Progress! …and a fireplace update

It’s all happening, the buzz of saws and the slams of a hammer, music to my ears. This is a big week. We finally settled on a contractor for the dry rot. At this very moment, my new best friend Bob is down in the basement toiling away. Some things you just can’t do yourself and anything structural qualifies. Bob’s list of to dos:

1. replace dry rot in new laundry room, under old laundry room, above the fireplace and under the porch
2. repair main beam under old laundry room and replace single support post and wall with two new supports so room can remain open
3. repair subfloor in kitchen (he actually has a stockpile of the same wood planks so we don’t have to use plywood)
4. remove all unused water and gas lines in old laundry room and cap off
5. remove old furnace under entry/dining room

All of this will take two weeks and immediately following, the plumber will install our tankless water heater, my refurbished vintage sink and, drumroll please, the washer and dryer.

What’s this? Is the sun shining? Are birds singing?

Not only that but last week we met some great roofers who fixed our leaking chimney. Can you believe the flashing was NEVER done properly, not ever? It was a slow trickle over many, many years that caused that damage. If you can stomach the horror and are in need of a recap, go here.

Speaking of, I did a little more demo on the wall because I was noticing as contractors came through for bids, they were assuming the worst. As such, they’re bids were high and the proposed work seriously invasive. I figured it best to remove all the wall and the bookcases down to the studs so we can really see what’s going on. It was messy but totally worth it.

It was exciting to remove that 70s paneling and unearth the original beadboard. At first glance, I thought it was intact. Alas, that wasn’t so. It was pretty crumbly and even cut up on the right side. I still plan to salvage these boards and try to make something small, a curio maybe, but their life surrounding a mantel is over.

Never in my life have I seen the guts of a fireplace and I had no idea how they are put together. Tomorrow a chimney expert is coming over to give it a once-over and educate us on the possibilities, if there are any. Right now we are thinking this burned coal, that it is heavily damaged and unless we spend thousands, it will never be more than decorative. But we’ll see what the experts say.

Voila! See that angled 2×4 and how it’s completely missing at the chimney? It directed water to flow to the left, leaving the entire right side intact. Really, not so bad!

Once we got this far, the windows literally begged to be stripped. I still can’t fathom the intention here. Anyway, it was Valentine’s Day and the sun was out so we went for it.

Two coats of Citristrip and some good scraping and it’s a whole new world. Isn’t that right, Orange?

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