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Really ignorant question about fireplaces/re-opening them!

(7 Posts)
RicketyCricket Thu 30-Mar-17 11:13:17

I've just bought my first house (YAY!!!) and in the living room it has a chimney breast wall with no fireplace. I want a decorative fireplace (and may have already bought an original victorian one on Ebay blush).

I presume this is too big a job for a DIY novice? Do I just find a builder and ask them to do it? Does anyone know what kind of ballpark figure that would cost?

I am totally new to home ownership after far too many years renting and, while I'm really giddy about all the things I can do, I could really do with some advice!

BroomstickOfLove Thu 30-Mar-17 11:20:10

Do you want to be able use the fireplace or just have it to look at?

I am trying to do this, but am finding it very, very difficult to find a HETAS qualified person to fit the fireplace I want, as most people in my area only fit stoves these days. Of the ones who do, most will only fit the fireplaces they sell. The one remaining person gave me a rough estimate of around £2,500 plus the cost of the fire surround, hearth etc. So I now have a hole in the wall where I ripped out a gas heater and am tesigning myself to no fires for several years.

TattiePants Thu 30-Mar-17 11:51:30

As you only want a decorative fireplace then yes its pretty easy to do yourself and I've done it a couple of times. Chip off the plaster first then start to knock the bricks out. It should be easy to tell the difference between the old and new bricks.

As you've already bought the fireplace the only issue would be if the fireplace is bigger than the hole you create in the wall (there should be an original lintel to support the wall and if you had to remove this to create a larger space, you would probably need help to replace it). ?You would probably need to replaster around the fireplace for a neat finish.

It is a messy job, especially if previous builders have hidden piles of rubble and rubbish in the cavity before they bricked it up!!

specialsubject Thu 30-Mar-17 19:24:56

Given that an open fire is under 20% efficient, fitting one to use is a serious two fingers stuck up to the next generation. If it is just decorative make sure all is sealed.

And when you sell , make it clear that it is not real!

BroomstickOfLove Thu 30-Mar-17 19:46:28

Special subject - 'a serious 2 fingers stuck up to the next generation'? That's a bit rude, really. I want to be able to sit by a fire occasionally in the winter, and watch the flames, and toast things, and then afterwards, when it's done, replace the wooden chimney plug thing.

I take it that you live in an house powered entirely by renewable energy, never drive or fly and only eat locally grown vegan food?

Coughingchildren5 Thu 30-Mar-17 21:09:45

www.hetas.co.uk/find-installer use this link to find local experts to advise you on what you need to do to install a working fireplace.
I ignored the people who said open fires are draughty, and I am so glad I did. Mine isn't draughty, it's lovely. I don't rely on it for heating, it's just a feature when we are in the mood.
I had a few local engineers over for quotes and they gave loads of advice which was so helpful.

Lucisky Fri 31-Mar-17 12:17:17

It's a mucky job - just to warn you. It's surprising how much rubble etc can have been chucked in the void. I had a small open fireplace at my last house, but I could see there was a larger original one behind. (250 year old cottage). It turned out to be enormous and there must have been a skip load of crap in there. I was cleaning up for weeks. Your chimney will also need checking to make sure it is viable, as it may need lining. Any reputable builder will be able to do it safely and give the required HETAS cert.

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