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dtherbert

join:2009-04-24
Evanston, IL

First Time Project

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My wife and I just bought a house. We're first-time home buyers, so our experience with remodeling or home projects is exactly zilch. We have an idea for something we'd like to do, and honestly I'm finding that just figuring out where to start seems a bit intimidating.

I've attached a picture showing a very basic outline of what we want to do. We want to get rid of the current marble/painted-metal fireplace surround and use tile instead. Outside of that, to the left and right, we want some custom shelving made. At the top, either where the marble surround ends or slightly above, we'll have some sort of mantle. Above that we'll be mounting our television (only place in the room it could logically go). We'll probably want to get rid of the wall plates to the left of the fireplace and move some power and a hole (that will lead to another hole behind the TV for fishing wires) to the right side, since our TV electronics will probably go on those shelves. Also, there are a few places around the house that we would like to install recessed lighting.

So that's it, and I'm not sure where to begin. We only have a basic idea, so the project needs to be designed, and I don't know if we should hire a designer/architect (it's such a small project). I read that you should have a design first before getting contractor bids so that they're all bidding on the same thing instead of bidding on their own designs. That being said, does this even require a contractor? Could I get it designed, then hire a carpenter and an electrician?

Anyway, any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated. Taking these first steps are always the most difficult!

Thanks!


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
There are custom fireplace shops in the Chicago land area for just this purpose.

Ask them for help: »www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d&scli···&bih=631


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
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reply to dtherbert
Relocating all the LV and electrical will be a PITA. You'll most likely just want to remove the drywall. If you are actually in Chicago, then everything will be in conduit. You are probably better to hire an electrician. Obviously a plumber for the gas line.
If the basement is unfinished below, that will be a big help.

This is going to be said anyway, so I'll go ahead and say it now. There are many valid reasons to not mount a TV above a fireplace. I try to discourage my customers from it.
Above that fireplace is a chimney, and probably a chimney box (the wall is probably drywalled with type X on the inside). It could be a fire hazard to run any wires in there. If it's a triple wall flue and a zero clearance insert, you are probably in good shape.
Since you'll most likely have to tear up the drywall for the lower section, you may as well just keep going and avoid the chimney space all together.

Improperly placed can lights can put a terrible glare on flatscreen TV's. The wrong type of can trim can ruin everything too.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
said by nunya:

Obviously a plumber for the gas line.

Not too obvious. I would hire an HVAC contractor. But I am biased. If you don't drink it or flush it, you don't need a plumber.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
You're right, plumber or HVAC guy.


natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to dtherbert
Is that a bonafide fireplace or a gas insert of some sort. Is it vented or ventless?
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements

dtherbert

join:2009-04-24
Evanston, IL
reply to dtherbert
Thanks for all the replies so far.

I'm in Evanston, not Chicago, and this condo was built in the mid-eighties.

The basement underneath the fireplace area is unfinished, so that's good. Also, the wall the fireplace is on forms a triangular space with the exterior wall and a bathroom wall. I THINK the space is quite a bit larger than the chimney would occupy, and I think the ductwork for the top-floor heating vents also run through that space... so who knows how that might affect things.

As to whether it's an insert or not, I'm not sure, but I think it's a bonafide fireplace. The area outside the marble trim is drywall, and within the marble trim it feels/sounds like painted metal (like it's part of the fireplace). Diagonally the opening of the fireplace is right about 42". It's open to the room, not sure if that answers the vent/ventless question.

So it sounds like it might be pretty involved, and a contractor might be the way to go? Still not sure about how to approach the design aspect.

Thanks again!