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Spring Summer plans - Major remodel in the works

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by begreen, Mar 22, 2006.

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  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What are you all planning this summer? We're getting bids now for a major remodel. The goal is to tighten up the house and address basic issues like a bad crawlspace so that progress can go forward on all the things we've wanted to do in the house. It will start with getting a proper foundation on the house. This is a 1924 farmhouse with a patchwork, post and pier + some later gap filling with shallow walls. Rodents have long since figured how to get into the crawl space and there isn't enough room in there to insulate the floor, ductwork or work on mechanicals. So the house is going up in the air for a month and a new foundation will get poured.

    This made us face the dilemma of the central fireplace. The house lifters can raise it with the house, it'll cost about $4000 extra by the time all is said and done. It's the original chimney that has a SS liner and the mortar is pretty bad. So we are thinking of removing the entire thing and changing the whole scheme of house heating. Once the house is back on the new foundation, I want to replace the warm-air propane furnace with a heatpump system. I still haven't decided what type, but am leaning towards geothermal. The pellet insert would go. (watch for a sale coming soon?) We'll be replacing several windows with more efficient ones and tightening up insulation. I am expecting our heat load to go down and the heatpump to do the work of the pellet stove. Removing the fireplace assembly will free up an entire wall that has a 3 foot bump out to accomodate it. We'll move the couch and easy chair there and will move the Jotul into the living room in a corner hearth. The kitchen entry is getting rebuilt and area where the Jotul is currently installed, will get converted to a sink for washing veggies from the garden and storage for bird seed, recycling, etc.

    My wife has asked if it would be possible to have the stove back vented instead of seeing a stove pipe going up through the ceiling. That would mean an insulated exterior chimney (argh). What I would like to know is what will work best? A dual-wall pipe in an insulated surround? Also, how do they get the clean look, no trim ring, with a pipe going straight out the wall? Does this work in reality or is there a darkening of the wall above pipe?

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  2. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    Sounds like lots of plans in the works for you. This summer I am working in my garden. Last summer had the whole house painted and the painters were there for what seemed like all summer. Won't miss them. Anyway, my jotul is back vented. It was interesting watching the guys hammer out the hole, I was afraid! I'll try to post a pic for you later, I'm not near a camera now. Anyway, mine goes through a cement board wall and up into an old coal chimney that is now lined. I do have a ring at the wall to hide the hole but from the front it is not what you really focus on since it is directly behind the stove. I like the pic from the jotul web page too. I'm thinking maybe they just have it sitting there for show? I did a low hearth like they have because I like it and I have a space issue and didn't want a high hearth coming out into my room. Had to cut into the floor for that. So far the wall has not gotten darker. I have only been burning since the beginning of December but burning every day. This is my first stove so I pictured the paint on the wall bursting into flames. Elk told me to chill out! I did and the paint is fine. Also, to get the pipe through the wall I had to do two half circles and seam the wall. So, even the joint compound has been holding up to the heat and has not discolored. I guess if you could cut a perfect hole prior to connecting all the pipes you could avoid the ring? Well, good luck!
  3. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    I'm looking forward to finishing last years remodel! Got the hardwood floors done, but need to build the glass block bar (170 blocks), and put the trim back on, and finish painting. My somewhat whacko project may be to build a poor man's heat pump to temper the DHW. I've got a spot in my backyard that's about 20x20" that melts snow quicker than every other area in the yard, it's bare now and the rest of the yard still has 4-6" from last week's storms. I noticed this area when we first moved in 4 years ago, called the city because I though it might be utility orieted. Turns out they think there is a spring in this area, thought I may be a good spot to sink a few coils? The neighbors will think I'm nuts as usual, at least the one that reads this board will know what I'm up to.

    B
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    You'll have to have a ring you need the airspace around the class A. You can get decorative rings, paint the rings a similar color to the wall etc.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    So there is no way to do this with full masonry? I'm sure I have seen stoves without a ring in Europe. Is this just not done in the states due to code? If so, we'll probably go with a painted ring.
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    If you're doing full masonry then yes you can. I thought you were moving it into a corner and doing an out and up situation w/ class A. Check the NFPA manual there are different masonry thickness and clearance requirements depending on what materials you intend to use. Seems alot easier to build an insulated chase and install some insulated class A. If you want the stone look then just face it with stone. Sounds like quite the project you have going wish you the best of luck.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good suggestions. We just talked it over. We're planning to have a 1" air-spaced, tiled surface behind the stove. My wife says she is ok with the trim ring if it goes with the tiles. I'll make it work. You are completely correct wrt building an insulated chase + class a pipe. Much easier.
  8. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i don't know how those geothermal heat pumps work but reg heat pumps up here in new eng cost way more to run than a reg furnace. they're good until the temp drops below 40 then they start going the other way, quick. and up here in new eng, they have electric coil backup and that is what costs alot to run. just think of your central air conditioner running and that is the min for the electric bill until the electric coil kicks in. i had a customer that had heat pumps in her condo and she was getting $700.00 plus electric bills in winter. i changed the heat pump setup so she could run heat pump at 45 degrees and up. below that she hit a switch on the heat pump and that would shut off the heat pump and start the electric baseboard and her electric bills dropped to $250-$350 a month.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Geothermal pumps remove heat from the ground, typically at least 4 feet under, or from water in a well or pond or the sea. Around here winter ground temp is about 50 degree @ 4 ft. deep. Plenty of heat. This is the most efficient type of heat pump.

    However, air to air heat pumps have also improved a lot in the past few years. How new was your customers? In our region they are working well. We have friends that have just completed their first winter with a new air to air heat pump. Their worst bill for a 2300 sq ft house kept at 70 deg. was $240 in December. That includes lots of lighting, computers, drier and hot water for a family of 4 too. Also, that is with local temps averaging in the low 40's during the day and mid 30's at night. They bought a very efficient unit, but that isn't an option for a condo owner.

    For us, most nights, we'll have a cozy fire going, so I don't think we'll ever kick in the backup heaters, but it's good to have them.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    After I get all my firewood processed I'm going fishin. I did all my house stuff last summer, and I want to enjoy this summer out on the water.
  11. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    I'm with you todd, after I process all of the firewood that needs to be processed, I'll be fishing and working in my garden.

    Also, my dad wants me to build him a shed this summer so I'll have to put some time in there.

    lastly, I plan on riding the dang harley!!! I can't wait for the warm weather
  12. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    ya these were older units. the new ones are more efficient. she had three units for three floors. the biggest was drawing 12 amps @ 240 volts on the compressor but when the backup or coils kicked in it jumped to 26 amps @ 240 volts
    how about running a set of coils over a small wood stove in your basement.
    ahh there i go again always looking for a way to heat with wood.

    your friends bill sounds pretty good for electric heating. that must be a low price per kwh.
    the heat pumps do run less electricity than equal amount of baseboard electric the trick is run time. my customers heat pumps did better amp wise than the baseboard but ran alot longer to do the same job.

    good luck sounds like a busy summer :)
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Good luck and have a fun summer! It will go by fast with all those projects. When i built this house it was a two and a half year project, i got done two years ago and i still have no desire to pick up a hammer, split and stack wood or anything else.
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Good grief, it took me 3 months to rebuild my fireplace and install a wood insert. A Project like that would take me a hundred years. Good luck with that. By the way I like spending your money...Why not put in a nice Tulikivi while your at it?

    Just a little one. :)
  15. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    So gang, is it worth fiddling around with sinking a few coils in the backyard spring hole to preheat the DHW? Not looking for a huge instant payback, just hate to see any heat go to waste melting snow. Unless of course its the sun on my blacktop driveway after last week. Now that's got me thinking too. If I just had enough L 1" soft copper, some fin tube, and a case of Labatte, I swear on my dad's grave I'd have loop a mile long thru every heat source possible. Glad I found this place, I know I'm not alone in my ramblings.

    B
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nice Warren, but no dealers within 150 miles. My wife picked out the Jotul and loves it. She treats us very well and therefore wins, otherwise I'd might have put in a PE Summit. But the Tulikivi is an interesting suggestion for sure. The website doesn't offer a whole lot of info, but I'll dig a little further. Did you consider this at one point? How efficient are they, how well do they work as heaters - no data on BTU output? EPA approved, pass code? What do they cost? Somehow I get the feeling that shipping alone could cost as much as the whole foundation.
  17. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Tulikivi's are AWESOME heaters, but be prepared to spend between 10k-25k.
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