Moving house this year? But can you take your beloved fireplace with you?

Moving home is a big thing for anyone, no question about it. The logistics of transporting all your worldly goods from one location to another is enough to organise, before you even consider finding new schools, transport routes, amenities and local friends. But when the time comes, it’s going to be worth it for all the right reasons. Inevitably it will mean you have to leave some things behind though, so what about your prized fireplace? Is that something you have to say goodbye to, or is there a way to bring it along with you to your new place?

Well, the first thing to consider is whether you’re renting or buying. With a rental property, it will depend on whether the landlord is prepared to give permission for any kind of replacement or heating installation. With an electric fire, it’s probably just like plugging in any other appliance, maybe with the odd fixing to keep it in position. But if you’re talking about a gas fire, that’s not as easy as slotting it in and switching it on. With a gas fire or solid fuel burner, the fireplace is cemented into place, and removing it could easily result in accidental damage. If you’re taking it out of a property you’ve been renting, you’ll probably be expected to make good on any resulting damage to the property, which could well mean costly repairs and restoration. You’ll need to factor in these costs. Remember that any gas installation, disconnection or servicing will require the help of a qualified and registered heating engineer.

Another significant issue is that a gas fire that’s still under warranty is unlikely to retain that warranty once it’s disconnected. What’s more, gas engineers are going to be very wary of fitting a second-hand gas fire for safety reasons. For those reasons, even if it can be removed in one piece, you might find you can’t find a professional who is prepared to reinstall your gas fire for you.

Now, with an electric fire, everything is much easier of course. You can probably fit it yourself unless it needs wiring into the house mains. Even then, it’s not a huge job for a professional, and there are some beautiful electric fires that are quick and easy to install. If you’re lacking a bit of confidence, it’s likely you can find a kitchen fitter or DIY enthusiast to help out, and as long as it’s just a matter of plugging it in. Choose someone recommended who you know you can trust to do a good job, and - if it's just a plug - they shouldn’t need to have particular credentials for gas or electric. That’s an option if you want to make it easier and cheaper all around.

But, yes, if you love your current gas fire and you’re moving house, it’s probably going to be worth considering a brand new installation on your new property. True, you’ll have to face losing out on the fireplace you left behind, but at least you’ll avoid the complications of rebuilding work and the unpredictability of removal and transport.

On the upside, a lovely new fireplace is going to be the perfect housewarming gift for yourself!

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