We had choices — keep the brick, paint the brick, tile over the brick, take out the fireplace and replace it with a wall of windows. Something to get rid of the hideous color of the brick — a not quite yellow that sucked up light and reminded everyone of the Harvest Gold and Avocado Green and Apache White days of the late 1960s, when Emerald Hill was first built.
Steven’s preference was to demo the chimney and fireplace, put in a wall of windows. Ranserve guesstimated this at $10,000+ just for the demo, not counting the reframing, sheathing, windows, insulation, electrical, and everything else structural. This option was deemed too costly.
Brett Grinkmeyer was talking one day with Steven about the City of Austin requirements for fire sprinklers that kick in above x-thousand square feet. He proposed to the city that we cut off the garage from the house by using fire-resistant drywall as a barrier. The city approved.
Soon after, Steven was scrolling through fireplace stories on Houzz and Fine Homebuilding. Several commenters talked about using drywall to cover brick.
Steven connected the dots.
Mark from Ranserve approved.
Brett drew it into the building plans.
Ron worked with Steven on how to frame it with steel and fire-resistant concrete backer board and drywall, while also creating structure to mount a metal “shield” above the fireplace that Steven and Jacquela purchased in Taos on the trip when Steven asked Jacquela to marry him.
As much as we like the yellow-brick road in the Wizard of Oz, that brick had to go. Putting up the metal shield is going to be killer.