I’ve inherited an old fireplace in my new home – what can I do?

If you have just bought a new property or considering one that has an old fireplace, you may be wondering what your options are and how expensive it may be to get it restored and back into good working order. There are a few things to consider and it will depend on the condition that it’s in. To help, we have put together a list of the things to think about to help make things a little easier for you. Read on to see how you can breathe new life into an old fireplace…

Chimney check

The first thing to do is to check the condition of the chimney. Depending on the type of fuel that you want to use, there will be different requirements for the chimney specifications, so it’s a good idea to have considered the options. More on that in a moment.

A chimney inspection is a job for the specialists as they will be looking at a number of things, including:

  • Whether or not it is sealed. If it is, you may need to invest some time and effort into getting it opened up and back into working order.
  • Whether it is structurally sound. It may be that it has been neglected and need to be repaired before you can use it. This could include replacing some of the brickwork or stabilising the chimney on the roof. Conversely, it may be absolutely fine!
  • The flue liner. If the old liner has deteriorated it may be time for a replacement.
  • Need for enlargement. It may be that the chimney is too narrow for what you have in mind, in which case it may be possible to enlarge it.
  • It may be that the chimney is in perfect working order, and just needs to be swept. This will remove any old ash and debris, including any old nests that birds and other animals may have built in the past.

Deciding on your preferred fuel

There are so many options on the market nowadays that there is bound to be one for you no matter what the constraints in your new home are. Briefly, they include:

  • Traditional wood-burning fireplaces
  • Gas-fired fireplaces
  • Electric fireplaces (a great option for those rare occasions when a chimney is beyond restoration or the cost of doing so is prohibitive)
  • Stoves – either wood-fired, gas-fired, or electric

One thing to keep in mind is whether you live in a smoke-controlled area. If you do, then your options may be a little more limited in terms of the type of fuel you can burn and the way in which you burn it. Stoves are fine, as long as they comply with Defra specifications, something that all our stoves do.

Enlarging the hearth

Once you have decided on the type of fuel you want to burn and want to opt for a stove, then your next step should be to consult a retailer to ensure that the hearth size is suitable.

For detailed advice and assistance on the restoration of old fireplaces and the most suitable options for your new home, get in touch with our Fiveways Fires & Stoves team of experts. Contact us by phone or email on 020 8127 4747 or at and we’d be delighted to help you bring an old fireplace back to life.