If by some chance you’ve followed this little blog for any length of time, you may recall a post about a wood-stove we purchased back in July. Well September is here and with it the mercury is beginning to fall. Of the many things we wanted to accomplish this month, installing the wood-stove was priority numero uno. Hiring somebody to do it for us would have been nice, but money and a stubborn desire to learn new things drove us to install it all by our lonesome. So we decided we’d do our best to take photos, share our experience, and maybe offer some advice to anybody else looking to install their first wood-stove!
First things first, check with your local authorities if necessary and make sure you've got any licenses, permits, etc. you might need. If you feel nervous, don't hesitate to get advice from a local professional and follow all recommended clearances, etc from your stove and pipe manufacturer. We adhered to all recommended clearances and procedures according to the stove and chimney manufacturers and insist you do the same in your project for your own safety.
Step 1: Gathering Materials
Heating with wood (or any combustible) requires at least 3 things to be present:
A firebox/combustion chamber where the fuel can be safely ignited and burned. A clear path to allow for the escape of exhaust gasses without endangering the inhabitants of the building or inhibiting the combustion process. And finally a means of controlling airflow to help fuel burn as efficiently as possible.
If you are installing a wood-stove this means you will need to have the following items:
In addition to the stove and pipe, you will need the items below in order to complete this project:
Tools needed are:
Once you’ve gathered all of the supplies and a gallon or two of sweet-tea, you are ready to move onto step two.
Step 2: Placement
Decide on where you’d like the stove to go, then put it in place. Remember to consider the slope of your roof when choosing a stove location, as well as the material of the walls and floors around it. Your chimney support-box will need ample room between ceiling and roof, and walls and floors must be able to withstand the changes in temperature they will be subject to close to the stove (placing the stove near laminate for example could cause issues for the floor, whereas tile will be unaffected by the hot/cold cycle of wood-heat.)
Measure the distance between the stove, walls, and combustible flooring to ensure it meets the minimum clearance requirements of your stove-model. You will want a heat-shield of sorts between the sides/back of the stove and any walls immediately around it. (We used Duroc cement board on the combustible wall, as well as on the floor.)
Step 3 : Preparing the Pass-Through
Once the stove is placed use a laser or weighted-string to mark where your chimney will pass through your ceiling. Align your laser or string with the outside edge of the flue-opening of the stove and find the corresponding place on the ceiling above. Mark it then do the same again on the opposite side of the flue, working your way about all sides of the flue so you have marked a circle on the ceiling. This is where the chimney will pass out of the home’s living space and into attic-space.
Before cutting away the ceiling I suggest driving a long nail up through the center of marked circle. You can use this to find the location of the chimney in the attic prior to cutting, that way you can remove insulation and other obstacles without damaging your tools or the insulation itself. Once you’ve cleared away any obstacles on the attic-side, cut (or otherwise create) a hole in the ceiling which is two inches wider on all sides than the marks. This will help ensure the typical recommended clearance of 2 inches from the double-walled insulated pipe that will pass through this hole is met. (You can cut the hole larger if needed.) Use the laser or string to make sure your cut is aligned properly and adjust either the stove or the hole as needed.
Once adjustments have been made, find where the center of the chimney will be on the roof and mark it by driving a nail from the inside to out. Go outside on the roof and mark a circle on the roof the diameter of your insulated chimney pipe, plus four inches (two inches on either side) to meet the two inch clearance requirement. Drill a hole through the roof within the drawn circle large enough to get the sawzall blade through, then (using the drilled hole to start from of course) use the sawzall to cut along the marked circle. Check to make sure the pipe fits down in the circle and complies with the 2-inch clearance. Cut away excess as needed.
Step 4: Securing and Installing the Chimney Cathedral/Support Box
If your home’s trusses are spaced too wide for the mounting tabs of your chimney support box (as ours were), cut at least two sections of 2×4 to length so they can be attached in between trusses so as to create a frame for the support box to rest on. Set the support box down onto the 2×4 sections and check for rubbing/contact points. The support box needs to sit firmly down on the 2x4s, held by it’s tabs. The body of the support box should not contact drywall or other combustibles.
Put at least two screws per side through the tabs resting on the 2x4s, securing the support box in place. Test the support by going on the roof and setting a section of insulated chimney pipe down in it (you’ll likely have to attach an adapter that came with your kit in order to do this.) Slowly let the support box take the weight until you are sure it is safe, then apply a bit of pressure from all sides, just enough to ensure nothing will move or come loose later. If no issues arise, you are ready to install the chimney pipe and flashing.
Step 5: Installing the Chimney Pipe and Flashing (Making it Weatherproof)
For this step you’ll need the insulated chimney pipe, the sawzall, drill, roofing screws, and the caulk-gun with high-temp silicone and/or liquid asphalt. Essentially, you will be repairing the hole you cut in the roof for the chimney whilst still allowing it to pass through.
To start, use the sawzall to cut underneath the shingles surrounding the hole where the chimney will go. You don’t want to cut through the shingles, just underneath them to separate them from the roof itself. The flashing will need to be installed beneath the shingles as much as possible, but it must be installed beneath the ‘uphill’-side shingles. This creates a waterfall effect when it rains, ensuring water flows over and off the roof and not under the chimney flashing and into the home. Once the shingles are separated, slide the flashing ‘uphill’ and underneath them. You can also slide the flashing beneath the shingles to either side of it, but it is not necessary. Use roofing screws to attach the flashing evenly to the roof, putting at least one screw in each corner and taking care not to over-torque and crush the built-in rubber gasket.
Place the chimney pipe (with the lower-adapter connected) down through the flashing and support box so it protrudes into the home. Have a helper talk to you from within the home to help you make sure the chimney is aligned properly. Use a level to ensure it is plumb and make adjustments as needed.
Once the chimney is in place, use the caulk gun to run a bead of high-temp silicone/asphalt (whichever you found) down the crease on the uphill side of the flashing. Then install the storm collar about 1-2 inches above the top of the flashing and make sure it covers the vents atop the flashing. Run a bead of silicone around the top of the storm collar to create a waterproof barrier between any water that may run down the upper half of the chimney and the flashing below.
Finally, make sure to seal the sides of the flashing as well, checking to fill any spaces between the metal of the flashing and the shingles. Allow all sealants to cure for the recommended time before applying water to test.
Step 6: Assembling the Interior Chimney
You’re almost there. Only one thing remains before you can load your stove and enjoy your first night of a warm fire; the interior chimney. All you have to do is install the double-walled stovepipe between the top of the stove and where the insulated chimney comes into your home’s living space. I won’t bore you too much with the details of this as I’m sure you can figure it out. All I’ll say is its important to remember the following:
Congratulations! You’ve officially got your wood-stove installed in your home. Now to fire it up and give it a test run. Start with a small fire of course to check for leaks, then slowly build up fire-size until you reach your stove’s capacity.
Hopefully this was of some aid to you, thank you for reading!! If anyone has questions or comments feel free to leave them below!