How To Install A Wood Stove In A Garage (Do This!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Every part of your home deserves to feel toasty and warm during the colder months, even when it comes to your garage. Now that garage apartments are becoming increasingly popular, people are starting to look for ways to get more heat into their homes. A fairly popular option is to install a wood stove in your garage. But, how do you go about that?

You will need to measure and purchase a wood stove that’s appropriate for your garage size. Then, you will need to mark where the ceiling pipe will go, cut through the ceiling sheetrock and roof sheathing, and then add fire-rated sheetrock behind the future position of your stove. From there, you will need to connect the chimney sections and finish up the fireproofing work.

Installing a wood stove is going to be a fairly complex issue, which is why most people tend to shy away from doing it on their own. If you’re willing to try for a challenge, then this guide will be your sherpa on this uphill battle.

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Before You Begin: Picking The Right Wood Stove

Wood stoves are great for garage apartments, and for the sake of this article, we’re going to assume that your garage does not have a metal roof. If your garage has a metal roof, it’s best to refer to this article about installing a wood stove with a metal roof instead. Now, let’s talk about choosing the right stove and making sure you have enough room:

  • Learn about the best dimensions for your wood stove, along with the clearance they’ll need. Most stoves will need at least 36 inches or more of non-combustible wall clearances, as well as a wide berth for the chimney pipe. Read the manufacturer’s manual to find out if your chimney will work with your garage.
  • Smaller is often better. This is just a casual tip, but wood-burning stoves are remarkably good at producing heat.
  • Also, make sure your garage is big enough for a wood stove. A standard two-car garage will be, but some smaller sheds won’t be.
  • Check with a pro if you’re unsure whether you should install a stove in your garage. This is just my typical “err on the side of caution” talk, though.

Installing Your Wood Stove Inside Your Garage

Now that you have bought and chosen a stove that’s right for your garage size, it’s time to actually install your garage. You may need more than one person to help you with this project, simply because there’s so much to do. Here’s the step by step:

  • First, start by doing a double-check on the preliminary measurements. Place the stove where you want to install it and double-check that it fits all the measurements provided by the manufacturer’s literature.
  • Mark off where the hole in your ceiling will be. Draw a line that shows the connection’s level. You can use a plumb bob over the center of your future chimney’s connection to the stove.
  • Grab a compass to mark a circle where your chimney sections will be penetrating the roof. Add 4 inches to the diameter to ensure that you have the minimum clearance for combustible materials like ceiling joists met. Don’t skip this, as this is a major safety concern and you need to make sure you have the right position. Adjust the stove position if you need to.
  • If you have ceiling sheetrock, cut through it using a jab knife. Cut along the guidelines you made earlier. Cut through the ceiling hole so that you can place the chimney collar.
  • Then, cut through the roof sheathing, and roofing. A jigsaw or reciprocating saw works best here.
  • Clear out all the junk you just cut, and then prepare your roof. Follow the instruction on your stove’s manufacturer’s booklet to install your chimney collar’s flashing. To make sure that you have the right location for everything, use a plumb bob lowered through the ceiling hole.
  • Measure out a place on the floor 18 inches away from the front portion of the stove’s door opening. This place should be underneath the stove, from the back wall line extending perpendicular to that one point. You should have a perfect center line here, showing the midpoint of the stove. Use a framing measure to make sure everything is aligned correctly. This will act as a guide to help you remember where the stove should be during the install as well as a guide for sheetrock clearance.
  • Push the stove out of the way so you can get to your rear wall. Simple, right?
  • Cover the wall behind the stove with fire-rated sheetrock. The sheetrock should extend 48 inches in either direction of the stove from the center line. Use sheetrock screws and a screwdriver to secure the sheetrock into place.
  • Grab a full sheet of cement backer board and install it over the sheetrock. The board should be 36 inches high and should not extend beyond the sheetrock. After you place it there, attach your board to the wall framing every eight inches from the studs. Ta da! You have fire-rated walls now.
  • Push the stove back into place and double-check all the measurements. Everything should be flush now.
  • Put your chimney connections, then pass them through the roof opening and collar. Then, place the base of the assembly over the chimney flange on the top of your stove. Install it per the instructions on your owner’s manual.
  • Install your storm collar over your roof collar. Use a large ring of silicone caulk on the inside of the storm collar’s edge and the chimney’s vertical surface to lock it in place.
  • Snap the chimney cap on. You want to make sure that you actually hear a snap or click.
  • Open the chimney flue. Most models will have the flue handle five to six feet above the floor.
  • Test your new wood stove by burning a small wad of newspaper inside. Seal up any areas where you see smoke leaks, and you should be good to go.

Should You Hire Someone To Install Your Wood Stove In Your Garage?

Honestly? This is a pretty complex project that requires a lot of tools and measuring that most casual DIYers would find intimidating. In fact, cutting a hole in your roof alone should be a reason to take a pause. While there are some folks who might find this an easy way to spend a day or two of working, most people will find it to be a fairly big undertaking.

If we had to ballpark a skill level for this project, we’d put it at an intermediate to expert level depending on your garage’s overall needs. Moreover, installing this on your own could go against local building codes, so make sure to double-check before you do this project on your own. Otherwise, you may be forced to take it down.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Wood Stove In Your Garage?

If you choose to go the professional route, expect to pay a bunch of money. Generally speaking, installing a new wood stove from scratch will cost anywhere between $2,300 to $7,000 in total. Sometimes, it can get even pricier. So if you want to get this heating source, it may cost more than you think.

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Related Questions

Can I install a wood-burning stove on a plywood floor?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. In order for your stove to be considered safe, you need to install it on a fireproof floor. This automatically rules out any form of wood, including plywood. A better option for a wood stove installation would be a concrete floor or a stone floor.

How can I keep my garage warm during the winter?

Aside from installing a wood stove, you can also use a radiant heater to add some toastiness to your garage. When you’re prepping for winter, it’s important to remember to add insulation to your garage. Weatherstripping, window stripping, and even adding a carpet can go a long way when it comes to your garage’s heat.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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