Large open sided concrete fireplace help

Jakus Posted By Jakus, Dec 26, 2018 at 9:01 PM

  1. Jakus

    Jakus
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    Dec 26, 2018
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    AF33170E-8EC0-4280-9688-F10C10C8BBBB.jpeg BB7A3C4A-D5B8-40BA-996A-114EC382F560.png E7EAF106-A27A-4BCA-A334-544CB001B1A4.jpeg
    We are the proud new owners of a mountain home that we hope to make our primary residence this spring. Our house is at 9000’ in the mountains of Northern New Mexico and I have been reading up a lot of the great info this site has to offer.

    Here’s the basics. 2100 sqft main level with a 700 sqft upstairs loft. Down stairs has a Superior BC42 fireplace and upstairs has a large concrete fireplace with a masonry brick interior. Both fireplace flues share a central chimney. I would like to be able to heat the entire house with wood as the current electric baseboard heaters are very expensive to run and propane would be the only alternative. There is no duct work in the home as there is no need for AC.

    I think my best course of action would be to put a stove in the upstairs to handle that space alone and remove the downstairs fireplace to accept a large enough stove to handle all that space seperately.

    The opening dimensions for the upstairs fireplace are 24 deep, 52 wide, 27 tall (more clearance above if needed). See pictures above.

    1. Does anyone make a wide but short stove that would better match the dimensions for the upstairs stove? I really like what I’ve been reading about Blaze King for long burns as this would be needed for significant portions of the year, but I have found one that seems to fit the opening.

    2. I’ve seen several older threads regarding the superior BC42, and it generally appears to be too short of an opening to get an insert installed of any meaningful size. It certainly doesn’t seem like i could find something that would fit and be able to really heat 2100 sqft. Is that still true today? Many of the threads I found were older. It would seem a full tear down and proper stove install is the proper course here, but any advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Jake
     
  2. moresnow

    moresnow
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    May as well rub it in and show us pics of the place outside;lol
    Advice will be coming. Supply details on the existing chimney composition/liner type etc. Looks like a great place! Welcome here.
     
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  3. Jakus

    Jakus
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    Dec 26, 2018
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    EB67EC2E-DA59-467F-A0D3-398ABD59911D.png We got about 10” of fresh snow so far today.

    Here is the chimney above the roof line.

    At some point the second floor loft was added on. If you looks closely at the picture of the upstairs fireplace you will see rock facade that encases the original chimney sticking through the second floor loft.

    There are quite a few local chimney companies here since so many people burn wood. I’ll have one of them out soon to access the chimney fully. The house was originally built in 1982 if that helps at all.

    I’m planning to go to a local stove retailer later this week to look over in Taos. There are also Blaze King retailers in Santa Fe.

    Just looking for some input before I start getting sales pitches.

     
  4. weatherguy

    weatherguy
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    That wood mantle on the fireplace is going to cause a problem as far as clearance to combustibles.
     
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  5. begreen

    begreen
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    A couple options for upstairs.
    1) put in an insert with no surround
    2) put a freestanding, rear vent stove on the hearth (thinking the Ideal Steel here)
     
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  6. Jakus

    Jakus
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    The ideal steel is a very nice looking option. Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn’t it be too large a stove for the upstairs area?

    I showed my wife some pictures and walked her through these options and she very much prefers the idea of an insert without the shroud to setting a stove in front of the fireplace. With that in mind, is there anything else I should should consider besides the BK Princess, Sirocco, or Ashford?
     
  7. jetsam

    jetsam
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    Are you rich? That downstairs fireplace needs to be a Tulikivi Boulder build. :)
     
  8. begreen

    begreen
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    There are many options for inserts without the shroud if considering non-cat too. Otherwise stick with the BK inserts for cats.

    The Ideal Steel should be ok. It's a nice open space. You control the heat and the IS will handle a wide range of output. How high is the ceiling in this area? If it is very high then that is another reason for a large stove.
     
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  9. Jakus

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    The ceiling in the loft is peaked in the center at 9’ and angles down to 5’ on the sides.

    I was able to go to the only stove dealer in Taos today. It’s about and hour drive from my house. The owner was very helpful and had some good input. He very much agrees with my wife that downstairs should be the focus as it is the bulk of the living space and based on the homes layout heat from a downstairs stove would likely drift upstairs. He suspects that when the zero clearance comes out I will find masonry and concrete behind it, but the only way to know for sure is to remove it. If that is the case he would suggest mounting a free standing stove is the void left by the removal of the zero clearance. Run with one stove for a bit and decide if the upstairs stove is a needed.

    A few other suggestions. He sells almost no stoves with blowers as home in this area have ceiling fans everywhere since there is no AC up here. He sells ultra quite transfer fans to mount over bedroom door if people want or need them.

    For woodstoves he sells more Pacific Energy than any other brand, but he stocks Jotul, Morso, Hearthstone, Regency, and a few others. His recommendation would be the PE Summit. He does not do any installation, but he has contractors he recommends, and some that he does not.

    I hadn’t considered PE before walking through his door, but the proximity and years of experience in my area are certainly pluses. There is a Blaze King dealer in Santa Fe, 2 hours away weather permitting.

    Based on the amount of positive feedback BK seems to get around here I was almost sure that was the route I was going, but now I don’t know. Am I just seeing the sales pitch or does the closer option with a few local referrals seem like the path of least resistance????
     
  10. begreen

    begreen
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    We have a big PE stove. No regrets, but I am concerned about this statement. Placing a freestanding stove in the area where a ZC fireplace was takes planning. This would become an alcove installation and there are some strict clearance requirements in this situation. It can be done, but requires planning and research on clearance requirements including ceiling height. Another option would be to replace it with a modern EPA ZC fireplace. There are some good units on the market including from PE. The FP30 has a firebox derived from the Summit.
     
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  11. Jakus

    Jakus
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    The old man that owned the home and installed the massive concrete fireplace upstairs was in the concrete business. It’s so heavy that they pour large extra footings under the house. I’ve got the brochure on the clearance to combustibles for the Summit, but there’s a chance when this zero clearance comes out that I may find steel and concrete behind it rather than wood. Being wrong is of course always a possibility, but in any case step one appears to be finding out what’s behind the downstairs zero clearance and going from there. Even if an alcove must be constructed that’s find as long as we can at some point minimize the use of our baseboards.

    While I am tackling the stove I’ve got my wife looking at sewing up some window coverings for the substantial amount of glass we have on the first.

    Think a Summit will handle 2200ish square feet with a steady diet of pine and aspen? It’s -3F outside right now...
     
  12. begreen

    begreen
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    Here are the alcove clearance requirements for the Summit.
    Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 7.59.11 PM.png
     
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  13. Jakus

    Jakus
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    Well, six months later I am finally back to the project. We also will be moving to the mountains full time in another month. So I should be able to tackle this full time before fall.

    My dad and I tore out the old Superior fireplace today to see what we would find behind it. It was a bear to get out without damaging the finish stone. No old mason fireplace behind and a lot of combustibles.

    Can a stone or brick wall be added to the read to make the space work with a wood stove or insert? Same question of the “ceiling” framing, can some kind of shield be added to protect the combustibles. I am still looking at stoves from Pacific energy since they have the closest dealer.
     
  14. bholler

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    You cannot reasonably make that space suitable for an insert. And it is very unlikely you will have room for the required clearances for a wood stove either without making the opening much larger.
     
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  15. Jakus

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    The more I look the more I agree. A Pacific FP 30 might be workable. I may be 4 inches short on total height clearance.
     
  16. begreen

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    What are the dimensions for the hole left by the Superior?
     
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  17. Jakus

    Jakus
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    The opening in the decorative stone is 44”w by 34 3/4” tall.

    The internal width between the cinder block side walls is 55”

    The depth is 26 1/2” to the wood studs in the back.

    The height from the floor in the box to the wood structure above is 80”.

    I am really thinking a Pacific FP-30 would fit if the 84” height clearance requirement could be decreased a bit with some shielding.
     
  18. begreen

    begreen
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    Pulled the FP30 post, you are right, it's 84". The Flame Monaco (or Osburn Stratford) has an 80" ceiling clearance. There may be others too. Some RSF fireplaces allow a lower ceiling clearance if the fireplace cavity is vented into the room.
     
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