Susan B. Anthony once said that “cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.”
Recently, I have been distracted by some changes happening both within me and also with regard to the decisions that I have made. Some of the things that I am thinking about are personal while others are directly to do with Tiny House Ontario.
A couple of days ago I posted about my regret for not putting in a fruit cellar. Now I have to confess that my mind might be changing regarding the type of furnace that I want to put into THO. I have always, since the beginning of the project thought I would go with a Dickinson Marine Stove. About $1,200 US +++
A couple of days ago, while checking around on the internet for other Tiny House stories, I noticed a stove that appeals to me visually a lot more. The Mini Franklin Woodstock Soapstone. About $1,200 US +++
I like this one visually a lot better because the vent pipe goes STRAIGHT out the back to the chimney. No silly, wobbly, silver, tube climbing up the wall to find the exit. The chimney too, if that is what they are called on propane stoves. It also looks to me as though they offer a different sort of tidy looking chimney which sits flat against the exterior wall. Both of these look so much tidier in my opinion.
The cost is about the same for the two stoves I am not sure that the cost of shipping is similar, nor am I sure if the cost additional things, such as: wall mount, vent, pipes, chimney and so on, is similar. I am also not sure if the Mini needs a 12v electric hookup or even if it requires any electric at all. I can’t find this on their website.
I found it easy to navigate the Dickinson site and they have the manual right there for you to print and read. Which I have done and but truthfully, I feel as though, with this Dickinson I know what I am getting because so many Tiny Housers use them. Their website, though, is not ideal. I don’t know what beyond the stove I need to order; nor what it costs for these things I need to hook one up. I would like a nice neat package. I get that they are somewhat unique for every home BUT there are no images provided there either. In short they don’t make things nearly as clear as I want them to be.
The Soapstone Mini makers are not even as clear at the Dickinson people. Right down to the image they provide being so tiny that it is hard to see. I know… I know, you think I like tiny things, but this is really, really TINY. No manual either. You have to write them to find out more. I am not too wild about that idea, I hate it when companies are vague. Basically, if they just put the stuff on the site then I could do my own homework. I don’t want to talk on the phone or spend weeks chatting back and forth via email. The most frustrating thing is, I don’t know what questions to ask because the product information is basically just size and colours and the shipping method. I mean, I want to know about size… all we ladies do… I might also like to choose a different colour… but seriously who cares how they ship it? I don’t want to bash them totally, in fact, they had some things better on their site. They do provide a few (albeit TINY) images of the types of hook ups and this was most appreciated. Like Dickinson no packages with the extra stuff in it. They give a nice 360* (TINY) option I can see a tiny wire coming out of tiny bottom of the tiny back — unless this is a tail. In truth it is such a small image that I can’t see.
Before I have some knowledge I am silenced by not feeling I know even enough to ask a simple question.
So what do I want? I am going to assume that these businesses are both dealing with a lot of DIY people. I heard that Dickinson sells far more stoves to Tiny Housers than they do boat owners, so I would like to see them cater to our DIY philosophy!
Key stuff for me is I want user friendly, diagrams, images and explanation options in click out bubbles.
Examples would be more and larger images. Diagrams of the various packages that are needed to hook one of them up based on the sort of place that they are going into.
They know better than I what I need! In my naivety I think I will require a:
A wall mount thingy: $x
A going through the wall tube: $x
A turning up elbow: $x
A chimney of length x: $x
A bunch of other thingamabobs that only they know about: $x
Screws/nuts/bolts/any unusual drill bits etc: $x
Why do they not have a package that looks like this that has a nice little diagram showing you what you are going to have to do with the stuff when it arrives?
Ideally too, they could also provide VARIATION to those packages based on different roof heights, wall thicknesses and slopes.
Then and only then would I want to be told to contact them personally if I have questions… once I understand what I need.
I can’t be the only one who is like this?
If you are a Tiny Houser, I would appreciate a ball park on the costs of the other stuff and shipping. Also if you have a Soapstone Mini… what electric system do you need for her?
Please comment on this one…
Thanks for listening to me rant! xo L
I understand your frustration. I build tiny wood stoves and it took me quite a lot of research to find what all is required for a complete installation and where to find it. As my small company grows, I want it to be a one-stop shopping experience and offer everything the customer needs complete with diagrams and step by step instructions. I also want to provide links to helpful websites. If I were going to do a project like this, I would tend to go with a company that would take care of my info and supply needs all the way through.
Have you considered a thermal mass heater or a rocket stove design? I saw someone even creating one to sustain a 4-season garden somewhere online.