Restoring an original fireplace is a great way to bring out the traditional features of your home, however, arriving at that magical stage where you can actually use your completed unit can take a bit of time and effort. There are also certain considerations that you need to take into account, such as the type of fireplace you have, the budget and equipment you have at your disposal and, of course, safety.
Although restoring an old fireplace is an eminently doable job, it is still possible that something could go wrong. To reduce the chances of this happening, you’ll need to take your time and call in professionals if you encounter anything that’s beyond your skill set. Of course, when the fireplace is installed, you’ll also need to be careful to keep flammable objects such as a wooden chest of drawers or the kid’s plastic toys a safe distance away from the open flame.
The original fireplace in your house is likely to be a traditional masonry unit, however, often prefabricated fireplaces are built in the place of these. To remove a prefab fireplace, you’ll need to take off the facing and unscrew existing fixtures, before pulling the fireplace clear. To remove a wood burning stove, which may also have been installed in place of your original fireplace, you simply need to drag out the single-piece, welded structure, being careful not to damage the surface below. The fireplace really can make a beautiful home so ensure its restored correctly.
Once you’ve removed the debris blocking your original fireplace, you’ll be able to start work on returning the unit to its former glory. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that the fireplace is properly connected to the chimney. You can do this by carrying out a smoke test, which involves burning a smoke pellet at the base of your chimney and checking that the smoke rises properly through the top.
If you encounter a problem, call in a professional chimney sweep to sort it out. However, before you make any changes, get permission from your local building authority, as alterations to chimneys come under the Building Regulations Act. Once your chimney and fireplace are connected, you can then fit a fire back and lay your hearth, before adding the finishing touches of the surround. Once the restoration process is complete, reinstall the unit, add some stylish living room décor and sit back and enjoy your new and improved fireplace.