There are many ways to increase the value of your home. For example, you can create an add-on room to increase the space, add energy-efficient appliances, upgrade your HVAC system, install smart technology, or remodel your entire landscaping. However, you can also install a wood stove to give your property value a boost.
Depending on where you live, you might not be able to install a wood stove, so check with your local laws first. However, if you’re able to install one, here’s why you should.
1. Wood-burning stoves save money on electricity
Many home buyers look for homes that will save money on heating and cooling costs. In rural areas, wood stoves are ideal. If you’re trying to sell your home in the country and you don’t have a wood stove, you probably won’t get high offers.
Central heating and cooling are expensive
What was your last electricity bill? $200? $400? $700? Depending on the size of a home and the number of people in a household, electricity bills can be through the roof. It’s not uncommon for monthly heating and cooling bills to top $500 for a standard 1500-square-foot home.
A wood stove is much cheaper to operate than electric heat and air conditioning. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for a quality wood-burning stove. Once you buy your wood stove, you only need to pay for maintenance and fuel. If you buy a pellet stove, you’ll buy wood pellets. If you buy a standard stove, you’ll buy split wood.
Pellets usually cost more than split wood because they need to be processed and packaged, but it’s still cheaper than electric heat. Split wood, however, can be extremely cheap or even free. A full cord of split firewood usually costs around $175 green or $250 seasoned and dry.
While you could blow through a cord of wood in a month, that’s unnecessary. Many people make a cord of wood last an entire winter by insulating their home and distributing the heat with brickwork, fans, and vents.
Another way to make your firewood last longer is to use a soapstone wood stove. Soapstone retains heat and distributes the heat slower than a pure cast iron stove. You can cut down on the amount of wood you burn by around 50%.
2. Wood stoves are aesthetically pleasing
There’s something about a wood stove that makes a home feel cozy, even if the wood stove isn’t burning. Some people are reminded of camping trips where they spent time in a cabin as a kid. Other people just like being able to warm up next to an open flame.
Regardless of why wood stoves appeal to certain people, they are considered an amenity in the country.
3. A wood stove supports off-grid living
If you’ve gone to great lengths to make your home livable off-grid, either partially or entirely, having a wood stove will make your home more valuable to potential buyers.
Many off-grid homes rely on solar power for electricity. The sun is a wonderful source of electricity, but unless you have a battery for storing power, you’ll only be able to use electricity during the day. Having a wood stove makes it possible to heat a solar-powered home all night long without using any electricity and regardless of whether the sun is out.
Buyers are willing to pay more for a solar-powered home equipped with a wood stove to supplement where solar falls short.
4. Solar power isn’t cheap like wood burning
Installing solar power can increase your home’s value by around 4%. Say your home is valued at $960,000. If you install a standard 6-kilowat system, you’ll add approximately $24,000 to your home’s value. That sounds like a great deal until you look at the cost of installing a solar power setup. After the increase in value, you’ll either break even or spend more money than the additional value.
Solar power installations aren’t cheap. According to the Center for Sustainable Energy, installing a residential solar power system can cost between $15,000 and $25,000. That’s a huge investment for something that can’t provide power when the sun goes down. If you want to install a battery storage system, expect to pay another $5,000 to $15,000.
While solar is fantastic, it’s not a good value-increasing strategy.
Wood-burning stoves are timeless for a reason
There’s a reason wood-burning stoves have been around for hundreds of years – they work and they’re affordable. While they do require yearly cleaning and inspections, they’re easy to maintain, which makes wood-burning stoves a great way to generate more money for your property.