Garrison, NY: Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

A charge of wood at full combustion in the Garrison, NY heater.

An intense burn in the firebox, Garrison, NY.

This heater warms a home in the wooded foothills of the Hudson valley. The Appalachian Trail runs on the crest of the ridge behind the house. The clients designed the home to take advantage of passive solar heating and the clean heat of a masonry heater. They wished to use the colorful stone on the property for the heater finish as well as for masonry accents along the house. The heater divides a living and family room in the house with convenient bake oven access from the kitchen.

The heater divides the main family living space and kitchen in Garrison, NY.

The rear of the heater with a black oven.

The rear heater wall with bakeoven in Garrison, NY.

The family took a very active roll in the heater design. The clients were building a full finished basement to support a prefabricated house. They built the house with solar Southern alignment and added more windows on that side to provide passive solar heat. After researching clean burning, efficient wood heat on the internet the family decided on a masonry heater for the home’s main heat source. The large stone heater mass also adds to the home’s solar heat storage.

The heater was designed to the family’s wishe, dividing a living room and family room space. The bake-oven is adjacent to the open kitchen. The heater’s layout design and concept sketches were completed.

The final heater design concept sketch.

The heater is offset from the chimney by a five foot long heated bench/wood box.  The firebrick bench to the left connects the heater exhaust to the chimney. The bench and chimney  are both lined with firebricks to increase the overall thermal mass.

The completed core, bench and chimney.


The completed firebox.


Once the core was completed and wrapped, the stone from the client’s property is started. Ideal heater veneer stones are no thicker than five inches. Thicker stones decrease the surface temperature of the heater and increase the time it takes for the energy from the burn to be released into your home. Here we see the stone on the bake oven side of the heater near completion.

The stone veneer is started on the bakeoven side of the heater in Garrison, NY.

Fire Works Masonry

Fire Works Masonry