Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition, Part 3

OK, our project is not exactly a well-oiled machine of closely-scheduled contractors. We’ve had many days of no work fine at all, then here and there someone shows up, does a few hours of work, and leaves again. I don’t think it’s been even eight hours of work yet, even though we started 10 days ago.

This is all right – we’re not on some tight schedule – but I’m looking forward to having interior access to our laundry room and garage back some day, hopefully sooner than later. It’s pretty inconvenient carrying all our laundry out the front door, through the garage, and into our laundry room. With all this in and out, we have a hard time remembering if the garage door is open, too, and have narrowly missed leaving it open all night several times. However, I remain grateful that we don’t have to go to a laundromat or carry our laundry long distances normally. Continue Reading...

Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition, part 2

This morning, bright and early, the Kirkland Fireplace installer showed up to install the actual fireplace itself. He arrived about 8:00 and finished about 10:30, so quickly I didn’t even have time to make a batch of cookies to say “thank you.”

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The stove itself!
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Installer Eric hard at work, having just hooked up to the gas line in the crawl space.
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It's installed and we can even turn it on!
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Not the most ideal location for a vent...

Wow, it worked! All my careful design and agonizing research actually did pay off: It’s not touching the wall in the back; the direct vent was able to bend and go straight out without being too tall; the sides fit in exactly right; the gas line had been run to the exact right spot and he had to do minimal work to hook it up. I have to admit, I’m kind of astonished. Continue Reading...

Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition

After three months of… Let’s be generous and call it “planning,” rather than the more accurate “completely ignorant bungling” – anyway, after three or four months, today we actually started breaking ground (or, in our case, carpet) on the new fireplace project.

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Before, although after we moved all the furniture.
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During.
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During just got way less exciting.

This is a day fraught with much anxiety for me, since I did all the research and design. I started from a place of complete and total ignorance, and did the entire thing based on advice from architect friends, City of Bothell code requirements, and the fireplace installation manual. On paper, it looks like it might be decent, and once we got the permit, I stopped worrying about it. Continue Reading...