WoodstovesThere are many exciting aesthetic and performance alternatives, never dreamed about 30 years ago, that are especially

                         worth reconsidering in this era of uncertain fuel prices.

Some Features to Consider:

■ Baffling for efficient burns

■ Catalytic combustors

■ Glass doors

■ Bright enamel colors

■ Close clearance heatshields

■ Easy top loading

■ Expanded venting options allowing placement most anywhere

■ Decorative U.L. Listed hearthboards

Types of Woodstoves:

Freestanding Stoves — with legs, and designed to vent into the "thimble" hole of a masonry chimney usually, with 24 gauge black stovepipe — (not galvanized), but also through the opening of a fireplace, as needed.  Special attention must be paid to sizing, a hearthboard and possible shielding.  Special "close-clearance" stovepipe is available when combustibles are close by.

Fireplace Inserts — without legs, designed as a basic box to slide into an existing masonry fireplace without extending into the room.  Connector pipe must run at least through the damper and up past the "smoke chamber" to be beginning of the liner (usually made out of flexible stainless steel).  Preferably this flex pipe should extend all the way to the chimney top, for safety, efficiency and ease of cleaning (sometimes Code-required for safety and performance).  A decorative "surround" bridges the gaps between the insert and the top and sides of the fireplace opening.  This installation is far more complicated than a simple thimble installation, but is an economical way to utilize a fireplace flue without having a stove take up a lot of room space. Inserts usually have blowers to distribute heat effectively.  NOTE:  Freestanding woodstoves can also be adapted to and installed into fireplaces, but similar to inserts, this requires some sophistication and trouble, with special installation components.

          Hookup Options — always requires a lined chimney!

Through a "thimble" hole in side of a masonry chimney.

■ Up through an existing fireplace — either a freestanding stove, or "insert".

■ Into a prefab, insulated, stainless steel chimney — either running up through the house or up the outside of the house.

■ With regular single wall black stovepipe or with double wall, black "close-clearance" stovepipe (much more durable and versatile).

■ We offer free design and placement consultation, with cost estimates.

■ Our mason can build you a chimney anywhere you need one!

■ We can design and fabricate custom heatshields, if needed — constructed of copper, steel or decorative materials like tile.

Coal Stoves — Same factors apply as to woodstoves and wood inserts.

Pellet Stoves:

Another fuel-saving option, a little more versatile in terms of placement than woodstoves.  Burning aesthetics are different from woodstoves, but still pleasing.  Easy operation, but requires electricity!

          Hookup Options:

■ Through any codeworthy, lined chimney (via thimble or fireplace).  Often requires a 3" or 4" downsizing liner for best perfomance.  Clearance and hearthboard requirements often more relaxed than with woodstoves.

"Direct Vent" option out through an exterior wall of the house — allows for lots of placement variety.  Special direct vent piping is used.  Exit hole in wall gets trimmed out neatly.  Can also run special "Pellet Vent" insulated pipe through the roof of the house.

Decorative Gas Stoves:

Easy-to-operate and having the overall look of woodstoves.  A professional heating technician needs to run appropriate gas lines and do the final gas hookup.  Gas stoves also can be direct-vented out a wall or can utilize a masonry chimney or prefab (via thimble or fireplace), with a full downsizing aluminum (or stainless steel) liner system needed for successful performance.  Gas stoves can run on either natural or propane gas.

Gas Fireplaces:

Designed usually to recess into custom fit walls and exhibit a larger "fireplace" look, these units can be direct-vented out the side of the house without a full chimney!  Double wall pipe vents the hot gases out the center of the pipe and brings in makeup air through the larger pipe (just like a direct vent gas stove).  Gas fireplaces also may be vented up through a specially constructed double wall pipe which goes up through or along the house and the roof.  The fireplace gets decoratively trimmed out to look like a regular masonry fireplace, with hearth extension, facing and mantel.  The pipe, whether internal or external to the house, usually gets "boxed-in" and trimmed pleasingly.

Gas Log Sets in Fireplaces:

Convenient ease of operation with a full fireplace look (realism of longs and flames varies, but is pleasing).  Requires a codeworthy, safe masonry fireplace with a flue liner — if unlined, then a lining upgrade is needed.  Gas longs throw some heat but are mostly for aesthetics.  Damper is suppose to be wired open semi-permanently to avoid mistakes that might result in elevated carbon monoxide gases.  This results in a great deal of warm room air loss when not in operation, so glass doors are recommended to counter this waste.  A gas supply line and final hookup of the log set is left to your appropriate heating professional.  If your fireplace has low drafting problems, however, then gas logs are generally not a good idea!

Vent Free Gas Logs:

Clean burning enough to simply vent water vapor and carbon dioxide out into the room (like a gas range) without the need for an actual chimney.  Consult your local stove and fireplace store carefully, as restrictions apply!

Glass Doors for Fireplaces:

Order and buy from local stove and fireplace stores, and we'll install them.  NOTE:  The amount of warm room heat going up the fireplace flue through an open damper at night is similar to leaving a mid-sized window wide open!  Glass doors are highly recommended if you want to avoid this loss.

​Prefab, Insulated Stainless Steel Chimney — type A All Fuel


         This kind of chimney is extremely versatile in its adaptability to indoor or outdoor runs, because of its ability to angle over to desirable locations and because of its appropriateness for all types of fuels.  It is a compact alternative to a masonry natural draft chimney or a power vent.  Because it is round and insulated, it performs vastly better than most masonry chimneys!  It is often boxed or chased-in, as desired.  Lifetime warranty.


1.  Woodstove venting (coal, pellet also)

2.  Bellfires® and a few other selected prefab fireplaces

3.  Replacing unsatisfactory oil burner powervents.  NOTE:  Powervents for oil burners are highly suspect solutions, to be employed only with trepidation.  Powervents are noisy and smelly.  They often stain house siding.  When they break down (too often) they are inconvenient and expensive.  They usually need replacement every five years or so and cost $100.00 to $200.00 per year for electrical operation.

"Zero Clearance" Prefab, Wood Fireplaces — several styles with varying looks, performance capabilities and quality are available.

  • Basic Builders Box — lightweight steel construction, with insulated exterior panels, this unit (various brands) can be placed anywhere in the house (or on the outside) and then vented vertically with double wall, prefab stainless steel chimney pipe, on the inside or the outside of the house.  Elbowing capabilities allow for a convenient vent path to miss windows and floor joists and to gain optimum positioning in closets or bedroom corners.  The prefab chimney pipe is usually "chased" in where appropriate and desired (perhaps decoratively).  Hearth extension, decorative facing and mantel follow the basic installation.
  • Bellfires® High Performance Fireplace — This unit has an advanced design for highly efficient burning — heavy duty cast refractory components with embedded stainless steel needles, inside a highly insulated stainless steel box.  It usually vents into a prefab stainless steel chimney, which gets chased-in, as above.  The small 7" - 8" diameter vent size minimizes room air loss and maximizes heat retention in the firebox.  The overall fireplace performance makes this unit a kind of hybrid between normal fireplaces and woodstoves.  We like the Bellfires® so much that we have one at our office, and also Bob and Merrie, the owners, have one in their home.  The Bellfires® is so versatile it can also use a masonry chimney as long as there is room for a stainless steel liner.  Add Dynacote® radiation-enhancing paint, and you have a super-radiant heater!