It started simple, as most things do. The man cave is chilly. Propane to heat the house is very expensive, especially when the winter drives up the prices. I’m expecting a long cold winter this year so an alternative fuel source would be welcome. I have lots of wood and the post man brings be half a ton of free paper to burn every year.
Solution: Install a wood stove.
First I checked the local contractors. A simple installation would run about $10K. That would include a stove, chimney and nothing else.
I couldn’t afford that so I started looking at ways to do it myself.
I figured I could complete the project in the long Veteran’s day weekend. I was sadly wrong, for a lot of reasons. My initial plan was to remove the combustables from the wall and floor and put in some ceramic tiles. i compared buying a simple heat shield from the Stove store for $250 or making one out of tile myself for $50. I win.
Step 2: Get wife’s approval to destroy her house.
Cost of Tile itself is already over $500. My original budget for the whole project was $1000 (stove $500). I am already comitted to twice that now.
I worked on this all weekend and I’m not even close to being done. So, I will be updating this later.
I discovered I really suck at laying brick. I couldn’t get the mortar mix right. Too soupy or too dry. it wouldn’t stick to the bricks. I laid out two test courses and then took them apart because they weren’t working. I checked on the internet and every resource was unanimous about the right mixture being a “matter of feel” not an exact recipe. Thanks for nothing. The youtube videos make it look so easy. It is not that easy for me.
But mortar and sand are cheap. I know where I can get more.
Updates and pictures will follow.