Our fireplace has come A. LONG. WAY.
Here is its progression...starting from when we first walked into this house,
up to today with our cozy fire!
At first sight, our fire place was covered with the same plaster that covers our walls.
There was a gas insert from an era before my birth....and maybe even my mother's!
(After we bought the house) I got curious and asked what was under the plaster. After a little digging, we discovered the brick. We has the plaster tested for asbestos. The test was NEGATIVE!!! .
So, the hubs tore it all down, and behold the beauty.
That is a lot of rubble from one fireplace.
As the chill of fall came bustling in, we needed the fireplace to function.
We needed warmth.
We did a little more "digging", removing the fire brick.
There was MUCH more room in there...perhaps for a fire?? Not quite...if we wanted to the heat to dissipate into the room and not escape directly up the chimney, we needed another option. Would you believe that my dear in-loves...my hubby's parents, had a cast iron wood-burning stove that they had never used? That was so God! it just was!! Now we just had to install it and load it down with wood, right? Easier said than done! After getting several, SEVERAL opinions...and I mean, they were plentiful. So plentiful that when we went into Walt Measton (The Fireplace Store), we would walk out totally bumfuzzled. That happened a few times. They grew to know us well. I am sure they had great laughs over us. We finally decided to bite the bullet and do what we felt most safe...not necessarily cost effective. This was a source of great tension for us, between us! But, we prevailed and got her done. We decided that we needed to run a chimney liner all the way up the chimney. We did not know what was inside that chimney...built up creosote, cracked mortar, flammable or combustible materials that could potentially create an unknown fire within the walls of undoubtedly our children's room in the middle of the night and kill someone. Liner it was! Would you believe that our chimney is not straight? Nope, that would be too easy. The top actually curves about 45 degrees in one place! That one little nuance caused us to have to purchase a special (more expensive) stainless steel, flex liner. We also had to purchase a chimney cap, chimney collar, a 90 degree elbow, and an oval to circle transition to go into the back of our stove. BOOM! Heat....or not. We had to take out two rows of bricks so that the stove pipe would fit under the last brick layer and curve up the chimney....or cut into the brick. Marcus and his dad worked on it for two days, tearing out brick, tearing out wire within the brick, re-mortaring and even re-patching an ugly patch job that had been done prior to our moving in! This was all done while i was sick in bed with the stomach virus.
Removing the ugly patch job.
Removing layer of brick.
Removing old wire.
Then we washed and sanded the whole, stinking thing!
We finally did a combination of whitewashing and painting
to keep the vintage, aged look....just without the nasty dirt and smell!
Stove connected to pipe and ready!!!
And this is the life...a warmer life!