Next it was time to sort out the fire itself.
After the luck we had finding the fireplace and the mirror I knew we were onto a winner. After all chimney sweeps are supposed to be lucky aren’t they??
Not lucky for me as it turns out. Not a “chim chiminy, chim chiminy, chim chim cher ee” in sight 😦 just a lot of sucking in of breath and head shaking. I’m sure that’s not how you normally sweep a chimney.
Turns out the previous owners (the anti-DIYers) had replaced the original brick chimney with a gas flue type one, which will not take the heat of a real fire.
“What does that mean for us?” I ask tentatively. Nearly £2k says the quote!!!!!!!!!!
I suppose a real fire wasn’t the best idea with 2 young children anyway *sigh*
After painting – a neutral white with the chimney breast as a feature wall in ‘mocha’ (using left over paint from another project naturally) – came the first job – the fireplace.
Hubby and I have dreams of sitting on a cold winter night in front of a blazing open fire. Smart dream with 2 young kiddie winks? Answers on a postcard please.
What do we have in situ? An uncentered hole covered by a piece of MDF screwed to the wall.
Don’t you just love DIY-ers who can’t?
So plan of action –
- find a fire surround keeping with the Victorian-ish features of the room
- get chimney swept
- enlarge hole to make it more centred
- buy grate for our lovely new open fire
It all started swimmingly enough. After a tip from a friend we visited a charity shop warehouse that sells all the furniture that is too big and bulky to fit in a normal high street charity shop. Hubby and I were in our element. The furniture was fabulous, okay some of it still smelt of mothballs, but the majority was in really good condition. The best thing about the shop was that it had links with the council which allowed families who could not afford furniture to exchange vouchers for say a settee or a dining table. Social conscience – check!
After a good look around – for research purposes naturally 😉 we found the perfect fireplace for our room and it was only £30! We snapped it up. Maybe a bit too keenly though as while we were carrying it outside it dawned on us that it may be too big to fit in the car. Oops.
A lot of huffing and puffing and jiggling and wiggling and rearranging and it was in. It may never come back out but it was in.
Here it is. At home. In pride of place.
Oh and see that mirror? £80 down to £2.50 but that’s another story! Bit of stain on it and it’ll match perfectly.
When we bought our house there was a lot of things needing doing to it. And I mean a lot. The previous owners had obviously attempted jobs around the house but, in the nicest way possible, DIY wasn’t their forte.
It’s okay. We can’t all be good at everything.
A little bit about me. I am a Stay-At-Home-Mum (or SAHM) for the moment as I am on maternity leave after having baby D. This has cut my wages significantly as SMP is not the most generous of incomes. Hubby has a very good job but with other projects on the go there is not a lot of spare money floating around our house. This means all jobs done in the house need to be as cost efficient as possible.
This was never meant to be our forever house but while we live here I would like it to be our home.
As well as following our improvements to the house this blog is meant to document the changes we make in order to reduce our footprints on the world. Ideally we would like to be self-sufficient but we are a long way from that at this moment. Hopefully by changing little things, they will all add up to be big things and mean that we can really make a difference.