Visit your local building department to speak to a building code enforcement inspector to ascertain what the regulations are for wood stoves in your state before you choose a woodburning stove plan. Many jurisdictions do not allow the installation of woodburning stoves that are not certified by the state. You also have to be knowledge of the building codes related to items, such as clearances and chimney requirements. Check your homeowner's insurance policy, or speak to your insurance agent to make sure that you are covered for any damage that may result from a DIY woodburning stove.
Selecting a Woodburning Stove Plan
Choose from woodburning stove plans that are inline with your level of technical know-how. Otherwise, enlist the help of a family member or friend who can assist you in the areas where you are weak. Since stoves installed in homes are often the focal points of the rooms, make sure that the plans you select meet the aesthetic criteria for the space. For example, a woodburning stove made from a 55-gallon barrel may work for the garage or work space, but is probably not appropriate for your living room.
Barrel Stoves Plans
Woodburning stove plans that use barrels are very common. There are many variations of barrel plans available. One design calls for the use of a smaller 30-gallon barrel inserts in a larger 55-gallon barrel. The smaller barrel serves as the controlled-burn chamber. Place mason sand between the two barrels on the sides and underneath the smaller barrel. The sand serves as a "heat sink," which lessen the radiating heat absorbed by the floor and walls. Assemble the individual components, or purchase one of the many barrel woodburning stove plans and kits that are available from online vendors.
Thermal Mass Rocket Stoves
From an appearance standpoint, thermal mass rocket stoves are a good choice for DIY wood stove projects, especially if you do not have a high degree of technical knowledge. The stoves offer a natural clean burn and are inexpensive to build. The basic concept is that heat generated by the stove is absorbed in the heat storage material and is gradually released into the space. Mass heat storage material is typically made of tile, brick or stone.