Brett Alan Takes A Crack At Home Improvement With His Fireplace Surround
We've been thinking about getting a fireplace for a while now and when the opportunity came up to get one, we jumped on it...and we're so glad we did!
A few years ago, my wife and I moved into a house that had a wood burning stove. While I grew up with a wood burner in my house, it just doesn't fit my life. It always took way too long to get one going the way we wanted it to go. By the time we had a good fire working, it was either time to leave or go to bed. So we made the decision to move on to a gas fireplace.
Gas just seemed like the right way to go. With the push of a button, a beautiful burning fire would be there. And when we were ready for it to stop, we could press the button again and it would go away.
Our only concern was a power outage. Within a month of moving into our new house, we had to deal with "Snowvember." Our wood burning stove came in very handy for that and we didn't want to be without heat. But technology has changed that too. Many of these gas fireplaces can be battery operated so that you don't lose your fire in a power outage.
We shopped around and found Pro Fireplace on Southwestern Boulevard between Union & Michael on the border of Orchard Park & West Seneca. They were just what we were looking for. The fireplaces were the style my wife was looking for and they didn't pull any punches. When I said I was thinking about installing it myself, they said they wouldn't leave me on an island. They wanted to come out and see where we were going to put it to see if it would fit what we were looking for.
They were friendly, and informative, and we knew that Pro Fireplace was our place. These guys knew what they were doing. But then life got in the way. Other things came up and we went without for awhile. Looking back now, I wish I hadn't waited.
The opportunity came up a few months ago with our Seize The Deal auction and we JUMPED on it! We knew we loved Pro Fireplace so we went for it.
We got a 36 inch Regency Fireplace and I LOVE IT. It's one of my favorite parts of the house now. Mike and Wayne did our installation and they did an incredible job. If it weren't for the beautiful fireplace there in my living room when I got home, I wouldn't know they were even there.
I still wanted to try my hand at building the fireplace surround so they left that to me, but we had them do the rest. They installed the fireplace, framed it in, ran electric, and even ran the electric for my TV so that I could mount it above the mantle.
One of our biggest concerns was that we were hosting the family at our house for Christmas. Would they be able to make it look nice before our guests came....I think they did an awesome job! (The dogs seem to like it!)
My wife had a design she wanted and I did my best to replicate it. Keep in mind...I have never done this kind of stuff. So this was huge for me to jump into. Here's the original picture she wanted our fireplace to look like:
Oh boy...I had my work cut out for me. But I gave it my best. First was the wood around the outside. I painted the outside boards first so that I didn't have to worry about painting them when they were next to the wall...
Once I got those all painted and installed it was on to the rest of the surround. I got those boards in then had to paint them up...(yup, Maverick was watching Harry Potter while I did that.)
Now it was on to the tile. This was the most intimidating part of the whole process for me. Of course we chose a herringbone design which felt like it was really hard when I started, but it turned out to be one of the most satisfying steps.
The worst step was the grouting. I'm still not satisfied with that. I made a huge mistake here and didn't actually get the grout wiped off the tile as quickly as I should have.
Plus...I think it was still warm from the fire being on earlier in the day. The grout was drying very quickly. I ended up having to use multiple ideas that I found on Pinterest for removing grout. I'd have to say that this was the biggest mistake I made on this project. But now I've learned. I'm glad that I gave it a shot. I don't think it's that bad for my first time.
It's not even done yet. Still a work in progress, but aren't we all?