As with all of our trips to Leat House, we like to ensure we get the most out of our time and combine jobs with a spot of leisure. Last weekend was certainly no different as we installed a new log burner to the middle lounge, met with the carpenter to discuss plans for some bespoke carpentry work in the twin room, measured up the bathrooms for next year’s renovations and all the while, managed to fit in a few beach walks and a boat trip!
The main purpose for this weekend trip was to install the log burner, that was our top priority. Earlier in the year, we tried everything we could to make the open fireplace work more efficiently but no matter what we did, we just couldn’t ever get a roaring fire and any warmth into the room. The house is old, the flue is narrow and is also very long at over 6m in height. So, to get a good draw for a fire to work properly, our best option was to install a wood burner. We chose the Aspect 4 Parkray from Hunter Stoves, a British wood-burning stove manufacturer based in Camelford, just around the corner from Leat House. Their stoves are all manufactured in Cornwall and the company was shortlisted in Country Living’s House Beautiful Awards in 2016 and 2017.
My husband went to school with one of the directors at The Stove Company so we called them in as our first choice of stove installer. Ben and James arrived promptly at 7.45am and got straight to work to prep the room for the stove installation.
The base of the fireplace was cleared and a piece of slate was laid for a level base to stand the stove on. Next came the flue liner installation…
As with most old properties, installing a modern feature can come with a few complications. And yes, we had some with this stove installation! Upon installing the flue liner, we discovered that the angle and depth of the chimney didn’t allow for a smooth alignment with the burner. To combat this, we (and I write this very loosely as it was Ben and James who actually did the work..!) had to drill out the back of the fireplace wall to allow for more clearance and fit a new pipe bend which they had to drive to Wadebridge to get!
The guys were fantastic and took all of this in their stride! Thankfully this work solved our problem and we were able to continue with connecting the flue with the stove.
In all, it took Ben and James just over 5 hours to install the stove! They were superb and didn’t once complain about the amount of work required. At 1 pm we said our goodbyes as they set off to Devon for their next job (with a Cornish pasty in their hand, courtesy of us!).
I cannot tell you how much this little stove has changed the feel (and warmth) of this room. We couldn’t have a large stove due to the size of our fireplace so it was important for us to have a stove that had a lot of glass so we could see the flames and this Aspect 4 has just that. We’re really pleased with it and the heat produced is brilliant.
One of our next projects at Leat House is to redecorate the twin bedroom. It is currently very plain, very boring and very white! My plan is to make this a playful room for the children with a coastal feel that is timeless and tonal. We hope to add a cabin-style bunk bed to the large recess, skim and redecorate the walls to remove the anaglypta wallpaper, introduce some tongue and groove panelling and tie in the scheme of the room with some new fabrics, soft furnishings and artwork.
Also high on our list of things to do at the house is the refurbishment of the bathrooms. This is a big job as this will coincide with the installation of a new heating system and new electrical wiring. We are also looking at options to reposition one of the staircases within the property!
Amongst all the work, we did have time to have a little fun as a family…!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next Leat House update! x