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Buying woodstove, need advice

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by d1ms, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    good day!

    I never have woodstove before and confused and scared about whole process. I didn't found chimney contractor who could help,affraid they will charge too much; anyway, my research ended with:

    1. I need to chose woodstove: so far I found out what Progress-hybrid soapstone could be one of the best choices and already consider ordering it.
    2. to protect the hadrwood flor I need hearth pad; found guide how to build it http://www.ehow.com/how_4648066_make-hearth-pad.html
    3. Likely I also need something like that on the wall?
    4. chimney pipes: this is most confusing part: "single wall" or expencive "double wall"; how to pass through the drywall and make it both firesafe and weatherproof

    also, after reading this forum I started to haev doublt about Progress-hybrid woodstove, is it too big for me? I want to install it on the second floor which is only about 1200 sq ft. House has independant space heaters on both floors but I has no heat when there are no electricity (hello, Sandy, whole week) and also I love to burn wood.

    Also I calculated what I spend about $700/year on heating (by substracting summer gas bill from winter one) and likely I could reduce it with woodstove (or fireplace?)

    I live in Rockland county, NY

    your advice is golden, thank you in advance

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  2. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    At $700 a year it will take quite a while to get your ROI buying a new soapstone fireplace with all the triple A chimney. Doing it yourself you are easy into it for $5000.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forums. Planning carefully is the best way to keep costs under control. Have you read the articles on stoves, chimneys, installation here? http://www.hearth.com/what/specific.php

    I would follow Woodstock's instructions for building a hearthpad. There are several errors in that ehow article. The hearth pad insulation value and size will be determined by the stove mfg. This varies from stove to stove. Never nail the cement board to the plywood backer, it should be screwed per the backer board mfg instructions. For Durock I think this is every 8 in with screws designed for the job. We'll need more details about where and how you are installing the stove to comment on wall shields if necessary and flue piping. Pictures are always welcome.

    I'm wondering if the Progress is oversized for the job. How large a area will you be heating with the stove? Is it open to the rest of the house or closed off?
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum d1ms.

    Sounds like you are starting to get your ducks in a row. Woodstock has lots of good information on their web site. I too wonder if the PH would be too much stove for you with 1200 sq. ft. A Fireview would seem to suit you much better and it too is a wonderful stove. We had put a deposit on a PH but ended up backing out because the Fireview just does such a good job for us and for sure we know now that the PH would have been too much stove for us. In addition, if you go to their web site right now you'll find a super sale on Fireview stoves but you'll have to act fast.

    www.woodstove.com

    One other thing you have not considered yet is the fuel. Please know that you can not order wood to burn right away like you can oil or gas. Sellers will say it is ready to burn but do not believe it. So if you have not got wood yet, that should be one of the very first things on your list because you will not be happy if you install a beautiful stove like the Fireview and then don't have good fuel for it. You know what would happen with your car or truck if you put bad fuel in it; imagine the same thing happening to a stove. You need good fuel.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  5. Julian

    Julian New Member

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    700.00 a year on heat is not bad at all for a heating bill. I wish i paid that to heat my house for a year. During the winter we were spending $800 every oil delivery and we would get about three a season. Price out everything and see how long it would take to make your investment back
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Is there any opportunity to install the stove on the 1st floor instead?
  7. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    You have a 2400 square foot house in upstate NY and only pay $700/season on heat? In MA with natural gas we paid about $400/month to keep the house between 62 (night) and 68 (day when people were home) for a 2400 square foot house - no wood.

    Are the space heaters gas? If electric are you figuring in that cost?

    Can you put the stove on the first floor (assuming not a basement)? If not the PH may be too much stove for you...?
  8. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    FYI, Rockland County is not upstate...it's right across the Tappan Zee Bridge, about 20 miles from NYC. Probably zone 6.
    If there is any decent air flow, a PH would heat that entire home easily. Fireview would certainly heat 1 floor plus...maybe entire home depending on layout.
  9. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    OK, my house in MA was zone 6 and we spent a lot more than that in a season heating with cheap ng. :)
  10. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    To save money I would look for a used stove. If you have a friend who knows anything about them, take them with you to check it out. I just bought a $2400 stove off Craig's List for 600 bucks it excellent condition.
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I agree with you :) about the cost of heating. Was just mentioning the zone because it gives an idea of BTUs needed to heat. He's not dealing with the zone 4 temps of the Adirondacks, or the snow belt weather. Relatively mild in Rockland compared to upstate.
  12. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    I calculated $700 as a difference between total GAS bill for november -april and may-october for last 2 years. I guess natural gas prices was very low these years (and projected to stay low, i seem), back in 2007 i was paying more than $500 for winter month, now it is much lower.
    I like to burn the wood but kind of afraid wood stove might be too expensive... Or may be i should buy cheaper one. People here saying "fireview is not as good as Hybrid", and "i spend so much time just to start fireview" etc so i have impression fireview is not good anymore and Hybrid is way to go... May be im wrong.

    The most complicated thing is how to build the chimney pipes, seems like pretty complicated job for the first timer as me; especially without instructions etc. contractors doesnt answer on turkey day :) im anxious to do everything imideately :))


    Thanks for reply
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  13. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    I have a gas fireplace (looks like woodstove) on the first floor, the one which is burn room oxygen and doesnt have chimney, so it is not practical to have 2 woodstoves on 1st floor; but more importantly i have friend renting first floor who said it will be for one summer and stuck for 2 years already:) so i cant kick him out... Therefore thinking about 2nd floor installation
  14. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    It is gas heaters, and $700 it is not total season bill of course; i subtracted average summer bill to even cooking gas usage, $250 for summer y month and $950 for winter 6 month... For gas only, thermostat usually around 65-67 at night.


    Used woodstove seems like good idea
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Your heating bills are quite reasonable, though the heating cost calculation should be the total gas bill between say October and April if gas is only being used for heating.

    Don't rush in here. There are good installation docs supplied by the piping manufactures. For example: http://www.duravent.com/docs/product/L150_May2012_W.pdf

    Take a deep breath, read up and ask questions until you have a clear design path ahead.
  16. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    d1ms said:

    "People here saying "fireview is not as good as Hybrid", and "i spend so much time just to start fireview" etc so i have impression fireview is not good anymore and Hybrid is way to go... May be im wrong. "

    I've had two soapstone stoves with the Fireview being my second. I love it for my 1600 sq ft ave insulated house. Woodstock is a fantastic company. If you are not satisfied, they will work with you until you are or take your stove back if it is within 6 months. Ask practically anyone on this site of their reputation.

    Hiring a pro to deal with your chimney is the way to go if you are not to handy or are intimidated with the installation at all. Hooking up the stove to the chimney liner is easy. I second the "follow woodstock's advice on hearthpad design".

    Make sure you pull a permit and get the installation checked out. You'll sleep better at night, provided of course the inspector actually inspects and doesn't just pick up the permit fee.

    Regardless of what you decide: START GETTING YOUR WOOD NOW. Most beginners start with too little wood or not properly seasoned wood. Oak, hard maple, hickory and their cohort takes 2 years. Most other wood takes at least 1 year. Most people that sell firewood that advertised "seasoned" wood don't actually season the wood. It may have been cut lying in a giant pile or in rounds and cut before delivery. Only way to be sure is to buy the wood and stack it yourself for a year. Most of us were not properly prepared in the first year. Dry wood will make a giant difference. Stack it on pallets or racks off the ground in the sun and wind. I cover the top of the stacks only. Some will argue not to cover it at all.

    I burn 24/7 from Nov through Feb and 1-2 fires/day Oct and March and I go through 3-3.5 cords / year. (not face cords, real cord is 128 sq ft) Takes care of 95% of my heat. Have natural gas as a back up.

    Nothing beats a fire in a woodstove or insert. Good luck.
    Backwoods Savage and d1ms like this.
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I would kill for $700 a year in heating without wood stoves.
    mfglickman likes this.
  18. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    I just found used fireview soapstone for $1200 (3 yr old), it is defintly cheaper than brand new hybrid and i dont have to wait till end of december... Trying don't rush :)
    It has no heath shield though so i have to get one; dont want to waste too much living room

    Thank for wood advise, have to find the place to buy it. My friend who has fireview actually cuts his wood himself essentially spend nothing for heat except his time.

    He is saying what i can get permit fro $30 and install chimney myself, if contractor will ask too much (like $1000) i'll probably have to do it on my own

    Hearth pad, should i build it with plywood/wonderboard/tiles or buy prefabricated?

    Dear friends, will it be ok with you if i post drawing or photo of my room and ask your advise about "where to place the stove"?
    image.jpg image.jpg

    Attached Files:

  19. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    That's a nice price on the Fireview. Can you negotiate any pipe with it, or are they replacing it with another stove?

    I'd recommend shopping around for a certified technician/sweep to install your chimney, especially since you're not lining an existing (masonry) chimney. Unless you're really, really confident in your skills - you don't want to play with fire, literally, when your family and home are at stake. Maybe you could even barter with someone? I don't know but it's possible, especially in this economy.

    As far as placement, the long wall between the piano and dining room looks like an obvious spot, UNLESS the stove will interfere with traffic OR you will feel "squished" with the TV and piano so close together? That would drive me crazy but that's just me. :)

    I'd suggest using painter's tape or masking tape or even a cardboard box cut up to mark off the space you'd need for the hearth pad - then walk around it for a day or two and see what it feels like as far as traffic and flow....

    Good luck! Pics were very helpful!
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you do buy his stove, make sure it is still in good working order, no cracks and without problems. You can make a hearth yourself and save some bucks if you are handy. Woodstock has instructions on their website for this. I'm going to assume that the ideal location is to the right of the piano a few feet. If you can go straight up with the pipe that would be ideal and the least expensive option. It's not required for safety but I would consider fastening on a discrete heat shield on the piano so that it doesn't experience one warm side and one cool side. Seems like that might affect tuning.
  21. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    As you may see we have open space - living room, kitchen, dining atc - all in one open space layout. Please forgive a mess - 3 kids... One photo shows house wall from outside.

    I was thinking to either
    #1 place wood stove instead of piano (first image) this case it will be close to couch and will be center of "couch life". But chimney still have to rise above rooftop and this might be more complicated then second idea

    #2 place it in the center of the wall, photo number 2, where messy boxes right now. This case it will heat more evenly and chimney will be centered outside (photo number 3) but there will be no "sit next to fireplace" unless i buy special char for that or something...

    Another question, should i move chimney pipe horizontally and right outside, or vertically and through the roof? My neighbor has woodstove and chimney pipe outside, it seems to work for him well.

    Another thing i love about woodstove idea is wonderful smell of burning wood, always envy my neighbor a little because of that, it is create some comfort feel. And one more thing i hope woodstove will give - constand and even heat, my gas heater making noise, moves warm air, but it get cold in the house pretty soon when it shuts down, also it is always cold floors in the winter no matter how high i put thermostat on. Hm, im trying to convince myself or you guys :))
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I would try to avoid going up with the stack dead center, it will be easier to install going up either side a few feet off center. Straight up is definitely better here, this will be a short flue. Yes it will rise a couple feet above the ridgeline. That is perfectly normal.
  23. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    You will definitely feel the soapstone heat even if it's in the middle of the wall. You don't want it too close to the couch anyway...especially with kids (mine tend to jump on furniture, anyway...).

    If you can move the piano you'll feel less squished and can move the TV for better viewing (and not worry, as Begreen says, about tuning issues from the heat).

    Do you know what you're looking for in the stove? Seen any inside pics? There are probably threads here that show them, or else some FV folks would probably be happy to take some and post for you. At only 3 years old the FV should be in GREAT shape or you might suspect poor care/overfiring etc.. If you have a friend who's familiar with it bring him with you to check it over too.
  24. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    They replacing with some newer one.


    I will surely try, dont know how much will they charge though.
    This tv is not being used anyway
    thats great advise, thank you
  25. d1ms

    d1ms New Member

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    I can move piano in the center of the room and get rid of TV (it is not used anyway). The question is will it be too hot to sit next to the stove or will it be too far away if it place it close to the center of the room

    But in general guys you arent oppose idea of placing it in this room, that is good.

    I will ask seller to send me inside pictures

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