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Fireplace project! [Jan. 26th, 2012|10:06 am]
A community for Old Houses

oldhouses

[arma_padawan]
So, i remodeled the fireplaces back in november/december of 2010, but my camera died, and i never got around to replacing it. I finally decided to borrow my mom's camera and take some pictures. It doesn't do as well as my old canon, so i had to lighten the pictures in photoshop. I suppose that could be because the battery is almost dead.

Anyway, here's how the fireplaces looked when i bought the house. They were closed up and had space heaters in front of them.

the dining room with carpet and gas heater



This is what they look like when you open them up:
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Here is a close up. This is the dining room fireplace.
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This is how we mix up tile grout and mortar. Yes, that's an egg beater in the drill
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here is patching the hole in the brick work. i used salvaged bricks found around the yard
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Here is what the same fireplace looks like after the tile job and cast iron arch.
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This one turned out the worst. turns out i should have removed brick instead of added it. oh well.
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Office:
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Office close up:
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Living room:
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living room close up. This one was the deepest fireplace
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I found this little gem inside the living room fireplace after i opened it.
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Bedroom:
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And no, they are not functional. At least they are not able to handle anything more hardcore than a few candles. maybe i will look into getting them functional after i finish the rest of the house.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: writersblock_va
2012-01-26 03:29 pm (UTC)
Wow, I LOVE the cast iron arches! Very cool! I have to wonder at the depth of the chimneys though, that one looks WAY too shallow. I wonder if they originally had like a wood stove insert instead of being meant to burn wood. Also, did you check to see if the flue-damper was in good shape? Otherwise you can be losing heat/AC up the chimney. The straw in that one makes me think a birdnest is/was in the chimney and you may not have a damper in place.
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2012-01-26 03:36 pm (UTC)
Good point...I hear in old houses they were for stoves rather than fireplaces. Maybe if it is against an outer wall some sort of stove-like thing could be installed in the space, though it would be nice to retain the brickwork...
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[User Picture]From: qkellie
2012-01-26 03:48 pm (UTC)
You might could also have them converted to burn gas instead of wood if they were never fully functional to begin with. At least that's what my realtor told me.
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[User Picture]From: arma_padawan
2012-01-26 04:00 pm (UTC)
The arches came from here: http://www.gratefires.com/index.htm

There is some mystery about the firebox depth. i think originally they were all the size of the one in the living room. perhaps wood burning, perhaps not. Then at some point, i think they added bricks to convert them to coal. then later on, they removed bricks again to accommodate heating stoves.

there are no flue dampers. i had the chimneys capped, so none of them draw.
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[User Picture]From: palesknbeauty
2012-01-27 06:32 pm (UTC)
Victorian era houses were built to burn coal. Thus the small, shallow fireplaces.
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[User Picture]From: writersblock_va
2012-01-27 07:15 pm (UTC)
I guess. Still seems oddly an shallow depth to me.
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[User Picture]From: arma_padawan
2012-01-27 08:13 pm (UTC)
from what i've read, coal burns differently and requires a differently constructed firebox. it also kept the fire out closer into the middle of the room - so more heat was radiated out, as opposed to going up the chimney and being wasted - which happens more with wood fires.
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[User Picture]From: writersblock_va
2012-01-27 08:55 pm (UTC)
Really, thats interesting! I never knew that about coal burning fireplaces. I always assumed fire places were built to the same general proportions regardless if they were burning coal or wood.
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[User Picture]From: restoman
2012-01-26 03:55 pm (UTC)
Nice Job!!

With that shallow depth, I suspect they were built as gas fireplaces originally. They probably could be refitted with gas inserts.
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[User Picture]From: writersblock_va
2012-01-26 04:00 pm (UTC)
Ah good point! I looked at the pics again and it does look like there's some kind of metal fitting near the fireplace in a couple of shots. Like in the last pic, on the right under the blue panel. And you can see another one in the 3rd to last pic on the right. I wonder if those were the old gas connects.
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[User Picture]From: arma_padawan
2012-01-26 04:03 pm (UTC)
yes, there are gas connects by every fireplace. i used those heaters for a year or two until i got HVAC. the heaters were dangerous, but got the job done.

You can see the heaters in the first pic i posted.
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[User Picture]From: writersblock_va
2012-01-26 04:04 pm (UTC)
ok, I assumed it was an electric space heater in the first pic.
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[User Picture]From: lnearth
2012-01-26 08:32 pm (UTC)
great job! I love the ambiance of the candles.
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[User Picture]From: muchamuse
2012-01-27 06:37 pm (UTC)
Inspired by your lovely fireplaces, I just looked through your collection of house posts. I am just astounded by the work you done. The sheer volume of work and the excellent results have impressed me to no end.
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[User Picture]From: arma_padawan
2012-01-27 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Yesterday i started on the kitchen. the first real remodeling since i finished the fireplaces back in 2010.
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