Help choosing first wood stove! (Vermont Castings Encore vs. Lopi Rockport)

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teachertam

New Member
Apr 23, 2022
4
Bedford, IN
I'm a newbie here. I have a new construction (2019) open concept home. (2100 sqft upstairs plus a full walkout basement). My house is all electric, so I want to have a back-up heat source. I plan to put the stove in my main living room/dining room area. I am in Southern Indiana. There are two stoves that I have been looking at: Vermont Castings Encore and Lopi Rockport. I would like a stove that is easy to operate and maintain. There are so many factors to consider when buying a stove that it is mind-boggling. Any input or other stove suggestions would be appreciated.:)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Of the two, the Rockport would be my preference. Also look at the Jotul F45 & F55, and the PE Alderlea T5 & T6.
Does the home have a very high ceiling or lots of window area? If so, consider going for a 3 cu ft stove.

Regardless of choice, the stove will need fully seasoned firewood to burn well. For oak, hickory, osage orange, etc. that means a full two years of seasoning.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Indians has lots of wind, I’d look into the 3 cu ft stoves. t6 would be my choice.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,398
SE North Carolina
I'm a newbie here. I have a new construction (2019) open concept home. (2100 sqft upstairs plus a full walkout basement). My house is all electric, so I want to have a back-up heat source. I plan to put the stove in my main living room/dining room area. I am in Southern Indiana. There are two stoves that I have been looking at: Vermont Castings Encore and Lopi Rockport. I would like a stove that is easy to operate and maintain. There are so many factors to consider when buying a stove that it is mind-boggling. Any input or other stove suggestions would be appreciated.:)
If price is more important that looks look at the Drolet brand from SBI. There is a tax credit available for installs where the stove has a HHV efficiency of 75% or higher read up on that.
 

teachertam

New Member
Apr 23, 2022
4
Bedford, IN
Of the two, the Rockport would be my preference. Also look at the Jotul F45 & F55, and the PE Alderlea T5 & T6.
Does the home have a very high ceiling or lots of window area? If so, consider going for a 3 cu ft stove.

Regardless of choice, the stove will need fully seasoned firewood to burn well. For oak, hickory, osage orange, etc. that means a full two years of seasoning.
Thank you for your input. I'm also looking at the Lopi Endeavor. Do you have any opinion about it?
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,121
Indiana
Personally I wouldn’t choose either. How did you land on these 2 stoves? If you want a stove in that size, along with ease of use, low maintenance, go with a Lopi endeavor or evergreen. Great stoves from a rock solid company.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Thank you for your input. I'm also looking at the Lopi Endeavor. Do you have any opinion about it?
The Endeavor is a good choice. It's a reliable performer.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,342
Philadelphia
After 10 years of regularly reading this forum, I’ll answer every “Vermont castings vs XXX” thread with “XXX”, no matter what brand or model that may be. How anyone can buy anything from VC, after even a little reading of their recent history, is a mystery to me.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,398
SE North Carolina
After 10 years of regularly reading this forum, I’ll answer every “Vermont castings vs XXX” thread with “XXX”, no matter what brand or model that may be. How anyone can buy anything from VC, after even a little reading of their recent history, is a mystery to me.
They look the part today and had a good run many decades ago. Same reason Land Rover sales have exploded my area.
 

teachertam

New Member
Apr 23, 2022
4
Bedford, IN
After 10 years of regularly reading this forum, I’ll answer every “Vermont castings vs XXX” thread with “XXX”, no matter what brand or model that may be. How anyone can buy anything from VC, after even a little reading of their recent history, is a mystery to me.
After reading the advice on this forum and more research, I decided against the VC stove. Thank you.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
After 10 years of regularly reading this forum, I’ll answer every “Vermont castings vs XXX” thread with “XXX”, no matter what brand or model that may be. How anyone can buy anything from VC, after even a little reading of their recent history, is a mystery to me.
They still make some of the best-looking classic stoves on the market with excellent castings. With the HHT takeover, things have improved in refractory quality. The stoves have features that the owners love like top-loading, cooking griddle, good ash collection, and thermostatic operation.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,342
Philadelphia
They still make some of the best-looking classic stoves on the market with excellent castings. With the HHT takeover, things have improved in refractory quality. The stoves have features that the owners love like top-loading, cooking griddle, good ash collection, and thermostatic operation.
I hope it works out, and that HHT is able to get them back on track. I do agree with you, they make some of the best looking stoves on the market. I love their classic look.

It's likely their low point coincided with when I was shopping for new stoves (2011 - 2015). I wanted so bad to like them, but each time I'd find one good review to justify my desire, I'd find three or four more complete horror stories from then-recent VC owners.

The final decision for me came when I started seeing regular posts in 2014 by owners of new (and malfunctioning) VC stoves, stating the company has stopped honoring all warranties on months-old stoves. Some of these poor folks stretched their budget to buy what they thought was a nice stove, with what they thought was a good warranty from a reliable company, just to be told "too bad" by VC, when they learned it had build quality or design issues that prevented its use. Completely unethical, and enough to permanently ruin a company, in some eyes.

 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, they actually had several bad owners including a teacher's union. Their first EPA stove, the Resolute Acclaim was a real turkey. The refractory was so fragile that it needed a rebuild every 3-5 yrs. The pure cat models after that did a bit better than their cantankerous neverburn stoves. You did right to choose the Ashford back then. Time will tell how the newer versions stand up.
 
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