The story of this house says that it was built in 1917 and it was an apple and plum orchard. Records show payment of property tax til 1923. I have tried to find information in between but have not been successful. In 1971 this couple bought the house, which was, by then, divided into 2 apartments, one above and one below with a shared bathroom. By 1979, the couple sold it to a widower with 6 kids, who then turned it into a single unit house again.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The fireplace!

From Parafin to Wood

The house had a parafin oven fitted in the year 1973 and it was used up until the house was sold in 2010.  Now, coming from the tropics where fireplaces are only meant to look like a fancy decoration in a living room, I had no clue of how necessary it would be to have a working one in the house.  Needless to say, I found out that parafin is not very user-friendly.  I hate the smell and I am terrified of the fumes and everything related to parafin.

Major decision:
Remove the parafin oven and replace with a real fireplace.  (check!)
Replace with a real fireplace. At a cost. A rather high cost!
So I contact the municipality and I find out that the chimney needs to be rehabilitated before installing a fireplace.  I call the heat people and they come over and give me a quote.  The damage?
10,000USD, yep, ten grand.  That is around 60,000 Norwegian Kroner.  The job they have to do is basically get on the roof and insert a new steel pipe down the chimney in order to avoid any possible fires. the house is almost 100 years old so it is imperative to do it. (after much consideration: check)

Here is the old parafin oven (really 1970's!)
A piece of art isn't it?
This is how it looked when I bought the house.

Now choosing a fireplace is not an easy task.  Goodness it is one of the most difficult journeys I have embarked myself on!  So I learned as much as I could about fireplaces, the pros and the cons, the beautiful ones, the practical ones, etc.  And in the end I went for the Nordpeis, especially tailored to Nordic interiors. 
It is pretty heavy but it delivers. Though it takes a good five hours before the whole house is warm, I can say that it is a good purchase.  The bottom floor of the house is approximately and it warms up nicely without any additional source of heat.  Some of the heat does reach the second floor but not as much as I would like it to.  In any case, the windows are from 1979 and if you stand next to them you can actually feel the cold draft coming in.  If you light a candle and put it next to the margins of the window, where the limit between the window and the frame is, you can see the fire move due to the draft.  Hopefully, one day, when I am able to change the windows, the warmth might stay inside a bit more.  Today, for example, it is -10C and the fire has been on almost all day and the inside temperature started this morning at 15C and we are now at 21C, which is pretty good.

Here is Isabelle and me next to our fireplace.  :)

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