I didn't realise how time can go by so quickly without posting on a blog, I'm not very good at keeping up with things and often start projects and never finish them, so I guess that's why there has been no posting since august.
I have always wanted a few things in life from being a teen and one of them was a cast iron fire, I wont go into the hassle of finding one then trying frantically to get the money together to buy it but I will tell you about the disasters that followed...
In my wisdom as I'm quite handy I thought it would be OK for us to install it ourselves, so we read up on the net and looked at books on what to do, then late one night I picked up the hammer (the neighbours were out) and started taking off the plaster, I was getting quite carried away and enjoyed the hammering until I realised that there was a big hole in the wall where bricks should of been, I kept going to see where the Lintel was, but there was no lintel, at some point half the chimney must of fallen down (before we moved in) and a bad builder had botched up the hole with bits of brick just pushed in.
We had to get someone in to sort it out, which put the cost up even more. We needed to get extra things which we hadn't even thought of and it took a while until it was in and sorted.
So we thought, since it has been installed the chimney sweep came out and supposedly cleaned the chimney, that night a whole ton of soot came down the chimney and covered everything in black ash, so he came back the next day and did it again... guess what happened a couple of days after that, yep more soot came down, I was pretty peed off by this point, but kept thinking how lucky we were to have an open fire. Then the big day arrived of lighting the fire (we had to wait for the cement to dry). Packed it all up, got it going and loads of smoke kept pouring into the room from around the edge of the tiles. Nightmare, so the builder came and said we needed a higher chimney, he climbed up and took the old one off but then couldn't reach to cement the new one in place!. It has been trying to say the least, lovely to look at but it cost a lot more than we bargained for and it was meant to be saving money in the long run not having to pay the extortionate gas prices.
The only thing we did frugally on this project was our homemade coal shed. We got a free large compost bin off the council and a free hardwood pallet with a board already fixed on from the local shop and fixed the bin to the pallet with L brackets, so the coal man (bottomleys) just comes and tips the bags in the top and we get our coal out of the front composting door.
Now it looks lovely when its going and for all the trouble each time I pass the door and see the fire it makes me happy in spite of how much and how long its taken to get it working.