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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fireplace

It seems like a hundred years ago, in another lifetime, but I still remember the first time I walked into this house with the realtor. It was, in fact, one of the first houses I looked at during our house search. And my first impression of this house, besides the ugly siding on the outside, was "no fireplace".

In fact, I wrote that on the MLS sheet that I had in my hand. "No fireplace." And I wanted to immediately turn around and head out the door, but our realtor convinced me that since we were there, and the house empty, we should "look around".

Which we did.  Second thing I noticed was the house had a great floor plan for a wheelchair. Hardwood floors. Wide doorways. And a hallway large enough to spin a wheelchair around in a circle. And room for a wheelchair ramp in back with easy access to a parking spot...

But still, "no fireplace". And Bob and I both loved our old house with its original wood burning fireplace and that seemed a lot to give up.

Later, after looking at what seemed like umpteen million houses, none of which would easily accommodate a wheelchair --- I asked our realtor to go back and look at that "ugly house with no fireplace, but the great floor plan." And we did.  And I still loved the floor plan and the neighborhood was beautiful. And our realtor said, "Diane, you can always change the house, you can't a neighborhood."

We pulled up the corner on a section of the vinyl siding (in back) to check if the original clapboard was intact underneath. It was.  And I thought, well, perhaps we can put in a fireplace....

In January 2015, on what would be Bob's last birthday, Bob and I went antiquing and found a beautiful antique wooden fireplace mantel which has been in our garage ever since, as you all know what happened that spring....

Exploratory surgery on the wall where the original fireplace existed.
I finally found a contractor willing to work with me and that old fireplace mantel, no easy feat, and also discovered the house originally had a fireplace which was removed at some point.  We had hoped to use the old fireplace hearth, but we discovered, after some exploratory surgery on the wall, the old hearth had been bricked in and the cost to reopen and redo the chimney because of new building codes would be prohibitive...

And after meeting with fireplace experts, exploring all the options, I decided the easiest route would be to put in a high tech electric fireplace. Work began last week.




I'm very pleased with the results and I think Bob would be too!

I just wish he were here to see it....


5 comments:

Joyce said...

Diane, you are a visionary! I could never have visualized this possibility. It is beautiful. I think Bob does see it !

DebbieL said...

Absolutely love it. I miss our fireplace and have been thinking of something similar. Your creativity shines through again. And, yes, Bob sees it and no doubt loves it too.

Lauda said...

very elegant!!

John Lightner said...

That last picture is the cats meow///// Great job

Mary Ann K. said...

Looks great...you ok. You're so quiet.