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To rip out an orginal art deco fireplace?

(43 Posts)
audreyroberts Wed 20-Jul-11 10:57:49


i have umed and ahhed for years and years over what to do about an orginal art deco fireplace we have in our house.
The fireplace is really nice BUT it cant have a fire in as the opening is too small for current regulations. And it is a big old house that needs heat! So
my husband is trying to persuade me that nice as it looks it is not 'fit for purpose' and we should just rip out the tiled insert and get a woodburning stove before the winter.
I am worried we will regret it - any opinions?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 20-Jul-11 11:01:56

Why not sell it? Lots of people would love a reclaimed art deco fireplace. 'Ripping out' suggests it ends up in a pile of rubble.... which is a bit of a shame.

boswelloxsmith Wed 20-Jul-11 11:03:45

Can you get the chimney lined and put the woodburner in front of the fireplace?
It seems such a pity to haul it out.

champagnesupernova Wed 20-Jul-11 11:03:54

Presuming your house isn't listed or anything...what cogito said

audreyroberts Wed 20-Jul-11 11:05:05

We would still be able to keep the wooden surround - it would only be the tiled insert we would rip/take out - and as mentioned the opening is too narrow and arched for a fire of any sort so dont think it would sell.

Thanks for the reply though.

audreyroberts Wed 20-Jul-11 11:07:04

Could have it in front of fireplace - but think it would look silly perched so far into the room.
No house not listed or anything just a 1920s semi.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 20-Jul-11 11:08:20

How can it not be fit for purpose when it was presumably built for the house? grin

audreyroberts Wed 20-Jul-11 11:13:50

Well it probably was fit for purpose when built but to put now a days you need at least a 23" clearance for 'real' fire - this is only 20". Plus you need a 2" raised hearth - which it does not have.
We have had it looked at and the suggestion was we take it off the wall and raise the surround and insert. I mainly favour this option. But dh thinks it will most likely damage the surround and is 'loads of messing' and not give a good finish

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 20-Jul-11 11:13:52

I know the type of fireplace you mean and there is a market for them. Even if regulations have changed not everyone wants a functioning fire, they buy them purely for decoration.

audreyroberts Wed 20-Jul-11 11:15:27

oh ok I'll look into the selling option.

knittedbreast Wed 20-Jul-11 11:16:19

please do rip it out, and give it too me! :D

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 20-Jul-11 11:17:14

Ah, I get it. Definitely sell it, people love things like that.

londonone Wed 20-Jul-11 11:22:31

AFAIK if the feature is an original part of the fabric of the house is isn't required to meet building regs. If it's original you can use it. Who or what would stop you?

Pendeen Wed 20-Jul-11 11:27:45


(Serious question)

Legislation is not usually retrospective so I would be interested to know which regulation you believe prevents you from lighting a fire in an existing fireplace?

Or is it the case that you want to put in a woodburner or gas fire?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 20-Jul-11 11:29:16

Think very carefully about it, OP, because if you sell your house, the lack of the original fireplace could cost you in your house value.

OhWesternWind Wed 20-Jul-11 13:28:44

Building regs are NOT retrospective but if you carry out any alterations to the chimney etc then the new regs will apply.

Cocoflower Wed 20-Jul-11 14:04:05

Placing a woodburing stove inside seems the perfect soloution-but why do you need to rip the inserts out?

Can it not just be placed inside?

BehindLockNumberNine Wed 20-Jul-11 14:17:18

We made fires in our original (narrow) Victorian fireplaces in our Victorian semi. Regs are not retrospective, so there was no issue.

We had lovely fires (with a traditional 'feel' about them) and never any trouble.

When we came to sell the house there was a bit of a bidding war; according to the EA it was the fact that we had original working fireplaces which contributed to making people want the house.

So firstly, why not use it?
Secondly, think carefully about resale value.
(and thirdly, I feel that a period house deserves to retain some of its period features.... but am aware many people do not feel like that)

Adair Wed 20-Jul-11 14:21:01

Yup, another one here who wants it if you do rip it out!
But agree with the others. they look nice and right in old houses.

sausagesandmarmelade Wed 20-Jul-11 14:21:47

Someone made a fair point.

Ripping out an original fireplace could de-value the house.

I would seek professional advice re this one.

SarahStratton Wed 20-Jul-11 14:21:49

Get it swept and use it. There's nothing to stop you from using it at all. Please don't rip it out, the previous owners of my house ripped all the fireplaces out and IMO have ruined it.

valiumredhead Wed 20-Jul-11 14:35:24

Oh God NO! People that rip out original features should be shot wink

Just get it swept and start using it!

Islandlady Wed 20-Jul-11 14:50:57

Why dont you speak to your local fireplace shop, they may have some suggestions and will also let you know about current regs.

Mandy2003 Wed 20-Jul-11 15:10:59

Can you move it to a bedroom where it would be more decorative than useful?

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 15:14:13

Who is to know you are using a non-regulation fireplace though? Do you have fireplace inspectors ? shock

We have 2 Art-deco fireplaces in our house - in the bedrooms - and horrible Georgian-effect modern ones in the reception rooms. Vile!

If you do get rid, take it to a reclamation place. Someone might want it if they aren't planning on using the fireplace for fires.

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