Buck 74ZC vs Quadrafire Pioneer vs ???

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New Member
Apr 24, 2020
North Carolina
Hi all. I am weighing my options for a high efficiency zero clearance fireplace for new construction. My question is primarily about fireplace sizing. I am looking for a fireplace that will comfortably heat our space, but not burn us out.

Our house plan is for a 2-story 2100 sq ft house and the stove will be located in a wide open "Great room" with Living/Dining/Kitchen all in one space. This space is 20' x 34' (680 sq ft). The room is connected to a short open hallway that leads to an open foyer/stairwell leading to 2nd floor bedroom doors that are right at the top of the stairs. In case the great room gets too warm, we will be able to turn on the "system fan" on our heat pump (with the heat pump turned off) to circulate heat from the great room to all corners of the house.

Since the house is new construction, it will be fairly well insulated but there will be lots of glass in the great room, so that will add to the heating load. The property is on the North Carolina/Virginia line where it is fairly mild. Winter night time temps usually around freezing with only occasional forays below 20 degrees. About 50% of the wood supply is a mix of pine/poplar with the rest hardwoods of various types.

My goals are to be able to heat the house almost entirely with wood (there is backup heat), but I want to make sure I can control the heat so the Great Room does not overheat. I also want to have a large enough firebox so that embers (at least) will be there in the morning.

I am leaning towards the Buck Stove 74 with the zero clearance enclosure. A local dealer who seems knowledgable is suggesting I should also consider the Quadrafire Pioneer II. The QF unit looks nice and I like the idea of the Auto Combustion Control, but it will cost a couple thousand dollars more (including the larger required flue.) Are there other units you recommend I should consider??

Thanks for any input on this!!