My dad and Wendy recently moved back to CA from Boston (yay!) and bought a house that needed a bit of work. Not a full remodel like the one I was hoping for (Project Manager Meryl?), but it does need a good amount of work (new countertops in the kitchen, refinishing the cabinets, replacing light fixtures, ripping out carpet...there's some stuff to do). And one of the great things about this is that my parents are employing Chris and I to do a decent amount of the work.
First on the list was ripping out the "family room" fireplace
Before you gasp, there is good reason. The house has 2 fireplaces (the other in the "formal living room."), this area of CA doesn't really get cold enough to USE fireplaces, and this room is where they'll put the TV and there is no other wall to put it on (2 walls are basically open to other rooms, and the other is a bank of windows and french doors), so out went the fireplace.
On day one we were a bit worried because the house had no power (miscommunication from the previous owners who apparently decided to call PG&E to shut off the power the DAY my parents took over the house instead of giving them warning to transfer it over). We were worried about how slow the project would go with a hammer and chisel
But my parent's new neighbors were VERY nice and let us plug in an extension cord in their house, run it to my dad and Wendy's and use the roto hammer. PHEW! (otherwise this project would have taken a week or two).
Chris and I worked out a pretty efficient system: Chris breaks up the brick with the roto hammer (sometimes with my help with the crowbar), I haul bricks and debris to the backyard and truck
It was great that we were able to use the right tools, and WONDERFUL renovating a house that's only 15 years old (no crazy surprises and things generally go as planned).
And, we were able to save them a bunch of the bricks for future projects
Next we had to figure out how the hell to take out the fireplace
We couldn't really figure out how to disconnect the vent/"chimney" ducting, so we decided we'd take the reciprocating saw and grinder to it and just cut it in half
Next, it was just a matter of jimmy-ing it out of the space
And soon, it was out!
And after removing about 20 ft. of ducting, we had an open cubby
We'll finish out the area, build out a nice shelf for the TV, get a hutch or cabinet for all the electronics, and make a nice little TV home.
Stay tuned for more projects on my dad and Wendy's house now too!