About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year's Destruction

What better way to see in the new year than by taking a hammer, chisel and crowbar to the sitting room wall?

Here's the sitting room fireplace as it was when we bought the house.


The gas fire was removed ASAP, when the man came to fit the cooker. That left us with a chilly draught, so as autumn turned to winter (it did that quite early this year) we bought some wood and started lighting fires in the empty fireplace:


However, the plan is to have a woodburning stove with back boiler in there, powering the central heating. I've been pretty sure there'd be a good big fireplace hiding somewhere in there. If there is, we can set the woodburner back into the wall so it doesn't stick out into the room too far. Only one way to find out, though:


After a couple of hours of happy destruction, we have a lintel!


Yes, it's big! I was going to expose it all, but gave up before I got to the left hand end. It probably goes all the way to the wall, and I don't think we want a firelace that big.

The next step is to find/choose the edges of the old fireplace then remove all the brickwork etc that's filling the gap. This will have to wait until we're pretty much ready to fit the stove, as once we've done it we'll have a very large gaping hole in the sitting room wall. The tricky thing is knowing what size register plate to get to go across the chimney before we've opened up the space to find out how big the chimney is. I foresee a rather chilly few days in the middle of that job.

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