Glen Mills, PA: Stucco Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

December 15, 2012 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Our latest project is a Finnish Contraflow masonry stove in Delaware County, PA. Our clients were building a unique addition onto their existing home. The large masonry heater is both the primary heat as well as the visual focal point for the new space. The owner’s designed the heater inspired by our King of Prussia masonry heater installation. The fireplace has long sandstone heated benches, stone mantel and shelves, a white bake-oven, and a large wood-box for wood storage.

The fireplace starts with the high temperature core. The core is made entirely of firebricks bonded with high temperature mortar. The photo below shows the nearly complete core and the heated bench firebrick lining channels under construction. The combustion exhaust gases exit through the chimney to the far right of the firebox.

Once the core is completed, it is faced with masonry blocks.

After the block shell is completed, the colorful sandstone benches and accent pieces are set.

The entire heater is plastered with several coats of stucco. The first small curing fire burns in the photo below.

The photo below shows some detail of the colorful sandstone bench tops.

The heater has a large wood-box to store the week’s firewood.

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King Of Prussia, PA: Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

November 15, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Our clients in King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania have worked for years to retrofit their older home into a modern, zero net energy design. The ambitious plan began with a small addition, improved insulation, and active solar photo-voltaic panels. With these stages complete, it was time to install the clean burning masonry heater into the center of the home.

The homeowner opened the family room floor and built the masonry base to support the masonry heater in the crawl-space below. Once the concrete hearth pad is complete, the masonry heater core and block shell begin simultaneously. The photo below shows the finished high temperature core surrounded by the block heater facing.

The block masonry chimney sits to the left of the Finish fireplace. The masonry chimney transitions to a double wall metal pipe to exit the house.

The block shell is completed after the core. A brick arch spans the bake-oven opening. The travertine bake-oven shelf and mantle are also installed in the block shell. The photo below shows the completed shell and heated bench.

After the heater facing is complete, the two coats of stucco are applied to the heater. Once the stucco sets overnight, the heater door hardware is installed including the loading door, the bake-oven door, ash-box door, and soot clean out doors.

The masonry heater design also includes a large wood storage box to the right of the loading doors.

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Tunkhannock, PA: Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

November 15, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

This old farmhouse in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania has been in our client’s family for over two hundred years. Updating the home to modern standards has been a work in progress for several years. The family improved the insulation, windows, and building envelope. They also added a small addition to fit their growing family. To update the fireplace, the family decided on an efficient masonry heater in the center of their new primary living space.

The Finnish fireplace core was faced with 4″ masonry blocks. The photo below shows the completed rough shell. The blocks will be faced with a plaster coat then the client will apply natural thin stone veneer produced by  a nearby local quarry.

Tunkhannock, PA masonry  heater

The loading door for the firebox is on the main living room side of the new addition. The rear bake-oven opens into the kitchen space.

Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater, bake-oven side
Once the block shell is completed, the stucco rough coat is applied. The bluestone heater caps, mantle stones, wood-box cap, as well as the bench tops all came from stone on the farm property. The load bearing timber beam also came from the family’s old barn. The photos below show the first curing fire winding through the heater’s extensive internal heat exchange channels.
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater
The rear white bake-oven begins to warm as the size of the curing fires increases.
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater bake-oven
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater bake-oven
The stucco heater is ready to warm the updated old farmhouse. When the family’s time and budget allow, they will apply the natural thin fieldstone veneer to achieve the final aesthetic look for their masonry  heater.
Tunkhannock, PA masonry heater
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Tannersville, NY: Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater Core Installation

November 14, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

The owners of this new timber frame home high in the Catskill mountains wanted to build a super energy efficient design to stay comfortable in the hard winters. The timber frame, structural insulated panels, and masonry heater allow them to achieve their energy goals while still building a beautiful home. Once the owner completed the timber frame, SIPs, and as well as the roof the masonry heater core is installed.
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater
The photo above shows the completed Finnish Contraflow Heat Kit core in the center of the timber frame. The base for the heated bench and the base of the masonry chimney can also be seen.
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater with bake-oven
The core is wrapped in a fiberglass blanker to provide a slip gap to the masonry heater shell. The firebrick heated bench and completed masonry chimney base are complete in the photos below. The chimney will transition to a double wall metal pipe above the block height below.
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater with bake-oven
Tannersville, NY Masonry heater with bake-oven
The masonry heater will be faced by the client with stones from their new property.

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Pottsville, PA: See-Thru Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 25, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

Pottsville PA Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The owners of this new home discovered the warmth and beauty of a masonry heater while visiting a completed project of their prospective timber framer, Aaron King. They visited Fire Works Masonry’s clients near Kutztown, PA. The new owners wanted a fireplace in their home design and were excited by the prospect of installing a clean burning and efficient masonry heater.

The combination of the open floor-plan and superior insulating properties of the structurally insulated panels (SIPs) wall elements creates an ideal match for the slow and steady energy output of a masonry heater. The open floor plan is ready for the start of the Heat Kit masonry  heater core in the photo below. The concrete pad provides the structural support for the heater and chimney.

Pottsville, PA Masonry Heater with bake-oven

The clients desired a simple, rustic brick fireplace and chimney. The bake-oven side of the heater splits the dining room and kitchen.

Pottsville, PA Masonry Heater with bake-oven

On the opposite side of the masonry  heater is the living room. The heater is see-thru, with large clear loading doors on either side of the firebox. The fireplace is capped with local Pennsylvania bluestone.

Pottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-oven

The large open peak of the timber frame highlights the clean run of the brick chimney.

Pottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-ovenPottsville, PA Brick Masonry Heater with bake-oven

A small curing fire burns down in the firebox, viewed from the kitchen.

Pottsville PA Brick Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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Carlisle, PA: Natural Thin Stone Veneer Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

July 4, 2010 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

The owners of this new home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania have dreamed and planned for years about building a net zero energy home. The design includes structural insulated panels for very high “R” value walls and ceilings, passive solar home alignment and window design, an active solar system on the roof to generate electricity, geothermal heat exchangers to lower the heating/cooling load on the active system, and a clean burning masonry heater as the warm centerpiece of their home.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The home was masterfully designed and built by Harrisburg based Bridlewood Builders. They specialize in custom, sustainable, green homes.

The masonry heater thin stone veneer is nearly complete in the photo below.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The passionate homeowners have a detailed blog of the home’s design and construction as well as the home’s performance: http://carlislegreenbuild.blogspot.com.

The masonry heater is located in the main living area for the new home. The heater also acts as a room divider, separating the family room and the master bedroom.

The heater construction starts with the high temperature core, pictured below. This heater is a Finnish contraflow design. The heater will have two down draft channels on either side of the core as well as a long heated bench wrapping around the front of the core. The exhaust gases will exit into a masonry chimney to the left of the core.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry HeaterCarlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The rear wall of the masonry heater core will warm the master bedroom, pictured below.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

After the completion of the high temperature core and heated bench, the masonry facing begins. This heater’s shell consists of bricks and 4″ blocks. The block shell will provide the thermal storage for the fire’s energy and act as the structural base for a natural thin stone veneer application. The shell and chimney are nearly completed in the photo below. The brick facing for the long heated bench is just getting started.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Below is a view of the nearly completed shell from the open walkway above on the second floor.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

The rear wall of the heater warms the master bedroom. Below we see the completed heater shell from the bedroom doorway.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Once the masonry shell is completed, a scratch coat of plaster provides the base for the natural thin stone veneer facing.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

Viewed from the second floor catwalk, the thin stone veneer is nearly complete. The limestone bench and capping stones are in place.

Carlisle PA, Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

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Florham Park, New Jersey: Fieldstone Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater

December 19, 2009 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

One of the first curing fires burns down inside the new
masonry heater’s firebox.
The rear of the heater. The white bake-oven has already warmed the owner’s dinners while he works evenings to complete the rest of the home renovation.
After considering their options and growing family, the owners decided on an ambitious remodel to their existing home. The owners are both environmentally and energy conscious. While researching the possibilities for their new home design they wanted to limit their home’s carbon footprint as well energy bills. They decided on a clean burning, efficient masonry heater as the warm focal point in their new home.
The kitchen bake-oven option further increases the versatility of the masonry heater. The family will always have a warm cooking oven during the heating season. The heated bluestone counter nook will provide a warm spot while preparing the meals.

For the client’s desired aesthetics, the heater was built on a 45′ angle to the living room and kitchen. The corner of the heater dividing the two rooms is pictured below.

The far opposite end of the heater radiates into the bedroom and bathroom at the end of the hall. Below is the view of the heater’s stonework from the rooms.

Below is a photo of the start of the Pennsylvania fieldstone facing. The 5″ thick stone facing will absorb and store the fire’s energy for up to 24 hours.

The heater is in an ideal location for any home: dividing the kitchen and main living space. The firebox and viewing doors will warm the living room while the bake-oven will open to the rear into the kitchen, next to the heated bluestone countertop.

Below is the far end of the heater stone work proceeding to the ceiling.

The heater starts with the high temperature core built on a masonry foundation. The core is hand-built from firebricks. Below we see the firebox side of the heater core. The masonry chimney venting the heater exhaust gases stands to the left of the core.

The Finnish contraflow core and chimney are completed and ready for the stone veneer.

The completed core and chimney are ready for the stone veneer to start.
The  rear side of the core opens into the kitchen. The rectangular opening on the back of the core is the white bake-oven for cooking.A view of the kitchen of the heater core and chimney. The white bake-oven is ready to go.

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Hampton, New Jersey: Swedish Five Channel Masonry Heater

July 22, 2009 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

The family’s heater after several seasons of use is seen in the photo below.

The heater viewed from the opposite side is shown below. The bake-oven is in the home’s kitchen.

The owners of this 1970′s Colonial home were delighted to find a secluded,  beautiful wooded lot in the rural North West New Jersey. The family decided to take advantage of the ample woods in the surrounding area as a way to reduce energy bills and their impact on the environment. After researching clean and efficient wood burning appliances they arrived at the best choice for burning cordwood: a masonry heater.

The home had an existing traditional, inefficient wood burning fireplace. The fireplace is centered in the home, dividing the kitchen and living room, a perfect location for a masonry heater.

After a consultation with Fire Works Masonry and a review of the existing home and fireplace, the decision was made to demolish the existing fireplace and move ahead with an efficient wood burning masonry heater. The location of the fireplace in  the home was ideal for the radiant heat of the masonry heater.
The kitchen view of the rear of the existing fireplace.

The kitchen view of the rear of the existing fireplace.

The family decided to renovate the original kitchen and open up the floor plan. The heater’s bake-oven and radiant heat will both warm the kitchen.

The existing fireplace is demolished and removed to a local recycling center. The fireplace’s foundation was modified to accommodate the new masonry heater . Once the foundation work is completed, a new concrete hearth pad is poured and capped with a course of firebricks.

The new masonry heater hearth pad with firebrick base course.

The new masonry heater hearth pad with firebrick base course

The double wall firebox and side channels start.

The facing brick start once the core is completed.
The facing brick begins around the loading doors.

The facing brick begins around the loading doors.

The brick facing continues.

The brick facing continues.

The facing brick on the rear of the heater, including the bake-oven arch.

The facing brick on the rear of the heater, including the bake-oven arch.

A view from the side of the completed brick work.

A view from the side of the completed brick work.

The first coat of surface bonding cement is applied.

The first coat of surface bonding cement is applied.

The rear of the heater after the first surface bonding cement application.

The rear of the heater after the first surface bonding cement application.

A small curing fire burns in the firebox shortly after the first coat of American Clay plaster is applied.

A small curing fire burns in the firebox shortly after the first coat of American Clay plaster is applied.

The first coat of American Clay plaster is applied.

The first coat of American Clay plaster is applied.

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Milford, Connecticut: Finnish Contraflow Masonry Heater.

January 18, 2009 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

The homeowners warm the downstairs construction project.

The fireplace is finished before the rest of the ambitious home improvement project.
The fireplace is finished before the rest of the ambitious home improvement project.

This simple stucco Finnish contraflow heater warms the center of a 100 year old home in Milford, Ct.  The old home is being completed upgraded by the new owners.

The Milford, Connecticut home.

When considering the home’s energy plan, the family started by increasing the home’s efficiency and lowering the home’s heat load. The family gutted the old plaster and lathe walls and filled the uninsulated empty voids with insulation. The old single pane windows were replaced next with modern low emissivity energy efficient windows.

The home also had an existing original fireplace. The fireplace was not energy efficient nor safe by modern code standards. When considering energy efficiency in their plan, this fireplace had no place.

The original existing masonry fireplace.

The front and rear of the old, traditional fireplace.

The rear of the original existing fireplace.

The fireplace and chimney were demolished and removed leaving the space open for a wood burning appliance and vented with a new metal double wall insulated chimney pipe.

The original fireplace is removed.

When considering a heat source for the old home, the family decided on an old wood burning solution; a clean burning masonry heater. The family contacted Amazin’ Masons and the heater design work began.

The family wanted a simple heater to fit the space and design style of the home. They liked the idea of a clay stucco finish on a heater with clean straight lines. A few possible designs were sketched for review.

Milford layout draft.

Once the design for the new heater is finalized, the work can begin on the core. The heater’s core goes up quickly using Masonry Stove Builders’ Heat-Kit.

The firebox is completed and the core continues.

The firebox is completed and the core continues.

The Heat-Kit core is completed and ready for the capping slabs.

The Heat-Kit core is completed and ready for the capping slabs.The 4" block veneer begins around the core.The  block veneer begins around the Heat-Kit core. Four inch concrete blocks are used for an inexpensive heater shell.

The block veneer continues above the loading door.

The block veneer continues above the loading door.

The block veneer continues above the heater core.

The block veneer rises above the heater core.

The first scratch coat on the heater.

Once the block shell and chimney are completed, the first scratch coat is applied.

The second coat of thin-set plaster.

The second coat of thin-set plaster.

Once the stucco plaster is completed, the doors are installed and the first curing fires begin.

One of the first fires burns down inside the firebox.

One of the first fires burns down inside the firebox.

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Rock Hill, NY Finnish Contraflow Heater.

October 12, 2008 by , under Fire Works Masonry News.

This very simple heater warms this renovated barn in the New York Catskills. To accommodate for an upcoming bridge improvement, the town had scheduled this small barn for demolition. The new owner of the property decided to move and renovate the old barn as his new home instead.With acres of woods on the old farm property, an open floor plan and very cold winters, the owner decided to heat this new home with the most efficient wood burning appliance there is: a masonry heater. The homeowner wanted an aesthetically simple look for the Finnish fireplace. A basic heater shell and chimney would be constructed and coated with plain stucco.The Finnish contraflow Heat-Kit core is finished in a single day working with heater expert Norbert Senf from Masonry Stove Builders. Here is a view of the completed core from the loft space above.The outer wall, or veneer of the heater covering the core is simple firebrick on edge. The chimney is made of 4" masonry blocks.The doors and masonry to metal chimney transition are installed.The metal chimney is completed. Work on the rest of the home progresses as well. The heater is part of a divider wall between the master bedroom and main floor living space. This wall is also completed in the photo below.The rear heater wall acts as a vertical radiant panel warming the bedroom on even the coldest winter nights. The homeowner's bed moves to the rear wall of the masonry heater in the coldest winter months.

The completed, simple firebrick heater.

The homeowner liked the simple, “honest” look of the firebrick and block. He choose to not go forward with the final stucco layer for the present time.One of the first fires in the completed masonry heater.

For more great pictures of this home, check out the homeowner’s blog.

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