With Cape Town now officially into its winter season and regular rainy days becoming an accepted part of the week, the Cape Town Building Centre is, as always at this time of year, fielding numerous enquiries about fireplaces.
The demand today, says Cheryl Neave, the Building Centres Public Relations Officer, is for variations to, or replacements of, the standard open-hearth coal and wood-burning fireplace with a built-in chimney.
Typically, says Neave, buyers want a fireplace that will radiate far more heat outwards than the traditional kaggel, will burn less fuel and will require minimal cleaning. Such buyers are also looking for something that will enhance their homes aesthetically.
The Building Centre represents and has exhibitions from five fireplace distributors and manufacturers. The ranges on offer can, says Neave, meet the needs of different sized homes, including those without flues or chimneys.
Manufacturers, says Neave, have in recent years focused on gas or smokeless fuel units designed to fit into the cavity formerly occupied by the traditional fireplace. These save cleaning and are activated by the click of a switch.
The designs are elegant and the flames as real as those of an open fire and radiate a comfortable heat. They can be enhanced with attractive stone, wood, brick or metal surrounds and some operate without vents and flues. An automatic flame failure and oxygen depletion switch-off system prevents gas from being emitted if the flame is extinguished.
Freestanding fire shelves are currently in in modern homes, says Neave. As with other gas fireplace settings, the bed resembles coals set in stones or glass and, when lit, burns with a clear controlled flame. The open, freestanding design ensures that heat is not trapped and more warmth is generated.
The big changes in fireplaces today, adds Neave, are that many are freestanding but also closed in. The heat is then manually controlled and burning is extremely efficient, with at least 80% of the fuel used. These freestanding units are usually made of cast iron, steel or ceramics, with modern streamlined designs.
Ceramic free standing Raku fired fire places are also on show at the Building Centre. These come in four styles and colours and make a more earthy statement. They burn small amounts of wood, giving off considerable heat and only require a cleaning out of the ash only once a month.
Neave stressed that an efficient fireplace is always a great social focal point.
Entertaining does not have to come to an end in the rainy months ahead. Indoor barbecue ranges even make it possible for the barbecue enthusiast to continue to host guests.
Indoor or patio barbeques, she said, come in different sizes with a variety of cooking options: conventional grilling, spit roasting, stir fry, potjie cooking, smoker cooking and pizza or bread baking. When not in use the units can be shut away.
The fireplace manufacturers represented by the Building Centre are Jetmaster, who also supply the Amesti range, McDonalds, Home Fires, Earth Fire and Easy Build Chimneys who supply the Morso range. All of these have brochures available at the Building Centre, whose staff can arrange for enquirers to see manufacturers and installers if they require additional information. They can be reached on telephone number 021 685 3040 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article from: www.thebuildingcentre.co.za