I say my woodburner, because she is mine. I’m the one who chose her (OK, Dadonthebrink did have some input…like financing the purchase. ), I clean her, I make a fire daily.
I just love having my woodburner! There is something so primeval, so elementary about the feeling of security given be having a flames dancing around in a fireplace!
But let’s wind back a bit to see how we got to getting our stove: a woodburner was on our desire list for a while.
When we bought our house it had a gas fire place, which gave live flames, but was noisy due to the back fan. It was also rather scary watching the gas meter dial whizz around when it was on. The lovely warmth it gave, on the outside of the flue (!), was phenomenal.
A blog competition then got me thinking of exactly what I’d like to do and just that little bit of planning, some careful budgeting and choosing our supplier, fitter well was all that stood in the way of getting our much longed for woodburner.
Choosing the woodburner
The price- style -functionality- quality choices make choosing a woodburner a difficult one.
I wanted an efficient woodburner with a large window air-washed for ease of cleaning.
I was torn between pure woodburner or wood and coal dual fuel version. After some thought and discussions with Dadonthebrink we realised we wouldn’t be using coal anyway because it is a non-renewable resource, so woodburner it was!
Because of the building regulation and planning constraints we had to have woodburner of nominal heat output of 5kW and it had to be DEFRA approved for the smoke-controlled area we live in.
Our fireplace is relatively shallow, so I was looking for something more wide and shallow. The ones I found we either not DEFRA approved, like the stunning Nordpeis Bergen, or didn’t feel that good quality, like the Bohemia range. I loved the Charnwood and was pretty close to buying it, when we went to our local fireplace store. They had a Contura stove there (a different model), the shop owner fired it up and we were sold! The beautiful flames, the ease of control and the heat it was throwing out were all selling the stove to us.
I went online to find out more about the Contura stoves and then stumbled on their new i5 stoves- huge picture window to view the flame and simple styling. It was everything we’d been looking for, except price. Sadly it was over budget. Our local shop didn’t stock it either, so I couldn’t have a look at it in action.
Browsing online further, I found Manor House Stoves, they were so helpful answering all my silly questions, wobbles about the purchase and they had the stove for the best price around- including free delivery. (No, this is not a sponsored post for them! I’m just giving credit where it’s deserved!)
Nerdy as I am, I was looking through the Contura website, at all the technical documents and installation details of the stove the Contura site before we placed the order. I stumbled upon a little note, specific to the UK, about how far the hearth needs to extend beyond the opening door.
Oh no!!! I thought I had found my dream stove, but now it turned out I couldn’t have it because of silly building regs about the door only being allowed to open above a fireproof hearth. (…I’ll touch a bit on this point about silly building regs later.)
It was almost back to the drawing board until I realised that the Contura i5 had a double door version. I wasn’t sure: I really didn’t want to have any dividing bars. But the more I thought about it and talking it through with the lovely chap from Manor House Stoves , I realised the bars weren’t very thick and it was still the best option, giving us the stove that ticked most of the boxes on our stove tick list.
We ordered a Contura i5 stove.
It arrived within 2 weeks. Unpacking, there were some thoughtful touches- a letter thanking us for the purchase handsigned and details of the packer. Little did we know that we’d be using this latter detail very soon: unfortunately the stove’s outer casing had warped in transit therefore not fitting as it should, and one of the lining bricks had broken too. A call to the supplier and with few questions asked we had replacement parts on their way and delivered within a week.
Now that minor issue of finding a fitter… Read on to find out how we managed