Installing a Wood Stove in a Tiny Home
Installing a wood stove in a tiny home.
To truly create that real cosy hygge feeling inside your tiny home there is no real substitute for a wood fired stove.
The radiant heat and glow mixed with the warm light it throws around any space is transformative in the feelings of snugness it produces.
Not only could it provide heat and cooking but also if fitted with a boiler option can produce heat for a radiator or hot water tank.
But how do I go about installing a wood stove in my tiny home and on the tiny budget I have?
Well I can help you answer the first part of the question on the elements to consider when installing your stove but there is no escape from the fact that the project will require buying both the stove and flue as well as preparing the space where the stove is going to sit. All of these elements can possibly be sourced second hand but I would not scrimp on quality of the stove and flue. Consequently, in reality the budget for this part of your build is around $1500.
(Maybe sacrifice the gold edged tiles you had planned for the fireplace and invest it in a top of the range enamelled and stainless steel flue system.)
Put together a tiny home flue kit that will give you years of trouble free service rather than a mix and match collection of flue parts which end up needing to be replaced after only a short time.
The flue system is basically the engine of your wood stove so it is important to get it right. The effectiveness of the draw will be down to how high and how well insulated the external flue parts are. The incorporation of an anti-down draught cowl can also assist in promoting a better draw. The flue is quite short so I would suggest a good way to extend the height is to have a system which allows you to add an extra length when on site, or can also be removed for when the tiny home is moving.
The wood stove is a focal point in your dream tiny home so is an area no to be compromised. The stove must look good and work well if life in the tiny home is to function in harmony and you are to be happy.
Key points worth considering before you start.
Along with a fire blanket in your kitchen area and a small fire extinguisher ideally located in the middle zone of your tiny home you should also make sure that you install a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
They are a reasonably inexpensive bit of kit that could possibly save your life, so it is a no brainer not to buy one. I have posted a link below to where you can find one for around $30 from Amazon.
SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS
Right, with the serious bit sorted we can focus in on the exciting prospect of realising the dream of cosy nights tucked up in your tiny home watching the warm glow of a fire inside your tiny stove. It is easy to conjure the image but there are several important areas to give consideration when planning where and how you are going to install your stove.
Stove requirements .
In the picture opposite you can see that we use the tiny home we made as a place to go and unwind a little from the rigours of work. The space is designed accordingly and is specific to our needs. This is the first thing to think about when considering installing a stove in your tiny home. What do you want it to do other than the obvious. Do you also want it to cook on? heat water?
These additional factors may well adjust the location and orientation of your stove.
Visit the little blog we put together showing how our tiny home space came together.
Your tiny stove even though small will take up more space than just the footprint of the stove itself. You will also need to shield the adjacent combustible materials with insulating or vermiculite board. These could then either be painted to match the rest of the decor or the area could be made more of a feature by incorporating tiles or stainless steel for example. An image sent to me of our tiny stove installed in a caravan in Switzerland is so far the most individual embellishment I have seen. The artist decorated her shielding with some risqué spray can painting which is certainly eye catching! To see the artwork visit the post on my Facebook page.
STOVE POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR TINY WOOD STOVE.
Does your stove have a direct air system?
If your tiny home is going to be fairly air tight then you may well want to consider choosing a wood stove that has a direct air system. The best systems allow you not only to control the burn rate but also allow independent control of both the primary and secondary air. Systems that just allow unregulated air into the fire box and then use a baffle in the flue are much more susceptible to potentially dangerous CO issues if the flue became blocked. I would suggest that it is a key factor worth considering. Whilst there are many benefits to having a stove fed directly with it’s own combustion air source it must not be seen as a replacement for the installation of an air vent. This vent should be installed behind, beneath or as close to the stove as possible to ensure that there is enough air in the ‘cabin’ to sustain both you and the stove. Deficient air flow through the cabin and no direct air feed will only result in an inefficient poor draw. The poor flue engine will then result in poor stove performance.
Here is one that has a direct air system
and an interesting article on the subject of direct air fed stoves.
Can your stove be bolted down?
Your stove as indeed your flue will need to be well secured for when your tiny home is in transit. For this reason you must choose a stove that has the ability to be easily bolted down. This can be done to the chassis or minimum to the hearth that the stove needs to sit on. If you mount the stove on a raised area then the stove needs to be bolted to this well enough that in the event of a bump it can take the force of it’s weight. A very helpful and instructional pdf on how to bolt down a Hobbit stove can be downloaded here. Each leg on the Hobbit stove has a small area cast inside and behind each leg where the securing bolt can be fixed. The same system is used on the optional log stand.
How much is the whole ‘wood stove install’ project likely to cost?
tiny wood stove $950 (or about $700 for a stove without dual air controlled direct air system )
tiny home flue kit $500
shielding & hearth plate $100
You can obviously spend a little less by salvaging material such as insulate board which when painted would be as good as new. Or an old sheet of metal or tin sign that you could sit the stove on would save you from buying new.
Has the stove been independently certificated?
If the stove you choose has not been certificated how will you know how close it can be to shielded materials and how much heat output it provides? Even though you do not need to be governed by the regulations in a planning sense there is always the gnarly thought about what if something does go wrong would your insurance company pay out or try and wriggle around this by pointing out your stove had not even had an independent test to show it’s heat out put, level of particulate emissions and level of efficiency, let alone it’s safe distances. I would therefore recommend whichever stove you choose, even if it is not EPA certificated that it has at least it’s own countries independent certification.
Shielding – buy some shielding for your stove install or Concrete board
Shielding is needed behind and/or to the sides of the stove to allow it to be fitted in closer proximity to combustible materials.
The stove parameters for this would have been calculated during the independent certification of the stove.
Ventilation. – buy an air vent
You and your stove require air to work! If your space is very air tight then you must install an air vent.
WHAT FLUE SYSTEM DO I NEED TO INSTALL MY STOVE?
What flue parts you need for installing a stove in your tiny home really depends on the proposed route for the flue and dimensions of the tiny home from floor to flue exit point. Many want to exit through the wall but this is an expensive option and is less easy to deconstruct when the tiny home is in transit. A roof exit with a removable and/or additional length to increase the draw and not be knocked off half way down the road, is preferable.
Please forward details of your floor to exit height, top or rear exit and roofing material used and I will work out the tiny home flue kit you require. Send me an email.
The flue parts I used in my tiny home flue kit are as follows, starting from the rear outlet of the stove.
using VITRELUX ENAMELLED 316 GRADE SINGLE SKIN FLUE from MIDTHERM
Fire cement seal in the collar of the stove.
1 x 90 T and cap with joint clip. single skin VITRELUX
1 x joint clip
1 x 500mm (20″) length of single skin flue pipe
1 x joint clip
1 x 45 degree elbow of single skin flue pipe
1 x joint clip
1 x 250mm (10″) length of single skin flue pipe with inspection door
1 x joint clip
1 x 45 degree elbow of single skin flue pipe with inspection door
1 x 4″ single skin flue pipe to 5″ MIDTHERM HTS twin wall flue pipe increaser adaptor
1 x wall band support for twin wall flue pipe. ( ideally an additional wall support should be added 6″ apart from the first support if no rafter support is used)
1 x 1000mm (40″) length of twin wall flue
1 x Round trim plate
1 x rafter support bracket
1 x 50mm (2″) fire rope length for packing in 2″ gap between twin wall pipe and combustibles in roof void.
1 x flashing ( + fixing kit if silicone boot type)
1 x storm collar
1 x high temperature silicone sealant
1 x locking band clip for twin wall flue pipe
1 x 500mm (20″) length of twin wall flue pipe
1 x twin wall flue rain cap or anti-down draught cowl.
( All stainless steel twin wall parts can also be finished in black powder coating if required.)
The regulations involved with fitting a stove.
Really helpful graphic showing a summary of BS8511:2010