This weeks project has been getting the chimneys operational. The builder has been busy taking down the old chimneys and putting them back straight. Indoors, we had the chimney sweep come round and we busied away clearing the lounge fireplace…
I’d hoped when we bought the house we’d find an amazing fireplace behind the boards blocking it off, it turned out to be empty, but the Library Fireplace made up for the disappointment. When we cleared the bricks blocking up the fireplace we found numerous pieces of tile that I assume would once of been part of the fireplace, it has a black printed design and is hand coloured (not very well to be honest!) but I love the deep pink and purple in the flowers, and the shades match perfectly the colours in the stained glass windows, those Victorians certainly weren’t afraid of a bit of colour…anyway, back to the job in hand… I knew the task wasn’t going to be as easy as anticipated when this sizeable delivery appeared on our driveway…
Once unwrapped, a chimney liner apparently looks like this, who knew?
This is the gas version, the solid fuel version is slightly smoother. These ten meter lengths were around £300 each, someone is making some serious profit margin on this stuff. So now we just had to get them down the chimney, simple hey? Firstly we dropped ropes down, which Ronnie weighted with the vintage kitchen weight I bought a few weeks ago, this was not it’s intended purpose! That said, it was the perfect tool for the job. Once we had the rope down, it was time to get the liners up to the roof via the scaffolding, straightening them out as they went…
Now the plan was essentially to tie the liner to the rope on the roof, one of us to feed it down the chimney and the other, to tug like hell from below, I chose my role wisely.
As the fitting instructions recommended, Ronnie wrapped tubes of insulation around the liner as it was fed down the chimney, (improves the draw of smoke apparently) but every time I pulled the rope below, the liner was getting lodged in the crook of the chimney, we tried about 20 times during the course of an exhausting few hours and eventually decided to get a nose cone from the local stove supplier, we had read this would make the process easier. Brettle Lane Stoves were out of cones, but the guy very kindly gave us some invaluable advice, firstly, hammer the end of the liner into a cone form which will be easier to guide, and secondly, put the insulation down after the liner. We did just that and the liner came down perfectly, along with a random brick, some tin foil and a boat-load of soot!
The second one came down sweet as nut, we’re now feeling quite the flue-lining experts, and very pleased to have saved around £1500 by doing this ourselves. Need to start researching fires next!
You guys have my complete admiration! I’m interested to see how you connect the liner to the fire box. One of the dirty little secrets of my house (there are so many) is that there’s no damper in the chimney … and I’m sure it needs lining. I don’t even want to think about that! The painted tiles remind me of the banner of your blog with similar colors and scrolly leaves! What serendipity!
The chimney in my last house sounds a bit like that, no one was quite sure how or why, but against all the odds it worked, so I chose not to mess with it! I did my banner to match the window colours (think I subconsciously ‘branded’ the house), so funny you think the tiles match to the banner, as I thought the tiles matched to the windows, they feature the same green, mustard, clover and teal…there were traces of a mustard yellow ceiling at some point too, and we think of the Victorians being dark and dower! Have a good week.
I’m sure my chimney is not lined and I can’t remember if our sweep suggested or not. I think you’re brave to have done this yourselves. Way to go. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music
I think the need for it depends on the state of your chimney, ours were terrible, plus there’s fireplaces in the bedroom coming from the main chambers, no nasty fumes while we’re sleeping!