I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but “I love this house!” The only thing in the whole house I don’t like is the fireplace in the purple room (now the white room).
Over the past week I have had no less than four extremely skilled tradespeople come to look at our pain in the butt fireplace.
- The finish carpenter was here to discuss what I want to make the mantle look like. The perfect traditional, understated design that looks like it’s always been here. He’s ready and can do exactly what I envision once the fireplace we choose is installed.
- The masonry guy…local guy who came highly recommended. He came, he saw and decided what we wanted to do was “a far bigger job than he was able to take on”. (Sigh.)
- The second, more seasoned masonry guy…. who advised us (wisely) that this was a complicated, big job given the orientation and age of our chimney and the size of opening we will need to install a built-in or insert fire place. If we want a wood burner – very expensive but possible. If we want gas, also possible but less expensive. Both options work as long as we support the chimney that runs internally till it gets to the roof line. Not supporting the chimney properly, while expanding the firebox, means we run the risk of collapsing the chimney. As you can imagine, a very pricey endeavour! At this point we are still undecided.
- The gas guy…once we decided that a wood burning insert is likely going to be cost prohibitive, we talked to him about our options for a gas burning insert in the existing hearth. He said absolutely! As long as it is vented (our gas meter is right outside this space making a direct vent impossible) and within the parameters of the existing firebox.
So as it stands right now, we think it will be a gas insert of some sort. It will likely have to be a vented option. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find one that I like even a bit.
So being completely undecided on our design direction, we have decided that the best next move is to demo the existing fireplace. It is already making me antsy. A big messy hole in the wall with no idea of what will go in there. But when you look at the before shots I think you may agree that anything is better than what was there!