You had requested some finished pictures of my finished fireplace, see attached. I also sent picture of the whole patio remodel project.
This was quite a project, but after the learning curve everything turned out good, we're very happy with the performance of the fireplace and the look. Thanks for all the help, tips and guidance, I couldn't have done this without your assistance.
As you may recall I had major problem clearing the patio beam above, something I simply mis-calculated in the planning stage, I was off 6". As the solution, instead of leaning the chimney as we discussed, I simply extended the fireplace foundation back 6" . This move promoted the fireplace to use a double return front, per your suggestion. You can see the back side of the fireplace jogs out 6" which increased my cost a bit because of the added linear feet of corner stacking stone. Corner stones are 50% more costly. But as it turns out the extra corners make the fireplace look unique, we're happy with the look.
We've only had 2 fires in it so far, another one planned for tonight with company. The fireplace has been complete for just 2wks, having to wait until I got the hearth top stained and sealed. The mantel, hearth and post countertops were my first experience with cement countertops, using Z Countertop break-away forms to make the half-bull-nose edge shapes. pouring the tops in place. This was another unique experience, requiring more steps and labor than I originally expected, but we're happy with the final product.
The new patio is everything we had envisioned last May went we started the project. I spent $28K on the whole project, an extra $13K more than I planned, but as you know projects evolve, and I tend to elaborate on things I originally didn't plan, plus of course the added cost of materials and labor I didn't realize would occur, which I won't bore you with.
FYI, I was very disappointed with Thompson Materials. After being in business for decades, their desk folks seem to be clueless on fireplaces. They don't even carry refractory cement. As you know they sold me fire clay and told me it was refractory cement, resulting in having to build the fireplace twice after building it the first time with dirt! I even questioned this and showed the bag they loaded in my truck to the salesperson (Alex). He said it was refractory cement, even though it didn't say refractory on the bag, claiming that's what everyone uses for fireplaces. I had to drive a hour to Murietta to find refractory cement.
I didn't buy the rumford fireplace parts from Thompson either because their inventory was so bad. I had to buy the pieces from Arizona with an added cost of $400 just for shipping, simply because they had the product in stock an I could get it in 3 days (another reason for my budget blowout, poor planning on my behalf). The rumford parts totaled $1400 with shipping.
Again, thanks for everything, enjoy the pictures.
[About 30 more email messages from June through December, 2011 in email file]
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