The Builder Blog
Dilston Lane; In the Village of Spring Hill – Continued
There has been more progress on our custom build. We left off from our last posting with finishing the fire box and getting ready to install the reinforced concrete lintel.
Above you’ll see that the lintel is in place and forms are installed at each end for additional concrete. When the concrete is placed, it will form a structural tie to the blocks adjacent to the opening.
The fireplace is beginning to take shape. The over-sized two-piece 20 x 40 inch flue liners can be seen projecting at the top. Flue liners provide a number of functions, although they’re not necessarily required for all chimney flues, but strongly recommended. The main function of a flue liner is to provide protection of the masonry of the chimney, as well as protection of the wood of the home near the chimney.
As work on the fireplace continues, the hole to the right of the firebox is for wood storage. Due to concerns regarding the combustion air needed for a fireplace of this size the wood box is open to the top and will act as a second flue albeit in reverse to allow make up air when the fireplace is used.
The fireplace and the walls that support the forty-three feet tall I-beam are also nearing completion. These beams are made of steel most commonly, but may be also formed from aluminum and other materials. This beam will support the second floor.
Three months into the job, the fireplace and freestanding walls are finally finished. Standing at close to thirty feet tall from the ground, the fireplace looks monumental. The slender horizontal opening at the top is where the smoke exits. The lower rectangular opening will provide make-up air when in use and was purposely placed lower to eliminate smoke from back drafting. (Some concern has been raised that the two are located too closely together and may still allow smoke to back draft down the make-up air opening. Only time will tell). The small brown object projecting from the brick above the top right of the wood box is the steel connector for the 2nd floor.
In this photo of the rear of the chimney, you’ll see the opening left for the pocket door. The door is 3 feet, 4 inches by 9 feet tall. A pocket door is a sliding door that disappears into a compartment when open. These doors are used when there is no room for a hinged door.
Here you’ll see that we are setting the I-beam.