There's nothing like being home 99.9% of the time to encourage thoughts about the stuff in your house you don't like.
First it was the back yard. It was about 80% of the way we wanted it and since we knew we'd be spending a lot of time there over the summer, we got the remaining 20% done and had stone installed, finally covered some eye sores and made a nice spot to be outside but away from others.
Now that Fall is here, I've turned my attention to the fireplace. You may remember back when we moved in that it could have been featured in Architectural Abomination Monthly - we pretty much removed the ghastly mantle and curved things immediately, but never really got past the removal to make it what we wanted.
I always hated the black granite on the brick and hated the black granite hearth - it juts out into the room, hurting unsuspecting toes and doing nothing but collecting dust. So a few weekends back, I took it off. It took like 10 minutes.
But left behind a lot of mess - black caulk (I swear the previous owner of this house had a hard-on for caulk), glue, mortar and gave me a weekend of stuff to remove that ended up being an excellent diversion from work, the world and everything.
Then things got silly.
The original plan was to build a new mantel, retile the hearth and think about some bookcases or something to finish the space.
I found the specs for the fireplace and did some reading on hearth requirements and b-valve fireplaces and NO GOOD COMES FROM RESEARCH. This fireplace wasn't the most efficient thing - burns natural gas to heat air in our living room and then blows the bad air out the chimney - including the air from in the house that it just heated. They rate at about 50% efficiency. The fan is noisy and well we never use it much because our house isn't cold and we all have lots of woolies (reason 123 to live with a knitter). Craig never had any use for the fireplace and after looking at pretty designs on Pinterest and sleeping on it, we decided to get rid of the fireplace.
Which also meant we could get rid of the hearth and level the floor. Except getting rid of the hearth was a lot less easy than removing the granite or the caulk. Craig tried to remove the bricks in the hearth by hand but they were CONCRETED INTO THE FLOOR (who does that?).
So not ideal...
But we got to rent a demolition hammer!
It's as awesome as you imagine. We tented off that part of the room (which only sorta helped) and Craig got down to destroying stuff.
It chewed through the brick and then we got down to the concrete.
Of course, I got to have a turn. Pulverizing concrete with a power tool is just what a stressed-out woman needs. (This is my new profile photo at work).
It was messy, we spent a lot of money to dispose of the waste (no concrete allowed in the landfill) and the brick needs some restoration work (we're looking for a professional) but now we have no ugly hearth, no energy-wasting fireplace and well no more of the cabinetry that came with the house.
I mean if you're going to pay to remove the reno waste, might as well do it all...
It's time to rebuild...