Archive for the 'home improvement' Tag  

Into the world of wood heat.

October 8th, 2008

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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For a long time Sarah and I have been dreaming about getting a wood stove, both to add a physical and emotional warmth of our home as well as to offset our usage of heating oil. In September we got our first heating oil delivery at $3.80/gallon and decided that it was time to get off the fence and buy a wood stove. We spent quite a bit of time looking at stoves and fell in love with the the Hearthstone Heritage. A few of the things we liked about it were

  1. It’s made of solid 1.5-inch-thick soapstone which supposedly remains hot for hours after the fire has died.
  2. The stone construction means that the heat is even and less intense than a metal stove, allowing for smaller clearances to the wall and passers-by.
  3. It’s pretty
  4. It is locally made in Morrisville, Vermont.
  5. Side-door for easy loading
  6. Advanced non-catalytic combustion system emits 2.77 grams/hour of particulate matter, a.k.a smoke (average is 5 g/h, older stoves emit 60-90 g/h).

After purchasing the stove a week and a half ago I picked it up from the Chimney Sweep on my utility trailer last Friday and spent the past weekend assembling the hearth pad out of two layers of Micore 300 (an insulating ceramic-fiber board) and some slate tiles. I still need to trim the hearth with wood for aesthetic purposes, but that can wait.

While I was expecting the stove to be heavy, I hadn’t realized how much weight 475 pounds is. There was no way I was going to move this stove alone. This evening (Wednesday) I rented a ramp and wheeled pallet jack to minimize the lifting and recruited the help of 5 strong friends in moving the stove. It took four of us to lift the stove at all and we made use of all six of us shuffling together to carry the stove 4 feet from the pallet jack into its final resting place. That many hands made as light work of the job as possible and all in all the move took about 15 minutes.

This coming weekend I’ll install the chimney if the weather is good and we’ll hopefully soon be heating with wood. Thanks again Alex, Bryan, Dean, John, and Jonathan for your help!

Spring is Here

May 6th, 2007

Filed under: Life and Everything Else

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After a long winter that included some unseasonably late snows in April, spring is now in full swing. As flowers push up through the soil tree-buds are unwrapping their new leaves, the birches leading the way.

New Leaves

In addition house repairs, wedding planning, work, life and everything else we are also planning to put in a garden this summer. We’ve started seed indoors already — about a 100 basil plants, some lufa sponges, morning glories, green peppers, and tomatos — and will need a place to plant them after the risk of frost is gone. To that end I’ve started building a dry-stone retaining wall along the edge of the cliff below our house.

As the cliff-top is the only place not overshadowed by maples (and our reluctance to cut down our beautiful trees) the cliff-top is where the gardens will go. We don’t really have too much good soil elsewhere, so after the terrace walls are complete we will bring in large amounts of compost to grow in.

Our current vegetable plans are for:

  • basil
  • tomatoes
  • zuchini
  • green peppers
  • spinach