30 Nov 2003
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United Kingdom

I have been instructed by my good lady that I must bring back to life the existing fireplace which we uncovered earlier this year. Indeed it would be nice to have a 'proper' fire again. It can be seen that this was once used as a coal/log fire since the original brickwork is still charred. The house is a 1930's semi-detached.

There was a gas fire which we have removed to reveal a wonderful old fireplace. (Don't worry, it was all done safely!)

Anyway, what we have is an arch top fireplace opening measuring 30 x 30 x 15.5 inches (depth).

For a start, we need to build a hearth of some sort. There is a concrete base on which to build. I envisage building a simple brick hearth.

My questions are:

1) Does the chimney need to be swept first? If so, why?

2) Any there any safety issues which I should be considering? In particular, I am thinking about issues concerning carbon dioxide or other pollutants which are given off by burning a natural fire. Is there any danger to the neighbours by such unwanted gases permeating the brickwork etc etc? Obviously this is of major importance.

3) OR.... Is it safe to just go ahead and build a new hearth, then shove some logs on, crank it up and get the marshmallows out?

Thanks for looking and any advice you can give.
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my first thought is that what you propose may be "not allowed" under local bye laws, best check with local council first.

If it is ok then get chimney swept. because how do you know if it is clear? (you don't)
There are strict rules and building control regulation which come into force last year.

If the chimney is not swept regularly,the smoke will come back down into your room.

Best to get advice from your local fireplaces as it now really for specialise company who are up to date with these regulations.
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If you got an open fire stack, get it swept, ('bout £25), no one can stop you returning an original feature to its original use. If they try, laugh at them !!

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