December 3, 2006 at 6:42 pm (DIY, House renovation)

One of the best things about having a house of your own to strip back and restore is the fun of opening up fireplaces. Back in the day, idiots… I mean, people keen on modernizing their houses…. ripped off the original fireplace surrounds and covered over the chimney opening when they got modern heating installed. Partly it meant they could use that bit of the wall for furniture, especially now that they have a radiator taking up a large chunk of wall.

Our plans for this house include getting an original fireplace surround and insert for the sitting room. The dining room has a tiled 1930’s fireplace with lovely dark wood surround in situ but it’s been covered over with some ugly brown fake-brick tiles and we’re not sure if the mortal will come off the original tiles. If it does, I’d be happy to keep the 30’s fireplace because it means saving a bit of money! Both bedrooms are missing their original cast iron fireplace surrounds.

A builder friend of ours says you can get cheap fireplaces re-cast from original Victorian moulds… but they are made in China. The eco side of me disagrees with this, since that’s a lot of fuel to transport them.


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