OT: Fireplace screen replacement and other things...

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Submitted by flu on March 3, 2012 - 1:17pm

I'm doing some minor repair work. Got a questions for some of you more knowledgeable folks....

1. Where does one go to replace a fireplace screen or glass door? Before, I went to home depot/or lowe's but the fireplace has a special size... I see a bunch of places online but what about locally in S.D.?

2. Where can I go to find inexpensive mini-blinds (with the exception of Home Depot and Lowes).... HD and Lowes have the precut blinds, but I checked both places bute windows the dimensions would be off even with a cut (either height is ok but length cannot be cut down to the correct size, or length can be cut down to correct size, but height would be too short).... Got this issue going on with 2 windows.

3. Anyone recommend a good person that can repair/redo a balcony wood deck? My balcony deck is roughly 10'x10' (small), but it's overdue for repair/placement....Thinking about going synthentic/composite..


Submitted by ocrenter on March 3, 2012 - 1:26pm.

Consider going with an online company like blinds.com! The prices are not bad and everything can be fitted per your measurement.

Submitted by AN on March 3, 2012 - 1:34pm.

I find HD to have the best price for blinds. Even when compare to online places. Blinds at HD can be cut to match the width and the height can be adjusted by yourself. I assume you're talking about horizontal faux wood blind and not vertical blinds?

I'd like to know where you'd go locally to replace fireplace glass door as well. Nothing at HD/Lowes will fit. I know a good handyman who can probably do the deck for you. Let me know and I'll give you his contact.

Submitted by flu on March 3, 2012 - 6:38pm.

AN. Please PM on the deck person. Thanks.

As far as the blinds, they are horizontal here's the rub...

I have two window that is 59" x 52".....
Both HD and Lowes stock a 58" x 48" and a 70"ish x 64ish"

I'm would be ok using the 58" but the length is too short... The 70" can only be cut down to 64" (hardware stuff starts around 63 3/4)...So that's the problem... I guess I could hang the blinds on the outside of the window frame, then size doesn't need to be exact, but that looks kinda cheesy imho...

ocrenter, I'll check out blinds.com.

If I find anything about the fireplace screen/window I'll let you know AN.

Submitted by exsdgal on March 4, 2012 - 6:00pm.

I will second blinds.com suggestion. I have found the prices very reasonable, and most of all convenient.

This will only apply if you are considering the inside mount blinds - take your measurement to the closest 1/8th. blinds.com will cut the lengths to accomodate the necessary hardware. Learnt this the hard way with my first experimental purchase :-)

Submitted by scaredyclassic on March 4, 2012 - 6:54pm.

Perhaps it's best to rise with the sun.

Submitted by ocrenter on March 4, 2012 - 9:24pm.

walterwhite wrote:
Perhaps it's best to rise with the sun.

thats one reason i liked blinds.com so much. we did bamboo shades for the house. for some areas, we wanted the shades with the backing to block the sun. for other areas just the regular shade without the sunblock. they had options for both. plus they let me chose which side the string would go on. now how cool is that?

Submitted by CA renter on March 5, 2012 - 2:48am.


You can get custom blinds at HD, too. You just have to ask the people at the counter/desks in the window covering section. Not sure if this would be the cheapest option, though.

We also got a bid from Budget Blinds. They don't have the aluminum blinds, but have plastic/vinyl white blinds with wider slats. For 7 windows and one sliding glass door, it came to about $1,200.


Good luck on the fireplace screen replacement. We had the same issue some years back (in our rental), and finally gave up trying to find one. Would love to know if anyone has a good local source for these.

Submitted by flu on March 5, 2012 - 4:18am.

walterwhite wrote:
Perhaps it's best to rise with the sun.

....I just don't want people to see me waking up wearing spandex....Or yet, maybe it was a request from my neighbors to get some window dressings after seeing me accidentally......

Submitted by flu on March 5, 2012 - 4:37am.

Ok folks. Thanks for the tips... For mini-blinds, I ran to the MM Home Depot....And coincidence would have it that they had a 65" wide blind in white that could be cut down to 59".....Those were the most expensive blinds @ $34 each.....The rest ended up being under $12-18 each because well I ended up buying previously precut blinds that were returned (because they were cut down wrong), and had them recut to the sizes I needed....

As far as fireplace screen/door replacement...I ended up purchasing this from amazon.


...and this...


I have a pair of heavy duty cutting shears, so I'll attempt to trim the screen down widthwise....

We'll see how this works...

The other place that looked promising was


but seems expensive for a custom order

Submitted by UCGal on March 6, 2012 - 4:14pm.

Have you looked at dixieline for the fireplace stuff? We replaced our fireplace door with a unit purchased at the Dixieline in Kearny Mesa.

Submitted by jvaliton on March 8, 2012 - 2:28pm.

Blindsgalore.com for all window blinds and shades. I've had great luck with them. You can get free samples to see what they will look like in your house, and they arrive quickly if you are in a hurry. I find them very easy to work with. Great prices and all the name brands that you know.

Submitted by flu on March 16, 2012 - 7:39pm.

flu wrote:

As far as fireplace screen/door replacement...I ended up purchasing this from amazon.


...and this...


I have a pair of heavy duty cutting shears, so I'll attempt to trim the screen down widthwise....

We'll see how this works...

Ok... This worked.... I've learned by trusty old Made in USA Dremel is a miracle worker. I sheared off the screen rods to size, and used the cutter bit to trim down the screen length... Then I dremeled a few holes into the steel frame, and used my rivet gun and a few rivets to hold a few brackets in place.... Perfect fit, and necessary for fireplace safety.... I'll post pix when I get back to the place tomorrow.

Side note: I have two white ceiling fans (Home Depot Hampton Bay) that I removed... I guess they are suppose to work, except someone lost the remote to the fans, and I couldn't find a replacement remote that works. So I removed the fans and replaced the ceiling outlet with a hardwired smoke detector and a CO2 detector...Guess whoever will have to use floor lamps plugged into the wall....

Anyway, if anyone has any use for these as parts or what have you, free to anyone that wants to pickup and tinker with them...

Submitted by CA renter on March 17, 2012 - 1:08am.

Sounds like a fun project. :)

Nothing beats having good/useful tools and some "handyman" skills. Nice job, flu.

Submitted by flu on March 17, 2012 - 4:47am.

CA renter wrote:
Sounds like a fun project. :)

Nothing beats having good/useful tools and some "handyman" skills. Nice job, flu.

Normally, home improvement/fix it projects are fun... This particular project, though, really wasn't. I couldn't find fireplace expert who could do minor repairs like this...Most of the places I contacted would have replaced the entire front, which is several $$$$$.
Drilling through what appears to be steal wasn't fun, and I broke like 4-5 drill bits in the process....Fortunately, they were cheap drill bits... If it were my own house, I would say screw it and not use the fireplace and leave everything alone. But I'm afraid that even if I ask the tenant not to use the fireplace, I'm afraid they might anyway, without a screen.....

I took down two ceiling fans because I couldn't find the remotes to them. Initially I tried to install normal overhead lights, but I realized for some odd reason the wiring to the two ceiling lights were "always on" without a corresponding light switch. The light switch that was in the room didn't control the ceiling light outlet, but was connected to a outlet in a wall, which also so happened was bypassed so that the outlet was always on...
Took me awhile to figure that out too. So I ended up reconnecting the wall outlet to the switch, took down the ceiling fans, and then installed a smoke/CO detector that uses hard wiring + battery backup where the ceiling fans use to be....Probably better this way, because I doubt any tenant would expect overhead lighting, and if a ceiling fan was there, I would have to deal with it if it breaks...

I replaced the locks, the mailbox keys... The most painful part was getting a replacement pool key...Those keys are made by medeco and I couldn't find a locksmith to duplicate the key..So that was like $100 a key...Ouch...Don't loose a medeco key!

Submitted by svelte on March 18, 2012 - 8:54pm.

Welcome to the LL world. :-)

Submitted by svelte on March 18, 2012 - 8:55pm.


Submitted by flu on March 19, 2012 - 1:53am.

svelte wrote:
Welcome to the LL world. :-)

More like welcome "new homeownership" world....But in all honesty, these were minor things, just took some quick thinking on what to do. The property itself I'm pretty happy with...But sometimes some of the simplest problems, I can't think up a simple solution and ends up being more work than expected.

I mean, for the overhead lighting I explored idea of running another wire to another switch so I could replace the overhead fans with just a normal light, but that would require an electrican running wires and switches again (or me climbing into the attic to do it). I guess this is where the LL mentality kicks in.. Perhaps if it were my own house to live in I would have done it... But it's not mine, and frankly not doing that and just installing in-wire detectors mainly to cover the hole, didn't do one bit of a difference in attracting prospective tenants. And it would saved me a lot of time if I thought about this early versus going through so many different fans and light kits from HD (thank goodness for their return policy).

And about the fireplace after the screen mesh was installe.d.. Ironically, the moment I told prospective tenants about how the fireplace has an always on pilot light, the first response I got was "does it use much gas? Can I turn it off permanently?"...Guess they won't be using the fireplace either...Lol.

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