wood burner question time

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  • I currently have an electric fire looks nice but expensive and doesn't emit much heat, i already have a fully working chimney probably just needs cleaning, also the gas fitting from an old gas fire are buried inside my chimney breast wall what i want to know is how do i go about putting a wood burner in? Planning on buying one so quotes from the chaps that make them would be handy would sooner have a hand made one than a B&Q one :D

  • More information needed, really. You'll need to get the gas pipe trimmed back to a safe distance - I assume you need a Corgi-certified chap/chappess for that one. Fitting the burner will depend on how much space you have inside the fireplace/hearth. If you can fit the burner right back into the fireplace, then you just need to chuck it in and run the flu up through a piece of fire-board (you'll need to get someone to cut that to size and fit it.... ideally with a hatch to allow access for sweeping the chimney). If you need to put the burner some way forwards from the fireplace, you'll probably need someone to make you up a flu suitable for the angle between the burner and the chimney. A lot depends on whether you end up buying a standard burner or getting someone to make one. If you get someone to make one, then I'm sure they could sort the flu out at the same time if they knew what your specific requirements were.

    It would also be an idea to get your chimney checked - mainly to make sure there's no smoke leakage into adjacent houses. You can do this with the assistance of a friendly neighbour and a smoke bomb. Also check for leakage into your/their lofts. Worst case scenario, you'll need to get the chimney lined. Usual price for that is in the £800/£1000 range, depending on who you know and where you live. It's unlikely you'll need to do that though, and most chimney lining is really an exercise in paranoia.

  • We did have it trimmed back when we took the old gas fire out not sure if it would be far enough back or not, hmmmm the chimney bit sounds like a nightmare looks like i need a pro tar for your advice.

  • What Atomik said really. I doubt you'd need a flue liner but you need to smoke bomb it to be certain. I could certainly make you a stove, flue and register plate, though I use steel rather than fireboard as it's more durable, but I'd need to know what you wanted before I could begin to put a price on it all. The b and q's of this world look really cheap, but they really aren't very good, it's very much a case of getting what you pay for, except that in this case you can pay an awful lot and still get crap. I could certainly make something which would work very well and last for ever for a relatively small amount of money, but I doubt if I could touch b and q prices because they are cast iron, essentially poured into a jelly mould. Those kind of things don't fit together properly even when new, warp, crack, and won't stay in because they leak air everywhere. My stoves would survive a nuclear explosion. Feel free to pm me when you have an idea of the kind of thing you want and I'll see if I can do something at a sensible price.

  • Ditto all of the above - avoid the Chinese ones on Ebay as well, they look nice and are cheap, but that's for a reason - the castings are crap and they don't last, and you can't get the spares when you need them.

    If you want a refurbished one I have plenty available, all makes and sizes, though if you want a snazzy well made one-off Julian's are good.:)

  • Great advice all looking for some thing old so recycling one would be great just so you know i'm in North West not sure where you guys work? Also would i need any structural advice when removing bricks from chimney breast wall if it's of any help my house is an old council probably built after WW2 but once housed a coal fire x

  • I removed the fireplace and installed a woodburner myself 10 years ago. I bought a Villager, made from welded steel plate, basically it works a treat. I had a fabrication shop make me a steel plate to seal off the chimney, again perfect. I swept the chim. before install, no liner (shreek of horrors). Things to learn, the chimney warms the upstairs room too, quality of fuel is crucial, any moisture in the wood and forget it. Get dry wood and you're cosy. Sadly in my locale, although I am on the edge of a forest, wood collection is banned. All easy to get wood has been taken already, there are a few suppliers of wood but the quality and quantity varies a lot, also prices have been on the up of late, woodburners are in fashion.

  • Lots of builders merchants etc give pallets away free. As long as you have the means to collect if free firewood.

    Pallets are treated with some pretty nasty chemicals, as they burn they give off VERY bad smoke. You're choice, but i wouldn't.
    I run a warehouse, and we dispose of a lot of broken pallets, but I wont use them as firewood; I like life.