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Looking for advice

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Builtless, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    Hello all, I'm new to the forum, but have been reading a lot and visited a couple of local dealers. I'm even more uncertain now than when I started. My wife and I are building a small cabin in Eastern TN (valley area) and plan to put in a wood stove for main heat, but will have a heat pump for backup heat. This will be a weekend home mostly and my wife and kids are likely to use it more than me. We had a VC stove about 15 years ago and really liked its top load feature. I'm more than a little concerned with getting another VC based on everything I've read and being told, so we are looking at the jotul, Lopi, and quadra fire top loads. Two different dealers have recommended 1 or more of these stoves. The cabin is a little over 1400 sq ft with the stove being placed in the living room, which is open to the kitchen and is vaulted to about 16 feet. It has a staircase and loft adjoining as well. The open area is about 26 by 15 with the remainder of the cabin in 3 bedrooms and bath. I'm concerned the stoves recommended will be to much for this size and climate. The F50, isle royals, and the Leyden. Also, which of these, if any, will be easiest for my wife to operate.

    Thanks for all your help..

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    As the owner of 4 top loading stove, a side loading stove, and a front loading stove, I say you shouldn't limit your choices to top loading stoves.
    ScotO, raybonz and jeff_t like this.
  3. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I'd rule out the Leyden, due to it's downdraft design and finicky operation. The IR will be way overkill in that climate, and probably the F50 as well. Never used a top loader, but don't see how that would be a deal breaker.

    Sounds like a good place for a cat stove. You can run it on the hot side for a quick warmup of the weekend place, and cut it back when it's up to temp and still have a clean burn.
  4. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I would also rule out the Leyden.

    Admittedly, I am having some issues with mine, but when it was running better, it was still very, well, finicky and frustrating.
    I didn't know anything about downdraft stoves (or even that they existed) when I bought, and would not buy one again.

    Also, I avoided catalytic when I shopped. But after a few months on this board, I no longer fear the cat. Had I to do it over again, I would probably do a hybrid, but looking at the Lopi Cape Cod at $4500 seems a bit steep.

    I also don't think you need to limit yourself to the top loading. Once I learned how to burn correctly, opening the front door with a coal bed to reload was not an issue.
  5. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    Sounds like I am on the wrong track. What stove(s) should I be looking at for the size I have described? One dealer said I should go larger and choke down rather than smaller and burn hotter to get the longer burn times and save on wood. Seems right, but I've read a lot on here say their stoves run better hot?

    Thank you for the responses so far.
  6. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    What's your budget?
  7. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    I would like to be under 3k and fine with black as we are looking for a more rustic look.
  8. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I
    Welcome to hearth.
    We have a top load and I can say I love it but don't rule out non top loaders either ! There are many good wood stoves out there that are front / side load. Have you looked at Woodstock or Englander both fantastic stoves ! For that matter Jotul, Quad and lopi have a lot of good smaller strives for that kind of space.
    http://www.woodlandstoves.com/MediumWoodStoves.html

    Pete
  9. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    I have looked at the Woodstock website and they are great looking stoves. However, I was hoping to find a stove from a local dealer in case there were ever any issues.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    There's a limit to how far you can choke a stove down, without fouling up your chimney. On a cat stove, this limit is much lower (broader) than on a non-cat. Either will work well, but you do want to be more careful about going too big with a non-cat. Ease of use is not a big problem for either me or the wife, hauling wood inside is a bigger bother for her.
  11. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Check the link out you won't need to buy from the site but it does have lots of stoves for your size house. Be very cautious who you buy from there are good dealers but then there are a lot more hack jobs than good. Start an ask thread to see if there are any forum members who are dealers in your area there is a good chance there are some. Our dealer is awesome but that came with a couple of really bad ones before we found our current one. You can't go wrong with Woodstock either they are hands down the best when it comes to customer service and they make dealers look like crap. We have a good dealer and I like to support local but it took a lot of time to get a good dealer.

    Pete
  12. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock has first rate customer service and a six month satisfaction guarantee. I was a little leery of a distant company with no local dealers myself. After reading many first hand accounts here, and dealing with WS firsthand, I am copletely at ease now.
  13. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Not to start a fight lol seriously Joful not starting a fight.

    We can shut our non cat all the way down close the air completely and not foul up the chimney at all. In fact I have not even needed to clean it this year and we usually keep it down all the way because that's how you get the most heat out of the stove. I might get 1/8 of a cup if I scrubbed right now and that's the high end she's clean.

    What I am getting at is it is all in how dry your wood is no matter what you are using for a stove.
    Pete
  14. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    Pallet Pete, what link were you referring to?
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    This depends on draft too. If he's heating a cabin in TN, I'm guessing the chimney will be 15 ft give or take and the climate relative mild compared to upstate NY. I like the idea of a small cat stove like the Keystone so long as the wife is on-board with operating it correctly.

    I will also say the F50 works pretty good in the shoulder season up here in NY. Just build smaller fires with less fuel, the stove heats up pretty quick and the cast iron sides hold a decent amount of heat, which will bleed off into the room for hours.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  16. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

  17. KodiakII

    KodiakII Feeling the Heat

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    Cabin
    n.
    1. A small, roughly built house; a cottage.
    2. Nautical
    a. A room in a ship used as living quarters by an officer or passenger.
    b. An enclosed compartment in a boat that serves as a shelter or as living quarters.
    3. The enclosed space in an aircraft or spacecraft for the crew, passengers, or cargo.

    tr. & intr.v. cab·ined, cab·in·ing, cab·ins
    To confine or live in or as if in a small space or area.


    Just a little advice on semantics. Cabin does not usually have a heat pump, bath, or be well over 1000 square feet...at least not by the Canadian definition.:p
  18. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    Ok, cabin as in log frame as opposed to stick frame. Will that make a difference in size of stove needed?
  19. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Jeeze, this "cabin" is bigger than my house... ;lol
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    It will depending on insulation. I'm no expert in log frame however.
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    One thing that I will add to the mix here is you wanna get a stove that is slightly bigger than you think you will need. I am heating 2750 sq. ft. (very VERY well insulated, modernized and remodeled) here and the Napoleon 1900p does very well at it.....after getting some bugs worked out with the stove, we love it. We recently added a Napoleon NZ3000 fireplace to the mix and it is an amazing heater as well.....between the two of them they do the job easily.

    Napoleon's customer service is another story altogether......THEY SUCK! And our local dealer?? HE IS AN ASS....

    So, we bought our second Napoleon (our NZ3000 fireplace) from Fireplace Warehouse in Denver, CO, and Bob out there is a great guy to deal with. He's so good that he picked up the warranty stuff on my 1900p...even though I bought it here locally in PA...

    So, make sure you get a good dealer that'll back the stove he's selling......that is really REALLY important here.
    Second, make sure you don't get an undersized stove for that cabin or you'll be kicking yourself......it all depends on your insulation (I'm assuming its NOT insulated), draftiness, interior layout, how much you plan on using the cabin, etc.....

    BTW, welcome to the forums....
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  22. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    Thanks for the advise. So I'm at 1400 sq ft, open vaulted sealing living room (26x15), with stairs and open loft adjacent, chinked log frame (6x8 logs) what size should I be looking at or what would be undersized for this in Eastern TN?
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well said, and I think maybe I should have been clearer in what I was saying. You can turn the air all the way down on your non-cat, and it's still letting more air in than a cat stove, thanks to EPA reg's. This is why non-cat's are more likely to run away, they cannot be shut down as tight, or burn as low, as a cat stove.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  24. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    99% of the time a "run away" is not actually a "run away" and it is an inexperienced and overly cautious owner that is unfamiliar with how the stove operates.
    Joful, KodiakII and MasterMech like this.
  25. Builtless

    Builtless New Member

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    Open vaulted ceiling, my spelling is wack!
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