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New to wood burning all over again

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jtjf_1, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    So it has been many years since I have had a real fireplace in the home. We had a gas fireplace and a pellet stove in our last place but now we have bought a new to us home and it has no fireplace at all.

    What I am wondering is what our best option would be for installing a wood burning stove or fireplace.

    So a little about the home we purchased:
    Built in 1974
    1300 sqft main floor finished
    900 sqft basement finished
    Newer high efficiency gas furnace

    Floor Plan:
    house-sk.jpg
    The main floor has an open floor plan with a living room, den, eating area, and kitchen all interconnected. We are hoping to put a stove or fireplace in the main living room and be able to heat the living area and keep the bedrooms warm. If possible getting some heat downstairs would be good as well. We understand that mostly we will have heat in only the main area of the house but that is why we have down comforters for the bedrooms. We would set the furnace to a lower setting or might even look at installing a thermostat downstairs if needed for more warmth down there.

    We are looking at three options to place the stove or fireplace and they are:
    layout_choice.jpg

    What we are looking for is recommendations on how to go about implementing a stove I will update this very soon with the floor plan and my ideas. But for now could you recommend type, and size. As well this will be on a low budget and I would like to do most of the install myself.

    So any help from you would be great.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2013

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  2. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    I'm not an expert, but I will answer just to share what I feel I have learned from reading these forums. I would go with the middle of the wall on the right side option that you have. I think that would warm the main room the nicest and allow the most air circulation. I would also want to stay away from blocking windows with my stove.

    A solid wall would also give you the best options for pipe installation. Either straight up, or out through the wall.
    Having the stove in the upper part of the room also gives you the best chance of circulating air down your hallway. As everyone here will tell you, you have to have fans blowing cool air down that hallway towards the stove to best get the heat moving.
    Check your attic for a good layer of insulation also, that helps keep the heat in the house. If there are any high ceilings, consider a ceiling fan to bring the hot air back to your level.

    I currently own a Regency 2400 insert, and it is pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone over anything else.

    If I was redoing my setup, I would expand out my hearth and purchase either a Progressive Hybrid or if budget allowed, a Blaze King.

    Hope that helps.
    PapaDave likes this.
  3. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    From what I can see, it looks like you have a raised ranch. congrats on the purchase on your new 'to you' home. I agree with chaz, looking for a pipe run will be one of the considerations. With that said I'd probably avoid the stove being in the front of the house, unless you consider a fireplace, you may be able to find some easy to the eye options for a stack in front. However, I can't say I have seen many with that home style. I'm thinking your best bets will be on the inside wall of the living room or the right side wall of the living room, both areas may be better for flue chases. The center wall of the living room may be better to centralize the heat source and have a good run for the flue through the attic and a small amount showing out of the roof. The right side may be good for outside flue runs, but the pipe is not so appealing to the eye for some, it's all up to you. Good luck
    PapaDave likes this.
  4. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the Hearth jtjf_1.
    The likelihood you'll get heat to flow downward is slim.
    I would put the stove on either the l/h wall that backs up to the stairs, or the wall opposite (where you have a stove placed). Those will allow the flue to go through the roof closer to the peak of the house, and keep more of the flue in the house envelope.
    Stove choice.......are there aesthetic concerns or are you not limited in that way? For that sized house, a 2 cu. ft. stove or larger should do well. Many to choose from. Do you want long burn times or ambiance fires. How will you use the stove?
    You'll need (probably) to place a fan in the hallway at the far left facing toward the stove room to get good circulation. Try it w/o first.
    Don't build a hearth until you know which stove you're getting, since they all have different clearance and r-value requirements.
    Having fun yet?
    There will be more to follow, but that's a start.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum jtjf_1.

    Just remember that the more centrally located the stove is the better it will heat the home. Also give consideration to bringing in the fuel and taking out the ashes. I fondly recall one home where they placed the stove in the room that had white carpeting. That did not go over well.

    As Dave stated, I'd recommend nothing smaller than a 2 cu ft firebox. A Woodstock Fireview would seem to fit nicely in there and it is a beautiful stove too. It will give you long burn times and won't roast you out even if you burn it hot.

    Now comes the big question: What have you done for the fuel supply already? That should be done before the stove installation and preferably you had some wood put up last year. If you are planning on buying wood, good luck. It is rare to find wood that is ready to burn when buying although the sellers will tell a big story on how it is ready. Don't believe it.
    PapaDave and Swedishchef like this.
  6. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    So to answer some questions.

    To me aesthetics are no big deal but my wife on the other hand...

    So you know the answer there

    I would like something that burns over night a minimum of 10 hours would be nice.

    We looked at a super27 the other day and it was acceptable to my wife the problem she has is keeping kids out and she must have a mantel. Which is basically a no go with a stove from what I can tell or if possible could be more expensive than a stove.

    As for location flooring is no problem as the floors are all laminate and no carpet.

    Now the big one firewood well first I need to convince the wife then get the wood this winter and then maybe next year we can afford to put the stove in. As well we get the luck (if you can say that) of pine beetle kill which means dry standing wood all over the place and more than I could ever burn in a stove in my lifetime.
    Joful and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Super 27, Spectrum or Alderlea T5 would work well here. They all have a good long burntime. I like the wall center or the lower left corner location the best from what I can see in the layout.
  8. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum. Sou
    Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on the new house! If I'm hearing you correctly you and your wife are still uncertain if you want a wood burning stove, or a fireplace. Is that correct? If so there are some fantastic prefab high efficiency fireplaces that will heat your home. I'm just spitballing but I think you're looking at around $10,000+ for the unit, chimney, install, fabrication and construction to house the unit.

    A wood stove DYI install can be as low as $2,000-$3,000. The install is much less invasive and generally completed in a day or two depending on hearth requirements. Also worth noting: mantles are not out of the question. You can install a masonry mantle, and even a wood mantle can be installed above a wood stove. You just need to respect the recommended clearances.

    We use a Hearthgate to keep our little guys safe from the stove. It is a bit invasive to the space, but I would use it even with an active fireplace as well. Hope that is helpful! Good luck, and may your new home be a blessing to your family for years to come.
  9. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    You'll still need to follow hearth r-value requirements or at least ember protection for the stove. That will depend on which one you get.
    We can help with that if you're unsure. It should be in the manual.
    Definitely get some of that wood c/s/s and you'll be better off than most who start burning.
    popcorn.gif
  10. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    Oh for sure what i meant was no White carpet. My dad is a floor layer so no lack of ceramic tile and ledgestone.
  11. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    White carpet would be bad.!!!
    Are you aware that there may be an r-value requirement beyond mere ledgestone or tile?
    You won't know until you know which stove you'll get.
    Example: Englander 30 requires an R 1.5 I believe, which will require something like Wonderboard or Durock, while some others only require ember protection, such as tile or concrete.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    We were talking about building a 4" or 6" ledge for the stove to sit on from steel studs and cement board. and then framing the sides in the same and then we will cover with what we want for ceramic or stone.
    PapaDave likes this.
  13. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Lots of good threads here on hearth and hearth pad building. Once we (you) narrow in on a few stoves, we can discuss the options. My stoves only require ember protection (a sheet of steel on wood would suffice), but some stoves require R1 - R2 level insulation beneath. Generally speaking, the less expensive stoves require more protection and larger clearances, than the more expensive stoves. Some of the guys here (begreen) can spew these spec's from memory, but not me.

    I like your plan. Get wood processed THIS YEAR, while planning the stove install, to commence next year. It almost always occurs the other way around, and it's always so painful to watch someone complain about burning too-wet wood in their new stove. I know, because I was that guy.
    PapaDave likes this.
  14. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    OK So there had been a comment about a funny looking chimney on the front of the house if the front corner was picked. Here are some photos of the house what do you guys think about the front chimney option?

    front 1.jpg front 2.jpg inside corner.jpg
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Only way I'd put a chimney on the front of that or any house, is if it was masonry. Class A on the front of the house is just too redneck.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You are going to want to have enough chimney on the stove for it to draft well. Given that this is going to be a one story chimney I would try to avoid any elbows. Go straight up through the roof for the best draft. Even then, by the looks of things you will probably end up at only 14 ft or so.
  17. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Nice looking home. I have a similar setup. For an install on the main floor it looks to me that the end wall is the ideal location. I have a prefab fireplace there that is an older model. I consider it something. Nice to look at. Otherwise useless. We would like that replaced but it cost a lot.
    For years, I heated with a wood stove located in the lower level. Now I heat with a pellet stove also located on the lower level. Yes, my bedrooms are cool, but the living space is comfortable. We have a furnace that kicks in when the outside temperature drops below 15::F. The floor space up and down is about 2200 sq. ft. Insulated except for the floor. The open concept of your set up encourages air flow.
    Ask around and consider getting some professional opinions from installers in your area. They have a wealth of knowledge from experience and dealing with local codes. Also consider contacting your insurance company to see what impact this might have on your policy.
  18. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    jtjf - if the door situation / arrangement were just a bit different, the spot between your kitchen and living area (where your telephone desk sits?) I might almost be tempted to suggest that spot (for a small stove with good tight clearances). Then again, small kids tearing across there may make that a bad idea to start. And I wouldn't be knocking out / changing anything existing to make that happen. Having said that, if it were me, I'd avoid the corner installs (especially in front of a window), and probably go with the right-hand wall location. Seems like this would keep your straight up run closer to the peak, which means more of the chimney inside the attic. Which could make your life a tiny bit easier from a temperature (draft) and maybe even a chimney stability point of view (e.g. you may not need extra bracing up top if you can come out near the peak?) Front wall install also means a bit less curb appeal, IMHO, would not look great....

    Congrats on the new home - looks nice....
  19. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    So for a stove in the temporary (next couple of years to save $) we are looking at picking up a intrepid 2 that is used it seems to be in good shape and comes with a matching chimney. I know it is undersized for our application but we feel we are really only looking to heat the living and eating area for now and use the furnace for the rest of the house. Then when my wife (see the positive thinking) lets me do this seriously I can invest some proper money in a real stove. Now what is the down side to the intrepid it is a model 1308. Can I run it on a ember arrester or do I need a hearth with r values? I would like to keep it simple for now so I can design for later on and not worry about having a wrong sized hearth for the new stove with different clearances?

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1378531179.448523.jpg
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  21. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    So a no go on the vc stove. So I guess I can start looking at narrowing down what we want to use. So need to heat 1300sqft through the night would be nice and a north south would be good as well. What kind of recommendations do you all have?
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    PE Super 27, Napoleon 1400.
    Seanm likes this.
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Blaze King 20 series. Small, long burns, low heat output, north/south loading. Ideal for a small space like yours, unless I'm really missing something.
  24. Jtjf_1

    Jtjf_1 New Member

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    Well not to let this thread die. Or my dreams of a fire place. What about a pacific vista from 2004? The question my wife has is can you still get a leg adapter and legs for a 2004 vista? It is all black and was just pulled out of a house for a Reno.

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