Sunday, December 5, 2010

If you Build it......

HEAT will come!

Despite some disagreement from me about the necessity of a wood stove, guess who's butt has been firmly planted in front of it since we had it installed?

MINE!  Well, not all mine.  I have to make room for two cats, and occasionally Nick comes in to.....

"throw another log on the fire....".  He hasn't cooked me up any bacon and beans, nor has he fetched my slippers.  But, this wood stove was one of his best ideas (not that I'll ever admit to thinking it, let alone writing it!)

Installing the fireplace was not a difficult job, but it did take planning, remodelling and quite some hours of work. 

First we had to move the 58ins flat screen TV (it now hangs on the wall).  Helping move and hang that thing nearly killed me!  Next, we had to move the corner china cabinet containing part of my lovely African Violet tea cup collection.  Taking that sucker off the wall nearly killed me too!  Findng somewhere to put it was the next hurdle.  In the end there was only one place it could possibly go, and that's where it went!

The drywall was badly damaged where the big china cabinet had hung, so we had to repair umpty holes, do lots of sanding, and then paint.  Of course there was no left over paint from a couple of years ago, and the colour wasn't a standard one (it was a bit o' this and bit o' that)!  We finally got a very close match, and had to do three coats!

Now that the wall was finished we had to deal with the floor.  A 60ins x 60ins piece of carpet plus the underlayment had to be removed (18ins from all points of the new wood stove).  We already had some lovely natural stone tile in storage, and just had to get a few pieces cut.  It was like a jigsaw puzzle putting it all together.

Once everything was set, it was time to mix the mortar, wash the stone, position and level them.  Once dry, we had to mix the grout and finish the tiling.  After lots and lots of wiping and cleaning, we had a beautiful tiled area for the wood stove.

The Regency F1100 was installed on 1st December.  Installation only took a few hours, and by 3pm, we were enjoying the most awesome wood fire!

The small wood stove keeps the top floor of our house heated to between 23C-24C.  We have lots and lots of hardwood and softwood.  About every hour it requires another small log.  We don't put any wood in after 8pm, and by 11pm, it's still about 21C.  Our furnace only comes on in the wee hours of the morning until about 9am.

Every morning we clean out most of the ash (simple job since it has an ash box installed directly under the fireplace in the pedestal). The glass must be cleaned with a special cleaner that takes only a few minutes.  Then we load it with a mix of softwood and hardwood, throw in a firestarter cube, and within minutes it's burning brightly!  There's hardly any smell from it - just a little when the door is opened to throw in another log.

I so love not smelling that awful oil furnace.  I love watching the fire.  I love the warmth it provides.  I love that we'll be saving mega bucks in oil.  I love that the cats sit patiently waiting for us to start it in the morning.  But what I love most is snuggling up on the couch with my knitting and listening to the Christmas carols!  Aaaah, this is living!

And YES, you girls need to come over for a knitting night in front of the wonderful fireplace!

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