Perhaps one of my favourite additions to my new home is our Stanley multi-fuel stove!
You might remember that our mobile home came with a big, bulky gas fire taking up a sizeable chunk of space in the corner. In my blog post about stripping out the old mobile home furniture I posted this video showing it being taken out:
We've installed a 6.4 kilowatt stove and it has made a huge difference to the warmth and comfort of the space. [Edit: After spending a full winter in the mobile home with no central heating, if we had our time back we'd have installed an 8kw stove instead].
See the lads installing it in this video:
So can you really install a stove in a mobile home?
Every installer I've spoken to told me has said the same thing 'You're not supposed to do it, but yes, you can do it, and it will be absolutely fine if it's done correctly.'
Mobile homes have thin, hardboard walls so if they get too hot they will light up in flames. To overcome this, you need to use fireboard (special heat-proof board) to cover the walls around the stove. As you can see in the video, we used a brick-effect fireboard that can be painted with water-based paint.
You also need to make sure that you have a generous slab of granite that gives plenty of space between the stove door and the floor. This prevents embers and ash from landing onto your floor.
Does it heat the whole mobile?
Most nights, the stove heats the kitchen/living area, the hall and the bedroom. [Edit: on the REALLY cold nights, we kind of wish we had the 8kw stove]. We are yet to hang thermal-lined curtains over all doors and windows, cover up some unnecessary floor vents, and insulate the floor from underneath so that should make a difference too.
How much did it cost?
The price for our 6.4 kilowatt stove plus all the fittings, pipes, H-cowl chimney and labour came to €1620. All quotes I got came in at €1500 or more. We got a Stanley stove, which is one of the best (if not the best) makes you can get.
The slab of granite is extra but we were lucky that a family member was able to source it for us as a gift.
Who installed it?
I was hoping to be able to name the installer here because I get a lot of people asking me who did we ask to install the stove. However, I had a bad experience and wouldn't want to inflict this guy on anyone. Here's what happened:
We chose the installer because he was recommended to us by a hardware store and they said he had specific experience with installing stoves in mobile homes. When he finished the job he tried to get more money out of us than he had originally quoted us. Then, when he left and we lit the fire, we realised that he hadn't sealed it properly. We had billows of smoke coming out of the stove every night. The soot blackened some of the walls, which I eventually had to repaint. We called him and he told us that it was the fuel we were using so we experimented with every kind of fuel you can get and every kind of method of lighting the fire but the problem didn't go away. When he came back to fix it, he moved the stove so that it was really off-centre on the granite slab and looked ridiculous. I called him to come back a third time and he finally fixed it.
Do you really need a stove?
If you're going to live in a mobile home all year round in Ireland, you absolutely will need the stove or else you'll need a lot of money to run electric heaters. Trust me, after a spending a winter in it, I know we wouldn't have lasted without the stove. I had a reader message me to say that they tried living in one without a stove but had to move back into their parents' house for the cold months. For the coldest months we lit our stove in the morning and kept it going all day and all night.
What colour should we paint the bricks?
What colour would you paint the bricks? I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Stove gif made via Giphy.