Living in London can throw up some interesting questions sometimes. For example, are you able to have an open fire and a chimney and if so, what can you burn?
Installing a chimney isn’t as seemingly straightforward as it used to be, with more health and safety codes to adhere to than ever before, if you want to add a fireplace to your home or alter your existing stove have an increasing number of questions.
Let’s take a look at all the important questions you may have regarding your stove, chimney and flue.
What kind of chimney do I have?
Many Londoners are unsure about what chimney they already have installed in their home; older UK homes have long standing chimney or flues preinstalled. Often you will be able to identify a chimney or flue by the age of the property but you may want to consider arranging a surveyor to visit your home so you can be absolutely sure before making any decisions or changes. If your home was built before the 1990’s then you are likely to have an open brick chimney and in this case you will definitely need a surveyor to decide which class of chimney this is before any renovations are made.
Can I still install a stove without a chimney?
If, like many London properties, you don’t have a chimney you are still able to have a stove installed by using a system of twin walled insulated chimney flues. You can either have the flue go outside of your home and up through the outside wall or alternatively have it go through the ceiling and out or up through the roof. Again, in this situation it is advisable to have a surveyor look at the structure of your home to decide the best way of carrying out the installation.
Can I get a traditional wood or coal burning fire?
If you decide you want a wood or coal burning stove you will need an open fireplace and a chimney or flue with a very specific internal diameter. It will also need to be made of specific materials as you will be burning solid fuels and this often creates a large build-up of creosote which can become dangerous if not dealt with.
How often should I clean my chimney?
In terms of how often you should have your chimney cleaned there is no exact time frame and it is something that you will need to regularly check yourself. The build-up of creosote inside the chimney will need to be regularly cleaned when the build-up becomes more than 1/8 of an inch because after that point it becomes a fire hazard. If left too long, chimney fires can occur and this can put your life and your home at great risk.
Will installing an open fire or stove increase the value of my London property?
Of course there are no guarantees, but buyers can often be swayed by a working open fire or stove and if you are selling in winter time, there’s nothing better to show your home off to its best than an open fireplace.