OK, so Bossy bought this house right? And the house didn’t have a fireplace in it, which was fine until it wasn’t fine and then Bossy and her husband took out a home equity line of credit and landed in the soup line. Shall we begin?
This was the wall before the fireplace. Bossy kind of hated to lose this wall since it was the only one in her house large enough for a sofa, even though Bossy’s mom the decorator was the one who pointed out that Bossy’s front window wall is large enough for a sofa, never mind that now when sitting there, Bossy’s chi flies out the back of her head and through those windows into the dark night.
The first thing Bossy and her husband did was peel away the layers of wall and floor, and when Bossy says she and her husband peeled away the layers she means her husband:
The next thing Bossy and her husband did, which means her husband, was remove the floor beneath the fireplace:
Meanwhile, Bossy and her husband hired a mason to build the brick chimney on the exterior of the house. Here it is in the beginning stages:
And then Bossy got bored of this story. Do you know what else was happening when this fireplace was being built? Bossy’s son was nearly 16 and on a baseball team:
Bossy’s daughter had just completed her first role as a townsperson in the local production of Music Man, and as a celebration she pierced her ears:
Bossy’s house didn’t have a proper porch and the shutters were green:
And Bossy was playing the cajon in a band with her brother and her husband and her friend Don the architect of the entire ballpark:
Anyway. With the brick chimney in place on the exterior, the remaining layer of cinderblocks could be removed, which exposed Bossy’s house to the outdoors. But only for the amount of time it took the mason to install the firebox within the chimney confines.
The firebox is where the fires get built, which funnels the smoke up the chimney in a draft and can you tell Bossy didn’t bother to look up how this actually works?
At the time, though, Bossy and her husband did exhaustive research about what kind of firebox to invest in, and when Bossy says she and her husband researched she means Bossy did.
They settled on a Rumford fireplace design, because Rumfords are tall and significantly more shallow than average fireplaces, which means more heat is reflected back in the room — and their streamlined throats eliminate turbulence and carry away the smoke with little loss of heated room air, and can you tell Bossy not only just looked up how this works but cribbed the explanation down to the last syllable?
Here is the installed Rumford firebox, which in this photo is represented by the pale brick area:
The next step was to cover the remaining opening with fire-safe cinderblocks. And then Bossy’s husband painted the Rumford firebox bricks black while Bossy sipped a margarita in the center of Mexico but that is a totally different story. Trust her.
During the final stages of construction, Bossy’s husband and Bossy’s friend Geoff were busy in the basement experimenting with concrete and forms and pouring concrete in forms, until they produced the slab which would act as the raised hearth.
And one day that backbreaking experiment had to be lifted up the basement steps and put in place:
And then oy is Bossy sick of telling this story Bossy and her husband applied concrete to the sides of the slab all the way to the floor, which means Bossy’s husband did it.
Not shown is when Bossy and her husband plastered over the cinderblocks which define the walls and mantel area of the fireplace, where Bossy and her husband means Bossy plastered, thank you very much. But of course there’s no photo of that, because. Why again, Bossy’s husband?