Q&A Wood stove in new construction

QandA Posted By QandA, May 23, 2002 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We are looking to build a new home, and one of the options we would like to do is to add a woodstove to our living room instead of the fireplace option that is offered for the builder. The builder offers a gas FP (with or without sided chimney), a pre-fab wood burning FP (w/sided chimney), or a full masonry (brick or stone) FP. They, however, do not offer a wood stove option and I don't know if they have ever done it before.

    I don't know a ton about what is required to add a wood stove over a FP, but my parents heated the house with a wood stove for many years and I like them.

    What could I tell the builder that would be required to make my living room woodstove ready? As far as I can figure, they can take their existing sided chimney and make sure it has a 6" flue to start. From there I assume they must do some masonry (brick or stone) on the corner where I would like to put the stove. It doesn't sound that a very far stretch to me.

    All the stove chimneys I have ever seen have a door at the base of the chimney to clean out the creosote when the chimney is cleaned. Do fireplaces have this as well? If not, how do you clean them? I guess the door at the bottom of the chimney would be required for the woodstove.

    Anything I'm missing? How tough are local building codes when it comes to chimney installation.

    The whole thing doesn't sound too complex for a company that offers such a wide variety of fireplaces, but they don't seem to want to have anything to do with it.


    In general, the new home builders are not educated on the proper installation of wood stoves and class A metal chimneys. The pre-fab fireplaces they sell require less planning and are more bullet proof.

    Each woodstove is different and requires different wall and floor protection. Many of todays models need no wall protection at all, which is very handy.

    The 6" flue should be fine for 90% of stoves.

    My advice is to pick out the woodstove that you want and then get advice from the dealer as to what to plan. In some cases, the builder or even the stove dealer can install the metal chimney during construction. This is handy if you are enclosing the chimney with house siding - it;s much more expensive to do this later!

    The hearth can be built either during or after the house construction...but, again, easier and quicker to do before the carpet and floors are in.

    Make your stove decision and the rest will get easier.
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