The ambience factor that comes from real wood burning in the fireplace is very attractive. So, in spite of the drawbacks, we’re contemplating putting a real wood-burning fireplace in the family room.
We have designed the family room fireplace with an area for wood storage. It’s nearest the back door. Then we have a spot on the back balcony, fairly near the same door, to store the wood waiting to be brought in. That will come, I suppose, from some pile in the backyard somewhere, which will come from, I don’t know, the Amazon rain forest or something else equally eco-hostile.
Yea, so the wood is the best and the worst part about wood-burning fireplaces. But I’ve found a way to alleviate some of the work and mess that are usually involved.
WB Fowler, a Canadian company, has created a small electrical elevator to move your wood from the basement up to your fireplace. It’s called the WoodWaiter.
The WoodWaiter comes in a number of configurations and sizes. The lift can move from your basement into a typical-looking wood storage area set into your fireplace. It can even pop up through a trap door in your floor.
This eliminates not only the hauling of wood up stairs, but the mess that trails after you when you haul it.
Our plan is to store the wood outside, not in living space in our basement. Should we decide to go with a wood-burning fireplace, I’d want a configuration that would allow loading of the wood from one side of the WoodWaiter, and unloading from the other to accommodate the indoor/outdoor aspect of our fireplace/storage. That would also require some kind of secure door to access the WoodWaiter from the outside.
I don’t know if the WoodWaiter is designed to meet the specifications we require. Depending on our ultimate fireplace decision — after looking at all the fireplace alternatives we can find — I may be looking into that possibility. But it’s current design may be a great addition to you home.