The time when solid fuel stoves were solely a home centrepiece has long since passed; you don’t have to look hard to find a coffee shop or restaurant with a woodburning stove in Soho, Camden – or anywhere else you can rely on for good coffee or food in London, really.
What businesses can use wood stoves?
Woodburning stoves can add a sense of the artisan to any small business located in London, and often feel like a welcome diversion from the steel and concrete of city life. The sight of burning logs in the stove is sure to draw eyes (and feet) into your premises during Autumn and Winter, and even during Spring and Summer a stove can be a homely feature.
Hospitality businesses aren’t the only ones who can lift their premises with a log burning stove; they’re popping up in small offices and meeting spaces too which want to create a more comfortable and cosy interior. If you’ve found London Gases’ website looking for more information on coal or log deliveries, you’re probably already sold on the benefits of installing a stove. But are there any common missteps when it comes to adding one to your small business?
Getting the right permission
Getting permission from your local authority to install a log or coal burning stove in your small business might not be as demanding as you think. You absolutely need to notify your local planning department of your plans to make changes to how you heat your premise, and in some cases that may be all that’s required of you – your planning department will be sure to let you know.
The other of course is your landlord – who might not be difficult to persuade if they regularly visit your business. The often-overlooked party is your neighbours – although your stove will likely make minimal to zero impact on neighbours, simple advance notice can help keep your relationship on good terms.
Getting your premises ready
The most overlooked aspect of installing a stove is the state of the chimney. You should never install a stove without having the chimney brushed thoroughly and having a professional check the health of the bricks and mortar.
If a professional is fitting your stove, they may be able to provide all these services themselves, but make sure to look up some reliable traders if you’re undertaking some of the work yourself.
The other aspect is how much space there will be around your stove. Quite a few coffee shops and restaurants have had to remove tables, and therefore compromise profit, when they realised they didn’t have room to maintain the fire without sitting in a customers lap. As a general rule, you should be fine if you have 1.5m clearance all around.