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How'd you start?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Joful, Dec 21, 2012.

?

How'd you start with woodstoves?

  1. Came with the house I bought

    11.9%
  2. Grew up with one

    47.6%
  3. Thought of it all by myself

    40.5%
  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    5,435
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I wonder how many folks fell into woodstove heating, because the house they bought had one. Having grown up with many open fireplaces (old houses), my plan when I bought our current house was to tear out the woodstove the previous owners had installed in one of the large cooking fireplaces (see my avatar). My wife thought we should give the stove a try, though, and the rest is history.

    I still miss and prefer an open fireplace (smells better, looks better, sounds better), but after realizing how much oil we can save while using the stove, we bought a second for one of the other fireplaces.
    dafattkidd likes this.

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  2. Blue Vomit

    Blue Vomit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    663
    Loc:
    eastern PA
    As for many things in life... I blame Dad.
    Grew up with one.
    f3cbboy, gmule and ddddddden like this.
  3. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,330
    Loc:
    SE MI
    We had a circulator style stove when I was a kid. Always struggled with wet wood, never having enough, cut it as needed, etc, etc. It was always warmer and saved a ton of money, though, compared to the electric baseboards my dad built the house with. I started with a corn burning furnace, which was great when corn was cheap. I kept my house at 72°, for less than $4/day. Then we went to a wood furnace, and now the stove.

    It started out as economics, but now we are addicted to the heat.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    26,321
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Had my first new house built in the seventies during the oil crunch. Had a wood stove instead of a fireplace installed and have had one ever since.
  5. burnt03

    burnt03 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    228
    Loc:
    Peachland, BC, Canada
    Good topic!

    My father-in-law had one but that was more of a strike against getting it than a benefit (smoke dragon, still smells like creosote in the basement even though it hasn't been burnt for around 5 years). I always enjoyed helping him CSS the firewood when he was burning though.

    A guy at work got an insert in and he started talking about how small his gas bill got. With my huge electric bill, thought that'd be great to look into. Plus, have young kids and would like to have them start working at it with me so they can start to learn about work ethic, etc. Then found hearth.com, starting reading the forums and it was all over :)
  6. 31 bertram

    31 bertram New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    Gulf Shores, Al.
    I was a young married man and back when Carter was president everyone was saying "keep your thermostat at 68 degrees". The housing was suffering from previous builds in the 1970''s with not much insulation when things were great. A buddy of mine had a wood circulator and invited my wife and I over for dinner one cold evening. I started scheming the next day after seeing how warm their house was. My dad said I would be tired of this foolishness within a couple of weeks. I'm not tired of it yet.
  7. James02

    James02 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    345
    Loc:
    L-Town...N.Y.
    I always wanted one, the ex didn't....I win!
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    We were building a log home in 1984 and of course it had to have a wood stove.. I was reading Mother Earth News back then (and still do) and somewhat of a semi self-reliance mindset so this was part of the plan. Consolidated Dutchwest opened up In Plymouth and I went to the grand opening and bought a CDW large convection cat stove for an amazing price of $660.00 which included all the accessories! I heated my home for 20 years and decided to upgrade sold the old CDW for $350.00 :) and never looked back.. When I was laid off and oil hit $4.02 a gallon I vowed to never stop burning wood..

    Ray
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  9. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    My wife and I were raised in wood burning homes. When oil was cheap we weren't interested in burning wood. Oil got to 4 bucks and we suddenly changed our minds! Best decision we ever made.
    raybonz likes this.
  10. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,411
    Loc:
    South Central Indiana
    Late 70's Dad went to Vanslykes like everyone else in central Indiana. The place was packed so full you couldn't hardly walk thru the place.
    Got our first wood insert and that was my first exposure. Its in my blood now.

    Heated with a wood furnace in the basement for first 14 years of being out on my own and married. Then quit when the kids sports over took my life.

    Things slowing down now and got a stove last year for a new family room in the basement.

    Surprised me that a free standing stove could easily heat my entire house so we are now off to the races full blown wood heating again.

    Lovin every minute of it.:)

    Man this brings back alot of old memories.
    corey21 and raybonz like this.
  11. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Central/Western MA
    I grew up with a stove, always had good memories of helping my Dad and enjoying that warm heat. Then I lived in major cities for about 10 years - no stoves in an apartment :(

    Finally got back out into the country when my wife and I bought this big old drafty house in the woods. I inherited the 2550 from the PO. I am THRILLED to be burning again!
  12. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    :ZZZ+1
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,756
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Grew up with my Dad running a wood furnace . . . Grandparents used an Ashley woodstove and wood furnace in the basement . . . Uncle used an Ashley in his home.

    After college I lived in a camp with a Shenandoah woodstove since it was quite drafty in that old place.

    When I bought my house it didn't have a woodstove . . . which I missed when I lost power. But what really motivated me to get back into burning wood was when the price of heating oil sky rocketed a few years back. Haven't looked back since then . . .
    raybonz likes this.
  14. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    535
    Loc:
    Bow, NH
    The first house i bought had electric heat and a hearth and chimney setup but no wood stove, and I said to myself wow paying this expensive electric bill sucks azz. so I looked into pellet stoves, propane stoves and finally wood stoves. realized the propane stove wouldnt save me much money and the pellet stove probably wouldnt heat my entire house and the ambiance wasnt quiet there. so wood stove it was and from there its all history.

    Second house had an oil furnace, no natural gas available. but it was already set in stone that I would be installing another wood stove even if there was natural gas.
    Huntindog1 and raybonz like this.
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Back in the 70's my Dad bought a homemade woodstove which he still has and I hated it! This was a huge stove that burned a ton of wood but the heat was so intense it made me feel like I was gonna burst into flames from 20' away!! This is why when I researched 25 years ago that I was buying a convection stove.. The T5 emits some mild radiant heat as the sides only get up to about 225 degrees so it's comfy near the stove.. The front gets hot but I don't sit near the front so no problem.. It's all good! :)

    Ray
    ADK likes this.
  16. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I guess I'm "grew up with it" and "house came with it"...and re-inforced by the previous home owner's 2K gal/year propane usage.

    I've been cutting wood since before I can remember with my dad. He had an old wood furnace in the basement that plowed through about 10 cord a year. Making firewood has always been a part of life.

    When I moved into this house I was hoping to get the heat bill down to about $300/month during the coldest part of the year with a few fires here and there. Then the sickness set in and I started burning 24x7, freaking out when the furnace turned on, stockpiled 20+ cord of wood, bought a pro-saw, splitter, ATV and trailer, etc. I've got it pretty bad.
    Mackj likes this.
  17. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    706
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    My parents had a Preway slammer insert in an old (1860's) open fireplace. It kept the house warm and comfortable. They used it for 30 years without a problem. Bought this house and it had an open fireplace. Lit a fire and the rest of the house froze. Started looking for an insert and found EPA stoves. My parents insert was better than an open fireplace. The doors were not airtight but did close very well and it had circulation fans built in. The EPA insert I have puts the old Preway to shame in both heat output & wood consumption.

    KaptJaq
  18. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,689
    Loc:
    WNY
    My grandparents house had a wood fireplace. My grandfather built the house, and the fireplace was MASSIVE. I imagine it was a masonry set up, but the house was sold in 05 so I can't say for sure. It was in the center of the "living" part of the house (house was a "california" ranch with a rear living room-the right side was living room, kitchen, dining room and foyer, left was a hall that lead to three bedrooms and two bathrooms). An entire wall of the living room and kitchen on the opposite side was made up of the granite of the fireplace, and a small part of the dining room wall was as well. If you had a fire for several hours in the day, the granite would act like a heat sink and keep the place warm all night-a good fire the day before and the granite would still be warm the next day. Truthfully as a kid though, I prefered the ambiance to the awesome heating ability, lol. my aunt and uncle built the same house (except it was 2' long and 2' wider) with cut stone instead of granite. they also used a wood furnace in the basement. No one in the family had a stove though, just fireplaces.

    I wanted a fireplace in our first house but it was a no go, so we heated for many years with two gas stoves instead-wood stoves wouldn't fit clearance wise.

    When we decided to buy a new place, the #1 "must have" for me was an existing fireplace or stove or ability to put one in (by this time I had visited the hearth shop the two gas stoves came from enough to be "ok" with a stove over a fireplace). We had a deposit on the Republic before we even closed on the Cottage (like by a few months) and it was put in about a week and a half after closing-just enough time to completely rebuild the living room and get the floor joists and floor back in so I could build the hearth pad! There was a stove here when we bought it, an old Fisher (grandpa? bear), but it needed reconditioning and was in a bad spot (we moved the stove location from a corner to the center of the back wall) AND the clearances sucked compared to the Republic.

    The fire in my grandparent's fireplace always felt homey, welcoming and relaxing. I always wanted that in my own home, and although the gas stoves were nice (my grandpa fell asleep on the sofa in front of the one downstairs on their first visit, lol) I never want to be without my wood stove again! I will compromise if I have to when I get older, and get a propane stove if we can't handle the work of the wood anymore.

    DH also grew up with a wood burner in his parent's place. Theirs was one of the "cone" fireplaces, probably a preway. Rather like a stove without a door, it was a metal upside down cone looking thing with a big viewing area and spark screen. Basically an open free standing fireplace. It did heat fairly well though, and a few years back when we had a big storm that took out the power for days my father in law heated the house with it. I don't think he was AS obessed with it, but he also wanted a fireplace or stove. Now that we've managed to heat with just the wood for a year, he's probably equally obessed with it, maybe a little more as far as the savings.
  19. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,786
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Bought a house with propane heat, after 2 winters with ridiculous fuel bills and a house in the mid 60's something needed to change. All the neighbors burned wood so I figured that was the ticket.
  20. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    382
    Loc:
    Maryland
    In my case we had two years in a row (winter 2009-2010 and winter 2010-2011) where we had huge snowstorms in the Washington, D.C. area that knocked out our power for 5-6 days with no heat. During the first storm (winter 2009-2010), we had a newborn and a 2 year old, and I remember holding my six month old son at 4 am next to my body in front of an almost useless fireplace and trying to keep him warm (the snow was 4 feet deep so we couldn't go anywhere else to keep the kids warm). When my wife woke up and felt his body, it was so cold she just started crying. After that experience, I bought a small propane heater to use in our bedroom.

    The next year (winter 2010-2011) we had another bad storm and lost power for almost a week. Although the propane heater was enough to keep our master bedroom at about 70 degrees, it just wan't workable and didn't feel safe to me. At that point, I decided that this would never happen again, and that we would have a permanent solution of a wood stove. So last year I ordered one of the first Progress Hybrid stoves (Dec. 2011). Of course, thanks to me, we had the mildest winter in history last year. But I'm glad I have this stove, and now I'm just working on getting my wood pile three years ahead.
    Joful likes this.
  21. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,486
    Loc:
    Carroll County, MD
    Never burned wood in my life, except outside. Moved into a house with a beautiful stone fireplace and an ugly old Kodiak in it. Looked just like this one.
    [​IMG]

    No real liner, one door would hang crooked if it weren't latched. Got rid of it, had the chimney cleaned, got a grate and tools, new cap and top-loaded damper. Smoked like hell. After the smoke detectors exhaused themselves screaming thier fool heads off, paid (arm & leg) for glass doors. Now I had light and flames, no heat. Went on line, found you guys, did some searching until I found something that didn't look like a refuge from a tramp steamer, forked over two grand for the PE Alderlea with enamel, now I am as happy as I can be. That was a year and a half ago, and I must say, if I ever have to move, a woodstove is a MUST.
    raybonz likes this.
  22. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,966
    Loc:
    Salisbury, MD
    Came with the house I bought back in 2003. I love playing with fire so the addiction began. Started out with an old pre-epa slammer install and got tired of the chimney fires so I came on here and got my edumakation on wood burning, never stopped learning since.
    raybonz likes this.
  23. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    Needs to be a multiple choice poll. I grew up in a house with both wood and coal stoves (Dad installed during the first oil crisis) and then the first house I bought on my own came with one.

    I solve your other dillema by keeping both a stove and open fireplaces operational in the house ;)
  24. loudog

    loudog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    104
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Funny...I grew up with my Dad running two stoves in the house. My wife's Dad burned too. She and I've been wanting to get one for a couple years, and finally decided to do so this year. When I asked my Dad if he thought it was a good idea...he said "Hell no" and recommend a pellet stove. I think he was tainted by the old inefficients, and was haunted by waking in the middle of the night to feed the fire. Anyway, we decided to get one anyway, as we can't stand the fake pellet stove fire (would be cool in the basement or something, but not in the middle of the family room). Only been burning for a month, but we love it. Easy, warmer than a furnace, and no mid-night loading! That sucker keeps the house warm all night with coals for the morning re-light, easily.
    metalsped and raybonz like this.
  25. num1hitter

    num1hitter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    Reading, PA
    My parents had various forms of heating throughout my childhood. First was a woodstove that I do not remember much about other than laying beside it with our dog up until 6 years old. Then we moved and had oil heating for about 5 years. Next move, we heated with a coal stove that came with the house. That was nice since we had a place to store the coal in the basement, but when that broke we converted to a woodstove. I enjoyed helping my dad CSS at the time. When I purchased my house about 3 years ago I could not stand paying oil prices, especially since our furnace is from 1980. The first year we burnt through 400-500 gallons, keeping the thermostate at 61! It was time for a change. So I did some searching on CL to find a used insert. Found and installed one with new liner for under $750. For the past 2 years I have been primarily heating with wood. I enjoy every aspect of it and do not plan on ever heating without a wood stove.

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