This new fireplace replaced the original 26-year-old fireplace. The old one gave up the ghost sometime through the winter season. Rather than trying to repair it, I decided to get a new one. This is the same philosophy I employed with the refrigerator, hot water heater & garbage disposal last summer and the dishwasher & microwave this summer.
I fell in love with the hand made "face" when I saw the photos in the catalog. I had to have it! I also opted for a brick insert to add a bit more charm.
Step 0 - Old fireplace
Step 1: Removal of old fireplace
The installers were Chase and his assistant Chase. You read that correctly... Chase squared!
They said that the removal of the old unit is much more difficult than the install of the new one. Watching them work, I would have to agree with that statement.

Getting the old one out presents quite the challenge

Brute force was required at times

Comes out a little bit but more brute force needed

More brute force

Let's finally get the old one out!

Empty cavity

Step 2: Install new fireplace
This was much easier than getting the old one out.
The biggest challenge seemed to be to correctly attach the vent duct to the outside vent. Good thing the new fireplace was not as tall as the old one. Otherwise, I have no idea how the "inside Chase" would have been able to help the "outside Chase" in the process.

Let's get this new puppy in there

Completed Install - before cleanup

First flame!!!!!!

Step 3 - Feature wall
The approach I decided upon was not my original one.
I originally planned to try to hire someone for this task. I had planned to select & purchase the wood from my friend Josh Weltman who owns Historic Woodworks in Tetonia ID. I was thinking in terms of 3/4" thick recycled wood.
When I visited Josh's facility, he showed me some pine "skins" which were approximately 3/8" thick. He said they were less expensive ($100 total) and also much easier to work with. Sounded great to me and I figured that this now was something I could accomplish on my own with a tool rental or two.

Working out the plan

Think I'm going to have two vertical boards (as shown above) and in between those horizontal boards to cover the white wall between the vertical boards.
Below is the final look!!!
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