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Please talk to me about buying a fire and fireplace.

(12 Posts)
Aworryingtrend Fri 21-Oct-11 09:05:02

In our current house there is a hideous- very contemporary glass wall mounted fire left by the previous owners. We want to replace this with a traditional fireplace. And have no idea where to start.

The current glass monstrosity is a 'flueless gas' type one. I have no idea whether it works as we have never turned it on. However, the house does have a flue. Does this mean that we can have a normal gas fire? or might there be a reason why the previous owners opted for flueless gas?

Also, how does it work when you buy a fireplace? Will the people installing the new one take outt he old one? Is it it a big job?

There is no chimney btw. The house was built in the 1980s.

Any fireplace buying tips appreciated, thanks.

Redrobyn Fri 21-Oct-11 09:20:13

It may be they (Or previous owners to them) may have capped off the flue/chimney when fireplaces were seen as old fashioned. If this was the case or the flue didnt have enough 'draw' (Suction up the flue) or the flue/chimney leaked fumes into the rooms that the flue/chimnet travelled through, then they may have got the flueless one.
However.... it may have been purchased for its 'aesthetic' qualities even if you or I wouldnt like it.
If it is to be a working fireplace, then before you buy its best to get the flue checked out by a pro. I know you didnt want to hear that but its your safety at risk if you have carbon monoxide fumes spilling into your home. Essentially there are the fireback and the infill behind it which years ago was simply rubble, but these days I think has an additive of vermiculite to help reflect heat back into the room,and then the hearth and the decorative fire surround.
Decide early on if you want gas installed to the fire place.
Go to a place where they specialise in fireplaces and they will give all the advice you need and probably have a fitting service too.

Lizcat Fri 21-Oct-11 13:56:13

From bitter experience I would strongly suggest getting someone out to have a close look at the flue system. Our house originally victorian was extended in the 1980s and a flexible flue was used (now no longer allowed) this flue has sagged and is now very dangerous and would cause carbon monoxide posioning any fire was used. The bill to replace with a fixed flue was eye watering. So like Redrobyn I know it's not want you want to hear, we just Thank our lucky stars that we never used the hideous gas fire that was there.

Aworryingtrend Fri 21-Oct-11 14:24:08

Thanks so much, both of you. Who would come out and assess it do you think? We are visiting fireplace showrooms tomorrow, would they send someone out or are there idnependent people who would come to our house and look at it? Sorry for so many questions, I just don't want to look a complete numpty in the shop.

Lizcat Fri 21-Oct-11 15:54:39

It was someone who sells fireplaces who looked at our flue went pale asked us if we ever used the fire downstairs to which we said no. He then explained the problem and the costs of fixing it.

minipie Fri 21-Oct-11 16:42:40

I think ask the fireplace showroom. We've just had new fireplaces installed, we bought them through a showroom and they were fitted by an independent guy, but he works through the fireplace showroom so that would be the best way to find someone reputable I think. (Or I can recommend our fireplace fitter if you are in or near London).

Redrobyn Fri 21-Oct-11 18:14:43

We lived near East London and used a fireplace showroom in Leytonstone (By The Greenman Roundabout) and got excellent advice before hand and installation later of a lovely slate and also marble fireplace.

RandomMess Fri 21-Oct-11 21:17:49

Is it installed on an external wall? If it is then venting it could be quite straightforward if the existing flue is no good.

We have a contemporary flueless gas fire, no chimney due to loft conversion and no usuable external wall, terraced house and partial timber framed construction!

PigletJohn Sun 23-Oct-11 12:31:11

"might there be a reason why the previous owners opted for flueless gas?"

deathwish

Lots of RGIs will not fit them, or do anything to them except disconnect them.

As well as emitting potentially poisonous gas, especially if they are not frequenty tested and serviced, they also emit moisture. With no flue, it has nowhere to go.

needanewname Sun 23-Oct-11 12:43:43

When we bought our current house (1930's) there was no fireplace, it had been covered over years ago.

We went to a fireplace shop (if you're in SE London I would recommend them) they got the guy to come out and know through where the fireplace would be and then asses what would be suitable. They also had to check that the chimney was suitbale and did all kinds of tests for that - I think that costs us £50.

We knew we wanted and open fire or wood burning stove, I was gutted to be told an open fire would not be an option as the opening was too small but that we could have a stove. We did have to have the chimney lined and we were limited as to what stoves we could have, but it was the nest money spent ever, love it.

It should cost you too much to investigate what options you have.

needanewname Sun 23-Oct-11 12:44:12

shouldn't not should blush

yomellamoHelly Sun 23-Oct-11 19:24:26

We were going to have a gas fire installed a couple of weeks ago in a 1930s house. Chimney not capped and you could see where it had been filled in. When it came to it we discovered it had been filled with rubble (as was common in 50s and 60s apparently). Whole thing stopped there. (They filled it back up and very nicely charged nothing for all the palaver.) So might not be possible.

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