Posted: 07/02/2013 at 09:39
You can get LPG tanks which are sited underground - the only downside (appearance-wise) is that the lid they're usually supplied with is a really vivid shade of green which blends in with nothing! It would be relatively easy to conceal it by using a planter or something - however people often don't seem to do that so maybe it's not advisable. Most modern oil tanks are a darker shade so don't look quite so bad. I think there's a problem if you choose to rely on any solid fuel as the sole source for central heating but there are systems which can utiise the extra heat from a solid-fuel stove. I don't think you'd be able to keep up with the supply/demand of wood from your own land unless you have a huge acreage!
If you are able to consider a completely new installation ref heating, perhaps you'd google "ground source central heating". I think this is probably only viable if you have a sufficiently large plot - but I wish I'd been able to have it installed.
On an almost daily basis I meet people (through the course of my work) who want to have a log-burner but who aren't used to the practicalities of it all. They don't consider the cost of logs in the first place - the delivery and storage issues - and the fact that there would be many occasions when they'd miss the convenience of having an automatic timed system. Not nice coming home to a cold house in the middle of winter! Having said that, I do burn logs (on an open fire in the sitting room) but the cost is rising all the time. Last half-trailer-load was £70 and I have to barrow/stack them myself. Takes most of an afternoon & it's a real problem if the weather's wet & I have to cover the whole load where it's been dumped, and then move the logs under cover later on.
I recently had to go to an empty house which had a log burner in the sitting room. There was a small mesh sack of logs on the hearth - the sort & size you often see for sale on garage forecourts round here. I was astonished to see that the sack was printed with instructions as to how to light a fire - starting with "get a newspaper, tear it into strips, and make them into balls .......... put these in a pile in the fire-grate and put some kindling sticks in the form of a wigwam on top of them................
It didn't actually tell you how to strike a match!