I've never done this before...

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New Member
Feb 17, 2019
southbend, IN
I've lurked on this site to learn how to install my wood burning stove (https://www.lowes.com/pd/US-Stove-Company-2000-sq-ft-Wood-Burning-Stove/3457298 mine is second hand I bought it for 280$ us) and developed a temporary heating project that I can disassemble before next winter. That sounds insane but you haven't heard anything yet: I've never operated a wood furnace, I've never split wood, I bought each component myself and the only people involved in any of this is me and my wife. Again: we have drained any possible solution other than building everything we need ourselves. With no assistance, prior knowledge, or donations; we undertook this test with no possibility of recourse. My name is Aaron Bullock, my wifes name is Agnes Bullock and in 2018 we decided to change our lives, stop paying rent and spend our time and energy on something we can physically see

I will shorten a very lengthy tale into something appropriate for this forum: in 09/18 we moved into this home, in 10/18 our back porch caught on fire. I woke up in the early hours of the day to find a huge flame raging towards our back door (recently installed by, again, no other than Aaron and Agnes) i didn't have any other determination but to end the flame; Agnes was so upset she couldn't see the threat but in the face of danger you make decisions quickly and without consideration. after this life threatening fire we installed a wood burning stove to stay warm.. because we're responsible.

During the time before and after we filled the necessities of our home which includes a water heater, laundry room (upgraded wiring and plumbing, again: only wife and husband) we had electrical fires, frozen pipes, and everything in between. We had an ineffecient fridge even! 19 cu. ft. which we replaced with a 9cu. f.t fridge.by now you must think we are insane. and to that I must add we finished our first bedroom and kitchen flooring well within 48 hours before we moved in; And i mean quarter inch tongue and groove planks along with 12x12 tile. Concrete board through the whole kitchen and bath.. Just me and my wife. And I hate to bring up feminism but she can cut with a chainsaw better than I can.

Again lets come back to the hearth we built for our stove because thanks to this forum we knew how to install a wood burning furnace professionally we bought a fiberboard from menards.com. this is where our stove sits now, though are stove may not be super efficient, and even though we spent this winter burning literally whatever we could get our hands on: green wood, rotten wood, out of a yard or off the road. We did what we had to survive, whether that a chimney build, carpentry, electric or plumbing I feel we were greatly emboldened by the absolutely insane decision to put a furnace in your living room after almost burning down the whole house from a crappy ceramic grill.

I hope some of you laugh, I hope some of you really feel this struggle. I'm almost thirty years old and a few days after we moved here I was at work carrying my route and dreading my wife sitting without hot water, struggling to build a fire, or wondering what to do with the pile of rounds out back. I had to quit my job to save thousands of dollars or pay professionals to do work that I can do myself. Although I loved my job I would need to work at least a half decade longer just to be able to afford everything I've done with only my wife and a decent credit score. I requested a quote for one task of moving a well water tank from the exterior to the interior of our home and was given a cost well over 10,000; So I took a shovel and bought some piping, and corrected the problems. I am very curious to hear opinions on leaving a job that gave a after-tax salary of approximately 35,000 us in order to facilitate time for skilled labor. I will withold my previous career until I hear responses. Mind you: I was a the baker for a famous italian restaurant in fairborn ohio, I would never work in fast food after that.

ps. I left some photos of me installing our wood stove, it looks shabby because it needs replaced: there is literally no wood framing around the window you see just the casing that holds the form. I've replaced four windows already in this home and was forced to apply a tremendous amount of framing to these walls that are well over a hundred years old.


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I feel your pain. My job just went away, I didn't quit it. The owner of the place I worked decided to retire, and closed the business, in like 30 days. We had purchased where we are now living not quite a year before, but it needed extensive renovation, and I hadn't the time. Actually, it's a double wide, and we debated just removing it and starting over. But, at the time, it looked cheaper, and, we didn't think it would take too long.
A year later, suddenly unemployed, I had time. I spent 1 1/2yrs doing a pretty much total end to end renovation, doing about 80% of it by myself. Wife still working. Driving 55 miles each way, only a family run hardware store in the closest town (out in the country). All those storms had come through and wiped out everything from Florida south, so building materials cost 50-70% more than they did when we planned it a yr earlier.
Total kitchen and both bathroom replacements, with redesigning one bath, mostly redesigning the kitchen. Adding a woodstove.
The more work got done, the more was found to be needed. I had a real crew replace the roof, and install the chimney box whie they were at it. I have come to the realization that the people who build these things must be daily hires from the homeless population, paid in advance with alcohol. While i'm not a professional contractor, all I thought I knew, didn't apply here.
Had to replace the furnace/ac, well quit, had to replace that.
Had to put up a garage for all my equipment first, as work had closed.
No credit score, as the only debt we had was a mortgage on the house we lived in. Had a reasonable inheritance. Now, that's gone, we're in debt, and trying to get the old house fixed up enough to sell at the number I want. We will be out of debt totally if I succeed. I will finish the garage, and work from home.
As for the woodstove, I studied, figured it out a plan, and carried it out. I exceeded all the requirements listed in the stove manual, having downloaded it in advance. My stove required an area of r2 protection on a combustible floor. I did 2, 1/2" layers of micore 300 (r1.06 each), a sheet of durock and tile. The durock and tile add very little. It sits only about 1" higher than the surrounding floor, and didn't require any subfloor work. I put a sheet of brushed stainless on the wall behind, on spacers, but as it turned out, I really didn't need it. Part of the single wall 6" flue is closer than the 18" minimum, so I took some 8", split it in half, and mounted it on the back side of the flue, on spacers.
Wow, those are two amazing stories. I've got some major upgrades to do on our old place as well...I hope I'm as tough as you folks have been. :mad:
I left some photos of me installing our wood stove
What is the total vertical height of your chimney? That looks like maybe three feet of horizontal run. It should have an upward slope, but it will still hurt the draft of the chimney. Does it still draw OK?
Maybe, if there's a proper place (here, or in another section), I got lots of before and after pics.
If anybody was interested.
I don't want to totally steal the OP's thread.
Loved reading those stories . . . although they reminded me a bit of my own struggles earlier in life.

My parents gave me an old camp . . . about 12 feet wide by 16 feet or so wide. Survived the first year with a free over-sized woodstove that had me more often that not opening every window in the place in middle of January. Front window had a leak that would have rain water pour in with every storm. It had electricity, but no running water. It was sometime in middle of a January blizzard at 1 or so in the morning when I was puking my guts out from the flu that I decided I would do whatever it took to get running water by summer.

That summer I added on another 12 feet to make a bedroom and bathroom and had a drilled well and septic. It felt pretty luxurious even though the well was constantly flooding with ground water which would blow out the incandescent light I kept in the well house to keep the pump and pipes from freezing up.

Met my wife and it became evident that we needed to buy a home. At the time she was working as a CNA and I had a dead end job as a typesetter. Managed to find a home in our budget that needed some work.

Many years later with a bunch of sweat, DIY and some paid experts we finally have our home to where we pretty much only need to do the regular maintenance. I look back at the pink and gold-flecked formica kitchen countertops straight from the 1970s, the baby blue toilet and all of the screw ups we had to fix . . . and while I wouldn't want to repeat that experience . . . I take pride in where it is today.

Keep the faith folks. You'll get there.
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I've been in the military for my whole adult life and got medically retired in 2016. Before we were together my wife was married to a different soldier and is a nurse. Our lives both went to chit around the same time and we had been friends for years, so we lived in an RV for two years while we saved up for our own place. We ended up in the RV because we couldn't find any place to rent that would take her German Shepherd. A friend let us stay on his property for free, so we were able to save a ton of money. The place we ended up getting needs a surprise renovation and we are enduring our first Maine winter. We've learned a ton already, and this is a "mild winter" according to the locals. I'm just glad we were able to save money these last few years to fix this place, because all the good contractors are booked till fall.

I'm glad to see others made it through similar experiences alive, it gives me a lot of hope.
Stories and tales can be posted in the Inglenook forum. The main hearth forum is for wood stove and fireplace related threads.
No problem. Poke around. There are several forums here.