Search results for 'driveway'

Fresh Blacktop

20 Jun





So, I realize driveways are not exactly the most glamorous things to read about but I’m going to write about mine anyway. Aside from the fact that longtime readers will know that this driveway has been nothing short of a saga, it’s a been a real game changer for me. Coming home after work and pulling onto a flat, solid and tidy surface makes me feel much better about coming home. The first thought when I arrive home is no longer a reminder that I need to have this damn driveway paved. Its also a much nicer greeting to visitors in contrast to the faded, buckled and crumbling one I had before.

I had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that driveways are not DIY projects. I think in part to quell my fears, I had about 10 estimates done; which was about five more than I really needed. I talked to neighbors, checked references, made spreadsheets and found phone book coupons. In the end, I went with a local company who exceeded my expectations in professionalism and quality. They worked with me to solve an issue I had with drainage and worked incredibly neatly along my flower beds as well as in between the house and the fence, which I’m sure was no easy feat.

Do I wish it was done with stone, pavers or stamped concrete? Yes I do, but the return on investment was just not there. So, in the end it was a practical choice and I’m happy with it.

After it was all done I realized the walkway to my front porch looked like trash so I removed all the old pavers, rebuilt the base with new sand and stone and then laid them back down. I would have liked to replace the existing concrete pavers with brick or tumbled cobblestone, but I decided to use what I had. The more I thought about it I liked the contemporary twist that the larger, sleeker concrete pavers gave in juxtaposition to the house anyway.



I did have to purchase a few new ones, that’s why some are brighter than others, but after a while I’m sure that the colors will bend. You might also notice the unpainted section on the steps. That’s there because when I replaced the pavers I had to remove the front steps and the railing that was attached to them. That railing needed to go eventually since it was an aluminum one that was likely done whenever they put the siding on the house. This summer I plan to fix that by  building a new wooden one in the Craftsman Style to suit the house. If you look closely you’ll see that this picture also is a good way to get a glimpse at the twin house next door built just one year prior to mine in 1929.

Both the new walk and the new driveway need to mellow out a bit and then I can seal the driveway and contemplate staining the concrete pavers down to a richer, less concrete-y color.

In the meantime, I’m going to start gathering ideas for that railing.

IBB Myth Busters Edition

23 May

I finished off the floors a few weeks ago and I ‘m happy with the way that the project turned out. During the process I was pleasantly surprised to find out a few of the things I thought were not true.

Myth one: Its expensive
It was really not that expensive and not as difficult as I thought it might be. The biggest expense in the whole project were the sanding pads and the polyurethane. I think I spent $400 total.

Myth Two: Its labor intensive:
I rented an orbital floor sander from Lowe’s and was able to do all four rooms and the hallway in one day. Most of the time I was just standing around holding the sander. As for the staining and poly. It was even easier.

Myth Three: Its dusty:
True, there was dust; but not nearly as much as I thought there would be. The sander really helped out a lot in this regard as it had a built in vacuum which sucked almost everything up. Including every elusive pine needle form the Christmas Trees of the last 75 years. 

Myth Four: Its stinky:
Ok, that one is true.

While doing the sanding I came to the conclusion that this is the first time my floors have ever been refinished. The boards were extremely uneven. It took a while to get every part of each board sanded down when some boards were lower than others. The floorboards are narrow and very thin, almost like yardsticks, and they are face nailed down to the subfloor.  I don’t think the floors were ever sanded down as a whole together. If they were there would be no way that they could have been so irregular. Is it possible that these were prefinished and then installed?

Once the finish was all off and I used all three grits of sandpaper, I stained the floors with a 50/50 mix of English Chestnut and Provincial stains. I did this because I wanted to go darker and I though that this mix looked best with the Gumwood baseboards. Speaking of the baseboards I also sanded the toe kick (because they were really beat up) on all of them and then applied a mix of Gunstock with a touch of Chestnut which matched the color of the rest of the Gumwood right on. 

Finally, I used three coats of water based poly to protect the floors. I suppose oil might have been better but the water based dries much faster and frankly, I needed my house back.





PS. Guess who’s getting a new driveway today?

Deadbeat Blogger

2 Feb

I have not posted in quite a while. The reality of the situation is that there really hasn’t been that much to talk about. After the kitchen was finished off this summer, school started and I was dead to the world for about two months while I worked feverishly to get back in the saddle in a new school and with a new content area. Then the holidays came and my focus was diverted again. Now that its January I thought I’d update and bring the blog readers (if there are any of you left) up to speed.

First and foremost, the magazine article I mentioned forever ago finally came out this fall. I was really thrilled with the exposure and felt really validated after all my toil on the house. It was photographed by Girdley & Graves and  published in the spring issue of Small Room Decorating and will be on stands until February, 24th so it’s not too late to get a copy.





In November I got a great deal on  beautiful Jenny Lind style bed for the spare bedroom at an antique shop nearby.


And in December I tore open the attic floor and installed two light fixtures. One over my kitchen sink and another over the bathroom vanity.



And so that’s pretty much all that’s new. Exciting huh?

Truth is… I’m working on saving up for the driveway and want it done as  soon as the weather breaks the spring. So  a lot of frivolous house projects have taken a back seat. I am tired of talking about it, looking at it and trying to shovel snow off the uneven pavement. I’ve saved half of the money so far and am in a good position  to be ready by May. I should say though, that I’m not putting in crushed stone. I’m just going to pave it and be done with it.

There are a few pre-approved items which will be completed during the project freeze and those are refinishing the floors over Spring Break (myself) and once the driveway goes in I’m going to make some minor modifications to the short front walk and steps, mainly revolving around new pavers and replacing the short aluminum railing with a more appropriate wooden one. This fall I will also replace the oil furnace with a favorable financing deal from NYSERTA which is actually going to be saving me about $100.00 a month, rather immediately. Lastly, in the further off future I may look into finishing the attic in to a master bedroom and small second bath.

And that my friends, will be a wrap. I’ve got to stop tinkering and learn when it is appropriate to call it quits. I’ll be nearing the maximum return on investment value  at that point but with a healthy lead. Which might just lead to bigger and better things down the road.

I’ll also encourage you to follow along on Instagram at Ittybittybungalow


Kitchen Completion

17 Aug



Alright! the big,giant, never-ending house project list is starting to wrap up. The latest item to be removed was the kitchen. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve spent a lot of time finishing out the space to be more like what I want, and to make it more functional. To start, I removed the old countertops which I had painted with the Rustoleum countertop paint and replaced them with butcher block which I stained and sealed. I knew I wanted them to be dark and I also knew I was never going to be cutting on them so I didn’t really care if they were food safe. The stain I used was Special Walnut and then I sealed them with several coats of oil based glossy poly. The countertops came from Lumber Liquidators and I got an eight foot section for about three hundred dollars, which was much more reasonable than a Granite or Soapstone remnant . As far as installation was concerned it was easy peasy. Thankfully, my Ikea Domsjo Sink was square and went the entire distance from the wall to the front of the countertop so I only had to make two cuts in the butcher block. I then placed it on the the counter top, leveled it, and screwed it in from the bottom with L brackets.

Here was the kitchen before, with the old doors, sink and countertop:
(it looks cute in that picture but I was very hard to keep clean)



Next, I added the sink which just sort of dropped in and hung on the edges of the countertop. Once that was placed properly. I used compression fittings to add a dishwasher hook-up and then installed the new faucet. I really wanted to stay with a double handle but the sink only had one hole (it had places to drill more, but that seemed to risky) so I compromised on a single handle with pull out sprayer which is a little modern for my taste but it works well. I then added a garbage disposal.

That old sink might have looked good in that before photo, but here is how I looked most of the time:

Here is the new gaint sink:


With the sink in working order I ventured on to the dishwasher. The dishwasher was the whole reason this project got started. I knew I needed a compact model but they were so expensive. They ran from about 400 dollars to anywhere near 700. So I happened to be trolling around Craigslist when I saw one about an hour away in Naples, NY. It was a better model than I was planning on purchasing and looked to be in good condition. Needless to say I was off for an afternoon road trip through the Finger Lakes wine country. When I got there I noticed it had a small dent in the front panel and the kickplate was missing, allowing me to talk them down from 100 dollars to 80. Sold. When I came home and installed it I called Sears and ordered the missing kickplate. I almost ordered a new front panel but when it was installed you could barley tell that there was a scratch so I figured I’d let it go for now.


The last(ish) thing that I needed to do was sort out what I was going to do with the cabinet doors. I had gotten quotes for all new cabinets in the week prior. I needed about four cabinets, Two uppers and two lowers but no matter how I laid out the stock cabinet options I was loosing space or was not going to be able to center my sink on the window. Plus all the cabinets I was willing to buy were not as well built as my current, solid wood, 50’s custom numbers. So… I bought a table saw and with the help of Old Town Home and this old timer on YouTube built my own. Now I am not a woodworker and have zero skill in this area. I have to say aside from a few issues, the doors turned out great and I’m pretty happy with them.



So with all this done, I’m in a pretty good house project position. I’d say we are leaving the renovation zone and headed into the maintenance/task zone and it feels great. The big projects that are left are to refinish my floors and do something about that driveway, and in the distant future change my furnace from oil to gas. And that’s it, even better is that only one project (the floors) is really a DIY job so I’m mostly off the hook.

Before I sign off, I have to mention that that yellow/gold color of my kitchen does not read well in any images I take.I’d say it looks most true in the second/before image and to be honest I’ve flirted with the idea of changing it to taupe several times. My main concern is that they yellow with the check floor reads too retro while I’m aiming for more of a vintage/classic look. I’d like some feed back on that so chime in.

Backyard Bummin’

26 May

I don’t think I’ve shared much about the backyard since I built the pergola. Mostly, because it wasn’t someplace that I was especially proud of. Since I built the pergola I’ve been working on finishing the fence (which you can see in the pictures is not all of the way finished) In any event things have been shaping up back  there this summer so I thought I’d share the progress.

Here is an establishing shot to get you acquainted with the way that it is set up. In the foreground you can see my awesome driveway, a peek at the pergola, the garage and fence.

Once you round the corner you can see the entire pergola (which still needs to be stained). The patio, if you remember, I found on the curb and drove it over a few pavers at a time in my car until I had enough for a free patio! I recently planted Wisteria on the far side in hopes that it will eventually provide a bit of shade.



Here you can see the last of the Lilacs, some Iris and a Bleeding Heart


Here’s the back of the yard (unfinished fence, brown spots in the grass and all)


The last bit here is the side of the garage. I planted some tiny Clematis last year which seems to be growing extremely slow, you can also see more Iris. A young hydrangea sits just outside the frame.


Most of the plants are pretty young, so I’m really looking forward to them getting a bit larger and more established. I still need to finish off the fence behind the garage as well as complete the staining on the back of the fence and all of the pergola. But to be honest, I’m not really in that big of a rush. After all, its summer now!


10 May

I went to the Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting on May 6th and presented my case. Surprisingly, there were only a few questions and very little discussion. I think that a lot of the reason for that was because of the letters I had written. In addition to the fact that I had already met with the DPW Commissioner and the Conservation Board and gotten the thumbs up from them. Two of my neighbors came and spoke in favor of my plan. Most importantly, a representative from the Conservation Board presented.She was very enthusiastic and explained that MORE people should be putting in stone driveways and that I was a GOOD example.

The were a few stipulations though. I must install a concrete apron at the base of the driveway, the size of which must be worked out with the DPW. They are also requiring the use of geotextile fabric under the driveway to keep the stone from sinking into the ground and then four inches of large stone on top of that. On the very top I’ll need to lay about an inch and a half of washed, crushed stone. and then add the pavers to the edge.

I spent some time pricing this out and here is the basic budget.

$225.00 – 103 f t of US-220 Geotextile Fabric
$ 40.00  –  Shipping of Geotextile
$ 124.00 – Skidster rental 
$ 138.00 – Dump Trailer rental 
$    60.00 – Three loads of debris to town dump
$371.00 – 11 cubic yards of #2 stone (large)
$233.55- 5 cubic yards of #1A  stone (small)
$232.00 – 400 3.5×7 tumbled pavers
$   92.00 – 23 bags of Quickcrete (for apron)

The lowest quote I found for an asphalt driveway was $2,600 so this is a savings of $1,084.45

I am going to call to see if I can hire out the removal of the driveway. The cost of doing it myself is $322.00 If I can come close to that I’ll hire it out because that’s much safer than me running heavy machinery I have no idea how to run. I could also break it up by hand over the course of a few days and then only rent the dump trailer one day to remove it (If I’m a real penny pincher). I’m also going to get quotes to see what it will cost me to just hire someone  to do the who shebang. Just to see if doing it myself is really a savings of a significant measure. I also need to compare the price of the Quickcrete to that of getting a truck and I also want to see if I can get the geotextile fabric localy and less expensively.

I think that I will carry out the project in two phases to break up the costs even further. Phase One ($958) will  the removal of the old driveway. Then I’ll add the fabric and large stone. Phase Two ($556)will the addition of the concrete apron, pavers and small stone.

Eventually, I’ll replace the walk to the front porch with the same pavers and replace the garden edging (the old concrete from the sidewalk) with stacked flagstone. Then, I’m sticking a fork in the yard.

Variance Continued

25 Apr

I recived a copy of an internal memo from the town yesterday in the mail. From what I gather the Zoning Board asked the DPW if the crushed stone is permiable, to which  the DPW replied “Permiability and crushed stone contridict each other”. I’m guessing that this means that they do not think it is. The second concern that was raised in  this memo was that paver  and stone are not acceptable in the town right of way. The right of way into my property is 15 feet deep. So it looks like if they were to grant the variance, they would want 15 feet of the driveway to be asphalt or concrete. Thats about 1/4 of my drveway and frankly, I think that would look ridiculious. At any rate, I need to respond to the note before the hearing so I can give the board adequate time to think it over. Here is what I wrote:

 I am writing in order to provide more information as requested by the Commissioner of Public Works, XXXXX about the permeability of crushed stone and the materials to be used in the replacement of the driveway at XXXXX, specifically in the town right of way.

I would like to use approximately 6 inches of ¾ inch to 1 ½ inch angular crushed stone. With a border of 8×4 inch tumbled, beige pavers along the lawns held in place by a hidden plastic paver edging. I propose an apron of 2-3 feet constructed of pavers or concrete (whichever is more pleasing to the town) to protect the surface from damage by the plow and to keep the street clear of stones which become loose.

In terms of specifications about the permeable qualities of crushed stone I would like to reference a 2006 study done at the University of Connecticut by Gilbert and Clausen. In this study they conclude that crushed stone is the most permeable of three driveway materials studied (asphalt, permeable pavers and crushed stone). In fact, the study shows that a driveway constructed of crushed stone reduced storm water runoff by 98%. Furthermore, when the crushed stone driveway did discharge water it was not until 20 minutes after application as tested in the study from a perforated house placed at a distance of five meters. In comparison, the asphalt driveway discharged water within one minute of application, showing that a crushed stone driveway has a much greater water retention rate, reducing the quantity of water leaving the property and entering town sewers. Not only does the crushed stone driveway reduce storm water runoff but it helps to reduce the amount of pollution exported since the amount of water which is shed is much lower according to the study.

A second study published in Journal of the American Water Resources Association in 2007 by Hood, Clausen and Warner classifies crushed stone as a Low Impact Development technique. The researchers compared two neighborhoods in this study; one, a traditional neighborhood with asphalt driveways and the other, a Low Impact Development containing driveways comprised of crushed stone. Although other strategies to mitigate storm water runoff were included in this study such as swales and Bioretention Rain Gardens it is clear that crushed stone driveways were important components of this study leading to the reduced storm water run-off in the neighborhood.

Additionally, the State of Rode Island classifies crushed stone a permeable pavement in their Storm water Management Guidance literature. In this resource they encourage single family homeowners to use ¾ inch to 1 ½ inch washed, angular crushed stone to a minimum depth of 3 inches in their driveways.

A paper published in NEMO, or the Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials by Jim Gibbons in 1990 classifies porous concrete and asphalt mixtures, paver blocks and brick set in sand,grass pavers, grid pavers, crushed stone and gravel as porous services  going as far to say that local regulations should permit their use.

 Locally, I have spoken to the Cornell Cooperative Extension where XXXXXX has helped me to locate information which can attest to the permeable qualities of crushed stone and its usefulness in preventing the entry of chemicals into storm sewers. I have also reached out to the EPA, DEC and Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District officials regarding this plan and how best to complete it.

 In response to the issue with loose stone or pavers in the town right of way I would be happy to install a concrete apron at the base of the driveway 2-3 feet in depth. I am concerned that paving the driveway 15 feet into the property would look unpleasing, as if it were an unfinished project as well as severely impact the amount of storm water retention. I have seen many driveways in the town which are comprised of pavers and are within very close parameters if not immediately adjacent to the street. These driveways are all still in good repair. Town plows have not damaged them and they appear to have no issues. Examples include: example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4 example 5 and example 6. In addition, newer stone driveways are located at example 1 and example 2 (both have solid surface aprons which I am willing to I install).

 Thank you for your time and consideration,

If you have been reading my blog for a while you’ll know writing is not my strongest suit. This letter goes off tomorrow, if you catch anything stupid please comment. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve seen this letter so much I can’t see them anymore. Additionally, any more studies would be great to include if you are aware of them, or if your town or city has coding to encourage this type of installation that would be helpful to point out to the board.


The Variance

8 Apr

I know I’ve mentioned the driveway before. Like here and here. Whelp, Its time to do something about it. I got/am getting a few quotes on new blacktop but I’m just not really feeling like paving half of my yard is an excellent idea nor is it cheap. So here I am applying for a variance. My town only allows asphalt or concrete for driveways and I’m campaigning for compacted crushed stone with a paver curb. The ladies at the Town Hall said that this was a first (someone asking to go from blacktop to stone) so they weren’t really sure what my chances are. As part of the process I needed to write a Letter of Intent and it spells out pretty clearly what I want to do and why so rather then writing about it again I’m just going to post it here. Its due tomorrow afternoon so I f anyone catches any typos or has additional points I can add to prove my case please chime in. In the mean time I have this ugly a** sign in my front yard alerting the neighbors that I am asking for a variance but they all already know and gave me the thumbs up since I had them sign my Letter of Intent to show they thought it was OK. I also included a few pictures to show the board and will get some samples of the stone and pavers I would l like to use.



April 5, 2013

Town of XXXX Zoning Board of Appeals
Rochester, NY XXXXX

I am writing in order to provide an explicit written statement as to the nature and intent of the variance being requested at the property located at XXXXXX, in XXXXXXXX, New York. The existing driveway at this location is in disrepair and in need of improvement. In many areas the asphalt has buckled and heaved making pulling in and out difficult for both myself and visitors. I would like to propose replacing the existing asphalt with compacted crushed stone or similar product including a paver curb and apron subject to approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals for the following reasons:

1.) To Promote Proper Drainage: The narrow driveway, house and garage sit slightly lower than the adjacent property at located at XXXXXXXXX which creates a drainage problem during heavy rains. Replacing the asphalt with compacted crushed stone would allow more water to penetrate the surface rather than running into the garage or the basement of my home. Additionally, this type of driveway would allow more rain and snow runoff to permeate and recharge ground water instead of running into already overloaded town sewers.

2.) A Green Solution: Many towns and cities like ours are encouraging their residents to replace imperious surface such as asphalt with pervious surfaces, not only in order to reduce storm water run-off as mentioned earlier, but to aid in other areas as well. For instance a product like crushed stone will not soak up as much heat from the sun during the summer and contribute to a “Heat Island” effect in our community during hot summer days. Additionally, crushed stone is a natural product, whereas asphalt is a product derived from nonrenewable resources like oil and requires consistent application of other chemical sealers to maintain. An asphalt or concrete driveway has a limited lifespan and will untimely need to be hauled away and disposed of whereas a driveway of compacted crushed stone can last as long as it is properly maintained.

3.) Historically Accurate: When searching for a home I looked specifically for an older house. XXXXXXX is an example of a very simple craftsman bungalow. I have read that the architects of these types of homes were reacting to the increased machination of the Industrial Revolution and as a result strived to create modest homes which reflected the work of skilled craftsman as well as the environment around them. As I have worked to renovate this house myself over the past two years I have kept this in mind and have worked, when appropriate, to make decisions in keeping with the original intentions of the style. Based on other homes that I have read about I understand that a crushed stone driveway would be in keeping with what would likely have been here in the early 1930’s and would complement the style of the house.

4.) Aesthetically Pleasing: In comparison to asphalt I find the crushed stone with a paver border and apron to be more aesthetically pleasing than a large expanse of concrete or asphalt. I understand that I could stamp and dye materials such as asphalt or concrete but I would not find it as historically accurate, green or cost efficient.

5.) Easily and Inexpensively Maintained, Installed or Modified: Although the crushed stone driveway will certainly not be maintenance free, I do believe that the repairs to it will be much more easily done. The paver border and apron will keep most stones in their place and out of lawns and streets. In addition, compacting the stone will create a hard surface helping to lock the stones in place, allowing, much easier snow removal and keeping dust to a minimum. A crushed stone drive will also be less expensive to install than concrete, asphalt or pavers. Of course, should the crushed stone cause any issues, or prove to be too great of an inconvenience it will serve as an excellent base and can easily be paved at a later time by myself or a latter homeowner.

Although it will be the only driveway of its type on the street I do not believe that the change will be unsightly. The proposed change should do little to change the character of the neighborhood as many of the homes in this area were likely to have been originally built with such driveways.

Alternative solutions which do not require a variance are asphalt or concrete but they will not address the drainage issue as well, as be green, or be historically accurate. Although attractive, pavers would be cost prohibitive for the area in question.

The driveway will not increase in size or layout, and would be a restoration, rather than a renovation. Therefore, I do not believe this variance to be substantial.

This variance will have an improved effect on physical and environmental conditions as it will reduce a drainage problem, address the uneven nature of the driveway, help keep the property from contributing to the already overloaded storm sewers and improve the curb appeal of the home.

I do not believe this situation to be self-created.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


Anyways, that’s what’s up. The hearing is May 6th. I’ll keep you posted.


Its Alive

5 Mar


My father came out on Sunday and hooked up the gas line, and just like that we’re in business. I’ve had the fireplace on for a little while the past two nights after work it it heats up the space magnificently.Within about 15 minutes it raises the temperature of the entire house about five degrees and leaves no trace of a chill in any corners. After about an hour or so I had to turn it down and by bedtime it was so warm in the house I needed to shut it off. Even after turning it off I kept the blower running which continued to push hot air off the warm logs.

Feels great to have this project complete!

Now I’m going to focus on saving up some money for my driveway which is in very poor shape. However, the estimate for repair is going to be by far the most amount of money I’ve ever spent at one time on my house ($2,300). My school district gives teachers a payment for time spent in extra Professional Development Classes after school at the end of the year which should be about $1,600 which I would like to use to help fund this project leaving me with a total of 700 bucks to sock away. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but if 700 bucks was not a lot of money to me this wouldn’t be a Do-It-Yourself Blog – Trust me.

The thing about the driveway is that the town calls for a “dust free” surface. Currently I have rather ratty looking asphalt and I would like to replace it with gravel edged in stone pavers, like the picture below. The reasons being: I prefer the look, it will me much cheaper, and it will be a permeable surface which will discourage storm water runoff. However, the town says gravel is a no go. I would also like concrete but that’s way to expensive and of course all pavers would be the best but obviously even more pricey.





They also sell these plastic thingies that can be used to keep the gravel from moving around. Which are not cheap BTW.



As for the winter…I’ve read that you can still snowblow a gravel drive as long as your snow blower is set to an appropriate height, or if you prefer you can add a small guard to the front to keep the blower up and away from the stones. I’m wondering if anybody out there has had experience with replacing a driveway on a budget, with a gravel drive, getting a gravel drive installed in an urban setting, or with snow removal from one in the winter. Any thoughts would be very helpful.

Fireplace Updates

4 Feb

In order to do my due diligence, I stopped by the fireplace store in my neighborhood and they gave me a lot of great information about gas inserts. I learned that the whole operation is really quite simple and could be done without hiring help. I also learned that they are expensive. For the basic model it was going to cost me around $1,400, add to that about $700 for a grill for the front, plus a $200.00 vent. All said and done, we are talking about two grand. While that’s certainly not extremely expensive, there are a lot of other places where two thousand dollars is more desperately needed at the bungalow (like the driveway).

They also had the same electric fireplace insert that was used in  the guest house at A Country Farmhouse on display; and I must say, it really doesn’t look too bad in action.

Next stop… Craigslist!

There is hope. I did find quite a few used options that were less than $500.00 however, there was an awful lot of ’90s bass on them. Granted, I think I could paint away any brass with the high heat spray paint,(like has been done here) but I was less than enthused about the style of the listings. But, I think with any Craigslist endeavor time and persistence will pay off. So for right now I’ll be putting the fireplace on the back burner until I find an appropriate option.

I am however inquiring about this one. Its not perfect but… It might just work.


Its honestly one of the better Craigslist options I have seen and if I can negotiate a little on the price it might be able to be jazzed up a little with nice mantle and some tile.

Speaking of tile…

Since this puppy is being built into the house I think its important to try to be as authentic as possible and I would like to use a little bit of Arts & Crafts style Art Tile like these from Duquella Tile & Clayworks to put into the surround. I must admit even though I like the Arts & Crafts style, I am not very much of an earth tones kinda guy. I like these because they subject matter seems very Arts & Crafts but the colors are not so dreary.



pine conesflower

As I research, I am also learning about something I believe is called Field Tile. It is usually green and has an uneven, but natural looking glaze. You can see an example of it here. I really the color and the subway tilesque used pattern in this application. That firebox also looks very similar to the one I enquired about on Craigslist.

field tile

Hopefully I hear back from the seller with some favorable news. In the meantime just keep you fingers crossed!