Small spaces come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and in this case uses as well. You don't have to live TINY full-time to realize the benefits of small spaces! Whether it's a man cave, writing room, small backyard office or like our featured customer a tiny guest cabin—many can benefit from small space! Read below to see what inspired this beautiful backyard guest cabin!
How did your adventure in tiny living begin?
Jim and I knew from the start that we wanted to live in Montana. We both worked for companies in Minneapolis, so when the opportunity for a career change and location change presented itself, we took it. The kids were young, and we were flexible for schooling, so our adventure began. While we like the idea of living off-grid and downsizing, we still live in a regular sized house, and it meets our needs well.
So, you have another building where you put the stove?
We have 25 acres and there was a perfect spot on the property for a tiny cabin for guests, as our regular sized home doesn’t have a guest room. We worked together to build a cute sleeping cabin, using mostly recycled materials. We found old roofing metal, barn wood, windows, and doors, etc.
We built an 8’ by 20’ cabin, and in Montana, every cabin must have a heat source.
How did you settle on a Dwarf stove?
We chose the Dwarf 5kW stove with tall legs. I’d looked everywhere for a good small stove with low clearances, and my search led me to Tiny Wood Stove.
I wanted to buy a stove from a US company, and the only thing close to the Dwarfs are the Hobbit stoves, and the similar marine stoves from Europe. I liked the Dwarf product and the opportunity to add an oven. I also appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit that I saw in the company’s founders.
How was your experience receiving and installing the stove?
The stove came in a crate, and I was able to assemble it myself without any problems. A couple of the fire bricks were broken upon arrival, and a replacement set arrived just a few days after I sent an email. The customer service has been outstanding all along the way!
We had a contractor friend help us with the installation, and used 6-inch stove pipe with an adapter, which was recycled from the Habitat for Humanity store.
The stove is sitting on some granite pieces that were saved from a friends kitchen remodel. We mounted recycled corrugated metal roofing behind the stove with an inch of space behind the metal. This heat shield stays surprisingly cool when there’s a fire going.
We have followed recommended clearances, and are pleased with the efficiency. It burns clean and hot.
How has your experience been using the stove?
The 5kW is the perfect size, and we have found it easy to get a good fire going. We’ve had good luck in learning to adjust the venting to keep a nice low burn for hours. We have a ton of small kindling wood, and that’s been perfect for burning. We realize now that we probably could’ve gone with the 3 or 4 kW, as inevitably we have to crack some windows to cool off, even in the winter. It cranks this space. I like the option of adding a cook stove, so that’s really the main reason we bought the 5kW.
Our guests have enjoyed the cozy cabin (and the outhouse).
We do plan to build another cabin on the property, as our out-of-town guests have taken to the accommodations quite nicely, and we will undoubtedly have another Dwarf stove in our lives.
Tiny house living is not for everyone, but Jim and Nikki's cabin certainly carries on the spirit of the movement. From the recycled materials to the off-grid style, this guest suite - now equipped with a cozy Dwarf stove - is friendly to the earth and to its travelers.
Interested in a small stove for your tiny space? Contact us on the form below and we can help you sort through all the details in getting the perfect stove and installation configuration for your unique space!