Once upon a time, we had a fireplace that came with our house. It looked like this:
(By the way, we put the screen up to keep Xander from getting himself burnt.)
In November of 2008, we decided to rip out the old fireplace. It was big, stuck into the room a lot, and was hard to turn on. It only had an on/off switch, and no thermostat. Plus the piece that caused it to be hard to turn on was no longer available...the company that made the original fireplace had gone out of business years ago.
I don't have pictures of it being ripped out, but my Uncle Ed (everyone needs and Uncle Ed!), Ray and my Dad put the actual fireplace unit in at the end of November. It was settled on a box. Ray worked on the hearth for months. He built it and then taught himself how to tile. They are tumbled slate. Since it took him a while to learn the tricks of tiling, getting to that point took a long time.
You can see it with the hearth, here.
Between the fact that Liam didn't sleep the night until the end of January, plus everything else, it took a while for Ray to get to do the rest. He worked on the boxes for the top and bottom and the base for the mantle for a long time.
Then he did the drywall.
If I thought that doing the boxes was a chore, well I was in for a treat. Puttying and sanding took almost as long. We made a few mistakes along the way (trust me on this one: don't use an electric sander for these kinds of jobs...the dust all over 2 floors of stuff is NOT worth it).
Here it is in the puttying stage:
And just this week, we painted. Ray did the actual fireplace, but I did the wall behind it, some trim, and the other two walls in the room (which you cannot see, of course).
He did a great job!
Here is a close up of the mantle. Pretty awesome!
So, this is what Ray's been doing in our house over the last 18 months.
Thanks honey. It's better than I ever imagined it would be!