Newbie here: Help choosing a new wood stove

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New Member
Nov 8, 2022
Pacific NW
Hi all,
I’m new to wood burning and heating my home with wood. I want to thank all of you for the plethora of knowledge shared on this forum! I have so much to learn, and this has been such a great resource!

We are building a new house in Washington state with lots of scrub oak and some pine in the area. The temperatures can get into single digits in the winter, and over 100 in the summer. The main floor is approximately 3,500sq feet with 9 foot ceilings throughout, but does vault to about 20 feet in the family room with lots of windows. The walkout basement is approximately 2,200sq feet with 9 foot ceilings, but that includes a garden garage, utility room, a root cellar and large storage room. The areas that would need to be heated are maybe 1,000sq feet (2 overflow/extra bedrooms and a family room area with a little kitchenette in the basement).

My intentions are to have a liquid propane (LP) gas fireplace for the main floor, and a back up wood burning stove in the basement. My wife doesn’t want the mess of wood in her main family room, and possibly bringing ticks into the house.

My concern is one day I may not be able to get LP delivered due to shortages, or winter roads making them not drivable. I won’t be able to use my fireplace or stove so I want to have heating and cooking capabilities with the back up wood burning stove in the basement.

It would be nice to have a large enough wood stove in the basement that if I fed it, it could try to heat my main floor since hot air rises and there is a stairwell next the wood stove location. I’ve seen some people mention putting vents in the ground so they can get the warm air up to the main floor. The dealer I visited said don’t do that because then you can hear everything upstairs and downstairs, and the noise will travel through the vents.

I’ve also read that you can overheat your home. I understand that the basement will probably be in the 80’s and the upstairs will probably be in 70’s if I’m lucky.

With the sq footage of my home what wood burning stove with cooking capabilities do you recommend? The dealer recommended the Lopi Liberty.

The dealer said this about the following brands:

Lopi - built quality is superior. And he recommends I purchase one.

Blaze King Princess - is not a recommendation because they use 40 yr old technology.

Regency - the parts wear and tear more easily because they use thinner materials.

Jotul - can't get them. Great build quality. All cast iron built. Paying for that look.

I greatly appreciate all feedback. Thank you!
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Lopi is absolutely a good brand I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them

Blaze king makes some of the best stoves out there for long low burns. If that is what you need they are probably the right choice. Yes cats have been around for 40 years. But that argument doesn't hold up because so have the air tubes Lopi uses.

The argument against regency is ridiculous and just wrong. Build quality is very similar to Lopi. Unfortunately, they no longer have a big non cat stove available. So for a big stove you would be getting a hybrid from them. Their pro line of hybrids are very good stoves though.
The Liberty is a great stove made even better in the latest version. That's a good recommendation. Can't agree with his Regency eval though. And his Jotul eval is pretty generic. Not all of their stoves are cast iron bodied. The F45 and F55 are steel stoves at heart. The F55 would be another option here.
Here are my basement and main floor layouts for reference. I circled the placement of the wood stove and stair case in the basement, and the staircase on the main floor. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Newbie here: Help choosing a new wood stove Newbie here: Help choosing a new wood stove
I spoke with a sales person and they suggested the Endeavor because the downstairs is a smaller space ( I don't intend to heat the utility room, storage room or garden garage/shop). He also said because this is a brand new construction the houses are sealed better and he thinks the Endeavor will work fine bringing heat upstairs. He said the Liberty lowest setting will be too high and make the basement space too hot.

Do you think the Endeavor is a good choice? What are your thoughts?
Both will do the job. The Endeavor is a great stove with 2 cu ft fuel capacity. It will likely heat the place well with outdoor temps over 20º, but may need supplementation in very cold weather. The Liberty with 3 cu ft capacity will burn longer, and hotter, if desired for very cold weather. If the stove is mostly supplemental, and the basement walls are well insulated, then the Endeavor work out ok.

Part of figuring out the stove is how well the house is built and how much heat loss the building will encounter at say zero degrees. Heat loss can be due to leakage, glazing, and the limits of the insulation. Another issue is how hot is comfortable. For us that is around 74º in winter, but some folks like their house to be 78-80º. The basement is likely to be hotter. That is a given, regardless of which stove is put in. It's a comparatively small area. This can be somewhat mitigated by providing a return air opening (with grille) in the floor, perhaps at the entrance to the dining area. This would need to be adequately sized and with a fusible-link damper.

This is a big place with extra cubic ftg to heat due to the vaulted ceilings, so definitely get the heat loss calculations done and the primary heating system design completed. I don't think the bank will accept a fireplace as a primary heating system and propane is a very expensive way to heat.
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