Now, to the matter at hand. As per suggestion from PoP readers, I was able to get in touch with Sergio, the chimney/ fireplace expert. He has a top hat!!! i just can’t get over how awesome/knowledgeable he was and he has a top hat!
some historical knowledge he shared: our fireplace was originally for real. and then the floor was removed, fireplace bricked in and oil sent up the chimney to heat the house. and oh, yea, just cause your house was built in the 1800s doesn’t mean that it was built by master craftsmen. the brick in our fireplace isn’t fire proof. our mantle, likely an original, is slate manufactured to look like marble, before it was painted over the gross brown color.
the good news: we can have a fireplace that’s either wood or gas. in fact the fireplace has to be made for wood first, and then may be converted to gas. which is fine by me, that way we can test it out.
now to the less pleasant matters: we had gotten another chimney inspection done last week, and the estimate we got was only for about half as much. but also they did not mention that we don’t have proper fire brick and that we need to rebuild the entire fireplace. sigh. you never really are prepared to deal with just how expensive house really is. so what to do?