Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition, Part 5

The subtitle for this post should be “What you’d call good news, bad news.”

Good news: Our rough-in inspection passed! Ian was here for the inspector, who took about two minutes to review his notes, look at the work we’d done, and sign off on the changes. Huge sigh of relief! Maybe I’ll sleep tonight (last night was all wakeful shades of inspection-related misery).

Bad news: Last night, I looked into a box that was in the construction area of the house. It had been sitting there for quite a while and I’d forgotten what was in it, and some insulation ended up on top of it. An unassuming box.

Unfortunately, this box was actually about as unassuming as a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to our timeline, because it contained all the important parts for installing the heating duct that I had completely and totally forgotten about when the heating duct guys were here. Most notably, it contains an air-tight collar that fits securely into the top of the fireplace. It also contains the blower, which should be installed behind the vent (that’s the thing that sucks air from the fireplace into our bedroom, without which all the ducting would be useless), along with a passel of electrical controls that hook up to the fireplace and allow us to control the air flow and heat from our bedroom. All those things need to be installed for the heating ducts to actually work.

The other thing is, there are specific guidelines about the duct work that the installers didn’t know about, and I don’t know how much of their work will be able to stand versus how much will have to come out and be redone. And, best of all, I get to be 100% responsible for the screw-up, since I’m the only one who knew about the box and its contents. On the bright side, the permit did not cover HVAC and electrical, thank goodness, so even if we have to redo everything, we at least don’t need another inspection.

I’ve said it all along, to try to reassure myself: Don’t worry, this isn’t life or death, anything that goes wrong will just be more time and money to fix. And, sure enough, that’s exactly what’s happening. If we don’t have to redo all the venting, a nontrivial amount of it will need to be redone, and of course, we pay for the first duct work and then again for the second work to fix the first stuff, since it was my error.

Just when I start thinking I see the light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out I was seeing fluorescing fungus, and there’s just more tunnel after all.

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