Even a very modest project - a house extension or a loft conversion - is an opportunity to do something interesting and exciting as well as creating more space for your property. You can enhance the neighbourhood, by adding to the sense of place that the surrounding buildings and landscape provide. You can enhance your home or workplace by providing a more energy-efficient building, through good insulation, and an up-to-date heating system with perhaps its own energy supply. You can enhance your lifestyle by choosing a design that uses natural materials and respects the planet. In the 21st century, and in one of the richest nations on Earth, it seems absurd that we settle for housing and buildings that are often just bland and uninspiring. In the sections that follow, this page looks at some of the most common alterations that people wish to make to their properties, describes the issues involved and offers a guide to getting the best results for your project.
Stoves are increasingly popular and provide almost the only method of obtaining heat in the event of a power cut. The jury is out as to the environmental impact of stoves. It depends party on where the wood is sourced. Collecting your own wood is probably the best option. If you are buying logs then it is worth checking where these are sourced. Another option is to have a stove that burns wood pellets. Although more expensive than normal wood, pellets burn with great efficiency and very little ash. They are also a much cleaner fuel.
In terms of pollution, many stoves are now registered to be used in smoke control areas.
Stoves can be fitted to houses with existing chimneys with very little modification required as long as the chimney flue is reasonably clear. An alternative is to install a flue liner to the existing flue and provide a suitable fitting at the chimney head. The illustration on the right above shows a retrofitted chimney. Alternatively a new metal flue can be provided. The illustration on the left above shows this option. Note that regulations require minimum distances from a flue outlet to the roof covering and these often mean quite a high flue.
If fitting a stove within an extension or a new build, there is always the option of building new masonry chimney stack. This may be the best option in Conservation Areas.
Depending on the stove, flue and hearth, there may be an exemption from the need for a Building Warrant. Please refer to the relevant section on the Consents page.
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