We have always been do it yourselfers around here, whether it is yard work or big projects on the house. This summer has been no exception around here. Of course I think that the summer has gone by too quickly, but that is another story.
When we built our home, we had left a spot for a fireplace and had never finished it. It was finished enough on the outside so that the weather was not a worry, but inside it is just a wall with no area for a fireplace. When our children were little we decided that having a fireplace was going to be a heat loss, so we just gave up on having one. But that meant we still needed to finish the spot where the chimney would be. Since there was already a spot for it we needed to “finish” it off and make it look like we really have a working chimney.
I don’t have a before picture of what it looked like, but this is the framed in look. My hubby and daughter put up the tar paper, then the metal lathe. Katie isn’t exactly fond of heights, but she seemed to manage ok.
When you are doing anything by yourself you might not always have the equipment on hand. Instead of going out and buying an item, check to see if you have a place that you can rent it from. It is cheaper than buying it outright, especially if you don’t need it for too long. In our case we have several friends that had what we needed. We can borrow the scaffolding for as long as we need it and the same with the mixer. With such a large home we already had the longer ladders on hand so that wasn’t an issue. The only expense we had was actually buying the materials. There will be no out of pocket expense of paying labor for this project. We saved so much money by doing this, approximately $2400! Some workers charge $12 a square foot and we have 200 square feet, I am willing to do it ourselves for that savings! I am going to point out that my hubby used to work in the block/masonry field delivering block and knew how to do certain things so that is a plus. When we went to purchase the materials we did ask a few questions on things that he wasn’t sure of and they were helpful. Of course it helps that we went to his old place of employment to purchase everything so if we run into something we aren’t sure of, they are only a phone call away!
This is the mixer that we borrowed from a friend and it comes in handy when mixing the mortar. We use the bagged mortar, sand and water to make an actual mortar to put a scratch coat on the chimney first so that the artificial stone has something to adhere to.
The bags of mortar and sand pile.
Here is hubby dumping the mortar into the wheelbarrow. We then have to take it to the other side of the house to work on the chimney. Our ground isn’t level since we live on a hill, so this was the most level place to put the mixer.
Lots of boxes of stone! They were delivered with the pallets that are shown and I already put first dibs on those puppies :). I think that I have seen too many ideas on Pinterest! I am not showing the stone just yet. Keeping everyone in suspense for the final project is a killer isn’t it?
This is a project that has to be done around the weather and I really dislike that. I am the type that I want it done NOW! It doesn’t work that way when you only have so much help and the weather won’t co-operate. I am hoping that I will be showing you Part 2 within the next few weeks, but until then my yard will still look like a construction zone.