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Advice Jotul 500 Oslo in Alabama

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by cabalist, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. cabalist

    cabalist New Member

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    I have read reviews and reviews and reviews. I got a stove from a family friend but we have decided to instead buy a new one.

    Whew.

    After all of that, and contrary to some people's opinions, I have chosen to buy a Jotul 500 Oslo.

    We live in Birmingham, AL and will be heating a 1-story Cape Cod-style house of about 1800 sq/ft.

    How much should I be paying for a) the stove itself (new) and b) installation--professional installation. Regarding pro install: I would hate to burn my house down; I would doubly hate it if it was my fault ;)

    Thanks guys.

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  2. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    That sounds like a reasonable choice for your size and style of house. In your part of the state your burning season will be pretty short, however.

    As for the cost, there are still too many variables.

    Which finish do you want - painted black iron is the least expensive but he enamel finishes will be about 10-15% higher.
    What is involved in the installation? Do you have an existing hearth and chimney? What kind of flue - masonry liner, double wall through the ceiling and roof, out through the wall and up?

    This is the time of year to get this sort of thing done, so that you can be ready to go next fall. If you've read the reviews then you know the importance of dry, seasoned wood. If you are buying, get a moisture meter and test the wood yourself before you buy. If you are cutting your own be sure and start splitting and stacking two years ago.
  3. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    Jotuls F500 retails in about 2300 for a matte black finish about 2600 for enamels.
    If you need a chimney system, and hearth pad, you can expect to pay about 2500 on top of the stove.
  4. cabalist

    cabalist New Member

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    Wow.

    I was thinking a little less. I bet 'wow' is a common reaction ;)

    Just a little extra info on the installation. We want to mount the stove 18" from the wall with the appropriate heat shields attached to the wall. It would vent from the back of the stove straight out of the house, turn 90 degrees and go straight up. It will need to be secured to the roof and/or exterior wall for stability. Stainless steel for everything.

    In AL we get a federal and state tax credit. Good thing.

    I am going to see if I can get a quote this week or next for the stove locally. They don't even carry them in the showroom... :(

    Thanks for the numbers!
  5. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    Class a chimney pipe and installation get expensive in a hurry. I would like to make a recommendation for you, however: Put your pass thru for the chimney at a higher point than the point exactly behind the outlet for your F500. Put it up about 42" or so from floor level, 48" would be ideal. use a run of pipe off the top of the stove to connect to the pass thru. This will be advantageous in a couple ways:

    1. It provides a natural interior rise for the smoke to exit before it has to direct into an exterior (and therefore potentially "cold") chimney. ie: on a chilly day's cold start, smoke back will be negated.
    2. If on the flip side of point # 1 and you get too hard a draft, It is easier to install and use a pipe damper on a vertical stack than on one directly behind the stove.
    3. vertical runs make many unforeseen install issues can go away: Sometimes you can get lucky and miss a stud, sometimes you can't. Best laid plans on stove layout and pipe direction, (as well as proper placement to be centered on a hearth pad and/or corner or wall) go all to hell as soon as you discover the outlet must run thru (or closer to than the airspace requires) a stud. Then you gotta cut the stud and leave it hang (not the best method), or blast the drywallwall apart and header it off. A straight 18-24" vertical run before getting turned towards the chimney allows you to install a horizontal offset and avoid trouble, as well avoid a much more costly installation than an extra 45 or 30 degree elbow will cost you.
    4. If you ever change to a pellet, gas, or even another woodstove in the future; up on the wall, your existing outlet to the chimney can accommodate anything without moving the hole and chimney going thru your wall. down on the wall it can't. Anthing changes w/ your setup down the road, and you're stuck with your only option as unit the has the same or lower flue exit than the oslo has now. Most pellet stoves would do make it w/ their typically low flue outlets, but not all gas stoves would, and not every woodstove for sure.

    All in all, good luck w/ her! you'll like it.. the oslo is gonna do it for ya...'specially in AL.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    One ton of good advice summit.
  7. Frostbit

    Frostbit Feeling the Heat

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    Quality stoves, built for heating obviously, but also with attention to detail, nice finishes, and killer looks; such as is the Jotul F500 Oslo, are not cheap. There are many more brands in the same category.

    There are less expensive stove that heat equally as well, but without the fit and finish and are rather stoic; such as the Englander line.

    Whichever way one chooses to go, to me, equates to whether you want a Lexus or a Mini Cooper. Regardless of whether you paid 50K or 23K, if your wife or kids drove it, would you buy Yankook tires to put on either of them?

    The tires being your chimney...

    With the flue system, no matter which stove you buy, it makes no sense to go cheap. Buy and install the very best. Its your house and your family living in it.
  8. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    I've seen too many people line up a stove that way (direct off the back), only to find it was too much stove, too little, or be unable to do a woodstove anymore and switch it out 5-6 yrs down the road... then it's a horror show trying to find something that fits. I've also been on installs where you do hit that stud, and in the process of moving the stove around to miss it, it becomes un-centered, aesthically unpleasing, or hearth pad and/or combustible clearances get too short. Smoke backs become an issue when the smoke must travel 24" straight back before going up.
    Up my way, we usually run into this issue with VC stoves going into a brick chimney: people have their thimble made exactly to fit a junk Cat encore (for example), find that the thing sucks, and then have to have brickwork done to fix an ugly hole to go higher and fit a better stove. Those folks have it a bit better, however, because brickwork is a much easier thing to patch out and finish off than a 12" round hole in your drywall, siding, insulation, and then moving 20' of class A chimney around on the side of the house.
  9. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

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    Id pay a bit more for the enamel finish. If you want a black stove, the blue-black enamel is a great fit.. never have to paint it, unlike the matte black. We went with the same stove and after its first full year of use coming to a close, I couldnt be happier with it.. best of luck.
  10. cabalist

    cabalist New Member

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    I got a quote yesterday from a fireplace company with a couple of locations that has been around a while. It was $2240 for black and about $400 more for the other finishes, $75 for delivery, and they do not do installation. Seriously. No install. They gave my wife one name to call for installation over the phone and when I went by they gave me a chimney sweep company's contact info and the name of a local man who is apparently 'the best'.

    We are probably going with this stove and probably with this company as I have found no others nearby that carry the Jotuls.

    The question is this: should we spend the $400 and get the _________ finish? I wish it came in a red majolica...






    .
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The ivory or the blue-black enamel process is a tougher finish than the majolica. It looks very sharp and stays looking good. The stove cleans up at the end of the season with a quick wipe of a damp rag and looks like new. We had blue-black on our Castine and loved it. The painted finish looks dusty after a few years, no matter how well you take care of them.

    PS: this is the way our F400 looked new. It looked just as good when it was sold 2 years later.

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  12. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    blue black is the best enamel for durability, IMO
  13. gibson

    gibson New Member

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    That sounds like a good price considering the cold winter you folks have had. Demand for stove installs will determine the price you will be charged. May or June may be the time to get the best price. September/ October will be a nightmare. If you have another winter like this year, you will be damn glad to have that Oslo. Nicest stove in its class, I think.
  14. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Easy question . . . yes . . . I love my Oslo . . . discounting the ash which always falls out when you open the front door . . . the only thing I would have changed was to go with the blue-black enamel . . . but at the time I was being cheap, the black matte stove was in stock and I was more concerned about getting a stove to heat the home when heating oil was running at $4+ per gallon. In my own opinion, the enamel looks good . . . really good . . . and folks say it cleans up easy whereas my black painted stove looks decent, but not brand new.
  15. cabalist

    cabalist New Member

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    Alright folks, thanks all for the abundance of information!

    I am about ready to pull the trigger--and then wait 5 weeks for delivery! Oh well, I suppose that I can wait (seeing as temperatures are back in the 80s for now).

    Now my question is whether or not I should go ahead and burn a fire in it in my driveway before installing it in my house.

    I have read many horror stories regarding smoke, A LOT OF SMOKE, in the house on the first few burns.

    Should I burn it once outside first? More than once?

    And how to move it into the house once it has been burned (ie after the delivery people have left--lol)?

    What am I forgetting?

    Thanks again!
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Are you getting the enameled or painted stove? The enameled version doesn't smoke much, I would just install it if this is the case. If painted, you need to do some breakin fires before getting the stove hot enough to bake in the paint. If the plan is to do this outside, be sure you have a few days of no rain. Painted stoves can rust quickly if they get wet.
  17. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    That blue/black is by far one of the best looking stoves on the market today. I'd love to have one!
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed! I love that finish.
  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I did the break in fires of my matte black painted Oslo inside . . . it wasn't too bad . . . there is some smell, but I just made sure to have the window open . . . quite honestly I've smelled a lot worse in my house . . .
  20. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Interesting!
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, maybe I don't want to know about this. :-S
  22. cabalist

    cabalist New Member

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    I am going to order the blue/black finish.

    When BeGreen said, "The stove cleans up at the end of the season with a quick wipe of a damp rag and looks like new" that sealed the deal.

    It also looks like Summit's prices were right on the mark for the stove and the step-up finish.

    Regarding the indoor or outdoor 'burn-in' I had heard of people getting a good deal of smoke and I was indeed worried about getting a couple of 'guaranteed' rainless days. I would hate to spend $2600 on a stove and then let it sit in front of the house rusting! No body would be happy about that!

    So it looks like the consensus is that the black should be burned-in, outside if possible, but the blue/black not so much.
  23. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    The burn in on my summit was no big deal what so ever but other people may have had worse.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We broke-in both our blue-black enameled Jotuls indoors. The smoke was minor, easily taken care of with an open window.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Aw, nothing too bizarre . . . I was talking about paint cleaners, bleech, my meth lab, catboxes and other assorted smells. ;) :)
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