Re-Constructing Home-Part 19: You Can’t Always Get What You Want (A Fireplace’s Story)

img_3828Derek & Bethany have been blessed with an incredibly smooth renovation process. They’re renovating a home that’s over a hundred years old–so it’s no exaggeration to say that literally ANYTHING could have gone wrong.

But, the odds seem ever in their favor: The biggest reno hiccup thus far involves a fireplace. Yep. A fireplace.

To be fair, they’ve invested months and months in this renovation (not to mention all the financial resources being expended). It is disappointing when things don’t stack up exactly the way they were planned. Like in the instance of the fireplace.

Derek wanted a wood-burning fireplace in the family room. So, he and the designer discussed fireplaces, and the designer drew one right in the plans. Except that the fireplace she drew–which became the basis for the architectural plans–wasn’t a wood-burning fireplace.

Just a standard, run-of-the-mill miscommunication. Except this is a renovation–and miscommunications always cost time or money or both.

When the chimney expert (yep, they have those) came out to measure the fireplace and the flue, Derek commented on the big, wood-burning fireplace that was going in the house. To which the chimney expert replied, “Yeah…you aren’t set up for that.”

In order to have a wood-burning fireplace, Derek & Bethany had to pay to have the chimney extended about 18 inches, so there would be a big enough flue. Because breathing fresh air is important, too. As is fire safety. They also had to pour more foundation. And, of course, these things cost both time and money.

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In the end, Derek & Bethany will get their wood-burning fireplace. Although, it isn’t quite as grand as Derek had imagined. But they’ll still get to enjoy the crackle of logs burning. And maybe Evelyn will be able to talk them into letting her roast marshmallows over the fire one day. Maybe.

 

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