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to want a real fire...

(17 Posts)
igglepiddle Sun 02-Aug-09 19:02:51

Moved to new house, had back boiler taken away and now left with a little space where a fire would have been. I'd love a real fire but dh thinks I'm being unreasonable as we have dc and it's a bit of an effort lighting it. Did a bit of research and was amazed at how expensive it would be!! (thought I was being thrifty!) Now wondering whether to get a pretned plug in one or just use the space 'decoratively' IYKWIM. Any ideas anyone? Bit brassic now having had loads done so thinking the plug in might be an option but wondered if they are lovely or a bit naff in real life? Can't tell as only see them in catalogues...

MrsPigeon Sun 02-Aug-09 19:11:20

How about a little woodburning stove? (Can't quite picture the space you mean, has it got a chimney?) Not sure how expensive they are mind you, but I think a couple of hundred quid?

igglepiddle Sun 02-Aug-09 19:14:49

That sounds nice..It does have a chimney but would need to be cleaned/swept. The space is about 60x60cm I think, would that be too small for wood burning stove?

cookielove Sun 02-Aug-09 19:16:20

My parents have a fire place that we have fires in, we love it always have, so great to have and as children we always knew to stay away from it, it had a fire guard, and we always supervised when with it, if you have no other form of heating then i would suggest getting a woodburning stove, however if u do, then i would keep it as a natural fire place, assuming the chimney isn't blocked i can't imagine it would be that expensive, coal and wood, newspaper and maybe the odd fire lighter.

Had great fun as a child folding up newspaper to put in the fire, and you'll need a grill

MrsPigeon Sun 02-Aug-09 19:18:49

something like this might work?

I love woodburning stoves but nowhere in our flat to put one! My PIL just got one though in their old fire place and they love it - you can burn loads of stuff and it has a lock attachment on the door so kids can't open it. And you can have a fire with less hassle.

I do not work for a woodburning stove company, promise.

BouncingTurtle Sun 02-Aug-09 19:19:54

My friends have a wood burning stove and they have a neat gadget that turns paper into logs - they then burn this as well as wood!

alardi Sun 02-Aug-09 19:21:11

It will be an open vent that keeps your house cold & drafty unless you always plug it or have a fire always going.
And, keeping a fire going all the time is a faff (takes up lots of time, most the heat goes up the chimney anyway).
That opening is way too small for a stove, BUT you might be able to open it out more. The very expensive thing would (probably) be getting your chimney lined.
Toddlers are (ime) mostly pretty sensible about open fires, they quite quickly get the idea that they must stay back.

igglepiddle Sun 02-Aug-09 19:29:33

The chimney isn't lined so I guess that would cost a bit, and perhaps it is too small sad. Does anyone just use the empty space where the fireplace used to be as a focal point though?

GentleOtter Sun 02-Aug-09 19:34:13

It costs around £1000 to have your chimney checked and relined (slightly less if the chimney is sound).
There are some tiny wood burning/solid fuel stoves to be had egtiny ones for houseboats or these which are small and not too dear

A good fireguard clipped in to the wall will keep the children away and they soon learn not to go near the fire.

It is lovely having a proper fire and well worth the mess and work.

alardi Sun 02-Aug-09 19:48:10

Hmm... I dunno. Wood drops bark and dirt everywhere when brought into the house and when you fill stove up. The kindling can be unsightly and expensive or awkward to store, although stove is a handy place to burn sensitive documents (like old bank statements). With a small stove (ours is fairly small) you have to feed it often (every 40 minutes or so in our case, or the temperature drops below optimal and you get more tar up the flue, or might have to spend more time stoking the fire back up again) AND you have to make sure the wood is chopped down that much smaller just to fit inside (you will need an Adz). ALSO, it's harder to get the stove up to optimal temperature and keep it there. Plus, there are maintenance costs, getting the chimney sweeped annually.

The having to feed it constantly is a big thing, it really turns into a chore you don't need when you have LOs around. But not applicable if it's mostly just a decorative thing, we were hoping it could help take the edge off the heating bills, which it doesn't do either, tell the truth!!

I thought that getting chimneys lined cost more than that, 1000 quid doesn't seem too bad.

corriefan Sun 02-Aug-09 19:54:35

I love real fires! Def worth it and make a nice focal point with a grate even when they're not lit. If you have central heating too it's not like you have to worry about getting enough fuel as it's just for extra warmth/ atmosphere. A chimney sweep would prob be able to advise you as to what would need doing to make sure it's usable.

BrigitBigKnickers Sun 02-Aug-09 20:47:05

We had no chimney at all in our house.

We had a whole class 1 (for real wood fires) chimney built 3 years ago in our house. Cost about £3000.

We buy a flat bed truck load of wood every 18 months costing about £100 and we have three fires a week from Oct to March. It's lovely!

It's the best home improvement we have done.

BodenGroupie Sun 02-Aug-09 22:09:52

We have woodburner in one room, open fire in the other. Would go for wb any time from heat, economy and clearing up point of view.

Always had open fires since before DCs were born - never had any problems with them (fires, not kids, that's another story...)

2rebecca Sun 02-Aug-09 22:20:18

Real fires are great if you have space to store wood or coal and don't mind faffing on. The children are irrelevent. You just buy a decent fire guard and shout at them if they go near it. Our kids and my brothers kept away and love real fires. We don't have one now as nowhere to store fuel. We have a gas fire that looks like a wood burning stove, like the Stovax Stockton stove or Esse stoves..

biffandchip Sun 02-Aug-09 23:19:52

We opened our fireplace 2 winters ago and it is The Best thing we did. Having moved from a house with a lovely open fire to a boxy
ex-council house we really needed something to make the place cosy. After umming and ahhing for 6yrs we got a chimney sweep to check the chimney and went ahead with opening the fireplace. It is worth the minimal hassle of cleaning the grate and at Christmas it is Fab!

mumblechum Sun 02-Aug-09 23:22:36

We have a woodburner in one l/room and an open fire in the other and have always had proper fires.

The main drawback is the mess, they do kick up a fair bit of dust when you're cleaning them out, but I can't imagine living in a house without proper fires.

somewhathorrified Mon 03-Aug-09 10:27:48

We had the same, removed back boiler and left with a hole. I'm a little confused as to what you think is expensive? A chimney sweep or gasman will be able to tell you if you need it lined (we didn't!), knock out a couple of courses of brick (up to the lintel). Buy concrete fireback, place in and backfill (cost to diy is about £100), fire basket from ebay, fire surround etc...done! Total cost of transformation into working fireplace was about £150. Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of work and took about 2 weeks with demolishing, rebuilding and waiting for concrete to dry etc, but it was something I really wanted to do.

Note: open fires are not an economical alternative for heating you room.

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