When we moved to Maine in November of 2013, one of my very first tasks was to install a pellet stove in the house. Within a few days of arriving, I did that. While the pellet stove performed well, that first winter was rough. The house came with existing oil heat that worked in tandem with the pellet stove, but during an extremely cold evening, many of the baseboard pipes for that oil heat froze and burst. It was at that moment I decided to rip out the oil heat altogether. I’ve never liked that and I’m determined to never use it again. It’s expensive and complicated and I just don’t enjoy having it as a part of my life.
As we progressed through our lives in Maine, we decided that a wood stove would serve us well. The electricity seems to go out quite a bit in these parts and during those times when the pellet stove wouldn’t be able to run, we thought a wood stove would keep us nice and toasty. Later in our second year here, I installed a huge Englander 30-NCH, which I love very much. I’ve never felt a wood stove put out so much heat. The only problem is, I installed it in a smaller part of our house. It gets too hot and I end up sweating for half the night. The reason I did this was because the area I would have installed it was occupied by the pellet stove.
A few months ago (during the winter), I came to the decision that the pellet stove had to go. I was getting tired of using a fan to blow the majority of the heat from the wood stove from one room into another. While the pellet stove was great, it didn’t provide the warmth that I would have liked for the rest of the house. So, with this in mind, I began purchasing parts for my next project. I first bought the wood stove itself (Englander 17-VL), the pad for underneath as well as all the interior and chimney piping. I still have to pick up some more chimney piping and a roof bracket, but the most challenging parts of the job have been completed.
I had initially wanted to go through the wall with the piping, but then I thought it better to go through the ceiling. After realizing that things wouldn’t line up through the ceiling, I settled on the wall idea again. The only things that concerned me about this idea was a wall stud being in the way, cutting the actual hole in the wall and how far out I’d need to extend the exterior horizontal chimney pipe to make it past the roof overhang. There are angled pieces that would have helped with that, but those cost about $300 per piece. Extremely overpriced and I’m not one for throwing that type of money around, especially when there are better solutions to a problem like that. I just had to figure some things out in my head.
I’ll start off by showing you a photo of the stove itself. Again, this is the Englander 17-VL. It’s the smallest wood stove model that Englander makes currently and they claim it will heat a house of 1,200 square feet. The area we need to heat is only about 1,000 square feet, so that should be good. I’ve also read reviews were people claimed that this little stove can heat a heck of a lot more room than that, so I’m excited to see what it can do.
The only thing with this stove is, while the manufacturer claims it will burn 18″ logs, I’ll tell you that it’s a pain in the neck getting them in there. I’ve got that size in the garage, but I’m not too interested in struggling with feeding the fire while it’s going. It’s because of this that I asked for 14″ firewood for my most recent purchase.
Yes, I’d say I’m fully stocked up. I’ve got about seven cords out in the garage and only burn about two per year. I like having multiple year’s worth. It brings me peace of mind.
My concern about the stud in the wall wasn’t born out of having it there, per se; it was more about me being able to cut through it. The exterior walls on our house aren’t load bearing. We’ve got post-and-beam construction and most of the weight of the house falls on those posts and beams. I knew a single wall stud wouldn’t mind being cut through. I just didn’t know if my reciprocating saw would do it. As it ends up, my saw did fine. I actually hit two studs because there are also horizontal studs called “nailers” that the pine board and batten is nailed to from the outside. I didn’t care. I drew my 14 1/4″ box and I cut right through everything. The hole came out okay and I framed the entire thing out with additional 2x6s. It looked pretty good. I immediately inserted and installed the wall thimble and the interior pipe. I still have to add a few self tapping screws here and there to make sure nothing comes loose, but I’d say this looks pretty good. All the clearances are perfect and it’s very solid.
Okay, so this was the big thing that worried me. The overhang of our house only goes out about a foot past the wall. I knew the nine inch piece of “through-the-wall” pipe that came with the chimney kit wouldn’t clear that distance. It actually didn’t even make it through the wall completely because of the 2×6 construction. Also, I wouldn’t be able to go up through the overhang because there just wasn’t enough of it there. You need to maintain a two inch clearance around all combustibles, so that was out of the question. The only thing I could do was buy an extra two foot chimney pipe and just go around the overhang completely. So that’s what I did. I just needed to figure out a way to attach the entire contraption to the wall. Check this out.
Since the support base of the tee-adapter wouldn’t be flush up against the wall, I had to figure out some way to extend it. I set everything up and hung it in place with a tie-down. Then, I made my measurements and cut up some pressure treated 2x4s. I screwed everything together and made a nice box. I then installed the box by screwing it to the wall and the chimney pipe support base to it. It’s very sturdy and it holds the chimney pipe firmly in place. As you can see, I used the straps that were included in the kit to help secure part of the base. I still have to add additional straps as well. I also need to finish installing the remaining pipe above the roof line, but that should be easy. I’d say I’ve got about $500 more to spend and the project should be completed. The total will most likely be around $2000.
The reason I’m writing this post is because I know there is some person out there who is scratching their head right about now, wondering how to build something that will let them install Duravent chimney pipe out and past their roof overhang. Well, this is as good of an idea as any I’ve seen. Take a close look at the photos I’ve provided and let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help in any way I can. Thanks for reading!