Monday, February 23, 2009

Fireplace Install

I've been working on installing the new fireplace pretty much non-stop lately. Worked on it all weekend from when I woke up until I went to bed at night. It started with alot of demolition, I had to cut out a 4-1/2 foot wide opening that was 8 feet tall in the living room wall. This is the wall that the old chimney ran up through.

Here's standing inside the boys bedroom looking out into the living room through the giant hole that I'm creating. Its pretty amazing how much work was actually involved in "making a hole in a wall".

Making an opening that big required cutting out some wall studs. After I supported the wall properly, I cut the studs out and then framed in a double 2x8 header that you see at the top of the photo. This header is supported on each side by 2 - 2x4 studs and carries the weight from the studs above that were cut off. You can also see a gas line and electric wire in the wall there that I had to relocate.

Here is a side view after the wall was completely removed, I also had to remove 2' off the side wall in the bedroom to maintain my proper clearance from the fireplace. On the floor I'm starting to frame out the platform the fireplace will be sitting on. You can also see the floor where I patched it up. Where the hammer is laying used to be the opening the brick chimney ran through down into the basement.

My dad and brother helped move the fireplace into position and I began installing the chimney pipe from there, the pieces just twist-lock together and about every 5 feet I install a wall clamp. I still need to build a hearth out in front of the fireplace and also frame in the walls around the fireplace with metal studs.

Up in the attic, the new chimney pipe runs up through the old masonry section I left above the roof line. Eventually I will frame this all out so the pipe is enclosed. Also you can see one of the wall straps in this pic.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

XL Delivery - Fireplace 3

The wood burning fireplace for the living room showed up the other day. Between the fireplace and the chimney sections the shipping weight was 1000 pounds! Here's the delivery truck, it was too big to back up into my driveway because he would have to maneuver between the trees alongside the drive.

After unloading, we were able to wheel the lighter pallet (300lbs) up to the porch. The heavier pallet (700lbs) had to be left down in the driveway as the truckdriver and myself couldn't pull it any farther. After he left I hooked a tow strap on it and dragged it up closer to the house with my truck.

Here's the fireplace setting in the house after 4 of us managed to get it up the stairs. It definately wasn't easy. The fireplace is a high effeciency EPA approved unit, it was just made available in the U.S. last month (Jan. 09). It was a pretty expensive unit, but the plan is that it will heat most of the house. I will run ductwork from the fireplace to the upstairs of the house and the fireplace has a large blower to distribute heat. There are glass doors not on it yet in the pic, that seal the fireplace and allow it to burn for a long time (overnight) once loaded with wood. Another reason I went with this fireplace is the cool wrought iron detail on it, the doors also are trimmed in wrought iron and it should go really good with the style of our house.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gas Fire 2

We had a nice warm spell the last couple days here, yesterday it was 60 degrees out! Definately got the spring fever started. However, it will be dipping back into the 20's soon. In the meantime I ran some more gas line and fireplace #2 is up and running in the dining room. Now its nice and warm in there! Its pretty cool because the gas fireplaces are thermostaticaly controlled, so they turn on and off automatically to keep the room the right temperature.

A closer view.

Also was working on tearing out the fake brick that was on the floor surrounding the wood burning stove.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chimney - BIG project

After a chimney fire in December, the chimney had suffered some major cracking and damage from all the intense heat. It was unusable until either it was cored out and relined, or completely removed and rebuilt. I went with the latter. It took 4 men working non-stop to get all the brick torn out and removed. We went from the attic to the basement and removed about 40 feet of brick, estimated to weigh about 5000 pounds or so. The new chimney will go back in the same location, only now it will be a 9" insulated metal pipe, weighing about 250 pounds.

Here is how it started, up in the attic. Bracing was installed to support the 3' section of brick up on the roof. I wanted to maintain the original appearance from outside the house. A shiny round metal pipe sticking out of the roof just wasn't gonna cut it. I estimate the brick on the roof to be around 300lbs, so not a whole lot of weight really. It is braced with 2x8's and there will also be 2x4 bracing running down to the joists below. I calculated wind loads up to 100mph and they were relatively insignificant because there isn't much surface area sticking up above the roof. I will install some angle iron in each corner as an extra precaution, (we had a tornado in the area last year that severely damaged several houses a couple miles away).

Glen throwing down the grunt labor, ready to tackle some more buckets of brick.

Matt working near the ceiling on the 2nd floor.

Looking down from the second floor. Remus is starting to pull bricks going through the floor into the basement.

Here's what was installed to help control the dust on the 1st floor. It seemed to work pretty good. Kinda reminded me in the movie ET when they quarantined of their house...

Nice little pile of bricks. This isn't all of them either.

On a side note, I recieved an awesome package from my Aunt Carol (mismike), she sent some cool things to hang on our walls, including 2 very large ornate wooden keys. Thanks Aunt C! I'll get some pictures when I figure out where I'm gonna hang them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gas Fire

Last weekend we got a new gas fireplace for the parlor to help warm things up a little, and maybe help cut down the heating bill a little. The fireplace is a 99.9% effecient vent-free unit. It seems to be working pretty good throwing out alot of heat.

Elsewhere in my blog I've shown water lines and drain lines, now its time for some gas lines! So before we could use our new fireplace I needed to run the new lines. The line coming in from the right side in the pic is the existing supply line that runs up to the 2nd floor gas heater, it connected to the line in the picture that goes up through the floor and into the wall. I cut the pipes apart, took out the 90 degree elbow, replaced it with a tee, then added in a new shut off valve, then I connected my new line (to the left of the picture) to the other leg of the tee.

Here's the new fireplace in action (ignore the brown paneling on the walls, thats another project for another day)

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