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How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 for $333.08

fireplace mantel-103Traditional Style

Finish Carpenter Price c. $1,800.00 and Up

Even though most of our houses are heated through the miracle of central heat, the fireplace is still the center of the home.

And with such an important role as warming the hearts and hands of your family and friends, your fireplace surround should reflect that importance.

With that very thought in mind, this Rochester Hills, Michigan, couple invited me to strip the builder-grade mantel from the wall and design them a new, much grander one for their great room.

In this step by step installation series I’ll show you in great detail how I created this fireplace surround from simple materials I found at my local lumber yard.

Posts in this Series

1. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 for $333.08

2. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 2: Materials Inventory

3. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 3: Pilaster Cores

4. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 4: Corbels & Inset Panels

5. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 5: Shadow Pilasters

6. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 6: Wrapping the Crown Molding & Base

7. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 7: Pilaster Extensions

8. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 8: Lanterns

9. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 9: Lantern Crown & Collar

10. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 10: Paneled Frieze

11. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 11: Making the Hood

12. Before & After: Great Room Fireplace Mantel with Overmantel

13. How to Make OVERMANTEL-100 for About $87.39

Reader’s Versions of FIREPLACE MANTEL-103

  1. Fireplace Mantel by Brian
  2. Wes’ FIREPLACE MANTEL-103

Fireplace Before & After

The original fireplace could have started out in life much happier had the finish carpenter created actual pilasters, instead of just nailing up a couple of pieces of fluted casing.

Fluted pilasters are great, they just need all of their parts to be complete.

fireplace mantel

But after some planning and attention to detail, we ended up with this design that the clients like very much.

And if you’re a diy-er, you can make this fireplace mantel with the tools in your garage and some inexpensive materials.

There’s no magic to building it, it just needs your skill and attention.

fireplace mantel plans

Great Room Crown Molding

This large, three-piece crown molding I installed during the first phase of this project.

It is the exact same profile as CROWN MOLDING-103 (though larger), and is installed exactly the same way.

great room moldings

When so many great rooms are built with Dr. Seuss-like angularity, this one was a refreshing change — it’s rectangular.

What’s more, the ceiling is 18′ tall and, astonishingly, it’s flat.

So simple. So elegant. I only wish more were built this way.

great room moldings

Above  A birds-eye view of this charming living room. Quite traditional, quite tasteful.

great-room-moldings

Limiting Factors Affecting the Design

We wanted to build a grand and highly detailed fireplace mantel, one that could stand on its own under the soaring height of the great room.

The greatest challenge I faced coming up with the design was how little space I had on the left and right sides of the mantel.

I didn’t want the mantel to look like it was forced into the limited space, so I had to be very careful with all of my dimensions.

diy fireplace mantel

Below¬† Sadly, after removing the old fireplace¬† mantel, I could see that it was built with the same quality of materials as every other builder-grade mantel I’ve ever torn apart — little better than scrap lumber.

That wouldn’t be such a shame if they didn’t charge so much for them.

fireplace mantel

Posts in this Series

1. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 for $333.08

2. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 2: Materials Inventory

3. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 3: Pilaster Cores

4. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 4: Corbels & Inset Panels

5. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 5: Shadow Pilasters

6. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 6: Wrapping the Crown Molding & Base

7. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 7: Pilaster Extensions

8. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 8: Lanterns

9. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 9: Lantern Crown & Collar

10. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 10: Paneled Frieze

11. How to Build FIREPLACE MANTEL-103 Part 11: Making the Hood

12. Before & After: Great Room Fireplace Mantel with Overmantel

13. How to Make OVERMANTEL-100 for About $87.39

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