Sunday, October 16, 2016


I am behind on posting about progress on the house.  My policy has been to wait until some particular aspect is finished to post about it.  As the house neared completion in late September, there were many aspects that were almost, but not quite, finished.  Then, the house was completed, we moved in, and life has been too hectic to do blog posts.

We probably changed our minds more about the fireplace than any other single element.  From the beginning, we planned for a direct vent natural gas fireplace, which draws all combustion air from outdoors.  Initially, we selected a pretty traditional unit that attempts to look like a wood fire.  Then, we changed our minds and decided on a wider, more contemporary unit.  Of course, like most other design changes, that added some cost.

During framing, an area is framed for the fireplace.
The fireplace unit is installed and vent pipe is installed to the chimney.  The vent pipe is actually a pipe within a pipe.  The exhaust goes up through the inner pipe.  Combustion air comes in through the outer pipe.
This shows the unit from behind.  In addition to the air intake and exhaust, the installers hooked up a natural gas line and electrical controls.  The electrical controls were later moved because they were in the way of the HVAC ductwork.

After drywall and installation of  a mantle, it is starting to look much more like a fireplace.  A TV will be mounted to the wall above the mantle.  We would have preferred to have the mantle lower so the TV wouldn't be so high, but the fireplace documentation sets a minimum separation.
We changed our minds repeatedly regarding how to finish the wall around the fireplace.  We talked about stacked stone, but didn't want to go that far over the budget.  Eventually, we decided on a 6" border using the same tile that we used for the backsplash in the kitchen.  
Here is the end product in operation.

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