Oct-13 23:03:06

How exciting!

We have an inglenook, uncovered by last owners, not us. It's Jacobean and about 2m deep by about 4m wide. It needed a bit of structural repair and a new oak beam was put in as a lintel. It was open up to the chimney. We had a register plate fitted as the opening was vast and we had a log/coal burner installed. We really love it - it has a little recessed seat in it and several little cubby holes.

Our house is extremely draughty and open but once that log burner gets going, the entire ground floor is boiling very cosy.

If it has been covered up for years, I would get it assessed for structural integrity. Ours was propped vertically, so that implied it might collapse.

Daisybell1 Wed 09-Oct-13 05:57:18

Thank you all!

The builder came last night and pronounced it safe, but also left us several props 'just in case' [hmmm]

Its nowhere on the scale of all of yours (inglenook may have been an overexcitement) but its 6ft across, the opening is 5ft high and the depth is currently unknown. The house is Georgian, but we don't know if it has older origins or not.

I'm a bit scared that our log burner is going to be dwarfed by the scale of it as all the lovely pictures on Housetohome show massive burners with the funnel type chimneys... At least we have a good supply of seasoned wood - it sounds like we'll need it!

Daisybell1 Thu 10-Oct-13 19:32:04

update: its not safe sad

OH started taking the bricks out and the lintel started moving <craaaaaappppp>

Its now bricked back up and we're both refusing to touch it!

JessicaLundge Thu 10-Oct-13 19:53:01

Eeek! That's scary! Have you got a builder to look at it?

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