Now a first real entry for y’all to enjoy.
I bought my house knowing it needed a little work, a little cleaning, and AH who am i kidding the place is perfectly livable but not perfect for me. One of my biggest problems was the fireplace, which was situated exactly in the middle of my otherwise generously sized living room. So this thing had to go. (Who really needs a fireplace in Houston, Texas)
I got a lot of arguments about why I should keep my fireplace, primarily that it is added value to the house. Well phooey to the added value; if this were a wood burning fireplace I would maybe agree, but it’s not – so I don’t.
The job started out pretty standard as far as fire place removal is concerned (done this once before in my home in South Carolina to a bricked in fireplace.. hmm maybe another post one day) Started out getting rid of the mantle which turned out to be a nice solid hunk of lumber that I will clean up and put to use at some point. Then the work on the brick began; things got interesting at that point as I started to see how many people had changed what they wanted the fireplace to look like.
I had many levels to dig through before I finally found the REAL back wall. You can see above that I finally pulled all the bricks away. Almost did it without getting any damage to myself but whats a demo project without a couple pinched fingers and a brick falling on you.
So finally, after removing the brick and figuring out how to get the flume removed (at this point I still have one tube in my attic that I need to remove and patch my roof but this will wait till the old man visits in December) I was able to start removing drywall so that I could reroute some electricity to the center of the room to eventually plug in my TV.
Due to how the fireplace was installed the framing in that area needed to be redone. Eventually I will be turning the old fireplace hole into an extension of my master bathroom shower but for now it was time to try making a smooth wall.
After the removing the old drywall and installing new studs I was able to begin putting up new drywall. I was very thankful for a friend of mine coming over to help me lift the top row into place.
At this point in the project I had made my decision to increase the scope and do a much more in depth remodel of the living room. I will make the additional progress as future posts include finishing up the drywall (if I can find progress pictures of that), fixing the missing flooring, a little bit of paint, and a little bit of trim.
As a quick note here are some of the lessons learned from this project and things I would change if i were to do it again.
- I wish I would have paid a little closer attention to stud spacing before I began hanging the drywall and I certainly would add more studs either on 16″ or 24″ centers. (most likely 24 since there were a good number of studs already in place) This would have made drywall way easier and potentially reduced my number of seams.
- GOOD LORD my extra studs I added did not align as well as I thought and I did not bother to think how the trim (pine not MDF) would not follow the same bends that the drywall did. If you start to notice your drywall sucking in more than the rest of the wall you can save a lot of effort by putting some shims in behind the drywall and screwing through them.
- If you’re gonna do a full wall just remove the base cabinets. This one has not completely bitten me in the butt yet but I think it will as i decide to redo my bar area and modernize the cabinets a bit.
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