After almost 7 years of living in our “forever” house, we finally have a working fireplace. The fire bricks were too old and damaged to be safely used, so we decided to install a woodstove instead of rebuilding the whole firebox. By the time we got serious about dealing with it, we also had to get some repointing and re-flashing done on the chimney itself. After having the masonry work done in the spring, we laid a new hearth after returning from Ireland and had the woodstove installed in October.

To save money I built the hearth, but we decided to leave the chimney liner and stove installation to the pros.

Ms. Elsie was my curious assistant through the tedious tile-laying process.

She has enjoyed the fruits of her labors ever since. Elsie certainly understands the old Irish saying níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin (there’s no fireside like your own fireside).

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