Saturday, December 10, 2011

Like the biggest game of Jenga

     Steven and I are feeling a huge boost of confidence as DIY home renovators! Remember that "next hurdle" that I mentioned in the last post? Well, just a couple weeks ago we finished taking out a chimney and then patched the roof ourselves. We chipped away at the fireplace and chimney on and off over the course of several weeks, but most of the work you'll see below was done over one weekend.



     Our house was originally built with two fireplaces, but unfortunately these will never be usable again because the chimneys were cut off at the roof line. Also, the fireplaces have been covered with drywall. We're hoping to uncover these and show them off again even if they can't produce heat. A third fireplace, the one we're taking out, was added way after the home's original construction date. Our contractor informed us that this chimney wasn't compliant with building code on a few points either. (FYI: the chimney must be the highest point on your house.) Because of these factors, and our desire to make a kitchen where the chimney was, we decided to remove it. By removing this huge corner chimney, we gained 26 square feet! Here are some before, during, and after pics :)

Though taken during the rotten floor project, I just realized this is about the best photo we have of the untouched fireplace.



Here I am cleaning up after we pulled out the firebox- GROSS!!

Looking up at Steven, who was chipping away at the chimney on the roof.
Here I am, taking out the hearth.
Fireplace, minus firebox and hearth.
The front facade really wasn't even attached to what was behind it...
... so it came off with just a little leverage. I just held down the shutter button for this, haha!

The dust storm! Ugh, the amount of dust from this project was insane- feels like we're still cleaning up now.
After removing the facade. Not cool to see the charred spots and how the bricks look like they were just tossed in.
We briefly had a skylight!
GONE!!!
Exterior before.
After removing the shingles that had been cut to fit around the chimney, we had roughly a 10x6 square foot area to patch. Neither of us had put shingles on a house before, so we're really proud of how it turned out- you can't even tell a chimney had been there! Fortunately, our house had its roof replaced just a few years ago, and we were able to get the exact same shingles. A blue tarp had been covering this spot for a couple of nights prior to this, but we knew that we would have make the permanent repairs since hail and high winds were predicted for the following day. Soon after I took the above shot, it started sprinkling. As soon as we finished the roof and got inside, heavy rain started pouring. No leaks!!
Exterior after. The brick wall seen here is just a facade and will later be replaced with siding. A couple of friends have hauled off a pick-up load of bricks, but we have plenty more if you need some :)