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I am going to build a detached garage this summer. I am hoping it will be 36" by 40", but budget may change that figure. At the same time I will be removing a wood stove (Quadra-fire) from our house and could use it in the garage. I live in northern California, so it doesn't get below 20 degrees here. Assuming I don't spill gasoline on the stove or decided to spray lacquer while I have a fire going, does anyone see a problem with this idea? Safety first, of course. Kurt
 

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Lost in the 60's
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A lot of people use wood heat for thier shops or garages...I used to. Two reasons why I do not like it well maybe three. First....it takes to long to get it warmed up if you are only going to be out there for a little while. Second....I just don't like leaveing the shop unattended with a fire still going. Third......You cannot warm it up good and turn it off if you want to paint or use some flamible cleaning solvents etc. Thats my two cents worth on it.
 

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Any device with an open flame, be it a wood stove, natural gas furnace....even a water heater in the garage needs special precautions taken. I have a fireproof cabinet that I keep all my solvents and flamables in..........I got lucky, they were throwing it out at work. It is also in he back unheated part of my shop.
 

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Also, before you do it, check with your homeowners insurance provider. Many no longer allow woodburners in a garage/shop...for many of the reasons cited above such as flammable solvents etc. And if you put one in without informing them, you risk the loss of coverage should an accident occur.

Personally I wouldn't put one in my shop, but then plenty of people do it and get along just fine.
 

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Its just metal,you're the boss
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we have a wood burner in our shop to supplement the oil heat. keep it smoldering all the time and build it up when your going to be in there. havent had any problems. and its been there since before we had the place, so atleast 50 years probably. makes a nice place to toss oily rags in the summer too.
 

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kurt combs said:
I am going to build a detached garage this summer. I am hoping it will be 36" by 40", but budget may change that figure. At the same time I will be removing a wood stove (Quadra-fire) from our house and could use it in the garage. I live in northern California, so it doesn't get below 20 degrees here. Assuming I don't spill gasoline on the stove or decided to spray lacquer while I have a fire going, does anyone see a problem with this idea? Safety first, of course. Kurt
Doc here, :pimp:

Get some fire brick, and build an "Archway" and pad around a hole through an outside wall which the stove will fit..Make it air tight with flashing, Then install the stove Backward (the door and flue outside..) with only the steel body facing inwards..Make sure the stove won't get rain soaked , add more overhang and side partitions if needed..

That way you have no open fire inside the garage (or fumes)

BTW: Geeze..in Lakeport you shouldn't need a HEATER anyway...

Doc :pimp:
 

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I've installed hundreds of woodstoves and inserts, I wouldn't be concerned about safety using proper pipe and installation. Use a good grade of pipe, have a fireproof pad or base for the stove to sit on, make sure all clearances are met, and do a proper installation. If you're in the building stages, install your class A and support box in the framing stage of the shop. Think about some ceiling fans if feasible to help disperse the heat. Any type of a heater can be unsafe if not properly installed and used correctly. Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for input!

Thanks to everyone who posted a reply to my question about a woodstove in my future garage. I appreciate all the input. Seems I shouldn't light a fire and spray paint at the same time...or spill things. I doubt that I would being painting if it is so cold that I would light the woodstove, it does get down into the low twenties during the winter here, so I need something I can afford to use (yes, that is warm compared to some parts of the county). My electric bill runs upwards of $700 during the winter and we have no natural gas where I live, so wood seems like a good option other than hiding in the house all winter. I really like the idea of ceiling fans...I never would have thought of that for a garage, but I have seven of them in my house. All that said, I am still thinking of some kind of propane heat source, but I don't see how that would be any safer than wood.

Again, thanks for all the input. Kurt
 

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kurt combs said:
All that said, I am still thinking of some kind of propane heat source, but I don't see how that would be any safer than wood.
One major difference is that wood, particularly if burned in less than ideal conditions, builds up creosote in the chimney. If/when this catches fire it can cause serious problems. Just check with virtually any insurance adjuster and they can quote you chapter and verse on the garage fires caused by propane heaters vs. wood burners. I've had at least one Homeowners carrier tell me no, not under AND conditions, can you install a wood burner in your garage.

Also, if you install one and DON'T inform or check with your insurance provider, they can deny your claim...even if it burns down your entire garage and takes the house with it. Just be sure you can get coverage and that your rates won't go through the roof if you install one.
 

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Another difference between wood versus Propane. You can turn the propane heat off when you leave the garage and its off....you cannot turn wood off and I just do not like leaving a unattended fire. You could leave and go to town.......some creosote catch on fire in your stove pipe or chiminey and it could burn your garage and house down while you were in town. Nope I like one that I can turn off and its off.
 

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I burn wood for my garage... but for reasons stated here prior I too was concerned.

About 6 feet along the back side of my garage I built a 6'x6'x6' building out of cement blocks filled with sand as I built up-wards. Inside I put my large wood stove that takes 4' logs. Out the top of the eve I ran insulated heating duct work to the garage with a diverter that splits it to the front and back of garage with adjustable heat registers with 2 small electric fans behind each one drawing the heat from the outside building.

I also put a 5 gallon tank outside the wood stove building about 5 feet off the ground with a copper line leading into the top of wood stove. In the copper line I put an in-line shut off valve, and in the tank I put my used drain oil. I open the valve some to produce a small slow drip into the fire and I'm not sure if it helps the heat at all, but it get's rid of my old flammables. I checked with the local fire dept. on the oil drip thing, and they found it less damaging then a waste oil furnace.

It's easy to shut off the lights and go to bed with peace of mind with a roaring fire in the wood stove.
 

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Very important is to raise it up off the floor--whatever kind of heater you use, be sure any "source of ignition" be it flame or spark (ie, pilot lights, ignitors, motor brushes, contactors, plugs, etc) is at least 18" above the floor. That is the typical building code requirement, but a bit higher won't hurt any. The idea being that flammable vapors (gas fumes, etc.) are heavier than air and collect on the floor where they can ignite. I set my wood stove on top of cinder blocks turned on end.
Be aware of side clearances also--typically there is a 5' clearance to combustible sidewalls, but also typically that can be reduced to 16" or so if you mount 3/8" concrete board on 1" hat channel on the walls. Talk to a wood stove shop if you are not sure, but be aware that all bets & specs are off when using 'used' units. Also be aware that the latest NFPA [fire dept] codes prohibit 'solid fuel appliances' in garages altogether....which may affect your house insurance liability, should you have to make a claim someday.
You will probably also need to pipe in combustion air from the outside--wood stoves draw a lot of air to burn, and if you rely on getting it from inside the garage, not only will your stove not burn well, but it will be sucking cold air in from outside to burn. As well as potentially flammable vapors....
Your engine needs air to breathe, right? So does your stove.

All that said, in my 800 sq. ft. detached garage with mostly insulated walls & ceiling, on a typical (let's say 20*) Colorado winter morning, after a week of no heat, I will go out first thing and fire up my small sized (approx. 14"w X 16"h X 24"d) residential free standing Vermont Castings wood stove, then go back in the house and have breakfast... In less than an hour when I come back out, it will have "broken the chill" and the fluorescent lights all come on. Within another hour I can work comfortably with longjohns & flannel shirt. By 5 or 6 hours later, I'm down to a t-shirt and bandana to keep the sweat out of my eyes......
I have bolted an old reciprocating fan (like the ones in old movie detective offices) upside down on the ceiling above the wood stove to circulate the air. Works great. Nice in the summer too.

John
 

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be a man dodge tree bark!
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one of the big thing i dislike about wood besides the chance of fire... is the mess. between soot and smoke escaping. ashes needed to be takenout. and wood bark and chips beingcarried around in the shop... nah propane or natrual gas..
 

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wood stove in garage

I used to heat my garage with a barrel stove. I loved the heat,and I could build a fire in it,go in and eat supper,and when I went back out the garage was nice and toasty. I was always worried because as several others said,I couldnt just turn it off when I left the garage. I now heat with an oil stove.I feel more secure knowing I can turn it off and wait a few minutes for it to shut down when i go in at night. Also as said before,your homeowners insurance will definately not like you heating with a wood burner. I have a 55 gallon drum behind my garage,for a fuel tank for the stove,one day I came home from work and saw tracks in the snow behind the garage.a few days later I got a letter from my insurer saying they were dropping my insurance because I was using a barrel stove.evidently the rocket scientist couldnt tell a fuel tank from a barrel stove. I removed the data plate from the stove and ran it through the copy machine at work,sent it to the ins.co and never heard from them again. I still wonder how much these people snoop around on our property,looking for more reasons to screw us. :D
 
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