Re: Modifying fireplace to fit wood stove
We've got just a plain wood stove - never had one before. I like it, and I like what it does to my utility bills. One thing I do not like about it is that the fan has a blower to improve efficiency. In itself not a bad thing, but the people that installed it (last owners) put it too close to the wall. If the power went out (as it does from time to time) the wall got hot. We have since moved it out from the wall, and put a heat shield between the wall and stove. Really worried me about power going out in the night while we were sleeping and the stove toasting the wall.
Two types of stove nowadays - catalytic converter and those without. We have a "those without". Don't have experience with catalytic converters to compare, but like my stove just fine. I understand those converters are expensive and need to be replaced from time to time. Something to consider - how are you going to find a platinum coated mechravence (and afford it) after the mfg's have moved on to other stove models.
Gotta agree with advice about keeping chimney/stove pipe clean. Don't know if you run a stove pipe through existing chimney or just use the chimney, but our stove pipe is easy to keep clean. Just like punching a shotgun barrel. Plus, it can be disassembled.
Best of luck to you. You're gonna like the added efficiency of a stove over a fireplace.