When we bought the house five years ago, it came with a large standalone gas fireplace. I always assumed that the previous homeowners bought the fireplace to enhance the value of the house. I grew up with a real fireplace and chimney, but this was different. We’ve used the gas fireplace a few times in the past few years, but it often filled the house with a smell, and it didn’t great a cozy atmosphere. As a result, we left it to take up room in our living room. It primarily held our picture frames and a large painting. At Christmas time, we hung our Christmas stockings from it.
We tried to sell it, but nobody wanted such a large gas fireplace. We wanted to throw it out ourselves, but we couldn’t budge it. We thought that either it was really heavy or it was bolted to the floor. When we had the house painted last year, the painters couldn’t move it, so they painted around it. What to do? Well, two weeks ago, I had a handyman come in to price out how much to demolish it and cart it away. They quoted me $200. While I considered this, the handyman said I needed to call the gas company to shut off the gas valve.
I had the gas company send a guy to come out on a Saturday to shut the gas off. As I chatted with him and told him of our intentions…. lo and behold, he wanted the fireplace. He didn’t know what he was going to do with it, but he’d bring his pickup truck the next day and take it. Wow, and for free — I just had to help him move it. Turns out, the fireplace wasn’t bolted down. It was simply very heavy. On Sunday the next day, it took some time, but he and I slid, carried, and lifted that fireplace onto his truck.
My wife and kids were out, so there was little interruption. After he departed with the fireplace, I quickly grabbed the extra paint and painted the wall. I then vacuumed the carpet, and cleaned up the debris. That’s it, fireplace gone, mission accomplished.
Late this week, I spent three hours rearranging the living room. I moved the tv stand and speakers, couches and tables, and shifted the entire layout of the room. I think what took the longest was pulling up the carpet, and rewiring the surround speakers.
With the layout of the living room rearranged, the room itself feels so much…. “roomier.” More floor space, more room to walk around, and more room for my future “Dad’s chair.” There’s still more to do with the room. I have to:
- find and put up some shelves (for the picture frames.)
- hang up the wall painting.
- find a media cabinet or shelving for our DVDs and music.
- find new coffee and end tables.
- get my “Dad’s chair.”
It doesn’t feel like a never-ending list of things to do. It feels like we’re finally getting there.