New to wood stove. Going basement route and could use some advice on sizing/brands.

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Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
Hello all! I couldn’t sleep last night so I stayed up browsing this forum for wood stove help. I enjoyed seeing the community interactions so much I decided to sign up here.

All that being said, I want to have a wood stove installed in my basement which I would like to heat up the basement and first floor with a 17’ ceiling living room. I have a second story but we don’t frequent it as much as the basement and first floor. The basement is finished and is about 1,000 sq ft. I will be running this near an outside wall and up a chimney box or chase. The basement has windows at the five feet high level. The first floor is also about 1,000 sq ft as well.

Now to the meat of my questions. I’ve mostly decided I do not want a catalyst style. I am not too particular about steel vs cast iron but soapstone is out (unless the experts say it’s best for my situation). So far I am looking at Jotul f500 v3 or F55 V2 and Lopi Liberty or Endeavor. Roughly how many sq ft capability should I look for? Is one brand/model I mentioned better than the others? I’ve mentioned these because they are in stock and what the dealer has to choose from and that I like how they look. I was considering a Hearthstone Heritage but a lot of the comments and such kinda steered me away from that route.

Thanks for your advice in advance!

P.S. I forgot to mention my winters are generally 0-30 degrees from late November through March/April for daytime highs. It can get as low as -20s during regular cold snaps.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
Go large. The F500v3 is a cat stove and not without issues. The Liberty NexGen or F55v2 should get the job done as long as the heat can easily convect upstairs, though the cathedral ceiling essentially doubles the cubic footage being heated. If so the large stove might do better on the main floor with a smaller stove in the basement.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,548
SE North Carolina
Is the tax credit important? Look at Drolet Osborn and pacific energy too.
 

kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
467
LI
Just keep in mind that for the main floor to stay at a comfortable temperature, the basement will be at a temperature that is warmer than most feel comfortable. Like to keep the main floor in the 70's, the basement will have to be in the 80s. The most important thing to do is get your wood now so it will be ready for the winter of 23-24 as it's too late to get wood dry enough for this winter unless you buy kiln dried which is ridiculously expensive. Many dealers will say they have seasoned wood but they do not.
 
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Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
Go large. The F500v3 is a cat stove and not without issues. The Liberty NexGen or F55v2 should get the job done as long as the heat can easily convect upstairs, though the cathedral ceiling essentially doubles the cubic footage being heated. If so the large stove might do better on the main floor with a smaller stove in the basement.
The only problem is that I have a gas fireplace with the front glass that doesn’t remove already in the main living room. They would have to tear apart my chimney box outside and remove that from behind the stone on the fireplace and unfortunately it’s an expense I’m not sure I would want.
Is the tax credit important? Look at Drolet Osborn and pacific energy too.
It would be nice to get but I don’t wanna box myself in for the sake of 26%. I haven’t seen either of those brands around here.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
The only problem is that I have a gas fireplace with the front glass that doesn’t remove already in the main living room. They would have to tear apart my chimney box outside and remove that from behind the stone on the fireplace and unfortunately it’s an expense I’m not sure I would want.

It would be nice to get but I don’t wanna box myself in for the sake of 26%. I haven’t seen either of those brands around here.
Understood, it still wouldn't hurt to consider another potential location for a freestanding stove on the main floor.
 

Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
I talked with the dealer and the stove itself is $4,000 which is fine so I was figuring 7-9k all said and done. They quoted me at $12,500. It seems crazy that I would have to pay double the cost of the stove for all the parts and installation!
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Basement installs are also kinda trickey. Many times the basement is a negative pressure area and establishing/maintaining draft can.. not always ... be an issue.

As a side note.. I have a gas fireplace as well as a free standing stove in my living room. you can pick a wall, just run the pipe straight up and out the roof

One other thing to consider is that your going to have to keep the basement extremely warm to heat the upstairs, that being said this brings you to 3 things 1: your basement in uninhabitable because its way to hot. 2: your going to go through alot more wood then you should to try and heat the upstairs 3: Stoves are not furnaces.. its not set it and forget it.. your going to be going down there often to check if the stove is running properly.

Heating with wood is a joy for me and many others here. I wouldn't change my heating method for all the tea in China, its the best heat.. you feel the warmth .. its pretty to look at.. The joy and luster were off quick when it becomes a hassle and to much work. Trying to keep it sample and less work is the best way to sustain you wanting to burn in the years ahead.. face it.. your not going to be getting any younger as time passes also..
 

Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
Basement installs are also kinda trickey. Many times the basement is a negative pressure area and establishing/maintaining draft can.. not always ... be an issue.

As a side note.. I have a gas fireplace as well as a free standing stove in my living room. you can pick a wall, just run the pipe straight up and out the roof

One other thing to consider is that your going to have to keep the basement extremely warm to heat the upstairs, that being said this brings you to 3 things 1: your basement in uninhabitable because its way to hot. 2: your going to go through alot more wood then you should to try and heat the upstairs 3: Stoves are not furnaces.. its not set it and forget it.. your going to be going down there often to check if the stove is running properly.

Heating with wood is a joy for me and many others here. I wouldn't change my heating method for all the tea in China, its the best heat.. you feel the warmth .. its pretty to look at.. The joy and luster were off quick when it becomes a hassle and to much work. Trying to keep it sample and less work is the best way to sustain you wanting to burn in the years ahead.. face it.. your not going to be getting any younger as time passes also..
I appreciate all your points provided. My living room is wide open with a second floor balcony overlooking it and full windows across the back. The only real place that would work is along the wall next to the master bedroom. I would be afraid it would get so hot there and into my bedroom that I wouldn’t be able to sleep.

As far as the basement goes, it is so cold down there in the winter that I feel the need to wear a stocking cap and slippers most of the time. I am going to be having a consultation from a different company come in. He will look to see what my piping situation is like for the existing chimney and give advice on where a stove could/should go. If I put a stove on the main floor, it won’t do anything for the basement.

Like you, I would enjoy tending to the fire and stove. I grew up in scouting and am an Eagle Scout. I loved tending to the fire as it is therapeutic for me. Your comment has made me re-consider a possible first floor location. The only issue is that we would like to use the basement for more activities since it is finished already.

Begreen mentioned the same.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
I disagree the tending to the stove remark.
One, a Blaze King does NOT need that because of its thermostat, and begreen invariably claims the same (set it and forget it) holds for (his) PE Alderlea.

I have my stove in the basement and I heat 1700 sqft (+825 in the basement) with it. I reload, set the thermostat and forget it until it's near next reload is time.


Basements can have negative pressure issues tho.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,453
Texas
I think that the fact that you have a cold basement and you would like it warmer is a great argument for putting the stove down there.

We had a raised ranch home in Virginia, and a good chunk of the living space was in the basement. The large recreation room had a masonry fireplace in it, so we opted for an insert. Our original goal was just to heat the basement, but we liked the wood heat so well, and it connected up our open staircase enough that we ended up using wood heat for the majority of our heating. (We did have a hard time heating the back bedrooms when the weather got really cold, so we had no problem allowing the natural gas furnace to pick up the slack during those times.)

There were times when we were pushing our insert hard for heat that we did overheat the basement. We had actually bought a clearance Blaze King Princess Insert that we planned to install to replace our Lopi Revere because we wanted the larger fireplace and the thermostatic control. We thought it would be nice to meter out the heat on our overnight loads so as not to overheat on the front end and be a little bit cool in the mornings. We never got to install it, however, because we had to relocate unexpectedly, and the Princess Insert wouldn’t fit our new fireplace.

We did have some slight negative pressure in our basement. It was mostly an issue for cold starts, and only if something was competing for air. We just had to make sure that the furnace or the dryer wasn’t running. If you open a window in your basement, do you feel air rushing in? That’s a quick check for negative pressure.

I can’t really comment on the pricing you’re seeing other than saying “Wow! That’s high.” Did they give you an itemized list of costs?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
I disagree the tending to the stove remark.
One, a Blaze King does NOT need that because of its thermostat, and begreen invariably claims the same (set it and forget it) holds for (his) PE Alderlea.

I have my stove in the basement and I heat 1700 sqft (+825 in the basement) with it. I reload, set the thermostat and forget it until it's near next reload is time.


Basements can have negative pressure issues tho.

"So far I am looking at Jotul f500 v3 or F55 V2 and Lopi Liberty or Endeavor."

the above is from the OPs original post with the stove choices. Nothing said about blaze king or PE .. with the stove choices mentioned above the OP will need to monitor
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
"So far I am looking at Jotul f500 v3 or F55 V2 and Lopi Liberty or Endeavor."

the above is from the OPs original post with the stove choices. Nothing said about blaze king or PE .. with the stove choices mentioned above the OP will need to monitor

I was only responding to your ": Stoves are not furnaces.. its not set it and forget it.. your going to be going down there often to check if the stove is running properly.". which was a general remark with which I disagreed.
 

Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
I think that the fact that you have a cold basement and you would like it warmer is a great argument for putting the stove down there.

We had a raised ranch home in Virginia, and a good chunk of the living space was in the basement. The large recreation room had a masonry fireplace in it, so we opted for an insert. Our original goal was just to heat the basement, but we liked the wood heat so well, and it connected up our open staircase enough that we ended up using wood heat for the majority of our heating. (We did have a hard time heating the back bedrooms when the weather got really cold, so we had no problem allowing the natural gas furnace to pick up the slack during those times.)

There were times when we were pushing our insert hard for heat that we did overheat the basement. We had actually bought a clearance Blaze King Princess Insert that we planned to install to replace our Lopi Revere because we wanted the larger fireplace and the thermostatic control. We thought it would be nice to meter out the heat on our overnight loads so as not to overheat on the front end and be a little bit cool in the mornings. We never got to install it, however, because we had to relocate unexpectedly, and the Princess Insert wouldn’t fit our new fireplace.

We did have some slight negative pressure in our basement. It was mostly an issue for cold starts, and only if something was competing for air. We just had to make sure that the furnace or the dryer wasn’t running. If you open a window in your basement, do you feel air rushing in? That’s a quick check for negative pressure.

I can’t really comment on the pricing you’re seeing other than saying “Wow! That’s high.” Did they give you an itemized list of costs?
I haven’t checked the window in the basement test but the windows are about 5 feet high with an English basement design for half the back yard wall. Every other wall is normal height. Yeah I can post an itemized estimate after I black out some info. I’ll post that later today.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
as far as the basement goes.. you can do a .direct vent gas fireplace or gas heater in the area to keep the chill off and make that area more desirable. We have a gas fireplace in the basement and when were down there we turn it on and and when not in use we dont heat it..
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,548
SE North Carolina
Running two stoves (neither of which are a Blaze kings ) is a chore. Pick the space you will spend the most time in and out the stove there. We installed a second stove in the basement and maybe ran 20-25 loads through it all of last winter. We just weren’t down there when it was really cold. The really really cold afternoons/evenings I lit a fire. I was considering a mini split for the basement. If the renovations were done I would have.

We still might do a mini split but certainly we will burn more wood down there this winter as we a using it more.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
It would be a chore even if both are BKs. You might be able to walk there less often (only if the need for BTUs is low), but you still go thru more wood than one stove would consume, you have to dial in the extra stove, you have more cleaning to do (wood heat just introduces the need for cleaning, debris, dust, ash).
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
1,453
Texas
It’s sounds as thought it’s a lovely basement space where you want to spend time anyway, but it’s uncomfortably cold in winter. Am I reading that correctly?

If so, it would make sense to locate the stove down there. It will certainly make the space even more inviting. Once we had a stove in our walk-out basement, it became everybody’s favorite place. When we’d light up the fire in the fall and winter, the kids would pick up their homeschooling materials and move downstairs. That’s where they wanted to be.

I agree with putting the stove where you want to spend time. That’s what we did in our current home (it’s in a big open family room, dining room, kitchen combination). It just sounds to me that that is your basement. Just be aware that it will be cooler upstairs, and the high ceiling upstairs will make the heat seem to disappear, I bet. If you’re not wanting your basement to be where you spend much of your time, I would consider the main floor.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,705
07462
Basement heater here, BK Princess, basement is about 600sqft upstairs is about 1200sqft, 10ft ceiling in basement, 8ft upstairs living space.
The stove heats my whole house with no issue, it does get cold here (-5 but average 10 above at night), and I do experience a northwest wind pretty much all winter due to mountain location.
The biggest thing with heating from the basement is establishing a convective loop, I have a large cold air return (stairway to the basement) and I cut in a floor register above the stove and added a 60cfm blower on a boot piece of duct work, I'll keep the upstairs around 70-73, (cooler bedrooms which is my preference) the basement area which doubles as my man cave / workshop stays around 80 which is perfect for me, especially when I come home from skiing, or cleaning snow.
 
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Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
I think that the fact that you have a cold basement and you would like it warmer is a great argument for putting the stove down there.

We had a raised ranch home in Virginia, and a good chunk of the living space was in the basement. The large recreation room had a masonry fireplace in it, so we opted for an insert. Our original goal was just to heat the basement, but we liked the wood heat so well, and it connected up our open staircase enough that we ended up using wood heat for the majority of our heating. (We did have a hard time heating the back bedrooms when the weather got really cold, so we had no problem allowing the natural gas furnace to pick up the slack during those times.)

There were times when we were pushing our insert hard for heat that we did overheat the basement. We had actually bought a clearance Blaze King Princess Insert that we planned to install to replace our Lopi Revere because we wanted the larger fireplace and the thermostatic control. We thought it would be nice to meter out the heat on our overnight loads so as not to overheat on the front end and be a little bit cool in the mornings. We never got to install it, however, because we had to relocate unexpectedly, and the Princess Insert wouldn’t fit our new fireplace.

We did have some slight negative pressure in our basement. It was mostly an issue for cold starts, and only if something was competing for air. We just had to make sure that the furnace or the dryer wasn’t running. If you open a window in your basement, do you feel air rushing in? That’s a quick check for negative pressure.

I can’t really comment on the pricing you’re seeing other than saying “Wow! That’s high.” Did they give you an itemized list of costs?
Here is an itemized list for the estimate. 3453D488-1CBD-4149-B8EE-24B34FE13745.png
 

Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
I’ve found a few installers about an hour or two away that would be willing to install a wood burning stove and they both carry Blaze King. If they don’t have them in stock, however, it’s looking like an end of January lead time on installation. I’m the grand scheme of things I guess this winter is better than waiting until later next year when I expect prices to continue to rise.

I thought I wanted a King 40 but now I might go with a Princess because it’s very close in size and capacity without the extra 8” piping cost vs 6. I guess I would also be open to the Sirocco 30.2 since it’s so close to Princess.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
While the princess is somewhat more efficient than the 30 fireboxes of BK, this won't be noticeable in the variation in a consumer setting (loading density, wood type, wood dryness etc). So if you're hesitating between the Princess and another model, just go with what (your SO) finds visually appealing - after all it's a thing you'll be looking to for many years. (And BK aesthetics are a particular thing...)
 
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Judge80

New Member
Aug 23, 2022
28
Midwest
While the princess is somewhat more efficient than the 30 fireboxes of BK, this won't be noticeable in the variation in a consumer setting (loading density, wood type, wood dryness etc). So if you're hesitating between the Princess and another model, just go with what (your SO) finds visually appealing - after all it's a thing you'll be looking to for many years. (And BK aesthetics are a particular thing...)
She isn’t super particular but that’s a very valid point you make. I do like the shape of the princess more than the 30.2 but the 30.2 isn’t exactly ugly to me. I care more about functionality and operation than looks. I do prefer a traditional look with the legs over a pedestal though and so does she.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
There are different 30.2 models: Ashford, Sirocco, Chinook. All with a different "feel".