I had to dig up the existing floor as it wasn't
up to the weight of the fireplace and chimney. The resulting hole
was filled with reinforcing concrete to create a base for the new
firechest and chimney. The hole is blinded with sand before the damp
proof membrane is fitted and the concrete poured.
We had picked up a new stone fireplace sometime
in July and this was to dictate the size of the fireplace. The plan
was to have a big fireplace at the back of living room. In this
fireplace we'd have a stove that would help heat the hot water for
the house, provide direct heating for the living room and provide
a feature for that end of the room. Seeing as we've got a pretty
much unlimited source of free seasoned wood this seemed like an
efficient way to part heat the house.
The firechest was built in concrete blocks
with a two lintels forming the top. The larger concrete one fitted
to the rear supports the chimney whilst a steel one supports the
blocks making up the roof of the firechest. Once this was all set
the hearthstone was laid and a matching piece of yorkshire stone
cut to fit behind where the stove will sit. The chimney built using
a modular system called Anki. Its basically load of insulated blocks
that slot together forming a central flue, they're quick to put
up and I don't have the expertise or time to start building a chimney
from scratch. In the third photo above you can see where the chimney
comes up through the first floor and out to the roof.
I was nervous about checking the backboiler
circuit but once the leaks were cured this worked nicely, The boiler
was plumbed into the Dunsley hot water and heating circuits upstairs
so that the boiler would help to heat the floor and the hot wate
for the house.
The final step was to glue and bracket the
fire surround into place and enjoy the (nearly) finished result.
Sunpipe number 2
The back of the living room was really dark
so another sunpipe was fitted. As you
can see it really increases the quality of light in the back corner
of the room.
Underfloor heating was the only practical option
for the big rooms, radiators would have used up too much wall space
and concentrated hot air at ceiling height. Underfloorheating (UFH)
produces a higher percentage of radiant heat and runs at a lower
temperature to produce the same end result.
The UFH system had been delivered in July but installation had been
delayed by the building of the chimney and plumbing for the stove,
I now finally had time to clear both floors and install the system.
First I laid a DPM (damp proof membrane) onto the existing floor.
Long lengths of 4' x 2' softwood were then laid on end as floor
joists at 250mm centres. Into the gaps between joists went strips
of 35mm Kingspan insulation. 16mm UF pipe was then laid between
the joists in five seperate zones or circuits. These are connected
to a manifold which pumps hot water round these circuits.
Once the pipe (all 450m) was laid I linked it up
to the manifold and wired up the controls. Four of us then spent
suix hours laying six cubic metres of dry (8:1) sand and cement
mix. This set hard to make a large thermal mass that would hold
and radiate the heat from the hot pipes.
At first we used conventional thermostats to control
the UFH but it became obvious that with a heating up time of six
hours the floor needed to be permanently heated. The solution was
to install night set back thermostats that let you lower the temperature
of the room at night and when you're out without turning the heating
off entirely. This was all complicated by the installation of a
new condensing boiler and solar panels in the back of the house,
it took a lot of working out to get the conventional heating, hot
water and under floor heating all working independently. The result
is well worth the effort though, the under floor heating is really
effective for a room of this size.
We'd already bought approximately 130 square yards
of reclaimed flooring from a salvage dealer one year previously. Once
the heating was installed the flooring was laid on the heated slab for
a month to acclimatise, this is to prevent problems with expansion or
shrinkage once laid.
Every piece of wood had to be individually
cleaned up so the joining faces would meet properly. It was then a painstaking
job to level, lay and fix every piece without putting nails into the UF
pipe. A special tool was hired to secret nail the boards. The kitchen/dining
room floor will be finished in slate.
Side door and window
The side door to the living room had to go as it
didn't work with our planned layout. We replaced it with a stained glass
representation of Emley Moor tower, probably a first for a stained glass
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve was the big deadline for getting the
loor laid and the rooms heated, we made it with two days to spare. A temporary
MDF floor was laid in the kitchen, party lights installed and we were
ready to see the New Year in, in style. Dolefin performed their second
reunion gig of the year, the rest of the music was courtesy of iTunes.
We finally got to bed for a well earned couple of hours at 4.30am.
A new year and straight back to it, 25 sq metres
of slate flags were delivered for the 9th January and were laid in a weekend.
In the following week I stripped the damaged tiles from the new kitchen.
part 5 >>