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Hello!

Before I start my post, let me say that I have been a long time lurker on the site and want to thank everyone for their years of collective knowledge and insights. I could not have made my choices without this site.

I just put a down payment on the Regency Cascades I1500.

Installation occurs in 3-4 weeks. It is the standard model with a 5.5 inch liner, black Classic door, and variable speed blower. It will cost us just shy of $6500 installed with the included NJ Sales tax.

With the US Biomass tax incentive, I’ll get $1690 back next year. That makes me happy.

This has been a home improvement project that has been four years in the making and I want to recount my basic to do list with the associated pricing so that I can help the next lurker make their decision.

After we purchased our 1920s home in 2014, we never used the fireplace. The previous homeowner had allowed the hearth to decay to the point that it was “perceived” unsafe to walk on. Fixing up the fireplace was something we said, “we will get to eventually.”

In 2018, during Thanksgiving dinner, we noticed a robust breeze coming down the chimney. We decided then, to look into fireplace inserts. We never considered a gas insert because we wanted a method that could supplement our heating without adding to the winter utility bill.

In 2019, we had the structure of our hearth redone. It cost us about $750 for a handyman to remove the old tiles and concrete and redo the floor structure under the hearth.

2019-Hearth_rebuild1.jpg 2019-Hearth_rebuild2.jpg

In July of 2020, we put a down payment on a Pacific Energy insert, but, we were told that our terra cotta flue was too small (six inches) for the required liner. We received a quote from a fireplace contractor of $2500 to remove the tiles. That put us way over $6000 budget. We had to back out of the sale.

In July of 2021, we zeroed in on the Regency Cascades models. They took a smaller flue, were eligible for the tax credit and were at the height of efficiency. If the specs are to be believed, it seems like Cascades I1500 will heat the 1000 square foot first floor and give us a little warmth on the second floor as well. I wanted the bigger model but, our fireplace was just too darn small.

To complete the hearth, we purchased a Quartzite stone remnant for $500 and I purchased a few feet of mahogany to complete the edging.
2021-Hearth_rebuild.jpg
I did a little Photoshop sketch to visualize the final install. We might purchase marble ledger panels to finish the look.

2021_I1500-Photoshop_Installation-Drawing.jpg

I am now on the hunt for wood. I ordered a half cord of seasoned wood from a local NJ supplier three weeks ago. To find out the status of my order, I had to call him today after my previous emails went unanswered. That type of delay does not fill me with confidence. Out of the entire fireplace to do list, the hunt for an agreed upon definition of “seasoned wood” from a reliable seller in New Jersey seems to be an utter crap shoot.

If anyone has any NJ firewood dealer recommendations, I am all ears. This uncertainty has convinced me that we will buy kiln-dried wood this year for our new insert. I hope next year we can season our own.

I will update this thread after install and give an in-depth review of the I1500 this winter.

Thank you again to the Hearth.com community for all your help.
2020-Hearth_rebuild.jpg
 

kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
299
LI
I would buy some green wood today so you can stack it and have it ready for the winter of 22-23. For this year get some kiln dried and/or some bio-bricks.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,182
SE North Carolina
If anyone has any NJ firewood dealer recommendations, I am all ears.
Just consider a pallet or two of Compressed sawdust bricks as part of the install. Trust me trying to run brand new stove in less than ideal wood sucks. Here is how the conversation went in our house about Christmas time as I was sitting in front of the stove watching wood try to burn with wet wood and little heat coming off.

wife”we paid how much for this? It’s only purpose to burn wood. I don’t see any flames or feel any heat it’s been “burning” how long? How long are you going to mess with it? Something is broken.”

me” I don’t think the seasoned wood be bought is dry enough is just smoldering.( i open the door and smoke roles out for the 5 th time to stuff some sticks I just gather from the back yard”.

wife seeing the nice flames “ you fixed it”.

10 minutes later.

wife “it’s broken again”.

conversation repeats itself.

This went on for a couple weeks until it staketed stacking wood in the garage with a dehumidifier two weeks in a gage stake would give me 3 days of fire. Do the math. So I bought some bio bricks sorted through and restacka whole cord of “seasoned” firewood and purchased a moisture meter.

Second winter was bliss…

evan
 
Good advice!

Sadly, it looks like I just unknowingly ordered a half of a cord of green wood. Yesterday, I received a 1/2 a cord of firewood "Seasoned for two years" according to the seller. :rolleyes:

2Year_Seasoned-Firewood-Delivery_NOT.jpg

I am already hearing the beginnings of understandable "dissension" from my significant other.
"We can't use any of this wood THIS year?"
"... and we have to buy more?"

It's understandable because we don't have a big property. We can comfortably store 2 cords without it taking over the backyard or the garden.

I'm going to look into some NJ kiln-dried firewood suppliers this evening. I'll also check into Bio-Bricks. I am guessing that both of those could be stored inside a garage.

Bio-Bricks/Compressed Sawdust fuel is OK for a catalytic stove correct?

Thanks.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,182
SE North Carolina
Good advice!

Sadly, it looks like I just unknowingly ordered a half of a cord of green wood. Yesterday, I received a 1/2 a cord of firewood "Seasoned for two years" according to the seller. :rolleyes:

View attachment 280932

I am already hearing the beginnings of understandable "dissension" from my significant other.
"We can't use any of this wood THIS year?"
"... and we have to buy more?"

It's understandable because we don't have a big property. We can comfortably store 2 cords without it taking over the backyard or the garden.

I'm going to look into some NJ kiln-dried firewood suppliers this evening. I'll also check into Bio-Bricks. I am guessing that both of those could be stored inside a garage.

Bio-Bricks/Compressed Sawdust fuel is OK for a catalytic stove correct?

Thanks.
Do not use wax based(usually sold at big box stores). 100% saw dust only. Here was a brief conversation this week. No need to store firewood in side just stack and cover. Sawdust MUST be stored in side.

 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
Were those moisture readings on the surface of the splits, or were they re-split and tested on the freshly exposed face of the wood?

BioBrick, ECO Bricks, Redstones, Tractor Supply bricks are all ok. If you are looking at pressed logs, be doubly cautious. There are many sawdust logs on the market that are compressed under low pressure. They burn quickly and create a lot of ash. Then there are some highly compressed logs made under great pressure. These logs are very dense and hold their shape as they burn. They're a little harder to start, but burn 2-3 times longer than the cheaper low compressed sawdust logs. Northern Idaho Energy Logs (NIELS) and HomeFire Prest-Logs are good ones.

Wax impregnated logs like DuraFlame are not permitted for use in a wood stove.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
I have some old tests posted of solid fuels up on the wiki: