Monthly Archives: August 2014

A tiny wood stove for a tiny house…


I am really good at procrastinating. Seeing as I haven’t written since January, I guess I’m about 7 months good at it. Think there’s a prize for that? No? Well shit.

We have been warm and toasty whenever needed since January, courtesy of our darling wee wood stove; a Kimberly from the WA based company Unforgettable Fire LLC. It’s a marvellous little thing, made entirely of stainless steel with a darn efficient secondary combustion system, and it has worked out great for us.

I grew up with wood stoves and have always loved them. When I was little, my sister and I used to run outside in the snow with our bare feet so we could run back in and tap our frozen footsies against the front glass and hear the water steam and sizzle while just barely managing to not burn our toes. Safety 3rd around here.

Anyway, wood stoves are my personal favourite heat source. They require frequent maintenance, can be messy, smelly and exceedingly dangerous so they aren’t for every person or situation, but the warm ambiance and cozy glow of a little stove on a cold night wins me over every time. Plus; zombie apocalypse friendly.

Aside from the cozy/zombie factors, the main reason I opted for one in Little Yellow is because the dry heat essentially acts as its own dehumidifier. So much so that you often see kettles of boiling water placed on them to keep the air from getting too dry. In my foggy, coastal climate (no kettles needed around here) putting in a heater that would also combat excess moisture made a lot of sense, and I have ended up with a built in dehumidifier that is multifunctional and also aesthetically pleasing.

Safe clearances are perhaps the biggest hurdle with wood stoves in a tiny space that is made almost entirely of such a stove’s fuel of choice. I remember seeing a picture of an early tiny house that had one smack in the middle of the greatroom, because it was the only place in the house that could accommodate the clearances.

Since the space we had in which to install a stove was so small, I was a bit concerned that we wouldn’t be able to swing one at all. Actually, we had several potential problems with our hopeful stove spot, 1. Whatever we put in had to be safe with only 4” clearance between the chimney and the wooden wall behind. 2. We could cut no wider than a 5” hole in the roof for the flue before hitting either a rafter or the rib of our standing seam roofing material. And 3. The hole we would need to drill through the floor for the outside air intake couldn’t hit the steel I beam of the trailer below.

Aside from it being super pretty and efficient, deciding upon the Kimberly was based mostly on its incredibly low clearances and its use of 3” insulated pellet stove chimney pipe instead of the wider class A pipe, which was too big for our roof situation. I had known about (and drooled over) the Kimberly since before I started building but couldn’t do anything about it at the time. That is because it is expensive. Sitting down are we? Sit sit. It is $3,750. And it is just so cool that we had to buy it.

We considered it our forever Christmas present to each other. A sort of ‘here, lets be warm for the rest of our lives’ kind of thing. It’s an incredibly well designed and USA made stove with some very cool features, if you want to read more, check out Unforgettable Fire’s website and the tiny-house-specific Kimberly website here.

Installation went pretty darn good. We were lucky to have Vanessa Kelly, our dealer and the Business Developer for Unforgettable Fire, help out with our installation and Kimberly’s inventor, Roger Lehet on the phone to get all our questions answered. After a few hitches and a custom chimney pass through the roof, this stove looks like it was never missing.

I let my boyfriend do the hole drilling (I have a great fear of holes in my roof. A great fear) and he did a fantastic job. In a traditional installation, the chimney pipe would pass through the roof in what’s called a cathedral ceiling box. This would require about near 10″ hole, so Zac got creative, as he does, and fabricated us a new, much smaller part that does the job perfectly.

And now we have heat at our disposal 🙂 We get hardwood and kindling from our local firewood spot in two big bins for $10 each which buys us about 3-4 months of warm. OH MAN, I love being warm. It’s such a luxury to be a comfortable temperature after two heatless winters of cold. Like, try to warm yourself up with lightbulbs cold. Like, consider getting whatever rocks hold heat best, warming them up on your cooktop and hugging them cold. (I have done these things.)

I feel like we bought what we expected to be only a wood stove, but what we also acquired was two people and a dog’s worth of comfort. I have decided it is the best thing I have ever purchased because we have serendipitously secured ourselves an endless number of winters in homebody bliss, that won’t involve crowding around 20 something tea candles (this too).

Some nights we do nothing but pull up pillows and just lay on the floor in front of the stove for hours. Lobster is a huge fan. He gets his little dog face SO close to it I almost worry, but he’s in total heaven. When it’s chilly out and there’s no fire he’ll lie down by it and look at me, then look at it and look back at me. And then look back at it. He’s very subtle.

There are so many things I need to write about. They’ve been coming from all directions recently and I am going to try, try try to write at least one post a month. And if not, I’m going to figure out this procrastinator’s prize thing. That could really go places.


Disclosure: I am new to this affiliate thing, and am excited and proud to be one in regards to the Kimberly stove because I love it so much. If you were to purchase a stove from one of the links in this post, I would receive a small portion of the cost. I would be just as happy if you were to find the links on your own because I really just want these guys to do well, so feel free to do that if you would rather 🙂 To warm and happy tiny homes!