Wood Burning Stove Regulations

My husband and I bought a house in May, and it has a spot in the basement that would be perfect for a wood burning stove. My hubby’s pretty handy, and he thinks he can make one. We know there are regulations for wood burning stoves, in regards to polution/safety/etc, but so far we’ve had no luck with Google. Does anyone know where we could find wood burning stove regulations? If it matters, we live in Maryland, in Baltimore city.

I strongly recommend checking in with the pertinent authority where you live- even if your husband can build a stove that meets whatever EPA regulations your jurisdiction stipulates, there is almost certainly the problem of third party approval for the thing, as in U.L. or Bureau of Standards.
The local fire department would be a place to start.

A good place to start: http://www.epa.gov/woodstoves/

Arglefraster, I have used wood burning stoves and have quite some experience. Like everything, it is easy if you know what you are doing and it is difficult or impossible if you don’t.

When I was living in DC I would rig a wood burning stove in my bedrrom in the winter and take it down in warmer weather. Have a look at this page and email me if you would like some further information.

Thanks for the tips guys. I’ll take a look at those links, Sailor. Thanks again!

I’m sure your husband can make a wood stove (there used to be kits which would turn a 55-gallon drum into a fair heater), but there are good reasons not to do so.

First, homemade wood stoves are not efficient. You will burn at least three times as much wood as a well-designed and well-built cast iron stove. Second, a sheet metal stove (I’m assuming he doesn’t have access to a foundery) can burn through, posing a serious fire hazard. Third, a good stove is fairly inexpensive.

Do you mean install a wood burning stove you buy at the wood burning stove store, or actually make a wood burning stove?

For the first, I’d go to the store and ask them for advice on local code requirements, setback, chimney design, etc. They should at least be able to point you to a source for your local code. Or, call your town’s code enforcement/planning department or 311.

For the second, I cannot imagine someone described as “handy” being able to make a safe wood burning stove.

Well, depends on the meaning of “handy”. I would say that if you can weld you can build a stove with sheet metal as a basic stove is just a metal container with a few holes.

I meant that he would actually make one, but it’s starting to look more and more like we’ll be better off just buying one. Building one would be a lot of work, and as BrotherCadfael said, a homebuilt one probably won’t work nearly as well. Also I don’t think we’d end up saving a whole lot of money over buying one. We originally looked at Home Depot and Lowe’s, and they were pretty expensive, but some friends of ours pointed us at some local stores that are much more reasonable.