I've posted on the fireplace and renewal energy boards about my fireplace being condemned after we took out the wood insert to have the chimney cleaned. (Apparently a couple of chimney fires which cracked the tiles and bowed the inside of the chimney).
Anyhow - I now have a stone fireplace that is right now - useless.
The chimney sweep/inspector gave us 3 options:
1-reubuild $6k (not even thought about)
2-clean up old insert and re-install with stainless steel liner $2k
3-get a new pellet stove, the $2k for the stove but the liner is on 3-4" diameter stainless steel so install cost $150. And this would "improve" the house.
But - we don't have any available $$$ for any of this.
We used the insert heavily in the past winters to offset the oil heating bill and we got the wood really cheap.
So-do we put this on the credit card and pay over time or do without, find a way to seal up the fireplace (drafts) and just pay more $$$ for oil?
Since we paid off 99% of the cc I've really been trying to stay within the budget each month but don't know if this would "qualify" as a needed expense.