We knew when our house was first inspected in 2007, that among several hundred other problems with a then 93-year old house, that the fireplace had problems. Most notably the damper was broken. At some point, I had a bid done that said it was going to cost about $1000 to repair and sweep. That estimate said we needed to redo the flashing on the roof around the chimney and included filling in our now-sealed-up ash clean out in the basement. Another complication was that we had sold the cheesy glass and brass door set that came with the house early on. It was fugly and cluttered up the garage until someone bought it on Craigslist.
Since we spent far too much on the house restoration as it was, $1000 for occasional seasonal fires was a high price to pay. Not to mention the cost of a new door set. So alas, other projects would take priority over the past 5 1/2 years. The fireplace did get a fair amount of love asthetically as we stripped the paint from the brick. Then we called it good for the time being.
Last Christmas we went to our friend’s party where their similar fireplace was blazing. It was so cozy and gave such great ambiance, I decided that next fall we would finally get another bid and see if $1000 was still necessary. So around Thanksgiving I finally called for another estimate.
It wasn’t $1000 anymore! The roof flashing was fine and there was a new damper cap combo that made installation fast. We opted not to fill in the ash clean-out, but instead used a piece of steel to cover it up discretely. Accompany that with a 10 percent off “Turkey Day” discount and adding on a chimney cleaning, the total came to around $450.00. Not exactly a steal, but in comparison to most house projects, very reasonable.
I also started searching around for door sets. I found a set I liked from Plow & Hearth, but it was backordered so I finally cancelled it when I found a great set at Target of all places — for $50.00! I decided to get the matching stand/tool kit as well. We are so happy with it, that we may get the one last piece, the wood basket just to have a nice cohesive set. All that for around $100! Just in time for Christmas too! This project was worth the wait.
Enjoy some of the before and after shots below.
The hex tile is original to the house, although cracked and sort of jenky, it’s an imperfect detail I love completely! And hey, one less project!