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Finding good deals on building supplies is exciting. A recent trip to a local lumber store “bone yard” netted us a brand new direct vent fireplace insert for $150.00 and a decent deal on the exact cabinet hardware Carri was looking for. We jumped on these deals immediately, however there were some hidden costs. First of all, the insert was slightly larger than the existing  opening, so modifications to the fireplace are needed.  Secondly, the cost of the flue and cap will be more than the cost of the insert.  Along with adding a blower and redoing the hearth the final cost will more than triple, but the finished product will be a great addition.

The previous owner had already started redoing the fireplace. They added some tile on the mantel and  hearth, but it was poorly  done so I didn’t hesitate pulling it up. To make the insert fit I had to remove  the entire hearth which consisted of the top layer of tile, a layer of 2 inch slate and a mud bed. In addition, I removed the first layer of fire brick from the floor of the the fireplace which gave me enough clearance to slide in the insert. I still need to relieve the edges on the sides so that it will slide back a inch or two further, but it will work. The only problem is that I will need to construct the hearth so that it can removed easily in case the insert ever needs to be removed for service. I’ll work out all of the details after the flue pipe and blower are delivered. Once installed, Carri will dress up the exterior with marble tile or something to finish it off.

I had gone as far as possible on the fireplace so I went on to other projects.  One evening earlier in the week, I had mudded the sheet rock  so  it was ready to be sanded. There was just the  edge bead around the dining room, a ceiling patch in the kitchen, a patched hole from moving  a light switch box, and a skim coat over the dings created while removing the wall paper. Compared to the amount of sheet rock work on our past reno’s it was nothing. I’ll still need to do some work on the laundry/pantry, but that will wait until the end of this project.  Once the dust cleared Carri stopped her work on the removing staples from the floor and we finalized our plans for finishing the dining room.  We  set up the hutch/bar base and began adding the base of the wainscot. Once the base was installed we were able to dry fit the rails and styles to get an idea of where we we going with it. We held off on permanently installing them  until we are ready to trim them out.

We got a lot done on Saturday. It couldn’t have been a nicer day.  A sunny 70 plus  degrees in January was a pleasant surprise but unfortunately it wouldn’t last. The next morning was overcast, windy, and cold. Not the best conditions for replacing the last three windows we had on hand, but then I was getting used to it. The good news was that the process went from three hours for the first window to under 40 minutes for the last.  Once the last window was in, I began to do the final caulking on all of the windows. The first two windows went quickly, but half way through the third the caulk had begun to thicken due to the cold and the cardboard tube split open. I changed tubes and it split open almost immediately.  That was enough for the day. The windows would have to wait another week. If everything goes well the final eight windows will be delivered this week and I can continue next weekend, weather permitting. The weather forecast for the week doesn’t look good though. I plan on spending my free time in the evenings in the garage working on the millwork for the wainscot and cabinets. I’ll have plenty of options on projects I can work on next weekend. It will be nice to actually finish a project. I’ve started about a dozen and finished none, but at least things are getting done.

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