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Archive for the 'Outdoor Fireplace' Category

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Sep 01

Fireplace Update 4 – Done… almost

It’s done!! Well…. almost.

The doors are installed the rock is cleaned up and I have all the pillows and blankets set and ready. We have enjoyed sitting out in front of it the last 2 nights and looking forward to the memories created around it. Just need the hood made and we are all good to go.

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Aug 30

Fireplace Update 4 – Nearly there

I have to say that this project has been a lot more work than I had anticipated. It is amazing how the little details can eat up all the time but now it is close to done and ready to be fired up and enjoyed this weekend.

I finally got all the rock work done this being the large bulk of the work and running out of rock was no picnic either. That said I was able to buy up all the rest of the leftover rock available at my supply and just had enough. The back of the fireplace went fairly quick as I didn’t spend as much time on laying it out and being picky. Seriously who is going to stare at the back anyways.

Next was to start working on building the chairs so I could have an idea of the actual space I needed in front of the feature so that I could lay the brick and put in the retaining wall.

Now that I had a good idea of the space needed everything needed to be dug out and levealed. This is where again a large amount of work came. Over the months the ground had really compacted and basically I was chipping up the ground. Couple this with the fact that I was very anal about getting everything level with a small slope to allow for drainage. In the end it isn’t perfect but hey this is the outdoors right? Next came laying the pavers which was really quick especially when the boys where manning the “brick brigade”.

Now comes all the minor details such as building the barn doors for the side closets staining everything and laying the grout on between the flat slate. I used a really cool process to age the wood. First step was a distress the wood by banging it with hammers, nails, rocks chisels and anything else we could find. The boys loved this part of course. After this all the wood was “painted” with tea to introduce tanins in the wood. During this whole time I was soaking steep wool in vinegar which was used to paint the wood next. The iron in the vinegar reacts with the tanins in the tea and greys the wood this part was super cool and happend almost immediately. Then it was onto staining. You can see the steps between the tea, vinegar and stain below. as you can see the final product turned out really great and exactly what I was hoping for.

Next up is to mount the doors, place the lighting, back with with soil and install the top hood. The top hood I will have to wait for it to be manufactured for me but we will start enjoying the final product before then.

Next post will be the more final pictures stay tuned!

 

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May 14

Fireplace Update 3 – Rock in Progress

Yesterday was a major milestone while at least I think. Finally got all the front of the fireplace rockwork done. It has been a super slow process as basically it is one giant puzzle that you can only do 4 square feet at a time on. Basically you have to dry fit all pieces together and finding the right piece can be tough. Then once it all looks good you take it all down remembering carefully where each piece went. Believe me that last one is super important as I have messed that up too many times. After this mix the morter and slap them back up. The whole process takes about 2 hours or so.

It feels good to be this far done and starting to see the end. The last few weeks have been frustrating a bit as things have been delayed due to being sick and numerous other family obligations but with this week off to concentrate on the house renos things should get moving again.

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Apr 20

Fireplace Update 3 – Cement board complete

Finally at last I have the concrete board complete and all screwed in place. Have to say that the board sure does a number on utility blades. Everything is now in place to start on the rock work which is going to be the most time consuming part so I will keep you all  posted at different intervals on that. Hopefully I will be able to dedicate some good time towards it and not be delayed by the rain and cold here.

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Apr 09

Fireplace Update 2 – We have fire!!

Category: Outdoor Fireplace

Today was a day I was long awaiting the fireplace was finally converted to propane. Took awhile to get a gas fitter in but now it is done and I was able to connect the switch and mount the insert to the frame. Vola we have fire! Looks great and now I can finish up with the cement board. Only got one panel on tonight before it got dark but hopefully I can get more on if it will stop raining for a bit.

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Apr 02

Outdoor Fireplace Project 01

Okay time for another update on this blog. As some of you might have known we where looking to sell our house due to the road in front of us being put through to another community and drastically increasing the traffic amoung other problems. However after several months on the market and the market not being all that good and looking at the inventory of houses out there we realized that we would have to spend significant amounts of money just at least have what we have in another area or get a house close to our “dreams” (first world problem I know). In the end we decided to stay and do some significant renos, I will leave those for another post. This post is focused on my pet project a few years in the making.

We love being outside and I especially love a good fire to sit around. We have for the last few years have had a fire pit in the back yard and the boys have loved roasting marshmellows and hot dogs, however as recently pointed out to us this is illegal due to a by-law not allowing open wood burning within city limits. A neighbour has even¬†threatened¬†to report us if we continue. So it was time to retire the fire pit. Very sad about this I started looking at alternatives. I am one who loves landscaping and obviously waterscapes etc. so of course I have been also interested in hardscapes and that goes along with outdoor living. This brought me to wanting to build an outdoor fireplace, but it couldn’t be wood burning as much as I wanted to also have a wood fired oven in it as well so I turned to gas. Last year I was fortunate enough to find an insert for 65% off so I purchased it only to come down with¬†appendicitis¬†a week or so later. That threw the plan of starting on the project out and then lead into our conversations of moving putting any prospect of building the fireplace¬†completely¬†on hold until we were settled. This is no longer the case and the great build begins!

First it began with the removal of the horrid Oregon grape which over the years was so entangled with itself it was a nightmare to remove. Then came the digging level things out and boy did I dig, it is amazing how much of slope there actually is in our backyard.

Next came the framing of the pad and tying of the re-bar easy enough. Then the great pour! Yep 3/4 ton of concrete mixed by hand in my wheel barrow. Have to say I was one sore and tired man.

A week later (Easter weekend)¬†the framing for the fireplace began. Everything is in steel to avoid and rot, mold, and termites, however I have to say steel is not really meant for this type of structure the end result is there but not as perfect as I would have liked it. In the end the¬†imperfections¬†will be hidden by rock so who is the wiser… oh wait now all of you. I do have to say a big thank you to Ernie my father-in-law for helping me out with this build, very much appreciated.

Next up is waiting for the insert to be converted to propane and then hanging all the cement board.

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