Dads Attic, My Fireplace

by Josh on December 1, 2005 · 2 comments

in Fireplace,Journal

Although the blog has been a little quiet following Thanksgiving, activity at the house continues full speed.

In fact, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve even shared some of my home improvement labor with family. On “Black Friday,” bloated with too much pie and stuffing from the previous day’s feasting, I helped my Dad blow some insulation in the attic of my parents’ home. Perhaps it is because I am the most motivated home improver between my dad and my brother (who rents), but I got the unenviable job of crawling across the ceiling joists and directing the flow of cellulose.

I’d never handled blown insulation before and it was a good learning experience for me. We also found some mold on the underside of the roof decking in a few places and concluded that Dad’s roof needs better ventilation. Fortunately (given the current outside temperatures) that job will wait until spring.

Back at Bungalow ‘23, I continue to work brick by brick stripping paint from the fireplace. As of last night, I have only six bricks left to finish on the fascade. I still have to strip the ends of the bricks around the hearth opening, strip the paint from the flue knob, wash the soot from the firebox, and complete my surface finishing treatment for the brick fascade. That may sound like a lot of work, but after stripping 106 bricks, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel– and it looks like a cozy fire in the fireplace.

In anticipation of lighting that fire, I also completed my long search for a fireplace screen. After removing the metal folding doors that used to cover the hearth opening, I knew I would need a screen to keep sparks in the firebox where they belong. I checked antique shops and searched the web, and ended up where I began my screen search: Restoration Hardware.

I bought their Mission Hearth Rivet Screen and think it is a great fit for the house. It is very similar in design to a screen I saw in an antique shop that would have been perfect (and less costly) if it was the right size for my hearth opening. Unlike the photo above, the screen covers the entire opening of my fireplace just perfectly. The screen overlaps the edge of brick by half an inch on both sides and the top and fits like it could have been custom made. The rivet details give it a bit more “craftsman” touch than other screens I’ve seen, and the price was good given the solid construction.

I’m holding off on posting a photo of the screen in place at the house because I want to save that for the big finale when my work on the fireplace is done. That conclusion shouldn’t be too much longer– my goal is to have the fireplace ready when our family from Florida stays with us a week from tomorrow.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

C. December 2, 2005 at 9:00 am

Very nice! My husband and I are looking at purchasing this as well. We like the craftsman look and the rivets. Glad to hear it is of solid construction. Thanks for the review!


Josh December 2, 2005 at 4:24 pm

Well, I had to exchange the fireplace screen today. There was a weak weld that allowed one of the rear feet to break off after 5 days of virtually no use. My local Restoration Hardware was out of stock on these, so a replacement is being shipped here directly.

I still think the screen has a great design and the overall construction is beefy. This particular screen clearly had a flaw that I don’t expect to find on the replacement.

If you’re looking at these screens in the store it would probably be a good idea to check the welds on the post where the rear feet attach. You could say the rear feet are the screen’s Achilles Heel… *rimshot*


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