As I mentioned in my previous post, Family Room or Man Cave?, we are beginning the remodel of our family room.  No where near as ambitious as Kellee’s kitchen remodel but we’ll tackle our kitchen at a later date.

Brick Hearth Before
No Brick Hearth!

We spent 4 hours and 3 trips to Home Depot just removing the ugly brick hearth and brick step.  I cannot tell you how happy I am to see them gone.  Now all we need to do is cover up what is left and they will be a faint and distant memory where is exactly where they belong.
First let me start off with this fact…removing brick is VERY HARD WORK!
I did some internet research on the best way to remove brick and the only suggestion I saw on the DIY websites I tend to peruse was the use of an air hammer.  Now, I had only heard of these for use in heavy duty construction or for mechanics.  I looked on line and found an air hammer at Home Depot for $16, definitely in my price range.  Of course I should have been suspicious by the low price but I headed off to Home Depot to check it out.  I found what I was looking for but was very confused by the instructions and tried to get some help from the clerks there.  I won’t spend a lot of time detailing what a waste of time that was but suffice to say the first guy who helped me would have let me leave with a tool that would not have worked AT ALL. The 2nd guy only managed to confirm what I was reading on the label which essentially said I needed a $1000 compressor to run the air hammer.  I then went off to the rental section to see what they might have that I could use.  The clerk there was much more helpful and recommended a demolition tool but it seemed like more than I would be able to handle and I didn’t want my husband to have to do all the work.  That trip left us no better off than we were to start with.  The thought of trying to remove all that brick with a hammer and chisel was way more than either of us cold imagine so back to Home Depot. We left with a smaller demolition hammer that looked like something I could handle but it was actually worse than the hammer and chisel idea.  Back to Home Depot and ended up with the one we should have gotten the first time. It was basically a hand held version of a jack hammer.  It was a lot of work and we were both exhausted by the time we finished but it’s all done!

Today we (really my husband did most of the work) loaded all the brick in the back of the pickup truck and took it over to the Englwood Transfer Station (otherwise known as a dump).  I know, I know you’re all cringing and thinking that we should have recycled the brick.  Well, first there is NO way we were going to be able to remove the brick without damaging the majority of it.  The few bricks that made it through unbroken had so much mortar on them it was not worth the effort to remove it to reuse.  That’s my story (excuse) and I’m sticking with it.

So why does my husband deserve the man cave?  First and foremost it is because he hasn’t filed for divorce after having to remove all of that brick.  He would have been perfectly happy with finding a way to either cover it up or to just work with it.   But because he is the wonderful man that he is, he allowed me to have my way even though this is supposed to be his room.  Now that is one wonderful (and smart) man.