Woodstoves:  There 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. 


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!