After a lot of soul searching I decided to buy a stove and a fireplace. Being an employee of Chesney’s and familiar with the product I decided to go with a Chesney’s surround and stove. This seemed logical and as ‘fireplace person’ is an odd job I decided I could point at the set up when asked ‘and what do you do?’ by guests in my home. I have a one bed flat in a large Victorian house conversion. My flat is one floor up from the middle which is one floor up from the outside stairs. The house is quite traditional, it has a lot of period features, mouldings and original skirting boards, all of which I wanted to preserve. At some point, I think in the 80’s, the original fireplace had been ripped out and a gas fire had been put in its place. I was quite nervous to choose a fire that suited the house but my taste, unlike the taste of the original owners was not Victorian. I thought about choosing a more modern stove and ended up choosing the Salisbury 5kw, one of the popular stoves, with a large window and a Devonshire fire surround which, although plain, suited my tastes. When it came to hearth choices I decided traditional was best and went with slate. I liked the look of the Granite but was nervous about the possible fossilisation and limestone was out of the question as the ash would stain it. The best thing about the Devonshire was that the foot blocks matched the skirting board. Although I did a fair amount of measuring, the surrounds are mostly exact copies of period pieces. In a standard size Victorian room a standard size Devonshire fitted without any fuss.
I used the recommended sweep and the order was placed quickly. At Chesney’s the process works like this. You chose what sort of fire and stove you want. For the stove, chose the looks you like and then divide the cubic metres, the length height and width of your room, by 14. The number left after the previous calculation tells you what size stove you need. Round up if the room is draughty and down if its ‘air tight’. The stove heat can be adjusted while in use; the 5KW has a heat output range of 4 kW to 6KW and an efficiency rating of 84.5%. To get the ball rolling you pay an initial 50% refundable deposit and a site visit takes place, once this has been completed and instillation costs confirmed your final fit date is booked in. The installation process involved fitting the stove and lining the flue, although not required by law lining it is strongly recommend mainly for safety reasons as you run the risk of starting chimney fires without realising but also because you can significantly reduce the efficiency of your stove if you do not use a 6” liner. The whole process took about 5 weeks and at the end I had my stove and limestone surround fitted. My house is a bit ‘shabby chic’ and this seemed to fit in easily with the overall look although the Devonshire and Salisbury combination is a winner in most homes. I had for a long time considered the Burlington but it was a bit out of my price range.
I initially ordered quite a few bags of Logs from Chesney’s as I knew the novelty of the stove would be great enough to run it pretty much all weekend whether necessary or not. Luckily it was rainy, so I didn’t feel too wasteful. I turned off my central heating and had a good long stare at the flames, complimented myself on how everything looked a lot nicer and had a nap by the fire. The mantelpiece had been covered in various sentimental items and I had treated my self to a log holder which was made of nicer leather than my shoes.
Choosing a fireplace can be difficult. What I would advise having been on both sides of the process is if unsure go for something that suits the house age wise. If you like something else better have that. It’s not the end of the world. The nicest thing about buying a chimneypiece and a stove so far has been how impressed everyone is by the improvement in ambience.