5 great woodburners for a garden office or workspace

Anybody who works from a garden office or a similar annexe workspace will know that the proposition is entirely more appealing in summer than it is in winter.

Those who venture into garden workspaces between September and March are: (a) hardy souls; (b) almost constant commentators on the temperature; and (c) no strangers to fingerless gloves.

That is, of course, unless the office in question is equipped with a wood-burning stove. With a woodburner installed, even the harshest of wintery workplaces can become inviting and productive spaces in which to spend the working day.

Key considerations before installing a woodburner in a garden office

  • Will your installation be able to comply with building regulations? Read up on those here.
  • Is the floor strong enough to hold the stove and hearth?
  • How well insulated is the office? Assuming there is decent insulation and it’s a relatively small building, you will only need a small stove.

Recommended woodburners for a garden office or studio

Bearing in mind the previous point that the smallest woodburners will probably suffice to in turning your chilly workspace into a toasty environment, here are some suggestions.

1. Mazona Signet 4kW
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The Mazona Signet 4kW multi-fuel stove is a great choice because it has a manageable heat output and a manageable price tag. At the time of writing, it is available for £181 – a reasonable investment for the warmth it will provide through the working day. Click here for more details.

2. Villager Puffin 4 kW Multi Fuel
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The super-slim Villager Puffin (just 330mm wide) is perfect if you’re short on floorspace in your studio. In many ways, it is a classic woodburner in its styling, so it will work well if you’re after an outdoorsy feel. Click here for more details.

3. GBS Mariner 4kW
GBS Mariner
The GBS Mariner boasts a stylish, modern design. Its stripped back detail make it perfect if you’re after an uncluttered, minimalist workspace. Click here for more details.

4. Aarrow Acorn View 4kW
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The Aarrow range by Arada Stoves is full of top-selling appliances. The compact little Acorn View is one such example – and one that’s well-suited to snug workspaces. Click here for more details.

5. Aarrow Ecoburn Plus 4kW
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Similarly to the GBS Mariner, this Aarrow appliance is sleek and minimal in its design (who knows, it might aid productivity). It’s also a very popular appliance. Click here for more details.

How to find a good, reliable chimney sweep

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One of the many upshots of the resurgence in the popularity of wood-burning stoves in recent years is that chimney sweeps are suddenly in great demand.

People who perhaps have never had cause to contact a chimney sweep in their entire life now need one every 6-12 months.

The question is: how do you find a good chimney sweep?

Trust accredited chimney sweeps

Our best advice – in order to give you the best possible chance of finding a reliable chimney sweep – is to track down a chimney sweep who is part of an accredited trade body.

Of course, there is no foolproof way of ensuring you get the right person for the job. But choosing someone who is a member of an accredited body gives you the best possible chance of finding someone who is capable of completing this job to a high standard.

Here are some of the easiest ways to find an accredited chimney sweep:

HETAS website
HETAS is the government-approved body for the biomass and solid fuel industry. Among its responsibilities is the registration of competent servicing businesses, including chimney sweeps.

They offer a registration scheme for sweeps. Any accredited sweep will have undergone HETAS’s training programme, so you can have confidence that they know what they’re doing. The HETAS website offers a Find A Chimney Sweep function, which allows you to find accredited sweeps near you via a postcode search. Click here to use that.

NACS website
As its name suggests, the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) is a trade body representing chimney sweeps. NACS members undergo compulsory training, are fully insured and work to a code of practice and code of conduct. They also offer a postcode search function, allowing you to search for sweeps near you. Click here to use that.

Gr8Fires directory
We’re collating our own directory of chimney sweeps and fuel suppliers. Only HETAS-approved chimney sweeps will have their directory listing approved. Click here to browse the directory.

Arizona Newark: timeless looks with a modern twist

This classy multi-fuel stove promises to be one of our best-selling appliances this winter.
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The Arizona Newark 6.6kW perfectly marries the tradition of wood-burning stoves with the best of modern design and technology. As such, it’s proving to be very popular indeed.

At first glance, the Newark has the appearance of a traditional stove. Look a little closer and you’ll notice it is enhanced by some very subtle contemporary design features. For example, take a look at the soft lines and curves of the body, legs and even the glass.

Triple-burn technology

And the contemporary design is also at work inside the stove, where you’ll find triple-burn technology to ensure that more of the flammable gases released by your fuel as possible are burnt before they escape up the chimney. That means greater efficiency and lower running costs.

There’s also an airwash system to keep the glass clean and an externally controlled riddling grate.

All in all, it’s the ideal stove for modern homes seeking a bit of tradition or older properties with contemporary decor.

Click here to have a closer look and see more photos of the Arizona Newark.

What things do I need for a typical woodburner flue installation?

Twin wall flue kit
Installing a wood-burning stove is not merely a case of buying a wood-burning stove. Equally important as the stove itself is the flue, which will draw the air your stove needs in order to light and maintain a fire, as well as act as an exhaust for the gases produced during the burning process.

This can seem a bit complicated if you’re new to woodburners or have never given much thought to how a stove system works. Fear not: in this blog post we will explain exactly what you need for a typical woodburner flue installation.

Much like a good story, a flue installation needs a start, middle and end. Let’s explore each of those sections in more detail.

Start
At the start of your flue installation you need an appliance connector – a part that connects your flue to the wood-burning stove. Of course, you need to ensure that this connector is the right diameter for your stove’s flue exit and that this is the same diameter as your flue pipe. If it’s not, you’ll need a connector that also serves as an adaptor. Click here to see appliance connectors.

Middle
The middle, and indeed the main body of a typical flue installation, is the flue lengths and the load-bearing support to keep them in place.

The lengths might be in the form of a twin wall flue or flexi flue liner. In either case, we offer handy kits comprising everything you need for your installation.

Click here for twin wall flue kits.
Click here for flexi flue liner kits.

How do you know how much flue length you need? Click here to find out.

End
The end of your typical woodburner installation is the fixtures and fittings where your flue meets the outside world. As well as fixing the top of your flue in place, a cowl can serve a number of other purposes, such as keeping birds out of stove system, preventing downdraught and keeping rain out of your flue, depending on the design your choose. Learn more about this by clicking here.

You can choose your chimney cowl here (or just select one as part of the kits mentioned above)

You will also need flashing around the terminal to seal your roof. Click here to see some silicone flashing options.

Click here to see a full range of top connections.

How to Choose the Correct Flexible Flue Liner Length for your Chimney

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One of the trickiest aspects of buying a wood-burning stove on the internet is working out the correct flexible flue liner length for your chimney. How do you work exactly how much flue liner will be needed in the course of your stove installation?

Well, it might initially seem like a game of ‘how long’s a piece of string’ played on a very large scale, but there is actually a very simple way of knowing exactly what length of flue liner is required in any property. Here’s how to do it…

Enlist the help of your chimney sweep

Yes, the quickest and easiest way to gauge the correct flue liner length is to get your chimney sweep round to clean your chimney. Measuring the length of brush needed to get clear of the chimney pot will tell you exactly how tall your chimney is.

It’s probably worth mentioning to the sweep in advance that you’re hoping to collect this information so they can help you as much as possible. After all, you wouldn’t want to be springing that task on them as they’re about to finish work. Use the information in this article to find a reliable chimney sweep in your area.

If you’re thinking getting a chimney sweep round to measure your chimney is a bit extravagant, it’s not really. We would always recommend getting your chimney swept before any wood-burning stove installation, regardless of whether you’re lining the chimney or installing the stove into a chimney that is already sound. As such, you can simply combine the two tasks so that you get the measurements for your flue liner at the same time as preparing the chimney for your stove installation.

Once you know what length of flue liner is needed, you can buy the correct length in one of these handy flexible flue liner kits.

5 reasons why a woodburner is better than an open fire

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1. A woodburner is more efficient than an open fire

The biggest advantage of a wood-burning stove over an open fire is that it will save you money. The open front and chimney of a regular fireplace makes it hugely inefficient. In fact, around 80 per cent of the energy released from your fuel disappears straight up the chimney without so much as warming your room.

A woodburner, on the other hand, can lose as little as 20 per cent of the heat (depending on what is being burnt and how the stove is being operated). The result is that you need less fuel in order to heat your home and, as a consequence, the stove is cheaper to operate.

2. A woodburner is more environmentally friendly

When we talk about energy from your fuel escaping up the chimney, as we did above, that is unspent flammable gases being released into the atmosphere. It is far better for the environment for those gases to be burnt before they leave your home.

Not only are stove more efficient than open fires in terms of the percentage of energy wasted, they also include systems, such as the baffle and secondary or tertiary air supply to prevent flammable gases from leaving the stove before being burnt.

3. A woodburner give you more control than an open fire

With an open fire, once it’s lit you have few options beyond keeping it lit or waiting for it to go out. A wood-burning stove comes with controls, so you can alter the air supply to the fuel and have greater power over the heat being produced and how quickly the fire goes out.

4. A woodburner creates less draught than an open fire

More obvious reasons, rooms are usually less draughty with a sealed chimney, narrow flue pipe and wood-burning stove with a door on it than they are with open fireplaces and chimneys.

5. A woodburner leaves more heat in the room

All chimneys pull air up them in order to function correctly. But when your room has a large open chimney, it is likely to suck up lots of the warm air that your fire has generated so that the heat is lost.

That’s less of a problem when you have a wood-burning stove.

Did you know Prince George has a wood-burning stove?

Prince George Woodburning Stove

Prince George has become one of the youngest wood-burning stove owners in the United Kingdom.

It has emerged that the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s eldest child has a woodburner fitted in his playhouse. His £18,000 Wendy house has its own stove built in.

The playhouse is situated at Highgrove and is used by the young royal when he visits grandfather Prince Charles’ Gloucestershire estate. The Prince of Wales himself is known to be a proud wood-burning stove owner.

He was presented with the pricey play area for his first birthday. Now aged two, George is said to enjoy spending time in the small cottage on wheels, which is in a wildflower meadow. Visitors to Highgrove can catch a glimpse of the hand-built Victorian-style hut during guided tours of the estate.

The 12ft x 6ft playhouse, which also includes a day bed, is similar to the one shown in the photo above.

Furniture designer Richard Lee donated the playhouse to Prince George to say thank you for his company Plankbridge receiving a Prince’s Trust grant.

Five great wood-burning stoves for playhouses

Do you want to follow in Prince George’s toddling footsteps and install a wood-burning stove in a playhouse or den? If so, you won’t want anything too big.

In a small space, a large stove will give off too much heat and take up too much floorspace. Instead, you need a nice small wood-burning stove. Here are some ideas.

1. Mazona Signet 4kW
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The Mazona Signet 4kW multi-fuel stove is not only an excellent, hard-working little stove, it is also one of the most reasonably priced appliances you are likely to come across (£181 at the time of writing). Click here for more details.

2. GBS Mariner 4kW
GBS Mariner
Looking for something a bit more modern for your playhouse? The GBS Mariner boasts a sleek, contemporary design. Click here for more details.

3. Aarrow Ecoburn Plus 4kW
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Another small woodburner that features a minimalist, modern design. Part of Arada’s popular Aarrow brand, this is a bit more expensive than the first couple of stoves but is an excellent appliance. Click here for more details.

4. Aarrow Acorn View 4kW
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A second successive Aarrow appliance. Again, it’s a 4kW multi-fuel stove. If anything, the Acorn is even more stripped back than the Ecoburn Plus. Click here for more details.

5. Villager Puffin 4 kW Multi Fuel
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At just 330mm wide, the Villager Puffin is the ideal space-saving wood-burning stove for your playhouse. Slightly more traditional in appearance than the previous three appliances, the Puffin is perfect to add some rustic charm to your hut. Click here for more details.