Paradise Lost or Cinema Paradiso?

celtic13

Well-known Member
Hi folks

After taking inspiration from the many fantastic threads here, 2 weeks ago I made an almost Faustian pact with the Devil.

The deal was; I must restore and install an original early Victorian cast iron fireplace that has lurked in the garage for more years than I care to remember, caked under 1000 layers of paint. I must remove a hideous 60's modern brick (its beige!) fireplace and 12 foot hearth. I must completely redecorate and make good the room as a sitting room. I must build from scratch a unit to hide gear and dvd collection.

What do I get in exchange? A new electric screen for my projector (must be hidden behind a pelmet). A plasma for over the newly installed fireplace and an upgraded projector next year when full 1080ps have bedded down a bit and there is more choice (my panny ae300 is over 3 yrs old and still going strong).

Not a bad deal I hear you cry - but here's the rub - I am handy enough but have never attempted a fireplace before, and... a timescale has been imposed - end of Nov!

So spurred into action I started two weekends ago - got some nitromores to strip the fireplace, bought an sds drill, a new 12lb hammer and attacked the hideous one!

The results were not pretty but it was a start...hope to keep this thread updated over the next while to see if it becomes "Paradise Lost or Cinema Paradiso"

Here's the evidence so far.


Thanks for the inspiration

Paul
 

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Tides2002

Active Member
I helped my Dad remove a modern brick fireplace and replace it with a Victorian fireplace, we kept thinking that we would need a builder for the next stage and in the end we did all of the insulation work ourselves and there have been no problems with it over the last 19 years (was really 19 years ago, good god).

We sealed the fire surround with asbestos rope (not sure you can still get that) and another tip we were given was that if you are packing the rear of the firebox with rubble then stick pieces of corrugated cardboard on the inner firebox, this will char away leaving an air gap (making an insulator) between the firebox and the packing.

We started off being daunted by the project but in the end we found it quite easy and one of the most satisfying DIY jobs that either of use has done.
 

Tides2002

Active Member
The fire place that we fitted although cast iron did not have any tiles, but I would think you would be better off using fire cement due to the heat.
 

celtic13

Well-known Member
Have checked with a local fireplace installer and it seems that for this type of fireplace bonding plaster is the way to go for insert tiles.

I have now finished channelling the walls for cables for the plasma to go above the fireplace - my God the dust - people weren't kidding!!!


Do I really need to run a seperate chase for power? Any advice welcome.

Continuing to lay the new slate hearth this afternoon then black lead fireplace tonight. This better be worth it...

Any recomendations for plasma, have to start looking around - are the new pio's worth it or are they marketing hype? I'm looking for a 42" mainly used for SD Tv viewing - projector will handle the movies. We also have a 36" crt sony trinitron in the family room that I have no intention of upgrading yet.

More pics later....

Paul
 

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celtic13

Well-known Member
Well, thats it for the evening, going to have a glass or two! Got the hearth tiled and the first coat of paint onto the fireplace. My "much betterhalf" black leaded the inner part and it has come up a real treat - never thought I would ever see the day that this fireplace would be brought back to its former glory!

Anyway a couple of pics then onto vermiculite tomorrow.

All the best

Paul
 

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dbs2

Banned
................

Do I really need to run a seperate chase for power? Any advice welcome.

Continuing to lay the new slate hearth this afternoon then black lead fireplace tonight. This better be worth it...

Any recomendations for plasma, have to start looking around - are the new pio's worth it or are they marketing hype? I'm looking for a 42" mainly used for SD Tv viewing - ......
Paul
This looks a Cracking Project celtic13.... :thumbsup:

BLIMEY.... :eek: That fire and surround/hearth did have to come out didn't it.... it's looking so much better without it already.... Did you break any tools or digits while 'calmly dismantling' your feature fireplace ??

For chasing power cables adjacent to others....it is always recommended on theses forums as far as i am aware, on my last setup i was unaware of this but did have them as far apart as possible. but to what extend this degrades audio and video i would be also interested to hear about......

As for plasma's them pio's certainly are getting good reviews and likewise again, something i am also looking into, or whether to go down the Sony X3500 series lcd route..... but probably stick with plasma...

Good Luck with the refurb Paul.... i will be watching with great interest.........
 

celtic13

Well-known Member
Many thanks for your encouragment Deano. Yes that fireplace and hearth were hideous yet its only now after years of saying rip it out, that we have now gotten round to it. I think its something to do with "aw the kids will wreck it anyway" - unfortunately they didn't (wrecked everything else though and are still at it!)

I had a look at the pio's today and yes they seem pretty good - don't know if they are worth a 100% premium over a Panasonic though! We watch a lot of films and I think I would prefer to spend the dosh on a 1080p projector, perhaps a "pearl" or the JVC and buy a panny 42incher.

Still haven't decided what to do about power cables...

Anyway, finished the hearth and tiles arrived for the inserts, fitted those tonight with bonding plaster - hope it doesn't crack in the heat, and my wife is pretty pleased - feels like finally getting somewhere.

All the best

Paul
 

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dbs2

Banned
OOoooo if you have the choice you just have to go down the PJ and 42" option... best of both worlds then, makes 'movie time' so so special :thumbsup:
 

Gavster

Novice Member
Still haven't decided what to do about power cables...
That is a cracking looking fireplace chap. It will look superb when all's done.

As for the power cable conundrum ... the IEE regs (I think it's currently on the 16th edition) also states that power and signal should be kept separated along runs. I don't think the extent of the separation has to be much ... you can buy trunking that actually has a divider inside so that power can be run on one side and signals on the other ... if you see what I mean.

Looking at your photos, I can see you've cut quite a large channel out for your cabling ... rather than using that large bore grey pipe (looks like the sort of pipe used for sink wastes) you could always use a couple of smaller conduits. But then again, I don't know what you're thinking with regard to actually getting the cables in place themselves ... do you want the ability to thread them through reterospectively?

Admittedly, I have installed ducting through my chimney breast and have run both the mains lead for the tv and the scart cable through together and the picture quality is absolutely fine (http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=629416)

Probably not much help to you really but food for thought :D
 

Pupster01

Standard Member
forgive me for asking this but are you really thinking of lighting a fire under a plasma TV?? you keep mentioning the effectof heat on the tiles which are at the side think of the heat rising

also remember all chimleys are fire damaged brick work so you need to use decent fixings with rawl bolts or chemical fixings ? personally Having been on the plasma installation courses with hitachi and panasonic ( admittedly it was 2 years ago) id never put a plasma on there have you looked at the weight?

Sorry if im stating things you have already thought about but its always worth mentioning just in case

stunning work will look amazing when its finished
 

celtic13

Well-known Member
Hi folks,

I have been working away for a few days so please excuse the delay in posting.

Looking at your photos, I can see you've cut quite a large channel out for your cabling ... rather than using that large bore grey pipe (looks like the sort of pipe used for sink wastes) you could always use a couple of smaller conduits. But then again, I don't know what you're thinking with regard to actually getting the cables in place themselves ... do you want the ability to thread them through reterospectively?
Think I will try that Gavster, thanks for the advice. I will get two sizes, one dedicated to the power cables and the other to the audio / video - the channelling should be wide enough.

forgive me for asking this but are you really thinking of lighting a fire under a plasma TV?? you keep mentioning the effectof heat on the tiles which are at the side think of the heat rising
Pupster01, the fire will only be lit occasionally, more for effect at times like Christmas etc so hopefully it won't be much of a problem. The fireplace has a cast iron mantle which I would assume will displace some of the heat and prevent it from affecting the plasma.

Quick update, I have ordered a new 100" grandview electric screen which should be arriving any day. I will start putting the electrics in this weekend so prepare to be bombarded with questions and hopefully pics.

All the best

Paul
 

dbs2

Banned
<snip>

Quick update, I have ordered a new 100" grandview electric screen which should be arriving any day. I will start putting the electrics in this weekend so prepare to be bombarded with questions and hopefully pics.

All the best

Paul
Sounds Grand Paul :thumbsup:

How Are you going to be doing the pelmet, as your screen wall will be rather wide..??
 

dbs2

Banned
Dean,

The screen is going into a bay window almost perpindicular to the fireplace - I should have posted pics at the start to show the layout and will do later. The pelmet will house the curtain rails on theree sides and the design will be unrepentantly stolen from other members of this esteemed forum!

All the best

Paul
That's what i like to hear :D

That is what it's all about !!
 

celtic13

Well-known Member
Ok, spent the evening positioning the fireplace on the hearth...and hurrah it actually fits! Bolted it to the wall and all it needs now is a good plasterer to plaster it in.

I need to do a small bit of packing in behind it tomorrow and slope down with a weak mortar.

I took gavsters advice (ta) and bought some wide trunking with a divider rather than the large bore waste pipe, this will allow me to separate the power from the av cables.

And Dean, a few pics to show where the screen is going - had an email from Walter to say it will take another 2 weeks due to its unusual size.

On with the electrics tomorrow.

All the best

Paul
 

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celtic13

Well-known Member
It's been over a month now since I last posted an update during which time a lot has happenned. All was going swimmingly and I had lifted the floorboards to fit some spurs and run the cables to the bay for speakers and virgin media. The floor is a composite, solid up to the new hearth and then boards thereafter. I lifted most of the boards and laid the cables but just as I was finishing off nosiness got the better of me and I decided to check out into the corners. It was then that I first noticed the smell - damp! Further investigations revealed spores...fungi...mushrooms! This really held the project back as I had to find the source of the damp, remove the spores and finally dry the place out.

As I was doing this, the screen finally arrived from Walter at direct2u. This necessitated cutting into the plaster at the bay for it to fit. The room is a very odd size, built in very early 20th century and was never meant to house a home cinema! I think I will still need to channel out a bit of the wall before I build the pelmet.

Anyway thats it for now, more updates as it progresses.

Thanks for looking

Paul.
 

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shynsingh

Active Member
Enjoying reading this thread and seeing the progress, seeing those spores nearly made me bring my dinner up, I bet your'e glad you are shot of them.

I look forward to seeing the project progress. Really nice fireplace:smashin:
regards
Shynsingh
 

dbs2

Banned
Nasty looking fungi :nono:

Glad to hear that you have been cracking on loads :thumbsup:

How are things going now Paul, i somehow lost track of you thread..... have you got some new pics for us ??

Deano
 

celtic13

Well-known Member
Deano,

November deadline has come and gone and I'm afraid everything has slowed down miserably! The damp problem meant a complete rethink and I had to discover the source before continuing. It ended up that Mrs Celtic 13 suggested the very simple task of looking under the washing machine which is in an utility room adjacent to the sitting room and low and behold there it was, a pool of water. Further investigation revealed that one of the hoses had worked its way loose (okay someone must of jarred it measuring cable runs for a projector update to be hidden in the utility room!!!) I tightened the hose removed the spores and then dried the walls out while I headed to New York for a week on business.

On my return I took some advice from a mate who suggested replacing the boards with concrete. Thats what I have been doing up to this weekend - laying the insulation, damp proof membrane and screed. I now have to bury the cables and lay the top layer. After this is done I will build the pelmet for the screen and get a plasterer in. Like all these jobs on old houses one things turns into another and its easy to become dispirited but you only have to go back to these forums for the inspiration to keep at it. So hopefully I will get back on track after this weekend.

I'll post some pics then.

Best

Paul
 

dbs2

Banned
Sounds as though your getting along fine...... I know what you mean about old properties, one thing always leads to another and usually doubles the cost you were expecting :rolleyes:

Looking forward to the update Paul :thumbsup:

Dont forget them Pics :devil: :)

Deano
 

celtic13

Well-known Member
Hi folks, seeing as Christmas and New Year have passed so quickly I thought it was time to give an update of "Paradise Lost". As you know the November deadline came and went due to a large dollop of damp and some pretty nasty smelling spores. Well having spent most of the Christmas holidays playing my son's Wii, drinking some fine Irish black stuff and actually doing some work on the room I think we can now see light at the end of the tunnel (or maybe thats at the bottom of a glass!)

The floors are finished and well dried out, all the cabling has been buried in wide conduit in the screed and I have made and fixed the batten for the screen. I had to dig out the bay window a bit more to enable it to fit, but it'll be fine once "made good".

I put the screen up to try and low and behold down she came without a hitch! Wired the remote and tried again - down again without a hitch, I was seriously impressed with the Grandview and Walters service.

Next it was take the screen down and and start plasterboarding the chimney breast ready for the skim.

Tomorrow I will build the frame for the screen and start the cabinetwork.

Thats all for now,

thanks for looking

Paul
 

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