We, (I) have come to a decision about what we are doing with the pain in the butt fireplace, as we are all referring to it now.
After considering all the options it came down to two …
Pull it all out, cover it up and pretend it was never there. We can’t get it to function without spending a boat load of money and the inserts we did find (expensive/ugly) were not what I was looking for. We could turn it into a bar, or something else cool.
The second option was pull it out and rebuild it as strictly ornamental. We maintain some of the original feature but don’t have to run the risk of collapsing the chimney, paying a ton of money for something I don’t really like or actually burning the place down. My mason actually said and I quote “this fireplace is a total hazard.” Awesome!
We, (I) ended up deciding to go with rebuilding the firebox and mantle to be ornamental and installing a direct vent gas insert into the living room where we won’t run the risk of explosion, chimney fire or complete disaster.
So “Seasoned Masonry Expert’ Dave came today with his crew. Bob and I had spent the weekend doing demo on the existing fireplace mantle and getting things down to where the experts could come and take over. We quite literally moved a tonne of bricks! I have ordered a mantle online, and I am working on sourcing some stone for the surround.
We are also planning to take a go at cleaning up and restoring the really cool blue tile we uncovered under the big concrete slab on the floor. We even sold the wood stove to finance the whole operation!
Will keep you posted on how it’s coming along. In the mean time it’s back to painting.