Monday, January 27, 2014

Of Mice and Men

When my parents were visiting after Christmas, I put my dad (and Seth) to work sourcing and installing a new gas fireplace insert.  Our old one had a broken ignitor and the quote I received to fix it was going to equal the cost of a new low-end insert.  Considering that information, we opted to purchase a new one instead of paying to repair our current one.

After finding very few options at our big box hardware stores, the men discovered a local fireplace company with almost a dozen choices.  Seth knows better than to pick something like a fireplace insert without my input, so later that day my mom and I joined them on a return trip to the store.

It was an interesting experience to say the least.  I felt like I took a time machine back to the 1970s (or what I imagine they were like anyway).  When I stepped inside the store, I was greeted by a stale smoke smell.  There was worn wood paneling, lots of brass, and old carpet.  After getting over the initial shock of the store's appearance (and odor), I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of styles and the knowledgeable staff.

I narrowed down my options and chose a model a couple steps above the "basic" insert.  They are essentially priced by log style.  The more realistic-looking the logs, the more expensive the insert (or so it seemed to me).

The model I chose also came with a remote (see the black box on the right?).  Let me tell you - I am a wood burning fireplace kind of person, but this remote is winning me over.  (Side note: We were told that our fireplace box and chimney would need a bit of work in order to get them back to wood burning order, so we stuck with gas.  We also think gas will be better for resale one day.)  I press a button and there is fire.  It can't get much easier.  (Yes, I may be lazy.)

So where do the mice fit in???  Well, my father and Seth opened the box before we put it in the car to check the size of the fitting for the gas line.  Inside was a nest of mice.  Two of them scurried off and a third one tried to climb Seth's pant leg.  I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that his reaction was hilarious.

When we arrived home, I asked the men to carry in the logs and parts individually and leave the box full of mouse droppings outside.  Apparently, while they were unpacking the pieces another mouse jumped out and ran into our backyard.  I am so glad he decided to stay in the box during the ride home.  If a mouse had been running around our car, I may have had difficulty staying on the road.

I don't have details on the install for you because my mother and I were baking cookies while the men handled it.  I can ask Seth if anyone is interested.  I think they just followed the provided instructions and had few (if any) difficulties.

The remote and log style were not the only things that helped me chose this model.  I was also impressed by the faux embers below the logs that glow and "burn" while the fire is on (see them in the photo above?).

We put one of our pet beds on the hearth and the animals love lounging in front of the fire.  

I love the ambiance, ease of use, and heat it provides.  It has been perfect for the chilly winter days we've been having this year.

Progress in the guest bathroom continued this weekend and I should have another update post soon.

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