Installing our wood stove (because winter is coming)

Though we’ve had the wood stove installed for about the last week or so, I’d waited to post this until we actually used it…and of course, we haven’t had to use it since this Fall in Maine has been quite warm. (I’m not complaining – it’s given us time to work on other things outside!)

We originally started this project back in August – tearing out the wall paneling and getting an idea of whether we could actually use the old chimney (which is behind the strip of insulation in the picture below.)


We then removed a section of carpeting. The black section there is actually hardwood floors covered by carpet adhesive. Exciting to know that we have hardwood floor in this room! …Not so exciting that we’ll have to strip them of this adhesive.

There were a few structural issues that needed to be addressed before we could move forward. The floor needed more cross bracing (see below) in order to be able to handle the weight of both the brick we were going to lay and of course, the weight of the wood stove itself. Though it’s not shown in these pictures, we also added bracing in the basement underneath this section of the house. (I really wanted to avoid installing the stove only to have it fall through the floor.)

Below, you can finally see the chimney we tapped into. It hadn’t been used in many years and it’s only current usable openings were in the basement. There’s actually a spot toward bottom of this section where you can see that they once had an opening. Unfortunately it was too low for our purposes.

Instead, Jason created a new hole in a higher location. Unfortunately, there aren’t any good YouTube videos of how to cut a hole in a chimney. It became a process of trial and error (and several various drill bits) to create this opening in the chimney.

(You’ll notice he also started adding tile backer-board to the wall.)

Because the chimney is old and crumbling on the inside, we decided to install a liner. Seven hundred dollars later, we had a chimney liner kit and were armed with YouTube video instructions (because where else can you find step by step directions for installing a chimney liner.)

In the picture below, Jason created a rope system, anchored by the truck, so that he could climb up the other side of the roof and then tie off to the chimney.

…prepping the chimney liner…

There were a few more steps in between straightening out the liner and hauling it up onto the roof. We covered the liner in a thin layer of insulation and used spray adhesive and heat-resistant foil HVAC tape to hold it all together. The whole liner was then covered with a mesh wire tube to keep it from ripping apart as we pulled it through the chimney. (All of these items – metal liner, insulation, spray adhesive, tape, and mesh tube were included in the chimney liner kit we’d purchased.)

It was an interesting process to haul thing up the other side of the roof the chimney. Though the wire mesh tube around the liner kept it from getting torn, it also snagged every roof shingle on the way up.

Gratuitous picture of Jason feeling proud after a hard days work on the roof.

Once we had the liner in, we could return to working on inside. Jason finished the backer board, then laid the bricks. The bricks are the pre-cut, thin type.

Next was wall tiling. We decided to go with wood tiles of differing sizes and colors.

The finished stove works pretty well!


Jennifer Jelliff-Russell

About Jennifer Jelliff-Russell

Jennifer is an employment specialist and writer with novels in women’s fiction and science fiction. She and her husband, Jason, decided to move from Tennessee to Maine and homestead using the most environmentally sound farming practices possible such as organic farming and permaculture. At the same time, they will also be slowly renovating their 1900s Maine farmhouse in order to make it more self-sufficient with the eventual goal of going off grid. Let the homesteading (mis)adventures begin!