Making the Most Out of Your Wood Burning Stove

Villager wood burning stovesA wood burning stove can be a fantastic investment, but only if you know how to make the most out of it.

Stoves can produce an impressive amount of heat, and Villager wood burning stoves are an excellent example of this.

Their powerhouse ‘Villager A Flat’ model has a heat output of 14kw – and is designed to heat large open plan spaces efficiently.

Of course, that amount of heating power isn’t always necessary for smaller homes, but you’ll still want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. If you’ve yet to purchase your stove, you’ll need to first decide whether you’ll be just burning wood, or a combination of wood and coal.

Some stoves are exclusively wood burners, whereas multi-fuel stoves allow you to burn both coal and wood. Burning wood releases less CO2 than coal, making it a better option for the environment, and is typically cheaper to buy.

Before buying your stove, it’s worth trying to calculate how much you’ll be spending in wood or coal.

If you live in a rural area then it’s likely you’ll find plenty of local places selling wood at reasonable prices – but if you live in an area where wood is more difficult to source locally, it’s likely you’ll have to pay more.

When fuelling your fire, never put freshly cut wood straight onto it. Freshly-cut wood is full of moisture, and energy from the fire will be wasted in burning off the water from it, drastically reducing efficiency. Burning wood with a high moisture content also leaves more build-up within the chimney, as well as creating more smoke.

The general guide for wood is to use pieces which contain less than 25% moisture content. A moisture meter can tell you how dry your wood is, but you can also often tell by the weight of it. If you do happen to invest in some freshly cut wood, it’s advised that you ‘season’ it for at least one year in a dry place.

To ensure that your wood gets thoroughly burned, it’s worth investing in a wood burning stove which features Cleanburn technology. Cleanburn is a system in which hot air is introduced to the stove, just above the fire. The introduction of air allows for unburned hydrocarbons to combust, maximising the efficiency of the fire.

DIY: Dealing With Damp in Your Bathroom

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We see a lot of rainfall here in Wales, and it can be bad news for quite a lot of properties which are not adequately prepared to deal with damp and mould. Mould can cause a number of health issues, yet many people still continue to live with it in their homes.

If you find yourself scrubbing mould from your ceilings and walls during the colder and wetter months of the year, you may need to tackle the problem at the source. Cleaning away mould will temporarily remove it, but unless you find out what is causing it – you’ll be going through the same process each year.

The best way to remove existing mould, and without spending a fortune on branded fungicidal sprays is by using a mixture of one-part bleach and three parts water. It’s worth wearing a mask whilst you do this, as breathing in bleach fumes can be harmful, especially if you find yourself doing this quite often.

Mould is most commonly seen within bathrooms, but there are steps you can take to reduce this. To begin with, ensure that your shower or bath is draining properly. Water that remains in the tub or shower tray will eventually evaporate into the room, causing damp over time.

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You can hire an expert to come in and sort out your plumbing issues, or you can pop down to a plumber’s merchants Denbighshire and purchase all the tools and piping yourself if you have some experience.

If you don’t already have one, installing a fan can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to reducing mould. It’s quite an investment and not everyone has this option depending on the size of their bathroom and design of their house, but adding extra ventilation with additional windows is always the most effective option.

Not all bathrooms are tiled throughout, and if your walls aren’t thoroughly waterproof, they’ll absorb moisture over time. Paint your walls with a high quality primer to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

You can also waterproof your bathroom floor with primer, adding silicone to any gaps in the tiles for added waterproofing. This can also help to prevent leaks from the bathroom down to the floor below, which often causes serious structural issues within homes.

Having a fully waterproof bathroom is also likely to add value to your property, as many people are wary of investing in and moving into places which appear to have damp and mould issues.

Your Guide to Home Extensions and Selecting an Architect

architects cheshireYou might have decided that now is the time to do something drastic. Perhaps you’ve never had the space that you need in a home, or perhaps you’ve decided that now you’ve suddenly got more space through the children leaving the nest, your family home can finally realise its dream of becoming an out and out penthouse.

There’s a number of things anyone can do with their home in order to turn the most standard of large family houses into ultra-chic, swanky homes which are the envy of miles and miles around – or even simply to create more space where it’s needed. Before you pick up your sledgehammer, put on your hard hat and decide that things have got to change, there are services out there that can make it easy for you.

Architects in Cheshire can provide you much needed help with the design and the development of your undertaking, to ensure that excellent design and quality craftsmanship go hand in hand with your dreams – making your home less of a DIY disaster and more of a grand design. (That, and we can’t condone smashing through load-bearing walls accidentally. Not even once.)

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Take BR Architecture, for instance. BR Architecture have friendly staff and excellent credentials – a very strong portfolio and a slew of happy customers from within the North Wales and Cheshire area. Furthermore – and what’s truly important, is that they can give your home the care and attention it deserves.

With a full design service which includes an absolutely free site visit in your home, BR Architecture can then advise you on your project with regard to every single idea, and turn it into a workable, solid design which will both be absolutely jawdropping and will stand the test of time.

Another plus to BR Architecture is their staff. While indeed they’re more than friendly enough, they can tell you in no uncertain terms what will, and what won’t work – delivering a fair dose of honesty with costs and what approvals are required for the job.

The Cheshire area is full of architects and design services, but BR Architecture stands head and shoulders above many of the other architects in Chester with regard to skill, portfolio and of course attention to detail.