The ‘The house’ category:

I installed a wood-burning stove… and built a chimney

October 27th, 2013

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Our house has a slightly strange layout due to the fact that various extensions have been added to it over the years. This meant that our fireplace was between our kitchen and dining room. It was also an insert so almost all the heat went up, making it virtually pointless. Anyway, I ripped this out a while back whilst redoing our kitchen (photos might follow one day!) and yesterday began work on its replacement.

We bought a wood-burning stove. Because of the weird layout of the house – I’ve mentioned this, right? – we couldn’t use the existing chimney so the stove would need its own. Normally people get someone in to install their stove and create a chimney using twin-walled flue. This stuff is very expensive, and so is getting someone to do it all, so I figured I’d give it a go. How hard could it be? (The answer is very complicated as there are lots of things that must be done a certain way, but once these are figured out it’s not too hard).

The first job was going up into the loft to see where the new chimney could go; there are heating pipes up there so there were constraints. Then I built a hearth. Then I lifted the stove onto it with the help of my strong friend Paul. Then I cut a hole in the ceiling and installed my metal chimney block support. Once I’d measured where the chimney would exit the roof, I cut a hole in the roof, piled my chimney blocks one on top of the other, ran the flue through it, stuffed rock-wool into the void, joined it up with the black flue downstairs, rebuilt the roof, and took some photos.

Aside from the practical side of now having a lovely warm fireplace, I think the chimney really enhances the ramshackle look of the back of our house.

Made it, ma! Top of the roof!

June 14th, 2011

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The first thing you see when you come through our gate is this little house. It’s tiny but cute, or at least it would be if it wasn’t covered in a corrugated asbestos roof.

Last Tuesday I took down the roof on the lean-to and cleared out half of the little loft; the right-hand side is where we keep our garden tools so I left that as it is.

I then nailed up some rafters and stapled on some roof liner.

Nailed on some battens.

And finally laid some tiles that we found in the attic of the house.

Six days later and it was done! Except for some lime mortar flashing which I’m doing tomorrow.

It was a fun job to do, nowhere near as tricky as I’d imagined, and very satisfying. I’ve got the main bit of the little house to do next and I’m not quite sure how I’ll get up there without proper ladders. Maybe now’s the time to buy that helicopter I’ve always promised myself.

Our house

June 5th, 2011

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We’ve lived in our French house for 4 months. In that time we’ve done quite a lot of work. One of the jobs we meant to do in our first week but kept putting off was taking photos of the house so family and friends could see it.

So, a little later than promised, here they are….