We are a young couple remodeling our first house...one outdated / ugly thing at a time. This blog documents our remodel projects and ideas.
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1.25.2011

Mantel Building

When it came time to finish the fireplace remodel, I didn't even think about purchasing a mantel. I knew that I wanted to build it, with the enlisted help of my parentals. And when my dad asked me what plans we were going to use, I hand him this:
Yes, the official mantel building plans are just doodling on a paper towel. Nice, huh? I want to keep the mantel simple and chunky. No fancy detailing or bulls eye corners allowed here. And the size will be kept to a minimum because of the wall space and no more hearth. The old mantel, if you can call it that, was a board that stuck out of the wall with two skinny pieces of trim and bulls eye corner pieces. Basically, I want the complete opposite of what we used to have:
Armed with the official plans and a few measurements, we were ready to build the mantel. Well, I was ready to assist in the mantel building. I have never built a mantel before, so I was the apprentice in this endeavor. We headed off to Lowe's to purchase the lumber for the project. Basically the mantel is built out of 1x4's, a piece of ornate crown molding (or moulding, I still don't know which one it is) and two different types of trim. But before I get ahead of myself, the old fireplace was demoed and I tiled a new surround:
And this is not a "how-to build a mantel" post. I'm just showing you how I saved some money and boosted my DIY confidence by building a mantel instead of buying one. The first step in building the mantel was installing the side/upright pieces. These are simply two 1x4's stacked on top of each other for depth - it was cheaper to stack them than to buy a chunkier piece of lumber. And the feet are 1x6's stacked for depth. Simple. Next came the top of the mantel. This is simply a piece of crown molding with stacked 1x4's on top of it to make the shelf. And then we added some decorative trim around the top of the feet. Ta da, instant mantel. Now you see why I said this wasn't a how-to build a mantel post.

Anyways, let's get on to the pictures. This is my dad nailing in the crown molding. You can see the 1x4's that we used for the sides.

And here, the final touches are being made. The trim is installed around the top of the feet and the 1x4's are stacked on top of the crown molding. This mantel is ready to be caulked and painted.

Fast forward through the caulking and painting because it isn't interesting and here is the finished mantel:


Oh happy day. We built a mantel! We actually built a mantel. And I love it. The total costs for this project was way under $100, like in the $80 range. Compare that to one that I would have bought and we are talking a savings of about $400. Cha-ching!

31 comments:

Deena said...

Wow! This looks wonderful! It's so inspiring. You're really making me rethink a lot of things in our house that I felt were too big to tackle. Thanks for all of the great ideas.

Lisa said...

Looks great! You make it sound so simple! You're lucky to get some help building too. I just posted about our mantel building too if you want to take a look: http://team-t-adventures.blogspot.com/2010/01/amazing-fireplace-transformation.html

liz@alittlepeaceofhome said...

Great job! Love the end result!

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

Wow, it adds so much, great job! Thank you for linking up to Beyond The Picket Fence.

Terry @ La Bella Vie said...

Oh wow this is just wonderful! You and I come up with plans in much the same way...fron our head to paper then to fruition:)
I love it this entire project, well done!
Terry

the cape on the corner said...

looks nice! i like the tile you chose, really makes it stand out. great job to you and your dad!

abeachcottage said...

Wow! Your mantle looks fabulous. The simple colors works well. Loving it!

idesign said...

it turned out great :) found you on welcome wednesday!

electric fireplace said...

Really gorgeous. Now All homeowners prefer mantle plans. Even I also furnished my fireplace as per mantle plans. So we are same pitch.

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