Best Recommendations for Moving a Wood Stove
Central heating and cooling systems have become a common feature in most homes today, more so now that we find ourselves facing the stark reality of global climate change that has seen extreme and erratic weather conditions become the order of the day.
However, as home improvement continues to surge and hardware stores start springing back to life (a shift that gathered pace round about the COVID period), wood stoves are no longer just a feature in log cabins and preppers’ homes.
They are a great addition to any space and boast an appeal that HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems cannot match; some breathing a rustic charm into your home. Wood stoves also spread heat fast, and unknown to many people, they are one of the most economical ways to warm a house. Just what you need to get around the soaring energy prices!
For all their benefits, though, moving a wood stove can work when it comes down to it; and not just when relocating. Getting it from point A to B can be tricky.
In this post, we share tips on how to move a wood stove, whether you’re relocating or simply swapping your stove’s location in the house. But first…
Why is it Difficult to Move a Wood Stove?
If you own a wood-burning stove, you must have a clue of how challenging it can be to shift them about. That’s due to two reasons in particular:
Weight – wood stoves can weigh a ton. While the weight will depend on the exact model and manufacturer, most stoves weigh in the range of 300-800 pounds on their own. The figures are nothing to scoff at for what’s supposed to be an interior home “appliance”.
Most wood stoves are made from cast iron or steel (some a combination of both) which is why they weigh that much. The secret to their ability to heat spaces so effectively lies in these construction materials and the casting process. The metal takes time to heat up, but once it does, it doesn’t cool easily. While it’s a big forte, it also works against you when you want to move a wood stove.
Dimensions – again, while it depends on the model, some wood stoves can be colossal. So, in addition to the weight, they are also bulky. Therefore, moving them always comes with a risk: you could end up damaging your floors badly or injuring yourself in the process; maybe both. This is why it pays to know how to move a wood stove the right way.
The best way to move a wood stove is to enlist the help of professional residential movers. Most moving companies like us are happy to provide labor-only service, so it matters not if you are not moving house: you can hire labor-only service to simply come and move the wood stove around the house.
However, if you’re a sworn DIYer or would rather save that money (hopefully it doesn’t turn into an expensive mess!), we will show you how to move a wood stove by yourself.
For that, though, you will need some muscle as you cannot move a wood stove alone, in addition to some equipment and materials.
Let’s list these down for you, shall we
What Equipment is Needed to Move a Wood Stove by Yourself?
Below is a list of everything you need for moving a wood stove by yourself, whether you are relocating to a different residence, moving your log burner to a different room in the house, or simply changing its location in the same room:
- Furniture dolly – a furniture dolly is synonymous with moving heavy stuff around, and you can bet it will be one of the most important assets when you will be moving a wood stove. Dollies come in different dimensions. For this particular task, you will need a dolly with a wide base, although that will very much depend on the size of your stove. You can rent a dolly from a mover or local hardware store, but as a wood stove owner, it would be more ideal investing in one since you’ll need it on more than one occasion. Besides, 20 bucks can get you a nice long-lasting dolly.
- Rope or straps – you will also need a strong rope (2 lengths) or a few sturdy straps when moving a wood stove. This will be used to secure the stove onto the dolly. Each rope or strap should measure at least 6 feet in length.
- Moving blankets – furniture blankets are another regular feature in every moving supplies checklist, and you should include them in your wood stove moving equipment list too. They will serve the purpose of cushioning the exterior of the stove which will reduce the risk of damaging the flooring or walls in case this cannonball of an asset accidentally topples.
- Plywood sheets – you need a couple of thick plywood sheets to help you slide the stove along the floor while also protecting your flooring from damage during the shifting process.
- Work gloves – these will protect your hands while at the same time ensuring you maintain a good grip when moving a wood stove DIY.
- Loading ramp – only applies when moving a wood stove to another house. The ramp will prove useful when loading your wood burner onto the van or truck. Alternatively, consider hiring a truck with a hydraulic lift gate. It will make your work much easier than manually pushing the loaded dolly up the ramp.
- Extra hands – but just because you’re moving the wood stove by yourself doesn’t mean you can pull it off alone. In addition to the wood stove moving equipment and materials, you also need some [not necessarily] well-fed assistants to help you with the heavy lifting. Could be family, could be friends, neighbors perhaps, or even hired help if you find yourself in a quandary. The number of extra hands will depend on the size of your stove, but at least three individuals should basically be able to move a medium- or large-sized wood-burning stove. After all, it’s not like you’re lifting it up to the shoulder level; unless you’re getting the stove into the back of a pickup truck. But even then.
How to Move a Wood Stove
Now that you know what wood stove moving equipment and supplies you need, let’s look at the exact process of moving a wood stove step-by-step.
For better clarity, we will break up this part into four sections:
- moving a wood stove in the same room;
- moving a wood stove to another room in the house;
- moving a wood stove to another home;
- moving a wood stove downstairs
Starting with the first…
How to move a wood stove in the same room
Changing your wood stove’s location in the same room is the easiest of the three scenarios for obvious reasons. Here, you will need just one helper.
Below are the steps involved:
- Assuming you’ve already decided on the stove’s new spot, start by clearing the path between the old location and where you want the burner to go. Then, take the plywood sheets and lay them on this path. Place the sheets continuously without leaving any gaps on the floor since you’ll basically be sliding the wood stove between the two spots, and you don’t want to get your floors damaged.
- Working with your assistants, have one person incline the stove slightly backwards such that you are able to slide a plywood sheet underneath the wood stove. All feet need to be firmly on top of the plywood sheet before you can start moving it, so you’ll likely work this step bit-by-bit.
- Once the entire stove is on top of the plywood sheet, begin sliding it across the room towards your desired spot. Take your time here. Don’t worry, plywood is fairly smooth so there is little resistance to warrant much effort on your part.
- Once you reach the spot where you want to place your stove, get the burner off the last plywood sheet by sliding its back-end off the sheet slowly so that the rear legs touch the floor first. Note where you want the wood stove door to be facing before getting the stove off the plywood sheets.
- Finally, finish by reconnecting the chimney pipe(s). Yes, it’s okay to remove the pipe but no need to dismantle the whole stove since there is no lifting involved per se.
How to move a wood stove to another room in the house
Moving a wood stove to another room in the house is a bit challenging but provided there are no stairs involved, you can get it done fairly easily if you do not rush the process.
We want to assume you’re not moving it up or down the stairs, are you? If so, we would recommend hiring experienced professionals to do it for you. While you may want to avoid the moving bill by opting for a DIY, it might turn out to be a crazy expensive venture should you accidentally drop the stove and destroy it or cause damage to your house.
Otherwise, follow these steps to move wood stove to a different room:
- Start by wrapping your wood burner with moving blankets. You can use tape to tie the loose ends (literally speaking) since you’ll be wrapping the stove completely before moving it.
- Bring in your dolly and position it next to the wood stove. The front of the moving dolly (the flat part where you place the load) should be facing the front of the stove;
- Next, place the wood stove on the dolly. Have one person tilt the stove backwards such that it’s standing on two legs. Then slide the moving dolly underneath the stove and push the dolly as far as possible.
- The next step will require all the energy you and your assistants can summon. The number of helpers required will depend on the size of the wood stove, but at least three people (more if it’s an extra-large model) are necessary to make the process less strenuous. Have one person hold the dolly, then the rest to lift the back end of the wood burner slightly off the ground such that the dolly is able to slide underneath the stove wholly.
- Once the wood stove is on top of the moving dolly, adjust it so that it’s well positioned to avoid tipping over.
- Next, get your rope or straps and secure the wood stove in place;
- Push the loaded dolly to the room where you want to put your wood stove. If it’s a large stove, you can have your helpers prop the stove on the sides as you wheel it to keep it steady.
- Once you reach the destination room, unload the stove from the moving dolly by following the loading steps in reverse order.
- Lastly, adjust the stove once you have it in your desired spot, then proceed to remove the moving blankets before finally plugging the chimney pipe(s) back in.
How to move a wood stove to another house
Moving a wood stove to another house is not easy by all means, especially if we are talking about a giant log burner.
If you decide to do it yourself, it’s important to know how to move a heavy wood stove the right way.
First, you have to get the stove from its current location and take it to the waiting truck. You will use a dolly to do this, so basically you will follow the same steps we described for moving a wood stove to a different room; only this time, you will be wheeling it outside to the waiting vehicle.
Once the burner is outside, proceed with the following steps:
- Load the wood stove onto the waiting truck. If you have a hydraulic lift gate, perfect. Your work will be much easier and safer. If not, you will need several helpers to do this (at least four). Have two people pull the loaded dolly up as another two push it from behind.
- Once you’ve managed to successfully get the wood stove into the waiting vehicle, use your rope or straps to tie up the stove to the side of the vehicle. We recommend loading the wood stove along with the furniture dolly and let it sit there during transit so as to make it easier to unload once you reach your destination.
- At the new location, unload the wood stove from the truck by following the above loading steps backwards, right until the point you wheel your wood-burning stove into your new home and place it in your preferred spot.
Again, if there are stairs involved, we recommend hiring professional movers to move a wood stove for you.
How to Move Wood Stove Downstairs
Moving a wood stove downstairs is a big challenge. As far as the equipment goes, feel free to add stair edge guards to the initial list we shared earlier. These will protect the stair edges from damage.
If you have carpeted stairs, you can also throw in self-adhesive plastic film to protect the stairs. Old blankets or rugs work great for wood or marble stairs. However, you can always use floor runners to cover the stairs as an alternative. These work great for all kinds of stairs.
Don’t forget to secure any soft floor coverings with plastic wrap or painter’s tape. Plastic covers, for their part, need to have non-slip surfaces.
Still with regard to preparations, wrap blankets around railings and banisters to prevent scratches and dents, as well as minimize the risk of breakage on moving day. Secure them in place using packing tape.
Assuming you’ve done all the preparations and loaded your wood stove on the moving dolly, it’s time to move the wood stove down the stairs. It’s important to have a person or two in front to support the loaded dolly as one person (on top of the stairs) holds the dolly from behind.
When moving a wood stove downstairs, tilt the dolly backwards once you reach the top of the stairway as keeping the dolly upright shifts weight to the front, making it easy to lose control and send everything tumbling down. So, make sure the weight of the stove rests on the back of the furniture dolly throughout.
As you wheel it downwards, rather than pushing down, pull the dolly slightly towards you and take it down one step at a time as your assistant(s) provides some gentle resistance from the front.
Keep going slowly until you reach the last step, all the while making sure both the rear wheels of the dolly reach the edge of each step and down the next one simultaneously.
Moving a wood stove is always daunting, especially when moving it between different houses or any place with stairs involved.
We still insist on leaving it to moving professionals, unless you’re just swapping locations inside the house. However, if you decide to pursue a DIY approach, the steps we’ve discussed here should ensure you have your bases covered.
On the bright side, moving a wood stove is not something you have to do on a daily basis.