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One of the major projects here is to install a new heating system. I was quoted large amounts of money to have an insert installed by a registered heating engineer and for one reason and another have ended up taking on the project myself with the help of my colleagues at work.

 The stonework at the top of the chimney was seriously lacking in cement so in order to solidify the existing stone and reduce my fear of a major chimney fire the chimney stack was jointed on both the interior and the exterior faces


The wall below the chimney stack was also in need of some serious attention. Again a lack of cement and the chimney breast on the upper floor was a fire risk as well as unsightly.


 Ive spent too many hours at work preparing and jointing other peoples walls and it was immensly satisfying beeing able to do the job for myself. Ive read many peoples opinions on french/english forums on how best to joint a wall and what product to use…. i cant say i agree with all the opinions but i am more than happy with the result i have acheived .

At the same time i decided to sand the floor …. I was able to hire a floor sander to take off all the dirt from what was a bare wooden floor. Result, i thought it only took an hour….. uh! uh! then on to cleaning the floor and sanding and cleaning and hoovering ready for the first coat of vitrificator. Once the first coat was down i was very disappointed it looked shite….. so sanding cleaning and hoovering again for the second coat…. a lot better. I dont know how many hours i spent sanding and cleaning but after three coats of vitrificator i have a pleasing, hardwearing, natural wood floor.

 The old fireplace had to be removed in order to prepare for the new insert. Lots of dust, brick, stone, and soot later we discovered a date cut into the stone. My colleague is convinced these stones are from an old bread oven. What we dont know is whether this date’s the house or whether these stones have been recovered and re-used at a later date. Unfortunately this stone will not be visible once the project is finished. so just to make it even more long winded i am considering taking out the dated stone and replacing it… then i need to find a place to put the dated stone so that it is visible …. never easy is it?

 So for the time beeing im going to have to put up with it like this…. we have a good solid base with a trench for cold air to be drawn into the fire … next off im looking at cleaning up the inside of the chimney stone and getting a cement render up as far as i can into the chimney ……


pour mes amis en france …. jai le flem a traduire tous sa … mais en gros, je fait beacoup des heures pour jointe le mur en haut, dans le salle de bain, et encore plus des heures a poncer et nettoyer le parquet avant je vitrifie. Elle prendre trois couches de vitrificator et des heures a poncer et nettoyer encore entre chaque couche mais je suis content avec le result.

le base pour l’insert est pret mais j’envie a enduire le mur avant et aussi je pense je va enleve le pierre avec le date et mettre en apparant quelque part…. stephan mon colleague de boulot pense cest un ancien four a pain mais je sais pas si sa date le maison ou le pierre etait recupere de un anciene maison et reutiliser ici… je pense je va voir a la mairee et essaye a trouve l’information

primairechimney-back-vent Its quite a while since ive looked at this project but as its getting cold ive spent some time here….. i took out the old wooden blocks from the old chimney and then filled the gap with stone following the shape of the chimney recess. The back of the insert needs an air flow to help circulate the hot air so i had to break through the wall and insert a pipe that acts as an air duct the pipe has a mesh cover on the other side which will prevent mice and rubbish getting in and blocking the air flow.


Sa commence assez froid ici et cest un bon moment depuis je regard mon projet du chimney. le dernier trois weekends je m’occupe avec au debut j’avez enlevez les anciens morceau du chene ce faisaient partie de ancien chimney, et jai macon en pierre je suive le form de l’ancien chimney et je fini avec un base tres solide. L’insert besoin conduit d’air froid derrier pour l’air chaud circule bien, donc j’installe un tuyeau qui traverse le mur qui ammene l’air froid de la chambre derrier le chimney, cest un filtre sur le tuyeau aussi pour eviter les souris et les autres bordel que peu block le circulation d’air


J’utilise un primaire et apres je fait un enduire a mettre le mur derrier propre….

After using a primer the back wall of the chimney brest has been  rendered in order to have a smooth surface for future work



Next we swept the chimney luckily the scaffolding was already in place…. as this entailed one person below and one person above dragging the sweeping brushes back and forth with a rope


Il faut aussi on fait rammoner le chimney cetait dur a tire les brosses de haut en bas avec un corde….mais on avez bien fait sootet apres un heure je croire ons enleve un bon quatre vingt quinze percent de suie

After an hours sweeping i think we got 95% of the soot out of the chimney so a job worth dooing.


This put me in the position of beeing able to start the construction of the new chimney so the stone that has been sitting in my barn for a few months was dusted off and my colleague’s from work came round to play with ciment.


Stephan put the base stones in first and these were allowed to dry before putting the final stone in place we were concerned that with the weight of the stone it would be unwise to try and lift the top stones in place whilst the base was still wet as we risked knocking everything out of line…. better to wait a few days so we have a solid base


Mon colleague du boulot est venu et ons mettre en place le pierre qui etait sur le grange depuis l’ete. Il pense cest prudent a attendre quelque jour pour laisse le base seche solide avant pose les corbeliers avec les poids du pierre ons riske a faire le betise avec l’alignment si ons fait tous a le meme temp. Mais je suis contente avec le result …. Plus tard je va nettoye les pierres  avec l’acide hydrochloriche  qu va mettre le valeur de pierre en evidence


Later ill clean the stone and do the joints but for now this will do ….. got most of the rest of the installation organised so need to find some time to get bits and carry on

Is my xmas going to be with a fire?

J’espere je peu allume mon chimney pour noel……

vent-weberpral-in-situ Almost forgot the chimney will get hot once the insert is installed so in order to benefit from this heat ive installed a grill that can be opened and shut …. you can see ive had a leak so ill need to take out the joints and redo them where they have stained


Quand l’insert est installe le conduit du chimney va  etre tres chaud pour recuperee cette chaleur jai mis un grille je peu ouvre ou ferme….. jai un fuite il faut j’enleve l’enduite  et reface ou jai les taches …….

……..This next section follows on with three weeks worth of potterings, they are not necessarily in the order of which the jobs have been done but they do represent many hours of work


prochainment represent plusiers heures de travail pendant les dernier trois semain….


On the second floor the exixting conduit needed to be sealed up so i had to get inside the chimney and do the repairs


Once this is done i now have every floor that has the chimney passing through redone with a solid sealed stonework….bien…


Il faut je solidifier l’ancienne chimney sur le deuxieme etage aussi…..


donc je rentre et je reface tous l’interior du conduit avec un enduit


Quand je suis content le conduit de chimney son bon je suis pret a install le nouveau conduit en inox…..maintenant le trois murs sur les trois etage sont sois enduie soit jointed

tete-assembledtete-assembled2Donc je peu avance et faire le tete de chimney mais avant il faut je tire sept metre de conduit inox vers l’ancienne chimney


I had to pull seven metres of stainless flexible double walled pipe up through the old chimney and assemble the pieces for the top of the new conduit as usual ive got about a metre too much


Comme d’hab je prix trop mais..



heuresment je regard le fleche avant je fait le pose il indique le direction de fumee donc cest un peu chiant quand tes fini et tu trouve vous avez trompez je pense le poele va fume bien et tire pas trop

There is a direction of flow for the stainless pipe and it pays to look at the near invisible arrow on the pipe before you install it

tuyeau-flechetete-ciment2but at the end of the day ive got another step further with a job well done



s’avance bien maintenant je prix mon temp mais chaque etape son bien fait


I had to make a small reinforced concrete plate up  at the base of the chimney to support the front of the stove but it was important to keep the air flow around and underneath the stove to a maximum.



Je fait un coffrage et jai mis du fer avant coule le beton. A support le devant d’insert mais garde le circulation d’air autour





weberpral1weberpral2It took a few days to clean up the stone and do the joints and then it took a couple of day to clean the house of dust that manged to cover three floors


Sa ma prendre plusier jours a nettoyez les pierres faire les joints et fini l’enduire et apres sa deux jour a nettoyez le maison apres le poussier vol par tout

chape-done2 et un petite chape et jai un bon niveau bien platt

finally screeding the base so ive got a uniform flat level



Ready for a heat reflective brick and firerock insulation



Les brique refractaire et l’isolation laine de roche Il faut coup les panneau et colle contre le mur avec un colle special haut tempertaure et apres ferme avec un scotch alu haut temperature aussi. J’achete un bon morceau de iroko et mon colleague du boulot fait le coupe et le rabotage ….trop beau

insulation-startedinsulation-taped2The panels are cut and stuck using high temperature glue and taped and sealed using high temp aluminium tape.


The wood is iroko and has been cut machined and cemented in place thanks mick bisous

putting-into-placeThe day has finally arrived how long have i waited ? with a burner that weighs 150kgs we had to be a little carefull getting it into place without it falling


Enfin jai trop froid sa caille ici le machon pez cent cinquant kilo donc il faut etre prudent avec le pose elle est en font donc si elle tombe elle casse

The insert has a heat recovery plate that allows hot air to be piped to differnt parts of the house typical it doesnt come with any way of connecting it to the insert so i had to make a couple of braces and then drill the struts on the insert. All in all it has turned out perfect the heat recovery plate is fixed tight and easily detached


frame-for-recuperateur-de-chaleurLe recuperateure de chaleur arrive sans fixations donc je suis oblige a fabrique un petit cadre et modifier l’insert un peu pour je peux fix le recuperature mais sa marche bien mais tu voir le regulator de tirage est trop bar et cest impossible a attache le tuyeau d’air chaud



you can see that now this is in place the t-piece which is an air flow valve regulator thingy is too low and is preventing the hot air pipes from beeing connected on one side, so another trip to the shops (ill add up how much all this has cost me when its finished)

hot-startedhot-finished anyway the hotte has to be constructed 


Il faut costruire le hotte

le regulaor de tirage est en bon place grace a le gentile msr au magazine merci ….

reulator-de-tirage-in-placesides-donele construction avance jai decoupe tous the plaque de beton anti feu et l’isolation pour avoir un hotte etanche et au norm je doit mettre les ventilation de compression mais les sorties pour l’air chaud sont en place

Once the framework was up i had to cut sheets of fire resistant concrete to shape and then line and joint with fire resistant insulation nearly finished now just remains to shut the front and im done….. The decompression vents need to be put in but ive cut the outlets for the hot air pipes and put in the vents in the hotte

vents-in-hotteand to think i nearly forgot about the door …..



doordoor2 the door opens outwards but also can be opened and slid up allowing all the fire to be open a little luxury but money well spent


le porte escamotable est trop bonne


chaleur!!!!!     heat!!!!



ive protected the interior of the wood and insulated aswell…… the heat has definately already opened up the wood a little, and it is starting to fissure…… hopefully with the heat deflector and the inside better protected this should be kept to a minimum

wood-protected-insidedeflector-de-chaleuryou can see the heat collector in place with ducts on the right hand side taking hot air to the top of the house (the back vent that i put in at the start is sufficient to push the hot air constantly through the ducts


Avec le chaleur le poutre sa commence a travaille un peu jespere avec le deflector de chaleur et l’interior le poutre protege avec les plaques de beton et l’isolation anti-feu sa va garde au minimum …..mais il faut j’attendre pour les commandes des pieces avant je peu avance ici maintenant…..

cover-for-decompression-chamberdecompresion-chamber2decompression chamber






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