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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 7:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:14 pm
Posts: 31
Will this cold weather never end? up in our end of Yorkshire we're freezing. I am considering getting a multi fuel stove. We have an old gas fire which has never been lit since we bought this house, and the 'open plan' dining and sitting room (which DH insists is the library) is extremely cold. Being northern and tight, I object to having the central heating on at this time of year, or any time between March and November tbh. We have the funds at the mo to have a multi fuel stove fitted. Does anyone have any experience of these? how often do the chimneys need sweeping. I have been told they are noisy when it is windy- is this true? Would you recommend one? we have access to a steady supply of fuel at no cost (walking stick off-cuts from work), so I am sorely tempted.

Also, it has come to my notice that some of the exposed floorboards at the dining table end of the room have gaps between them, probably where splinters snapped off the edges during new CH fitting. They are drafty and cold. They do look quite good though. Does anyone know of any easy ways to insulate/ repair the floor boards? DH loves them, but I wonder if putting a realistic laminate over them wouldn't be the better option. We have been housed in some pretty appalling quarters by the MOD for the past 10 years, but at least we didn't have to take responsibility for any repairs or the like; as such, I am extremely naïve about any home improvements. Please see my next post for more advice needed!


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
We have a coal fire ourselves, not a multi fuel stove, but having visited friends with one it certainly seems as if the stoves throw out a lot more heat than open fires.

The chimney's should be swept once a year (costs £40-50 depending on who does it).

I've never noticed chimneys being extra noisy in high winds.

We had sanded floorboards too, until I got fed up of all the drafts and put carpet back down :roll:

You have my sympathies, ex forces family myself, 'tis a steep learning curve indeed!

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
We have a wood burner which also takes coal - is that what you mean? It's a bit like the one in the picture below.
http://tinyurl.com/cetcezs

We only tend to use wood in it as we have our own because we have lots of trees which we can chop at (though you need to 'season' the wood for a couple of years before you use it). We did use coal a couple of times but I didn't think it did as good a job. We have quite a large lounge and the burner heats it really well; and it also heats the next room, the hall and the bedroom above it. DD is very warm-blooded so it's good that we don't have to have the heating on all the time as she complains of being too hot.

Apart from all that, it is just gorgeous to sit by and gives the room a really nice focal point. We couldn't afford it at all when we had it put in but love it lots and are so glad we did it. We've even cooked soup in pans on the top when we have had a power cut, and we have a toasting fork too for the embers. :-) I have never had any issue with noise in the wind; and we get the chimney swept very infrequently - they use some kind of device now which means no soot or mess. You need to put some cowling over the chimney at the top to prevent birds coming down, that's all.

I do wish, though, that we had a range in the kitchen and could get hold of decent proper beef like they had in the olden days when I were young, and we could cook it there. Sigh.


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:14 pm
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Yes, Amber, that is exactly the kind of thing I fancy. The 'library' (scoff, scoff- two large book cases more like it) end of the room does require a focal point and, as not an overly tv watching family (tv is in other room, I call it the front room, DH calls it the snug...), I am picturing evenings in winter, or all year round at this rate, sitting round the fire playing games, reading etc. at least until the boys hit teenage years, become monosyllabic and disappear to their respective lairs. We had a coal fire (open) growing up, and I remember toasting crumpets on it, happy days... I'm pretty much sold on the idea, and now just have to brace myself for all the mess of having the old gas fire taken out, hearth/mantle piece out etc, and then the whole room will also need redecorating. I suspect this will not be a cheap venture. Thanks for warning me off about the bird-down-chimney scenario!

Snowdrops- you are totally right, leaving the army behind certainly has its ups and downs, but we wanted the boys to have a stable schooling without having to pack them off to boarding school. It was one of my brothers who told me that the chimneys were noisy and the upkeep a bit of a bind, but I suspect that was a bit of an exaggeration!


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
We put in a wood burner last year and have not used our central heating since. I would really recommend Clearview Stoves - expensive but with an "air wash" system that cleans the glass as it burns so that you always see the flames clearly. This is the 4th house where we have installed the same stove as it is so good. You will probably need to line the chimney with a metal liner but it is an easy DIY job as is fitting the stove itself - you then need a qualified bloke to actually commission it but if you just get a firm in to do everything you will double the cost of the project easily. You then need to ensure that you have sufficient air coming into the room so your draughty floorboards may yet prove to be useful!
Wood needs to be chopped into logs of the correct length and stored for a year before use but we find that for some woods this period can be as little as 6 months - also depends what season the tree was chopped down.
Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
And one of the delights is the smell of apple or cherry wood burning...if you have to go outside to the bin or (in our case) to put the hens to bed, the smell of the woodsmoke is so atmospheric and comforting.


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
We have a woodburner similar to the one in Ambers link and I find it heats up practically the whole of the downstairs....great for toasting marshmallows or wet socks if you're DH :evil: When it's windy it does sound as if the chimney is on fire... :shock: We have just installed a little cream one in our bedroom which I love....I have dreams of waking up in the morning in my night bonnet whilst a maid lights the fire....which I'm useless at....it takes practice!


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
We live in a 1970's house but are hoping to get planning (unbelievable we need planning permission in a road of ugly 1970 houses) for a wood burner. We can't agree on the size (I want a large one - but we have heard they can give out too much heat - is that possible?) nor - one door or two - I need to look in to it. I would love one.


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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
ginx wrote:
We live in a 1970's house but are hoping to get planning (unbelievable we need planning permission in a road of ugly 1970 houses) for a wood burner. We can't agree on the size (I want a large one - but we have heard they can give out too much heat - is that possible?) nor - one door or two - I need to look in to it. I would love one.
It is true that you need the right one for the size of your room and they could indeed overheat it if you bought one too big. If you go to a reputable shop though (we used a small independent one, and the chap there fitted it too) they will advise you on what you need.


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
Posts: 1390
Location: Reading
for draughty gaps in floorboards I installed some imaginatively named 'Gap Seal' and it has made a big difference. It is a V shaped strip of plastic that you cut to length and slide point down into the gaps - it spreads out and blocks a lot of draughts for little effort. This still might be the year that we put in carpet though as I hate cold feet and there is a 4 foot crawl space under the floor which means it's freezing at tootsie level.


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