Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fire Place Phase 2

We finished knocking down the brick that boxed in the fire box. We took it down to the current floor. As I said in the previous post the floors had been raised, so the bottom of the fire box is about three inches below the current floor. My husband is building the insert for the fire box. He decided he is going to do a heat exchanger, and that is why he put another pipe through the the floor of the firebox.

We decided to go with a six inch tall stoop for the fire place and it extends out one foot. We didn't want to tall of a stoop because we would end up loosing space for the fire box. He cemented a new bottom to the fire box and then extended the stoop out.

Here the forms have been taken off of the cement work. I think it turned out really well, for just flying by the seat of our pants on this project.

This is the ugly pink plaster that I mentioned in the previous post. The whole room was this color. I don't know how they could have lived with it. I like pink, but that is just way to much for me.

Since the chimney isn't straight, we put up Durock to help straighten it out. We needed something that we could stick the tile to also, since the chimney had texture to it, like the rest of the room. Now we are ready to begin the tiling.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fireplace Phase 1

Finally beginning the fireplace posts. We started way back in July of last year, but I was busy and didn't have the time to sort the pictures and make some posts. During my break, I was able to sort through the pictures.

The fireplace is going to take a while to finish. It is really complex and hard. The first thing that we had to do is make a square around the hole that was all ready drilled in the wall. Then I was the one that took the sledge hammer and began knocking the hole in the wall. I found that to be a great stress reliever. So much dust and debris came out of it.

This is what it looked like before we did anything to it. The hole at the top was where a pipe went into the chimney. The previous owners drilled the whole so they could have a small would burning stove in the room. As you can see, close to the bottom there is a little hole. That is where someone, we assume it was the previous owners, drilled a hole to see if the fire box was bricked in. I'm not sure if you could really tell by looking in that small of a hole or not if the fire box was bricked in.

This is what the wall looked like after about two swings from the sledge hammer. We had guessed right that the firebox was bricked in. After the fire box was bricked it, a layer of white plaster was put over the whole chimney. Then some chicken wire was added on top of that, then more white plaster, then there was pink plaster, which we found it was done to the whole room. Then there was some white plaster put over that, then the whole room was painted a horrible yellow color.

After all the plaster was taken away from the brick, the real fun began. I started smashing in the brick with the hammer. The brick was really easy to smash in, this took about two swings and it started to fall apart. As you can tell from the picture, as soon as the brick was smashed the debris started falling out.

As I made the hole bigger, more stuff came out. Then all of a sudden it just started to pour out. Good thing that we had plastic down on the carpet and the whole area. We had made a tent out of plastic so the rest of the room wouldn't get dirty.

This is a close up of the hole that I had made. All of the stuff is ash and other things that had collected in the fire box. We estimated that there was about two to three feet of stuff in the box. We had to get a small shovel and a bucket to start digging the stuff out.

This is a picture of the hole I had made, standing back from it. The hole wasn't very big and before I could continue to hit the brick, we had to clean out the stuff from the firebox. It took my husband a long time to dig that stuff out.

After cleaning out a lot of the firebox. The shovel hit against this metal in the back of the box. For a moment we thought that it was the pipe that came up from the floor of the fire box, from the old coal furnace. After playing with it for a while, my husband was able to get the metal out. The only thing we can figure it is that this sheet was put in to divert things coming down the chimney so it wouldn't go down the pipe the furnace used.

After about an hour of digging all of the soot and stuff out, we uncovered the pipe to the old coal furnace. The pipe is in rough condition and after time bent from the weight of the debris in the fire box. We still had a ways to go before reaching the floor of the fire box.

Here is a closeup of the fire box. I was surprised that it arched, as I thought it would just be a square. I knocked more of the brick in the fire box before we reached the bottom of it.

Here is a picture of the fireplace, from a distance. We had decided to stop there for the day, as we were tired. The firebox was actually taller than we had first thought. It extends three to four inches below the floor, which told us that the floor had been raised at some point. We suspect that the fireplace had been bricked in for close to 80 years, all we know is that it was bricked in when the coal furnace went in and we don't know when that was.

This is what we found at the bottom of the fireplace. I thought that it was pretty neat to find an old key. I'm curious about what it went to or still goes to. I don't know much about the history of our house, though someone once told me it was the old weigh station.

New Curtains

For Christmas I got a sewing machine. I'm not very good at sewing, so I figured that my first project should be something simple. I decided to make some curtains for my bathroom and kitchen. I had been living with ugly curtains in both rooms for two and a half years. I found some material that I liked at Wal-Mart and began my project. For my first sewing project since high school home economics class, I think I did pretty good.

These were the curtains in the bathroom. They were a very ugly green with palm trees on them. I don't know how long they were hanging there before we bought the house. The bottom on the curtains had some fraying and claw marks.

These are the new curtains now hanging in the bathroom. They really brighten the room up. They are white with purple and pink flower designs on it. I really thought they turned out good, as they are the first ones that I made.

These are the curtains that were in the kitchen. As you can tell from the picture they were really ugly. I'm not a fan of stripes, but I thought that this stripe pattern was horrid. I'm so glad that they are now gone!!!!!!

These are the curtains now hanging in the kitchen. They are a nice bright blue with butterflies on them. They also brighten the kitchen up. I'm planning painting the kitchen blue, so these will match perfectly when I'm done.

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I'm a fun loving girl, who loves to travel and take pictures. I have my own photography business and I'm also a freelance writer.

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