OK, brace yourselves for a bit of a shock - I have a HT construction-related question.
Yes, I realize that would constitute an off-topic post in this thread, but bear with me - I'm sure it won't last long.
OK, here's the issue I need help with. (Boy, there's a statement that just invites trouble, but that's OK ... Trouble is my middle name. Or at least my middle initial.)
As part of this project I am removing all existing wood paneling on the exterior walls in order to properly insulate this old house. Previously the cinder block walls were either entirely uninsulated, or only "insulated" with 1940s-era tar paper. So besides fixing the moisture problems and the mold problems a prime objective is to insulate properly so the post-project basement (circa 2015) will be dry and warm. And possibly even contain some form of HT, for those who believe in miracles.
So all the wood paneling on the exterior walls has to go, and is in fact about 95% gone, and the final 5% is on the process of going, just as soon as I empty the last few remaining bits from my once and future office area. I'll post some photos of that last demo part sometime soon, as I measure time.
My question has to do with the two interior walls, which run the length of the room that will be the multi-use HT/family room. I need to decide if I should also demo those wood paneling from the walls and throw up drywall so the entire room is the same, or simply paint over them or treat them somehow so they blend in with the soon-to-be new drywall on the exterior walls?
I have been planning on demo'ing the wood surface of those interior walls as well, but now as I am about to swing the hammer have discovered one glitch that, given my non-existent carpentry skills, causes me pause. The glitch is this: the stone fireplace. Here's a view of it more or less straight on.
My problem is the depth of the stonework, including the mantle, and whether (or how) it would look if I install a regular 2X4 wall with drywall. Here's a shot of how much it currently protrudes from the existing wall. The mantle sticks out 5" and the stonework itself is irregular but maxes out at about 4".
Next are a couple shots of the inner bearing wall, which is just bare cinder block with some horizontal firing strips and then the paneling. The depth from the block wall to the outside of the paneling is 1 3/4".
I'm trying to figure out if it would be worth the hassle to demo and rebuild the wood covering on this wall, especially given the loss of depth of the fireplace stone/mantle, or if I should just leave it as is and either paint the wood to match the rest of the room, or perhaps (as my wife suggests) re-stain the fireplace wall as a decorative element of some sort. For that matter, what exactly is
a 'decorative element' and is it contagious??
I also have the opposite wall to decide on as well, as that is also still wood. But that is a smaller wall up against the stairs and future equipment closet and so does not present the same type of depth/fireplace challenge.
That's a lot of words, and I'm still not sure I've even adequately conveyed what I was trying to say. I think I've been around my teenage girls too long. Fer sure!! OMG!!!!!!!!
So gents, work with me ... toss me a frickin' bone here
- what would you do with this wall?
And how soon could you get here to do it?!