Opening up a fireplace

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Elmo&Spud, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Elmo&Spud

    Elmo&Spud New Member

    Hi, I have decided to open-up my fire place, my house is about 200 years old and in very good condition. I will be getting the Chimney swept and smoke tested by a professional. To begin with I will be using a dog-grate style fire. I plan to do the work myself, is there anything I need to consider and take into account before attempting this. I am a competent DIY'er and skilled in various areas of house renovation, I have had the gas feed (form the old gas fire) removed and capped off well out the way and the stone hearth is in good condition. I'd just like to know if there is something I have not thought about. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks E&S
  2. magical trevor

    magical trevor New Member

    When opening it up dont underestimate the amount of dust that will be created by the work, it really gets everywhere.
    When removing the blockwork / bricks make sure that you dont remove the lintle / brick arch that is suporting the chimney. This may be obvious to you so sorry if it is.
  3. AlexJack

    AlexJack New Member

    Hi Elmo

    Im no expert but I am considering the same to put a wood burner in. Here is what I have found from t'internet

    a) stainless steel flue is recommended (if not required)
    b) double skinned seems to be required for coal or wood
    c) there are at least 2 different qualities - one for gas or oil (up to 500 degrees); one for wood and coal (up to 700 degrees)

    there was a good flue website I found on a link from that popular auction website with lots of technical detail

  4. tash

    tash New Member

    Hello all
    My musings hope they help someone:-
    For dog grates:- awful lot of heated (i.e. £STG) air will escape up this open chimney... even if fire not in.... open fires hugely inefficient and will also create draughts to feed the "pull" of the chimney.

    However if you must, I don;t think a liner is "required" for an existing chimney + open fire, although if flue is dodgy then may want to have a stainless double-skin multifuel liner with a "gather" hood installed. Dodgy flues = eroded bricks and mortar by soot and tars from ages past, leaving gaps and holes in flue for carbon monoxide /dioxide/ smells to escape into rest of house = bad/fatal news!

    For all stoves IMHO a suitable lining is best as gases leaving a stove are colder than open fire (as stoves more efficient) so tend to move slowly and so nasties condense onto sides of cold flues and start/finish process of erosion outlined above.
    Longest lasting seem to be pumice type ones (try ISOKERN) but seems to be a major rebuild job to get in properly; cheapest/easiest seem to be stainless double skin (2 grades - 316 is cheapest, 904 more but "better for smokeless") + can insulate around these with vermiculite to keep flue hot & minimise condensation of nasties onto wallls of stainless = longer life (hopefully!); "Naff"est seem to be "hurried" "poured in concrete around inflated sausage" types that to be good need a lot of opening up of flues to correctly place sausage before concreting - apparently often not done so on bends new "lining" is thin or does not even exist leading back to square one again with leaks and erosion etc. Presumably would be a few years til you realised and presumably difficult to prove b*gger all by then....

  5. Elmo&Spud

    Elmo&Spud New Member

    Cheers Guys thanks for your advice, I have decided to spend a bit of cash and get a multifuel stove, the bloke I'm getting it from told me he would come and check out the chimney etc, Thanks again E&S
  6. woodburner

    woodburner New Member


    I am an experienced stove enthusiast and strongly recommend the following advice.

    When using a woodburner one really ought to use a flexible steel liner, especially if you live in a terrace house; and yes that means scaffolding and yes it it is a job for the summer.

    If you do go to the trouble of installing a liner then make sure it is insulated. Wrap the first couple of metres with Rockwool pipe liners and then pour a semi dry mixture of cement and virmiculite down the exterior sides of the liner having fitted a secondary register plate.

    Among other things this ensures that the liner does not bang about when being cleaned (use soft brushes not chimney brushes) and thereby prevents it from being damaged; you also get a much more efficient burn, a much better draw, the fire/woodburner lights more easily, and the room heats up in minutes and stays warm for much longer. It also prevents cross over (when smoke from one flue crosses over to another and fills another room/house with smoke.

    Having gone to this trouble use an appropriate cowl and pot, the top of which has to be 65 cm above the roof ridge.

    A competent diyer can install a woodburner but they are not toys. There is plenty of sound advice on the web but one has to piece it all together.

    When you do get it all nice and neatly set up please use well seasoned wood!

    As mentioned in a previous post I can talk about stoves all day.

    Good luck E&S.
  7. woodburner

    woodburner New Member

    Hello again,

    I forgot to mention that you need to inform building control in most counties and check your buildings insurrance.

    This may sound like a lot of bother but it isn't really.


Share This Page