Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fireplace Update 3 - Decisions

We've made progress with the tape and texture process to fix the sides where they meet with the walls on either side of the fireplace. There were fairly large gaps that needed to be covered and Kevin wanted to take the time to let each coat dry properly so they don't crack and cause problems when we paint.  It takes a while, but is looking good and is about ready for our next steps.

As we prepare we have some decisions to make.  I had some ideas for the style I wanted for tile, or stone, mantel types and whether I wanted drywall above the mantel or stone.  So here are a few ideas I liked.

I liked this look with the darker tile and the white mantel

Considered a lighter tile along with light mantel

I like this stone with the substantial mantel and corbels

Then as we made progress it became clear that because of the angle of the fireplace and that in order to fit the firebox in this space and give the proper clearances it couldn't be perfectly centered and still work.  It's a bit lopsided with a wall space of 14 inches on the left side (as you face the fireplace) and 10 inches on the right.  With this uneven spacing, to try and put a mantel with side pieces up would look funny, and really show that it wasn't centered.  I decided I didn't want tile, and found a look I liked in a product called Airstone.  We've also decided to just take the mantel across the entire wall space here and to have drywall above the mantel.

This is the style of Airstone that we chose

This is a photo that someone posted of it on their fireplace and we feel that this color and look will work well for our space and decorating needs.  We plan to use the stone around the firebox ,under the mantel like they have here.  Our mantel will be a thicker one such as this and we'll have drywall above the mantel space.  

I still need to find hearth stone to cover the old ugly bricks and purchase the wood for the fireplace mantel and we'll be ready to move on to the next and last phase of our fireplace transformation.

We're getting there.  A few more steps and our fireplace will be done, and then it's on to the next projects that have been inspired by this one as we work to transform this old house into our personalized space.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fireplace Update 2

Our last post on the fireplace progress had the fireplace in and our first fires going.  Now it was time to add the drywall backer boards behind the fireplace unit and to replace the damaged drywall on the ceiling area in this space where it had to be removed to add the new chimney pipes and since it had been damage in a previous leak there was a much larger area that needed to be fixed.

We used the heavier duty drywall X 10 that's designed as a fire resistant drywall.  It was heavy and Cameron and Kevin had their work cut out for them maneuvering the pieces into the tight space behind the firebox.

Nailing it to the wood posts

First piece in place

Trimming the board for the uneven area that this one needed to fit in

Moving this piece into it's tight fit proved a challenge, but they got it

Once they had these in and nailed into place, Kevin added bracing up top at the ceiling for the new pieces of drywall and the metal shield for the chimney pipe to attach to.  We had already made sure prior to this that everything was sealed so that there wasn't a chance for anymore leaks that had caused the damage the prior owners had experienced.

Finished with new ceiling pieces in place

Now that all the drywall was up and everything in place on the interior fireplace space, it was time to build the wood frame that the drywall to seal this off would be attached to.  Kevin added more than was needed to be sure that we would have wood to be able to nail into for any future pictures, decorative pieces, or whatever possible additions we might choose to make.  Easier to add it now than regret later we didn't have that sturdy foundation in place.

Kevin as he adds header for mantel to attach to and the various other support pieces for drywall facing to attach to.

With a VERY solid frame up it was now time to add the drywall to the face of the fireplace. Kevin and Cameron did this with the precision of masters at their craft, we were quite impressed.

Cameron helping to hold drywall in place as they attach the first piece

In progress

Done.  Now time to tape and texture.

Kevin was truly pleased with himself once this was complete.

Now it's time for the finishing touches and with that some challenges as to how we want to finish this area that will be discussed in my next post.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Kevin's Birthday And A Disney Day

Sunday was Kevin's birthday and since he is a big Disney fan we decided to go there to celebrate.  Being President's weekend it can be VERY busy and crowded.  So Kevin loaded our passes online with 3 fast passes for an early morning start and chance to get out ahead of the Sunday crowd.

Thankfully this paid off really well!!  It was a gorgeous day with just a bit of chill in the air when we arrived at 9 am.  Our first pass was for Test Track.  You enter and as you wait for the ride you create your own car design.  This design is linked to the Disney pass or bracelet of a member of your party.  We had two one on Lauren's and one on Hannah's.  Cameron and Lauren created their design and Kevin and Hannah created the other.  You load your design options with style, eco friendly options, speed, color and additional extras.  Cameron and Lauren's was a blue sports car model that came out on top as we went through the ride for fuel efficiency and performance.

Kevin and Hannah's was a sparkly, purple, super loaded and super charged monstrosity, uh racer (smile).  It lost in all the efficiency categories but came out on top for speed as we entered our test track ride.

Test Track cars loading for ride
Flying along outside test track - too fast for me to take a picture so I borrowed an online image.

After this ride we saw that the line for the milder version of this ride called the "green" side on Mission Space, was only a 10 minute wait so we scooted over there and enjoyed the ride.

Kevin walking with the girls towards Mission Space

Our next fastpass was for Spaceship Earth inside the Epcot Ball.  As you ride through space and time at the end you create your future space home or vacation.  Kevin and Lauren plugged in the details and with the head shot photos taken of you at the beginning of the ride you are inserted into your mini movie adventure of you in your futuristic story.  They chose "Leisure" and what they liked and the computer did the rest.  Of course having been on this before and knowing when the photo is snapped Kevin had to ham it up a bit.

Cam as we head to Space Ship Earth ride

Family pics appearing on the globe

Kevin and Lauren in their "space adventure" from our ride

After this we went to the Nemo ride for our last fastpass.  Inside our clam shells we went through the Finding Nemo adventure, before coming out to take a quick stroll through the aquarium area attached to this ride.

At this point we started our walk around the world.  Our first stop was Canada, where Hannah and Lauren were fascinated by the old phone booth and the fact there was a working pay phone inside.

We then scooted quickly past England and on to France, where we stopped at The Boulangerie for a snack to tide us over until we headed out of the park to our lunch/dinner destination.

The Boulangerie is the back building

Some of the delicious items to choose from

Hmmmm, Croissant!!

Once fortified with our croissant we then toured the rest of the countries stopping to walk through some of the shops or exhibits, then decided to head out of the park around 12.  Perfect timing too as the lines to enter the park were long and the crowd was already beginning to grow.

We stopped at Don Pablos for our meal, and enjoyed ourselves, but spared Kevin having to wear the giant sombrero while the waiters and waitresses chant their birthday song.  We witnessed several others receiving this and honored his request to not acknowledge his birthday in this way (big smile).

Once home we relaxed awhile, then got the chance to Face time with Amber and Eddie.  For supper we had some pizza, and then cheesecake for Kevin's birthday.  He had to blow out a match stuck in his piece, because for some reason my candles are lost and I need to find or buy more for the next birthday.  I have a whole box of them, so it's a real mystery as to where they managed to disappear to.

Kevin with his cheesecake and improvised "candle"

After cake it was present time and then relaxing watching an episode of Downton Abbey that we now have on DVD.  All in all Kevin said it was a great birthday!!

Next post will be back to more updates on the fireplace progress.