February 6, 2015

The Cabin Fireplace- Part 1

The winters are chilly at our Cabin Up North, and after a long day exploring an island in the middle of a frozen lake:

Or making a train with sleds and ice fishing gear:

It would be nice to come in and warm up by the fire.  First though, we're going to have to build one. 

For a quick recap- we removed the original window in the Living Room back in the Fall:

To make room for our new fireplace and built ins:

We did a lot of fireplace shopping until we found the perfect unit for the space, and then began laying out the actual dimensions.   We decided that we wanted the fireplace to be just slightly (about 8") in front of the built ins to give the wall depth.  We also made the official decision to hide our TV behind retractable cabinet doors, (because apparently we can't do anything the easy way.)  Our to-scale layout looks something like this:

With all the big questions answered it was time to start building.  I used the framing specs for our fire box unit to build the 2x4 palace in which it would live.  We also built a couple of 1x2 stud walls for behind each bookcase so we could add a layer of insulation to the full wall.  (We had extra insulation left over from the crawl space clean out, and I'm all for anything that makes this place more efficient.)
But before we could put in either of our new walls, we had a little problem with flooring.  We installed our new wood floors all the way to the end of this wall, thinking that it would be awhile before we got around to this project.  But now that it's come a bit sooner than we thought, the flooring had to be removed under our fire and shelves so that we could accommodate the hearth tile.  

We measured dozens of times and then laid out tape as a nice, clean guide.

Just ignore those cable wires that will go up to the TV.  Everything is dead and safe, I promise.

 Thankfully my Dad offered to cut with the circular saw, as I'd have a heart attack cutting into this beautiful new floor.

It was loud.

He cut it perfectly, and we removed the beautiful, new wood floor to expose the glorious linoleum tile below once again.

 The tile that we installed in the new front entry fits like a glove, which will bring the two ends of the space together.

And on the sides the wood floor comes right up to the toe kicks of the built in cabinets.

Here's the full wall in all it's mid-reno glory:

We got one last peak at the nasty wall paper that used to fill this wall when we removed the ceiling trim to place in our new stud walls.

By the end of the evening the wall was filled with insulation panels and covered with a plastic vapor barrier.  Because there's no point adding a heat source if you're just going to lose it out the back of your wall.

So there's Part 1, the typically least glamorous part of a reno.  It may look a hot mess now, but the wheels are in motion and this bad boy is moving.  It will look beautiful before you know it.

You're going to have to trust me on that. 

Pst- Want to follow along on the big cabin fireplace wall project from the beginning?  Or jump straight to the end?  Here you go:

Removing the Window
Part 1- Framing The Fireplace
Part 2- Building the Built-Ins
Part 3- Finishing the Built-Ins
Part 4- Installing the Built-Ins & Building Barn Wood TV Wall
Part 5- Triming Out the Built-Ins (to make them look "built in.")
Part 6- Creating a Stacked Stone Fireplace Surround 
Part 7- Building the Fireplace Mantel 
The Big Cabin Fireplace Wall Reveal 

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