In the past, Q and I sometimes found it hard to align our different outlooks (Q’s focus is on functionality, simplicity, and timeline; while mine is on aesthetics and detailed finishing). We usually have a couple of ‘healthy’ back-n-forths and find a good compromise. But, when Q targeted the ‘mini-fire’ fireplace built-in this weekend, it was smooth sailing.
We had a finished plan drawn up in SketchUp within a few hours and Q was off to build it while Olive and I worked on Baby Boys room and cooked a Turkey. (Who says turkey is only for Thanksgiving and Christmas!) Below are the steps we’ve outlined and how far Q has made it in just one weekend.
√ First step: Frame in the firebox and connect it to the freshly run gas line with a shut off valve.
Q had already run the primary supply line for the fireplace (read about that here). Next he framed in the firebox, connected a shut-off valved and sediment trap, then threaded it through the frame to ensure a good connection to the ‘mini-fire’. Although I’ve simplified the steps, ensuring a proper connection with no leaks is crucial and not a simple task. Later in the project Q plans to replace the yellow shut off valve with a decorative valve like this one. This way we can easily shut off the gas for the off-season months and ensure the kids don’t accidentally turn on the gas. Safety first!
√ Second step: Build a 2×4 frame for the mantel.
Q has completed the mantel as you can see below, the next steps will to square up the frame, and begin framing in the book shelves that will flank the mantel. (Before the third step, we will also run any wiring needed to the TV, internet, and/or speakers that needs to be hidden behind the walls.)
Third step: Cover the frame with MDF.
Fourth step: Apply all finishing trim work, cover finishing nails with wood putty, and apply paint-able silicon to the joints. Sand.
Fifth/Final step: Paint, stain, and install tile or tin to mantel face. (Check out this sample.)
Seems simple, right? We will find out.