Termites Killed My Fireplace

Termites killed my beautiful fireplace.  Well, no, my husband tore it all down two weeks ago.  We have been struggling with dry wood termites somewhere in the header of our fireplace for about 5 months.  We have had exterminators in and tried exterminating them ourselves, but alas, they were not going away.  How do I know?  Oh, I have learned so much about dry wood termites, I could go on and on, but that isn’t what I am going to write about today.Termites killed my fireplace

We ended up with two options, one was to rip out all of the wood around the fireplace, particularly the header and crown molding (which is where we determined the buggers were living) OR pay $5,000 to have our house tented and all that goes with that to kill them.  Yes, when we moved in we worked to transform our fireplace to something we could live with, but it really still wasn’t exactly what we wanted…so, why not put that money into transforming the fireplace into what we want?The-big-brown-Fireplace-1024x872

My husband went to work and carefully tore out all of his hard work of the shiplap he had so diligently put in less than two years ago.  I helped carry all of the wood outside.  There was no sign of those pesky termites, but better yet, there is no sign of them in our house any longer!  Hooray!  An autopsy of the wood showed they were in that header way up by the ceiling . We felt a little better that we knew we had not brought them in with the shiplap treatment we added.


So, what now?  I have to decide what I want my fireplace to look like!  I guess this is the fun part, so come on along and let me know what you think in the comments below!


I know I want the television hidden!  That is a big deal for me.  I really look forward to being able to decorate the entire fireplace for the holidays without having the television be the big focus of the entire fireplace.

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I would really like the doors disguised as much as possible.  Bifold doors wouldn’t allow me to hang a wreath above the fireplace.

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This is only the beginning of the search.  I will be spending a lot of time on the internet and reaching out to a contractor, this is going to be a little too big of a project for me to take on myself!

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  1. Wow, Chloe. What I want to know is how in the world did you know you had a problem in the first place? Were there little sawdust piles mysteriously appearing on the floor below? Is this your FL home?
    It looks like your research will at least be narrowed down to sliding door types since anything else will preclude hanging a wreath. I like the first and third ones right below your now dismantled shiplap photo in the post above. It’s always something with a home, isn’t it?

    1. Oh Rita, what a story…This is our Florida home. There were appearing little pellets of what looked like sand. An exterminator was called and that was the first that I learned it was dry wood termites. I may have now found another solution in a panel that flips up like an old fashioned garage door. We will see, and you know that I will show you all of the progress on the blog!

  2. Wow what a bummer! Looking at the choices you’ve laid out the 2nd to the last seems like the best look for your mantel and surround that you already have. I guess you could put two small wreaths up there that could follow with the doors as they open/close. I would go for the best look for your design needs and you’ll figure out how to decorate it as time goes on.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement Lia, I am working on it diligently, of course now I learn that my contractor isn’t available until May! All good things come to he who waits!

  3. Wow, so sorry to hear this happened to you. I have been through this myself, so I feel your pain. The up side is now you get to design your own and show your personality! Nos. 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 are all classic and no matter what the trends become, they will stand the test of time. Plus they provide endless decor options. This probably doesn’t help you much, and you have great taste, so no matter what you decide upon, it will look smashing! Thanks for allowing us to vote!

  4. Maybe a flat panel that can raised up electronically revealing the flat screen behind it. If you had a wreath on the panel… it would raise it above the flat screen. You seem to have the room above, however, it may not be visually appealing to you.

  5. Hi Chloe, I’m so sorry you had to rip out that beautiful shiplap! It was definitely the lesser of the two evils over tenting your entire house. I’m in love with all the choices you shared for the new look. We struggle with an ugly TV, exposed on an ugly TV stand…*sigh* One day I will finally get to tackling that issue. Pinned your fabulous ideas for inspiration!

      1. Sorry this happened Chloe! All your choices were beautiful and I love the idea of an old fashioned garage door as well. Curious to see what that might look like! Can’t wait to see what you decide!!❤️

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