Build It House: Installing the Gas Stove

A room-sealed gas stove adds charm and highly controllable supplementary heating to Build It's own self build home
Chris Bates, Editor of Build It magazine
by Chris Batesmith
12th November 2022

We’ve chosen to install a high-quality modern gas stove at the Build It Education House.

Nothing adds character and warmth to a living space (not to mention a sociable alternative to gawping at the TV) like the hypnotic flicker of a roaring fire.

But you can’t just plonk an open fire with a permanent open vent into a modern home. Instead, you need a design that doesn’t rely on a leaky building fabric as the air supply for combustion.

Stove & fire options for new build homes

A popular solution is to fit a room-sealed fire or woodburning stove. These appliances tend to have high outputs, however, and need to run quite hot to achieve a clean, efficient burn – which could have turned our living room into more of a sauna rather than a snug.

To combat that, we selected Jotul’s GF 373 BF CE gas-powered stove, which offers easy control of the output. This means we can enjoy the effect of real flames without the risk of overheating our highly-insulated home.

Contemporary white Jotul stove

We chose a white gas stove from Jotul, with a contrasting black flue for a contemporary look

Offering a three-sided view of the fire, it’s the perfect choice for our semi-open-plan living room, as the flickering flames can be enjoyed from the dining area, too.

Early on, we discussed the detailed design with Jotul and local installer Iron and Wood to determine the right output and position for the stove (there are minimum clearances to combustible materials to abide by, for instance).

The stove’s contemporary white enamel finish provides a stunning modern touch and contrasts with the black balanced flue system.

Fitting our twin-wall flue stove

Our gas stove features a twin-wall flue. This means the air for combustion is drawn in through an outer pipe, while the exhaust gases are expelled through the inner pipe.

This means there’s no need for a chimney or permanent vent. So, the installation is totally airtight and disconnected from the room’s air supply: vital in a modern home running a high-tech mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system.

Twin wall flue for stove

The twin wall flue runs to a wall outlet – giving flexibility over positioning

Our plumber, Will Machin, ran the copper gas pipework into the house and through the beam-and-block ground floor according to Jotul’s specification.

We also needed to core-drill a hole through the ICF wall to accommodate the flue (it can be cheaper to sleeve the wall prior to the concrete pour, but this requires meticulous planning).

With everything in place, Iron and Wood fitted the Jotul GF 373 stove, flue system and heat-resistant floor plate in less than a day. The entire thing was then wrapped with protective sheeting to avoid damage during the remaining second fix work.

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