For many homeowners, the living room provides ample opportunities to explore unique design plans. Given the fact that the living room commonly represents an area where families and friends congregate, you may consider this place to be a top design priority. Wood burning stoves are a distinct design element that you can incorporate into your home, and they also function as a heating tool for the winter months. Taking the time to assess the average cost to install wood stoves will help ensure that you have the budget on hand to make this project a reality.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Installing a wood stove is significantly more complex than installing an electric or gas appliance. Due to the large number of technical and safety considerations, wood stove installation can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000.
Design Elements of Wood Stoves
One of the first questions that individuals must confront when determining whether or not a wood stove is feasible is exactly how the stove will be integrated into their setup. For example, it is not uncommon to use a pre-existing fireplace as a host for the stove. For those who don't already have a working fireplace or simply choose not to use it for this purpose, a freestanding stove can also be constructed.
In the event that a freestanding stove is preferred, the final design must include a hearth, and the stovepipe needs to funnel the smoke produced by the burning wood out of the house. The cost of installing a stovepipe is one of many reasons why individuals choose to retrofit their existing fireplace. In fact, using the design elements you already have on hand is by far the most cost-effective method for installing a wood burning fireplace in an existing home.
Exploring Safety Considerations
If you have begun to consider the possibility of incorporating a wood burning stove into your kitchen, you should take the time to properly understand the mechanics of this hardware to ensure that you are aware of all necessary safety and practical issues they may present.
Unlike an electric or gas stove, wood burning stoves will require you to undertake home modifications to remove the possibility of unexpected fire outbreak. For example, it is common practice to use heat-resistant materials to cover walls and floors in close proximity to the stove. Given the fact that these stoves rely on open flames, ensuring that flame retardants are used nearby is an absolute must.
Some scenarios may also exist where wood burning stoves must be inspected by local fire authorities for full code compliance. Failure to do so could result in serious penalties for the owner of the stove.
Choosing Your Fuel Type
Although most individuals think of wood burning stoves as large chambers burning huge chunks of wood, there is actually some degree of flexibility when it comes to choosing the specific fuel used to power the stove. In addition to standard wood supply, individuals can also choose to use burn pellets, which are essentially condensed sawdust or smaller wood chips.
Although wood chips are widely considered to be the preferred option for those who are serious about reducing the amount of particulate matter being produced by their stove, they are slightly more expensive. As a general rule, stove owners can expect to pay up to $200 more during the winter season if they choose to use wood pellets rather than wood.
Catalytic Vs Noncatalytic
Is your stove going to be used as a primary heat source in your home? This question can have significant ramifications on the overall cost of your installation. Individuals can choose between installing a catalytic or noncatalytic stove, each of which has its strengths and weaknesses with respect to heating and maintenance.
A catalytic stove relies on a unique design element to provide superior heating at a generally higher rate of efficiency than noncatalytic stoves. Within the catalytic stove, a coated combustion chamber is installed to trap byproducts from the combustion process as well as smoke. Ultimately, this allows ignition to occur at a lower temperature, improving the overall operation efficiency of the stove.
Unlike a catalytic stove, noncatalytic designs do not integrate the combustion chamber. Because of this, combustion occurs at a higher temperate point and leads to reduced operation efficiency.
Maintaining a Catalytic Stove
Although it may initially seem like a catalytic stove is the best choice, it is also important to note that this hardware requires routine maintenance throughout the year. The catalytic combustion chamber found inside of the stove must also be replaced roughly every five years.
For budgeting purposes, individuals can expect to pay close to $600 extra for installation of a catalytic stove. They should also plan on allotting approximately $300 to chamber replacements every five years.
Stoves and Material Costs
Taking all of these considerations into account, it should come as no surprise that many individuals feel ill-prepared to build or install a wood burning stove by themselves. Given the intense safety requirements for this hardware, it is far better in the long term to work with an installation professional rather than risking your safety or the safety of those who live in the house with you.
Wood Burning Stove Installation Contractors
Wood burning stove building and installation contractors can be found quickly and easily using any popular online search tool. Generally speaking, these contractors will work with you to explore and understand your specific needs before providing an installation quote. Factors such as a pre-existing chimney will also influence the quote significantly.
The material cost of a wood stove can range anywhere from $100 to $3,200. Another critical factor that will influence the price of the stove is the internal capacity desired by the owner. As could be imagined, the larger the interior of the stove, the more it will cost to install and build.
Installing the Stove
According to current industry estimates, the cost of installing a wood stove can be anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. Even if the material cost of the stove is significantly less than this, the installation costs will remain in this range. This is primarily because the installation contractors will not only be installing the hardware inside of your home but also ensuring the all adequate fire safety measures have been taken.
While this may seem like an overly high price point for installing a stove, it is important to remember the potential consequences of a mediocre or incorrect installation. As always, individuals should seek out estimates from a variety of contractors to find the best possible combination of service and price that matches their expectations.
Ryan Cockerham is a nationally recognized author specializing in all things innovation, business and creativity. His work has served the business, nonprofit and political community.