Can you put the chimney in the center of the cabin and use it to heat water?

by iriscutforth
(Toronto, Canada)

Replica of the Lincoln's saddlebag style log cabin in Illinois

Replica of the Lincoln's saddlebag style log cabin in Illinois

Question: I was thinking of building a cabin and placing a stone fireplace in the middle to divide the dining room from the living room. I also wanted to do it in such a way so that I could line three of the four walls with a metal box which would be stoned all around on the outside.

The metal box would be filled with cold water to siphon off for showers.

Would building the fireplace in the middle be a problem for the roof if I built the chimney higher than normal?
Do you know if any manufacturer already has such a metal box on the market for a cabin?

Banjoe answers:

If I were you, I would look into a masonry stove. They are extremely efficient and can be designed to heat water. I had a book at one point for do-it-yourselfers on how to build your own, though I would be tempted to hire a stone mason for that job.

If you go to the Masonry Heater Association site, you can take a look at their gallery to get ideas of all different styles of masonry stoves. The page you want is:

Whatever design you decide on, be assured that many cabin builders have put the heat source in the middle. Saddlebag cabins were designed with double pens, but closer together than a dogtrot cabin (with the breezeway between) so that both pens could share a central chimney.

Saddlebag style cabins are not the easiest to constuct, so if you are newer to building, you might want to go with a single pen and use the stove/chimney as a divider, like you mentioned.

I'd love to see pictures of the finished project!

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Build a Cabin Questions.