So, we have this big ol’ wood burning monstrosity sitting in our house that pretty much divides the living area in two. It’s basically a wood burning insert set into a “stone” wall with a vent that’s meant to warm the place up “efficiently” I guess. It looks like its been here a long time, but I’ve never trusted it enough to actually put a fire in it because, you know, I don’t want to burn my house down. There’s all kinds of black gunk on the mantel and the surrounding stone facing so I had my doubts about whether this was a usable stove or not.
I had some chimney guys out here today to clean it and they said that the “soot” on the mantel isn’t soot but char. There’s been at least one fire there. There have also been fires (multiple) in the chimney and not only is the inner pipe shot, but the outer pipe is too. I kinda figured it was bad because if you notice in the picture there’s latticework there and I can see rusting on top of the insert. Seriously, I didn’t want to attempt a fire in this thing. BTW, that little glowy thing in the picture is an electric space heater that’s in the shape of logs and has flame simulators which are turned off at the moment. We had it in our fireplace in New Mexico (also unusable). I think that’s funny.
But that’s okay, because I’ve been itching to tear this thing down for a while now. because it’s kinda ugly. I’m sure it was meant to be rustic or something, but I think it’s pretty awful looking. The wood paneling in the middle of the chimney area has always driven me bonkers, and the way it divides the room makes decorating a pain in the ass. Right now, I have my television in front of where the wood goes, which would be a problem, if I could use the thing. But I can’t so it’s not that much of a problem. I think having a simple wood burning stove up against the wall instead of in the middle of the room would be so much better. It wouldn’t be as intrusive and it would open the place up a bit. I’m not normally a fan of open concept, but the way they have this place divided is kinda weird… So anyway, as soon as we can afford to, we’re tearing this whole monstrosity out and replacing it with something else.
What would we replace it with? I dunno. I saw some nice wood stoves while browsing online. Everything from pot bellied stoves to the one pictured here which has an oven. I’d like something I can cook on if the power goes out (like the one in the picture), not just something that looks nifty. I don’t want anything with an electric fan because that defeats the purpose of having a wood burning stove I think. I mean seriously…
But I can drool all I want over the ones I want… I’m limited to what we can afford, what’s legal in our state, and what we can have in our manufactured home… something I found out today. I totally didn’t know that there were limits on what we could have in manufactured homes, but surprise! there are. Also, there are certain stoves that simply are not legal in California and Washington — another thing I found out today. Which is too bad because the style of stove I like is totally the style of stove that appears to be not legal to have here. And while the previous homeowner appears to have thumbed his nose at what was legal and did what he pleased with a “devil may care” attitude. I’d like for us to stay on the sunny side of legal because that stuff will bite us in the ass later if I don’t.
Anyway, it looks like we’ll be needing a new wood stove eventually. Probably not this year since we’re still a little strapped for cash, but definitely by next year. We lucked out in that this is a warmer winter. But I’m not stupid enough to think that just because this year is warm that next year will be too. Nope. I’m taking this year to make preparations for what might happen next year. Who knows? we might get three feet of snow next year, then having a wood burning stove will come in damned handy.