Today I had an email from Sarah in Shropshire. She’s doing up her house too with the help of her 2 springer spaniels Skye and Fern. They’re so gorgeous! I love their names too.
Sarah has begun the process of uncovering fireplaces and looking for lintels and she kindly sent us this photo for the blog. She was lucky enough to find a lintel in her chimney breast but unfortunately it’s boring old metal so she’s thinking of getting it replaced possibly with a wooden beam like our dining room fireplace.
Her next job is to install a wood burner. We are both jealous and cold! The saving for our wood burner continues but it’s looking like this winter will be a cold one and it won’t get fitted until the end of this year. Sarah is also considering exposing the brick chimney breast. I love how this looks in our living room. It’s great hearing about other people’s plans and renovations so it was brilliant getting these photos today.
Sarah emailed to ask us about laying our laminate floor. It’s not the first time we have been asked about it so Jus is in the process of writing her first ever post about laying laminate flooring.
So nice to know there are people out there reading our blog and finding it interesting. Thanks so much Sarah for getting in touch. Keep us updated on your progress and those gorgeous doggies. We heart them!
Our living room had an ugly but admittedly useful gas fire, which we had disconnected by the plumber and then removed ourselves last year. I put it in the front garden to take to the scrap metal yard, but someone nicked it overnight! People are going crazy for a bit of metal these days! I can understand why though as we weighed in some of the copper pipes we removed from the dining room fireplace and some old copper pans and got about £50 for them, result. However I wouldn’t steal something metal out of someones front garden! I stupidly forgot to take any photos of it before we removed it but you see it in the background of this picture of the dogs.The fire had a wooden surround that had been painted in cream emulsion, yikes, and was very shabby but not so chic. Then it had all been plastered into position, leaving the brick chimney breast visible, thank goodness. The exposed brick was one of the first things we fell in love with in the house. The Cheshire brick is pinky in colour and really nice quality. One of the benefits of living in a terraced house is you can see all the different options you have for renovation in your neighbours houses! One of our neighbours has no surround and just an open fireplace so before ripping this fire out we knew there would a brick arch for a lintel. We did not want a repeat of the lost lintel in the dining room, you can see that post here. So Jus and I got rid of some pent up stress and took a hammer and chisel to the plaster and wooden surround and were left with this.So we carried on hammering away and later, both covered in brick dust and soot, we ended up with this.Next job was to get it properly swept for £65. The chimney sweep smoke tested it and confirmed that it was sealed and had good draw, but that the gap between the hearth and the arch was too tall and the depth of the hole too short for a real fire. It would just let smoke into the room. Damn! It’s never straightforward! Plus the mortar needed changing so it contained lime to help it expand and shrink without cracking in the heat. The plan for both fireplaces was to have wood burners as they are more efficient and less dusty but we were going to have a real fire in it over the winter until we could afford a wood burner. So now we had a big empty hole and it was getting really draughty. Maybe the ugly gas fire wasn’t so bad after all. We decided to temporarily build up the bottom with bricks to raise the fire and see if that worked but cheshire brick is expensive so we waited until the builders were moving a doorway in the dining room and saved some of the bricks from that. Right now we have a grate perched precariously on some bricks and although the smoke goes straight up the chimney, the fire is so small it hardly heats the room. Although I guess it does stop the cold air coming down the chimney when it’s lit. I had envisioned relaxing whilst watching the flames crackle but I am constantly fretting about the fire spitting on the new rug, the dogs stealing burning logs out of it, and the grate falling off my brick tower, so we have hardly lit it at all. Need to start saving hard for a wood burner!