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  • FIRST POST
    • Nick Higg
    • By Nick Higg 10th Apr 18, 4:55 AM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Nick Higg
    Do you think this fireplace will support a wood burner?
    • #1
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:55 AM
    Do you think this fireplace will support a wood burner? 10th Apr 18 at 4:55 AM
    Thinking of buying a new place, it is fairly new build (10 years or so) and has a huge 'feature fireplace' in the front room. It has a stone hearth etc, but is blocked off with a wooden panel.
    In the room above, there seems to be a flue running through it, and there is a chimney with an elephants foot above that.
    Like I say, it is a new (isa) build but the fireplace has never had any kind of fire installed, and the current owners don't know if it can work.
    Its a question for builders really - would you build a house with a fireplace that doesn't connect to a flue that takes a chunk out of the room above and has a chimney on the top? It seems excessive for just a decorative item. It also projects a long way into the lounge...
    Not allowed to post images, but I can sent an URL to the right move listing if you PM me!


    Cheers for any thoughts!
    Nick
    Last edited by Nick Higg; 10-04-2018 at 5:05 AM. Reason: adding pictures
Page 1
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 10th Apr 18, 5:44 AM
    • 1,956 Posts
    • 1,289 Thanks
    Tom99
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 5:44 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 5:44 AM
    Post the link with some spaces inserted to break it up and someone will fix it for you.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Apr 18, 8:09 AM
    • 24,819 Posts
    • 92,125 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 8:09 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 8:09 AM
    You don't have to be a builder to know that real chimney breasts, stacks and pots aren't decorative items and add significantly to costs. For this reason I think it is likely to be usable.

    If you installed a wood burner, the chances are it would only need a 5" - 6" stainless steel flue liner.

    But would you really need a wood burner?

    Will you have storage space for the wood to use it daily, or would it just be a 'nice to have?'

    Is there mains gas? If there is, why install a wood burning device when an alternative exists which is easier to run, any time you like, and far less messy?
    Last edited by Davesnave; 10-04-2018 at 5:55 PM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • bris
    • By bris 10th Apr 18, 1:08 PM
    • 7,530 Posts
    • 6,544 Thanks
    bris
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:08 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:08 PM
    Get it smoke bombed, a gas safe registered engineer can tell you if the chimney meets the regulations.


    If your buying the property then the chances are you will need the gas appliances checked anyway so have it all checked at the same time.


    To get the fireplace checked you would obviously need the current owners permission to take down the wood that's blocking it off.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 10th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    • 2,436 Posts
    • 1,273 Thanks
    the_r_sole
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:27 PM
    You don't have to be a builder to know that chimney breasts and pots aren't decorative items and add significantly to costs.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    That's not quite true, I've seen a few with stuck on chimney features to get around planners - you can even get grp chimneys to stick on the roof so you don't need any hefty support.
    I'm working on a project at the moment where the chimney is being used to house the boiler and mhrv bits
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Apr 18, 2:00 PM
    • 24,819 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 2:00 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 2:00 PM
    That's not quite true, I've seen a few with stuck on chimney features to get around planners - you can even get grp chimneys to stick on the roof so you don't need any hefty support.
    I'm working on a project at the moment where the chimney is being used to house the boiler and mhrv bits
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    But this one, as described, has a full sized chimney breast downstairs, reducing as it passes throught the first floor in typical fashion, so it's very unlkely to be a decorative feature.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 10th Apr 18, 2:10 PM
    • 2,436 Posts
    • 1,273 Thanks
    the_r_sole
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 2:10 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 2:10 PM
    But this one, as described, has a full sized chimney breast downstairs, reducing as it passes throught the first floor in typical fashion, so it's very unlkely to be a decorative feature.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    It might be unlikely in this one, but it is certainly possible and miles away from your initial statement that chimeny pots and breasts aren't decorative
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Apr 18, 5:53 PM
    • 24,819 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 5:53 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 5:53 PM
    It might be unlikely in this one, but it is certainly possible and miles away from your initial statement that chimeny pots and breasts aren't decorative
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    OK I have added the word 'real, 'but I was only referring to this chimney and the OP's question, which was pretty specific.

    I'll freely admit I don't know what a GRP chimney would be supported on, but I'll bet it would be something like gallows brackets, not a major piece of brickwork from footings to roof level.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Nick Higg
    • By Nick Higg 10th Apr 18, 8:47 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Nick Higg
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 18, 8:47 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 18, 8:47 PM
    Here are the pictures - broken up so hopefully someone can 'fix em'
    I've always had open fires in the places I've owned, so I'm well up on storing wood (and indeed sourcing it and chopping it up). Thanks for everyones comments - it chimes with what I'm thinking...

    [IMG]https: //imageshack.com/a/img922/8352/q9jEKf.jpg
    https: //imageshack.com/a/img923/1898/ZlFl43.png
    https: //imageshack.com/a/img922/3577/wUhITm.png[/IMG]
    • Ruski
    • By Ruski 10th Apr 18, 9:21 PM
    • 1,484 Posts
    • 876 Thanks
    Ruski
    Here are the pictures - broken up so hopefully someone can 'fix em'
    I've always had open fires in the places I've owned, so I'm well up on storing wood (and indeed sourcing it and chopping it up). Thanks for everyones comments - it chimes with what I'm thinking...

    [IMG]https: //imageshack.com/a/img922/8352/q9jEKf.jpg
    https: //imageshack.com/a/img923/1898/ZlFl43.png
    https: //imageshack.com/a/img922/3577/wUhITm.png[/IMG]
    Originally posted by Nick Higg
    https://imageshack.com/a/img922/8352/q9jEKf.jpg
    https://imageshack.com/a/img923/1898/ZlFl43.png
    https://imageshack.com/a/img922/3577/wUhITm.png
    Perfection takes time: don't expect miracles in a day
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Apr 18, 9:31 PM
    • 24,819 Posts
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    Davesnave
    It's real enough.

    It ought to be in very good condition, but you would need the opinion of an installer regarding the need for a flue liner. I ran my last wood burner in a 45year old concrete flue of about 9" diameter with no problems, but each situation's different.


    https://imageshack.com/a/img922/3577/wUhITm.png
    https://imageshack.com/a/img923/1898/ZlFl43.png
    https://imageshack.com/a/img922/8352/q9jEKf.jpg
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Nick Higg
    • By Nick Higg 10th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Nick Higg
    Thanks for looking! Its only 10 years old, so it should be in good condition!
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 10th Apr 18, 10:10 PM
    • 3,062 Posts
    • 1,941 Thanks
    Ectophile
    Get it smoke bombed, a gas safe registered engineer can tell you if the chimney meets the regulations.
    Originally posted by bris
    Gas safe - for a wood burner?

    For a solid fuel appliance, you need a HETAS member to have a look at it.

    The chances are, you'll need a stainless steel liner. However, you might get lucky and find that the chimney was built lined - in which case you could save a few hundred pounds.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Nick Higg
    • By Nick Higg 11th Apr 18, 6:26 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Nick Higg
    Do you need a liner even if the flue is in god condition?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 11th Apr 18, 6:54 AM
    • 24,819 Posts
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    Davesnave
    The trick with solid fuel burners is to have good draught control. Liners matched to a fire will make it easier to control. My liner is only 5" but it pulls like a train when I need it to; like this morning, when the fire went from virtually dead to roaring in 5 minutes, despite wind being almost non-existent.

    When I used the chimney unlined with my old fire, I didn't have the same amount of control, but I can't be sure that it wasn't also down to having a naff stove.

    This is where the advice of someone experienced will be useful; preferably someone who doesn't just wasnt to flog you a liner!

    This page explains it better than I can:

    https://www.stovefitterswarehouse.co.uk/pages/what-is-a-chimney-liner-and-do-i-need-one
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Furts
    • By Furts 11th Apr 18, 8:55 AM
    • 4,124 Posts
    • 2,657 Thanks
    Furts
    It's real enough.

    It ought to be in very good condition, but you would need the opinion of an installer regarding the need for a flue liner. I ran my last wood burner in a 45year old concrete flue of about 9" diameter with no problems, but each situation's different.

    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Not a good chimney, but it has lasted 10 years. My intuition is with that standard of detailing and construction the flaunching will be shot away by now. It would be prudent to get it checked out if a flue liner is going to be installed. Consider getting scaffolding erected so the chimney can be properly checked and rebuilt if required.
    Last edited by Furts; 11-04-2018 at 9:07 AM.
    • Nick Higg
    • By Nick Higg 11th Apr 18, 9:30 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Nick Higg
    why do you say it's not a good chimney? All the pointing looks fine to me - it can't need rebuilding after just 10 years surely?
    • Furts
    • By Furts 11th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    • 4,124 Posts
    • 2,657 Thanks
    Furts
    why do you say it's not a good chimney? All the pointing looks fine to me - it can't need rebuilding after just 10 years surely?
    Originally posted by Nick Higg
    I have seen worse, but the fact remains it was never well built in the first place. From the inadequate corbel detail, to the water staining down the render, to the lack of a drip detail, to the wrong folds with the lead detail, to ... you get the idea. But the 10 year guarantee will have expired, so any defects and rebuilding cannot be pushed towards the new build warranty provider. All round a cause for investigation.

    The fact that I have mentioned flaunching and you have ignored this is a little concerning. Likewise your feed back on pointing - I did not mention this, though you will clearly see the weeps are inconsistent. But in general that is why a full survey gets commissioned before purchase.
    • Nick Higg
    • By Nick Higg 12th Apr 18, 6:16 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Nick Higg
    I didn't mention the flaunching coz I can't see it from the ground, but I appreciate your other comments - I shall certainly direct the surveyor to take a look. Thanks!
    • Furts
    • By Furts 12th Apr 18, 7:44 AM
    • 4,124 Posts
    • 2,657 Thanks
    Furts
    I didn't mention the flaunching coz I can't see it from the ground, but I appreciate your other comments - I shall certainly direct the surveyor to take a look. Thanks!
    Originally posted by Nick Higg
    Also be realistic here. Whether surveyors have the knowledge to recognise any issues with the chimney opens up a can of worms topic for discussion. In theory, somebody designed, inspected and signed off his chimney and it could be much better. Which means some qualified folks in all this could have been more professional!
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