Cornwall LivingIssue #62

Add some fire

Speak to the team at Kernow Fires to help you turn your new build into a beautiful, cosy home.

Many people dream of building their own home. It’s the ideal opportunity to get things exactly how you want them. Of course we love old properties with an existing narrative to add to, but often the downside is making it work for modern family living. With building a home from scratch however, you have the chance to create your very own story from the offset. When embarking on a new build, it’s easy to let the ideas run away with themselves, focussing on cushions and colour schemes before you’ve considered the foundations. Alternatively, you may become so consumed with the ‘nitty-gritty’ that you forget the project is about much more than simply bricks and mortar – it’s about creating that welcoming space that belongs to you.

“… it’s all about making it right for you.”

A successful new build hinges on getting the right balance between the bigger picture and the finishing details. One key element you should definitely consider before the first brick is even laid, is your heating. While the fire itself may be one of the last things to go in, it’s fundamental to consider where it is going to be positioned.  Ensure that this is accounted for in the plans. In particular bear in mind the positioning, ventilation, ‘flow’ of the rooms and any outside views that you may want to capitalise on.

With so much to consider, it pays to get the experts in at the earliest opportunity. I recently caught up with Simon Breckon of Kernow Fires to learn more. “Don’t make the stove an afterthought,” explains Simon, “it has to be thought about from the offset to avoid costly mistakes. We work very closely with the architect from early on in the build and will regularly look at a set of plans and suggest changes where we think appropriate.”

Simon’s team draw on their extensive experience of installing premium stoves in some of Cornwall’s most beautiful homes. They will help you arrive at the best choice for you. They know what works proportionately in a room, as well as the technical and practical aspects that you or I would probably never even think to consider. “It’s always useful to have something to roll with – ideas, moods, ways of understanding the client’s tastes in order to find the right solution. The fire needs to look like it belongs there.”

While Simon works tirelessly to achieve the best result, he’s not simply a ‘yes man’ – if he thinks there’s a more suitable option or that it could be repositioned to maximise impact, then he will happily say so. After all, it’s much better – and more cost effective – to challenge thinking before installation rather than to correct it afterwards. Simon is keen to stress: “It’s not to make life easier for us – this is never on the agenda – it’s all about making it right for you.” Indeed, some of these decisions have created a lot more work for Simon’s team. But it’s his belief that when the project is complete, the fire will still be there and loved for many years to come. And of course, Kernow Fires will always be there to continue providing support and servicing.

Simon has a huge base of contacts from architects to designers, frequently travelling across Europe to keep up-to-date with the latest technology and products. Along with sister company, Kernow Metals (see image top left), the team have a broad range of building expertise, spanning all aspects of a build or renovation. This enables them to give invaluable advice and to offer a comprehensive project management service, creating bespoke solutions for the home. Indeed, many of the team are ex-builders, plasterers, and decorators. So with all the skills they need ‘in-house’ to see you through your project, the Kernow Fires team keep a close eye on quality and ensure a consistent finish. This also helps with protecting your guarantees on the build.

In any new build, staying on budget is always an issue, but the stove of your dreams need not cost the earth. Kernow Fires can tailor options to achieve the desired result, taking key elements and capturing the essence on a budget that works for you. Ultimately, with Kernow Fires you can always expect a quality, professional service from an independent company that is passionate about what it does, from the ideas to the aftercare. To finish, as Simon proudly reminds me: “We invest a great deal of time into developing the shop and our customer skills, to ensure that everyone gets the best advice and service possible.”

"... it’s all about making it right for you."