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Fireplace and floor restoration - who do I hire?

(4 Posts)
TremoloGreen Fri 23-Oct-15 14:40:45

Our new house is 1930s with wooden floorboards and an open fire in the sitting room but it has all been covered up with carpet and a horrible concrete fireplace and hearth has been installed. I would like to rip out the fireplace and hearth, repair the wall and install a new slate hearth. I also want the floorboards sanded and gaps filled, and finished.

Question is: will I find one company who can do all this for me? A general builder? I can see there are a lot of companies who specialise in floor restorations only. Down the line, I would like to fit the fireplace with a woodburner, but I can't afford to do that now, I just need to get something that looks OK and will be compatible with a woodburner down the line. Would I therefore need a specialist, approved company to do the fireplace? Or just ask them for some advice for now on e.g. the size of the fireplace opening and width of hearth needed?

Budget-wise, I was hoping to get the fireplace sorted for about £500 and floor for about £750 (for roughly 40m2, not including any stairs). Am I wildly unrealistic? I could probably hammer out the fireplace myself, but I would still need a plasterer to sort out the aftermath. I know lots of people sand floors DIY, but logistically, with the age of our children, this isn't going to be possible.

Any advice appreciated, I am trying to do a major renovation on quite a tight budget and with two very small children, so I'm trying to manage disruption and coordinating different trades as much as possible! Also, if anyone has any recommended companies, I'm in North Herts.

wowfudge Fri 23-Oct-15 15:06:33

If the concrete hearth is level with the floorboards then you put the slate on top of it. Concrete is usually what is put in the floor for heat protection as a sub hearth. I looked into all of this for our 30s house when we were thinking of putting a wood burner in. If the floor is suspended above a cellar or crawl space, do make sure it is well insulated underneath it if you are having bare boards.

Is there a fire or just a fireplace at the moment?

I imagine a builder will subcontract who he needs - you could get a company that fits fires/stoves to sort out the fireplace and a separate company to do the floor afterwards. Any work you do on the fireplace would be worth doing to the spec required for a wood burner to avoid the need to rip it all out and start again in future.

TremoloGreen Fri 23-Oct-15 15:27:07

Thanks wowfudge. There are actually what look like concrete paving slabs sitting on top of the constructional hearth. It's just a fireplace for an open fire.

Did you get rockwool insulation put in from the crawl space or something else? THere is a crawl space under ours but not a cellar, so I need to look at where the access is. I was originally planning on doing this, but from the energy report we got when we bought the house, it didn't seem like adding floor insulation would be worth it in terms of energy saved. I'll have to do a bit more research I think.

In more generalt energy saving terms, we are getting a new boiler and CH system and having cavity wall insulation. The loft is already insulated but then boarded over, so I need to take one of the boards down to get an idea of how thick it is.

wowfudge Fri 23-Oct-15 15:50:41

We have cellars so there is insulation between ground floor floorboards and cellar ceiling panels.

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