I have to say right away that I never would have gotten it in without Clint’s help. We ran into a little problem right away and my husband and I would have scratched our heads, tried a few ineffective things…tempers would have risen etc. I’m so glad that when I showed him the drawing this spring Clint volunteered to help me put it in once I had it built.
There was one little bit of final assembly to do after the paint had dried a few days and that was installing the screen on the hatch. I just bought a little bit of nylon screen from the hardware store, spray painted one side ivory then cut out pieces to fit my holes with a pair of scissors.
I happened to have 1/4″ strips of Brazilian cherry left over from a dream that didn’t work out……a bit nice for the back of a door, but the right size and available ;0). These I just nailed down over the screen with pin nails.
I’ll have to admit, it was a little nerve racking walking into the house and looking at the wall where this would be installed. We humans are terrible at remembering exactly how big things are….that wall looked like it was going to be way too small and I was scared that the fireplace would be 6″ too big and not fit in the corner and it was just going to be awful.
And I had all of lunch to ponder over whether or not I could in fact use a measuring tape to it’s best advantage…..It was a big relief when we unloaded the trailer, brought the lower part in an it wasn’t too big for the wall. We immediately had other concerns, but at least I hadn’t royally messed up the size ;0)
I’d like to point out the tile around the gas insert at this point. If you take a look at the before picture you can see that the previous mantle covered most of it. This was a pre made mantle that attached to the wall via a cleat, not something that was build specifically for this house. And it hid a little detail I missed while I was measuring.
What I failed to get down in my measuring notes was the fact that the tile stuck out a full 1/2″ from the sheetrock. There was no way that my fireplace was going to sit flush against the wall as built. This is where having Clint around was invaluable because Jared and I would have been at a loss and done something dumb.
However, that is not what happened because the man with experience looked at everything and said, “You need to scribe a line all the way around the inside and cut 1/2″ off.” And that is what he did…with a hand saw, in straight line while Jared and I held everything still for him.
Then we proceeded to fight with the relative squareness and flatness of the wall for the next two hours. It eventually involved chiseling a chunk out of the wallboard and a few more minor adjustments to the back of the fireplace.
I didn’t get many pictures of our progress because I was sent on Mt. Dew runs and keeping kids happy and trying to be helpful but not in the way. The lower fireplace is anchored to the wall just under the top of the mantle with a couple of scraps of 2×4 and wall anchors. I drew you a lovely picture of how this all works ;0). Then the base was screwed directly into the floor with cabinet screws. These were later covered by trim.
We screwed the plywood to the wall in 4 places where it would be covered by the TV, then anchored the tops of the pillars to the wall framing (there are 2-2×4’s that run along the top of a wall when it’s framed correctly, and we anchored to these)
Now it was time for the final touch!!! And I won’t lie, I let Clint do it because I didn’t want to mess it up ;0). I’ll learn how to get my corners to match and not be confused on some other project. For now, it’s done!!
I have to say it was very satisfying seeing this project go from a drawing on paper, to rough wood to a final fireplace. Now instead of the TV looking like an afterthought, it has a frame and looks intentional. If the truth were told, I would tell you that as soon as Dad got home from work, he asked how the tv was mounted, how he could get back into the void behind it and had to check to see if everything was hooked up and functioning. Once those points were satisfied he could admire the woodwork.
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