🔥 Log burner/Woodburner Recomendations & Advice Please

:wave: Hello everyone ,

I’m looking for some advice on finding a reliable log burner, possibly second-hand, due to budget constraints. :wood::fire:

We have a large room with high ceilings and estimate we need a burner with a heat output of around 12-14kW.

I’ve heard that Burley is a good make, but new models are beyond our budget. Are there other brands that offer good performance and efficiency at a more affordable price point? Any obvious ones to steer clear of? (From looking through other posts on here, it seems French-made ones aren’t very efficient and not recommended?) :thinking:

Can anyone recommend the best places to look for second-hand options in France? (I’m checking FB Marketplace, LeBonCoin, eBay). What should I be on the lookout for to ensure the log burner is in good condition? Any red flags that might indicate potential problems? :triangular_flag_on_post:

Thank you in advance for any advice or recommendations. Your insights will be greatly appreciated! :pray:

Sarah :blush:
(Sérignac 046700 , Lot 46)

We have an 11kw Godin wood stove in our house in the Dordogne, which is now rented. Every morning we had to clean the glass front using a spray chemical in order to see the fire, which was nice to watch in the evening. This chore and the smell of the chemical was not pleasant. We now have a house fitted with another Godin wood stove that also features an oven and hot plates on top. Other than putting in wood and emptying the ashes this stove is infinitely easier to run. I would never have another glass fronted stove.

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On the other hand, I love glass fronted stoves! A lot of stoves now are not very durable. We have a 25-year old Villager brought from the UK and the chap who cleans the chimneys told us to hang onto because it is very solidly made. Most stoves made now seem to be of a thinner construction. Godin is good though as is Jotul but they are both very pricey bought new.

Really, you have to see any stove you are buying in order to check for damage and rust. Do you have contact at all with a local ramoneur? They may be able to advise local sources of second hand stoves.

A couple f weeks back there was a lovely little Godin in a depot vente near us but it was too damaged to be practical or we’d have got it (one of the little cylindrical chaps). Depot ventes are definitely worth checking though, particularly in rural areas I think.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on!

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Thank you @Jofang and @AngelaR . I have to admit, I like the glass front too - we had a small woodburner in our last house in Scotland and it was lovely to see the warm glow of the flames. The glass rarely blackened over and cleaned off easily with ‘Elbow Grease All Purpose Degreaser’. So definitely want the glass front :fire: :smile:

@AngelaR we haven’t had contact with the local ramoneur yet (we only moved in 2 weeks ago so still finding our way around!) but that’s a great suggestion. I shall track him down and test out my extremely limited french :see_no_evil: . We do have his contact details for the last sweep before the sale. We’ll also seek out the local dépôt ventes (I’m just impatient and want to get everything sorted now! :laughing:)

Sixteen years on and we’re still sorting. Work in progress. :grin: We have a Godin with a glass door which gets sooty. Newspaper dipped in the cold ashes from the night before rubbed over the glass works pretty well. Burning fiercely can also help clear soot.

No idea about the kw, but it’s a big one and heats not only our large/high ceilinged lounge but also the dining room next door if we leave the door open.

We installed it about 14 years ago.

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You could try these people - prices seemed very good and one of our number (@DrMarkH ) has successfully bought from them:

https://www.poeleaboismaison.com

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Every morning (like lots of people I know) I easily clean the glass of our wood-burner with a damp paper towel and some wood ash. If a burning log has fallen against the glass and left a more stubborn black mark, I’ll use a spray (and more ash) but that’s seldom needed.

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How solid are they @DrMarkH ?

FWIW we have to clean the glass of our pellet stove every couple of days when we empty the ash too, which was not expected.

We have a Stovax stockton 5 or 6 in our Oxfordshire home, and that needs the glass cleaning regularly too, despite the airwash system. It’s just all part of living with stoves it seems.

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Thank you @Ancient_Mariner !

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I was really pleased with the poele company - tho’ we bought a poele à granule from them, not a log burner. Our log burner was bought from a local supplier in the Aveyron (who has since gone bust).

Unfortunately I can’t offer @SarahL any advice on s/h log burners, except that an older one may not be very efficient and it’s worth looking in places like Bricorama for cheapish new ones. Two other things to check are the efficiency rating and the possible installation costs - the latter of course will be unique to chez vous.

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I see https://www.poeleaboismaison.com have a “Clearance” section :star_struck:.

The “Belleza” stoves seem very cheap :thinking: Does anyone have experience or knowledge of the quality of this brand please? :face_with_monocle:

Thanks @DrMarkH :+1:

It looks as though the cheap Belleza stoves are sheet steel (en acier) rather than cast-iron (en fonte), so they won’t retain the heat very well. Strongly recommend cast-iron!
Worth looking at individual stove’s rendement percentage as below 75% isn’t very efficient.
Also consider the maximum log size because 50cm long logs are cheaper than 30cm ones.

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Nothing wrong with steel plate stoves, they heat up quicker tham cast iron and if it doesnt retain the heat for as long, so what put another log on the fire. Its more stable than cast iron and less likely to crack.
The more efficient newer stoves tend to be steel.
It says seconday burn but its really an airwash over the glass to help keep the glass clean. What you should look for is a preheated secondary burn where air is usuall brought up the back of the stove getting hotter as it does so then injected above the flame through small holes. That lights and burns the creosote gasses giving around a 20-30% increase in burn reducing the amount of wood you would burn and reducing the pollution out of the chimney. The new European std for stoves should be your go to standard, Eco design. Environmentally aware with Clean burn Technology | Jotul.

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Hmmm… you need to take out another mortgage with Jotul stoves, good though they are! :rofl:

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Ahh yes, now the new standard has arrived most have gone up a lot in price. Of course some sellers label their stoves Eco ready or something but ask them for a certificate to prove it and see if they can come up with one.

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have you chatted with your neighbours… I’d bet some of them will have log burners…

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With a restricted budget,I think second hand may well be the way to go. Our ancient but solid woodburner gives great heat even if it isn’t to modern standards.

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Hello & welcome.
If you’re looking for advice here’s mine…
Work out the heat output needed in kw’s, I & others can help in this (there are a few engineers on this forum) we’d need the M² of floor space and the height of ceilings, also if ceilings, exterior walls are insulated, if not will be in the future. Also is this a primary heating source or a secondary mix of the two?
If primary, think of the wood burner as an investment & buy the best for your needs, that second bathroom can wait until next year after all, you’ll be nice and toasty come Christmas.
Another thing to think about is whether you want to cook on it (we do all Winter long) slow cooking is much better for tasty food and so easy.
Another thing when installing put at least a couple of foot of insulation above in the chimney.

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