October 10, 2009

Woodstove In! Alcove Done! (Well, Almost)

(Continued from here.) Except for a few finishing details, the stove is in and the alcove is done.

Tah-dah!(You can click on most of these images to enlarge a little)
This is a Woodstock Soapstone woodstove, made of cast iron and soapstone.

Close-up of stove frontIt has a double paned ceramic glass "airwash" window in front for soot free fire watching.

Close-up of the side It is side loading.

Soapstone is commonly used for kitchen countertops and sinks, because it is stain resistant. It's also used in woodstoves and fireplaces because of it's ability to absorb and distribute heat evenly. It has natural heat retention, which means it can radiate heat even after the fire has gone out.

This stove is also equipped with a catalytic combustor ...

This is under the top-hinged door.... which burns particulate emissions from the wood, as well as exhaust gases such as carbon monoxide, methane, benzene, etc. Besides the environmental benefit of this, the catalytic combustor converts these to heat energy, increasing the stove's heating efficiency. A load of wood typically will burn for ten to twelve hours, meaning they only need to be loaded about twice a day! An added bonus is that with an EPA emission rating of only 1.3 grams/hour, these stoves qualify for an energy tax credit.

With soapstone cooktop in placeI also ordered a cooktop for it. This is an extra piece of soapstone which fits on top of the stove. You can see mine on the right. It cuts the temperature on top by approximately half, making it possible to cook directly on top of the stove.

We were fortunate to get this stove during a clearance sale, and also got a big shipping discount. This is our primary heat source, so the investment was worth it to us. It is replacing this....

Nasty oil burner... an oil burning furnace which neither of us likes the idea nor the smell of. And especially not it's using oil. It is combined with the AC unit, which we did use some this past summer.

The woodstove should heat most of the house, except perhaps the addition at the very back of the house (see floorplan). However, we are contemplating making that back room (currently the office) into a larger food storage area instead, which will benefit from cooler temperatures. Both bathrooms however, will probably require consideration for supplemental heat at times.

To see the living room "before," as well as a photo journal of how we got from there to here, you can check out the following links:
So, what's left to be done?
  • Put moulding on the very bottom to cover the concrete slab under the bricks. We decided to wait until after we refinished the living room floor to do that.
  • Fill in the "cracks" between the top row of bricks and cement board, and the bricks and moulding on the side.
  • Paint the living room walls and all moulding.
  • Sand and refinish the hardwood floor.
  • We also need to cure the stove, which we will do this weekend when the temperature dips
Thanks to the limbs that were trimmed from our two old oaks, we have plenty of firewood...

This is securityAs you can well imagine, getting to this point is quite a relief.


Randy said...

The alcove looks very nice! The stove is pretty neat, too! I like the cooktop.

Renee Nefe said...

Everything looks awesome! I love that you'll be able to cook on top of the stove too...how efficient! I've always thought that wood stoves should have that ability.

I'm now wishing that my fireplace was real instead of a gas log. :(

temperatures have dropped here...gotta get the winterizing done quickly.

Theresa said...

Beautiful Leigh! And what a gorgeous stove. I'm way jealous of that beauty. I didn't even know they could do a set-up like the oil boiler outside. We have a boiler in the basement and a 250 gal oil tank.
A couple of ideas for bathroom warming. one of those oil filled portable radiators or there might be a mount on the wall type heater, maybe one involved with a towel rack.
For getting heat up the hallway you might find a small fan to mount at the top of the door frames.
In any event, at least we know you'll be toasty ( and toasting) tonight!

Life Looms Large said...

The woodstove and alcove look great! Just in time for chilliness too. Good work. You guys are so motivated. I need to channel some of that energy!

One house we looked at had radiant heat in their kitchen floors (tile floors). Depending on what other work you're doing in the bathrooms, that might be nice. I love the idea of stepping on toasty floors. (I always have cold feet!)

Congrats on the fireplace and chimney. That was a huge project. Maybe now you get to rest!! (Or weave?)


bspinner said...

I love your stove especially the fact that you added a cooktop. Have you used it yet?

I've never seen an oil furnace like the one you have pictured. Sure is a monster of a thing.

Time for you two to relax in front of a nice warm fire.

Lee said...

The woodstove looks awesome! So pretty!

I am so jealous.

Is this where I also comment on how many brownie points you get for switching from non-renewable energy to renewable energy? :-)

Julie said...

It looks really pretty!

Stay warm!

Leigh said...

Well, ya'll. We got a warm spell as soon as the woodstove was in and ready to go :) Rain and much cooler temps are predicted in a couple of days, so at last we'll be able to get that baby fired up!

Lynn, Renee, and Barb, I'm really looking forward to using the cooktop, I saw somewhere that someone sells soapstone cooking pots to put on woodstoves, but I've not been able to find these online. I will continue to search for one however. I did find soapstone soup bowls and coffee mugs however, maybe I should get some of these!

Theresa, now that you mention fans, I seem to remember that Lehman's has nonelectric ones. We should look into those. At the moment, we're thinking about installing heat lamps in the bathrooms when DH updates the wiring in them. I'll have to look into some wall type units too.

Sue, when I was very little we had a house with that type of heat. I loved it!

Daharja thank you for those brownie points!

Julie thanks. I like that it's pretty, though that it isn't why we picked it. :)

cyndy said...

All set for winter!
(and I hope you installed your smoke dectors!)

Dutch ovens are great for stove top cooking (good for baking pies and bread in them!) Get yourself a few thermometers (one for the stove pipe flue & one for the stove cook top and one for the dutch oven) Keep records...it will help you regulate things, so you know what temp you need to fire for what recipe ;-)

ps...the ash is good for the garden..save it for those acid lovers ;-)

Woolly Bits said...

I like the look of your stove, much nicer than our "black monster" made from cast iron:)) but I have never seen any like yours over here, so I suppose they are not for sale here:(( and shipping from the US might be rather prohibitive:)) enjoy a well heated winter to come!

Marie said...

Leigh, this is tremendous. I have never seen a more beautiful wood stove! And the soapstone cook top, how glorious, I am trying not to be envious, what a blessing!!!

Sharon said...

Your stove is an art piece and the alcove a perfect frame. I was going to suggest fans but see Theresa beat me to it. We are able to heat the whole house with the aid of fans, though the master bath does get chilly on the coolest days. I also see that Bonita beat me to awarding you the Honest Scrap, durn her hide.

Michelle said...

Beautiful woodstove, wonderful progress; bully for both of you! (Yes, I've got "bully" on the brain. :-)

Getting the cook top was a smart idea. That is the downside to our efficient woodburning insert (main floor) and woodstove (basement). Neither can be used to cook with.

Dorothy said...

Amazed to realise I've not had time to stop and read your blog for a week and a half... what good progress! Are you getting cold nights now? It would have been too cold here to be without heat for the past 3 weeks or so. That looks like a good stove to heat your home ;)

Flower said...

Good job...well done!! Stay warm and cozy! We are busy cutting wood today for our wood stove!

Leigh said...

Cyndy, I've already got my dutch oven out! The stove came with a stovetop thermometer for the catalytic combustor. I'll have to get thermometers to check on the other temps though. I'm very much looking forward to cooking on it and can order another stovetop half if need be.

Bettina, I imagine shipping would be outrageous to Ireland. It's outrageous from Vermont to here! I am very thankful to have it.

Maries Cottage, I didn't realize how pretty it actually was until we unpacked it to install it. It was a very pleasant discovery.

Sharon, I will have to mention you when I (finally) do my Honest Scrap post.

Michelle, it was one of the "musts" on our list. Congrats on your new pup!

Dorothy, well, I'm in the same boat. Time certainly does fly, doesn't it? We've been fortunate that we've had a warm October. Today should be a good day to fire it up though, rain and cooler temps are the order of the day.

Flower, thanks!


WOW, that looks great, and you can even cook on it. I bet you just can't wait to use it. You guys are so inspiring, I even decided to have my veg garden this winter again.

Benita said...

What a beautiful stove and lots more efficient than the ones I grew up with. I would love to have one I could cook on. Can you imagine a pot of beans with bacon in it simmering all day? YUM!