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Introducing Hearthstone - WarmStone is pleased to announce we are now a dealer for the Hearthstone line of wood and gas burning stoves.

Earn up to $500 in Tax Credits

The Alternative Energy System Credit is a tax credit against income tax liability for the cost of purchasing and installing an energy system in a Montana resident's principal home that uses: a low emission wood or biomass combustion device such as a pellet or wood stove.  The credit cannot exceed $500 per tax payer in home.

Montana Living Magazine article featuring a Tulikivi fireplace installed by Warmstone. 

Case Study: Existing Fireplace Retrofit

We are often asked if a Tulikivi can be added to an existing fireplace. Existing fireplaces can often be retrofitted to accommodate a Tulikivi depending on the existing fireplace structure and flue.


In this project an inefficient heatilator style fireplace was replaced with a customized Tulikivi TU 2200. First, the old fireplace's hearth and stone veneer were removed, leaving only the original block work, flue and sub-hearth. The existing flue was then re-lined with an 8” stainless flue liner. The sub-hearth was reinforced with re-bar and concrete to handle the weight of the soapstone mass. Stone by stone the Tulikivi was built creating the unique contra-flow channels that gently heat the soapstone. Firing the Tulikivi for a few hours every day independently heats the residence during the winter months.


To have a planner look at your home's fireplace situation please contact us at 1-406-333-4383.

Dream House "Off the Grid"

02/11/2008 - By Helmut Schmidt

Reprinted with permission of Forum Communciations Company. Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, N.D. - By the end of February, Missy Borgen will likely be off the grid. The power grid, that is. Borgen will own a new home that doesn't draw a single watt of energy from a power line, much less have a power line near it. Every aspect of the home, which sits on 40 acres about six miles south of Horace, is designed to be "green," or environmentally friendly. If energy prices keep rising, it could also make neighbors green with envy. "This is my break from the stick-and-frame conventional" home, said Borgen, an anesthetist at Fargo's Innovis Health. "This is my dream home."


Borgen, 45, who is now selling her north Fargo home, said she has researched environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient home designs for nearly a decade. She decided not to tie an electrical line to the house as a power backup when she was given an estimate of $25,000. For that kind of money, she said, "I could buy a lot of solar panels or whatever else I needed."
The home uses a sophisticated combination of photovoltaic panels mounted in an array that follows the sun, a small wind turbine, and a propane generator for backup - just in case - to generate electricity, said contractor Bill Worth of Fargo's Worth Construction.


Powering up

The power is stored in a bank of 12-volt batteries, with power converters to provide 120- or 240-volt power for lights, TVs and appliances, Worth said. Hot water is provided by a passive solar panel system mounted on the roof, he said. "It's totally off the grid. There's no power within a mile in any direction," Worth said. Heat through the North Dakota winter (and spring and fall) will come primarily from a handsome gray Finnish-made soapstone furnace and oven that divides the kitchen and dining area from the living room, Worth said.

Two passive solar panels built into the south wall of the house have fans to blow sun-warmed air through the abode.

The large south-facing windows are glazed to let maximum light into rooms so the sun can heat the red concrete floors and warm the home during the day, Worth said. The home's other windows are much smaller and energy efficient to conserve energy, he said.


"The first year is going to be a big learning curve" to figure out how to properly control temperatures, Borgen said.

The house is super-insulated. The walls are 13 inches thick, with rigid foam panels on each side of poured concrete walls that extend from the foundation to the roofline, Worth said. On the second floor, the peaked ceilings and walls were sprayed with a special flexible foam insulation providing 10 inches of insulation.


A berm that's up to 5 feet high in spots shelters and insulates three sides of the home, he said. Rainwater runoff will be directed to a reservoir just southeast of the house, and will be used to irrigate a large vegetable garden, Borgen said. Water used for laundry, dishes and washing her three Australian shepherds - also called gray water - will be recycled during warm weath er for irrigating flowers and an orchard that Borgen started planting last spring.


Over time, she intends to make her acreage into a hobby farm, starting with chickens, turkeys and ducks. "Fowl are a good pairing with an orchard," she said, because they clean up dropped fruit and prevent the spread of insects.


Cost not typical

Ground was broken on the house in August. It will have about 3,280 finished square feet of space between the first and second floors, Worth said. Another roughly 2,600 square feet is available for finishing over the triple garage, he said.

Neither Worth nor Borgen would talk about construction costs. Worth said the prices of the passive solar system or paying for three-quarters of a mile of piping to bring in rural water make the cost of building Borgen's new home anything but typical.

If electrical lines are strung to the area for other subdivisions, Borgen can sell excess energy to a power company, speeding up her payback on the original investment, Worth said. "If energy costs keep going the way they are, then it doesn't look like such an expensive investment," he said. "It's an environmental choice," which does not provide an instant or even a quick payback, he said.

The New Warmstone Showroom

By Karen Reinhart


WarmStone Fireplaces and Designs' new location has a colorful history. Ethnic food has been served, soft drinks bottled, clothes sold, people sheltered and more all within the same walls. here's the most interesting tidbit: the building was once an ice house. Apparently, ice blocks were cut from what is now Sacajewea Park's lagoon near the Yellowstone River. They were hauled by horse-drawn wagons, stored in the basement, and then, cut upstairs in what is now the Tulikivi showroom. today's next-door business, Crazy Mountain Cabinetry, once housed the rest of the story: horses and wagons that delivered the ice around town. The building's purpose has swung from one end of the thermometer to the other!


WarmStone Fireplaces and Designs' new Tulikivi showroom expertly matches the simple radiant beauty of their soapstone masonry heaters. The warm, earthy colors of the original brick walls, the acid-etched and stained cement floors, the natural hues of the timber ram structure, and the brown over-stuffed leather chairs arranged comfortably beneath are all welcoming. The room perfectly reflects the mood that one is instantly propelled into when cozied up to a Tulikivi. I'm referring to the "ahhh" felling - made possible because of the delicious radiant heat emanating from one or more models of wood burning Tulikivi. Simply put, visiting WarmStone Fireplaces and Designs in Livingston, Montana is a pleasurable experience. I lingered.


The success of the showroom was due to the contribution of many creative people, mostly local or regional artisans. Like a home has many winsome attributes that contribute to the comfortable whole, WarmStone Fireplaces and Designs' soapstone stoves were just part of the offerings here. Beautiful hand-crafted lighting fixtures from Livingston's Fire Mountain Forge are illuminated there, ranging from artful wall sconces to hanging pendants and chandeliers. Widely-renowned local artist Robert Spannring's new oil paintings softly anchored the large room with beautiful Montana scenes. if you fall in love with one or more of them, for a price, you can hang them on your own wall. Do you enjoy the ambience of the showroom? Designer Catherine Lane of Catherine Lane Interiors in Livingston can do the same thing for your home. She conceived of the lovely wainscoting, the palate of colors and more. Hinmatons Hisler, Tektonics Design Group, helped choose the island finishes. Thor arnold of Thor Design in Bozeman gave Ron the idea of using a timber frame structure in the showroom. Architect Rann Haight in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho took his idea and conceived of a design that served to create an intimate atmosphere at Warmstone. Timberframer Adam Riley and Teton TimberFrame in Driggs, Idaho expertly executed Rann's idea. (Read more on Adam and his new tulikivi in this newsletter.) and last but not least, Joel Reinholtz of Crazy Mountain Cabinetry designed the attractive cabinets that house the kitchen appliances (purchased locally from Truex Furniture & Appliance), and the roll-along island.


President Ron Pihl co-owns the business with Jerry Jessen and Phil Bullard. Together, they work as a team to make your dream of owning a Tulikivi a reality. no under one roof, the jobs go more smoothly. Jerry is now the project manager. he handles the details of the installation and makes sure that everything is ready before masons and soapstone crates arrive at your door. Phil is an experienced masonry heater installer and heads the install. The business' new name reflects the addition of architectural designer Sean Johnston. Roxanne Thomas is WarmStone's new office employee; you will likely hear her pleasant voice when you call.


Karen Reinhart of Paradise Valley, Montana, is a Yellowstone Park ranger, willow basket weaver, and freelance writer.

Stone from the bedrock of Finland warms the hearth

Reprinted from the Billings Gazette

Stone from the bedrock of Finland warms the hearth

Of The Gazette Staff


LIVINGSTON - Stone is a metaphor for all things cold.


At first glance then, Ron Pihl's WarmStone Fireplaces and Designs is a contradiction. But Pihl's stone stoves invite one to cuddle up to a solid material that radiates heat like an electric blanket.


The stone comes from the frosted earth of Finland, and its heat efficiency and comfort have the Park County mason's business "just going nuts." "It has been crazy lately" said Pihl. "They have seen the one at Chico and are like moths drawn to the flame."


They are customers for his stoves and fireplaces built from Finnish soapstone, the densest stone in the world, he said. The material is about 3 billion years old and consists of 50 percent talc and 50 percent magnesite. A wood fire within the stove for three to four hours will release heat for up to 24, he said. 'It burns wood the most efficiently. End of story;" Pihl said.


The technology is old, but has been revived by a family-owned company called Tulikivi, which is firestone in Finnish. The stone, combined with the clean line of Finnish design, is a combination hard to resist, Pihl said. He noted that his company's new showroom in Livingston will include some stoves designed by Eliel Sarrinen, a noted Finnish architect, who worked in Helsinki and the United States in the first half of the 20th century.


Pihl's journey is a stone mason began in West Yellowstone in 1974. He migrated to Alaska and back and in 1980 he was living in the Paradise Valley south of here, working as a masonry contractor. "I started reading about masonry heaters back then, and I talked people into- letting me build them."


Tulikivi began marketing in the United States in 1991, and Pihl became a dealer for the Finnish group that year; in 1995, a distributor for it in the Rocky Mountain region. He has been to Finland five times, he said, and will return again this spring for "tribal day," a gathering of the firm's representatives.


The soapstone has been quarried for hundreds of years, he said. There are deposits in Russia and Virginia, but attempts to keep that US. quarry going failed in the early 1990s. The major deposits are in Finland and Brazil, the latter source used more for counter tops, he said.


Demand for the creations have taken off in the past couple years, Pihl said, and it has become economical for the dealers to handle the stoves that come by ship and rail from Finland.


The stoves come in 43,000- pound shipments via ocean containers that arrive on the East Coast and are transferred to rail cars. For the past three or four years, the containers were unloaded in Billings and trucked to Livingston. Beginning in May 2005, the containers went to Seattle and the stove components were trucked back to Billings.


Shipping costs are a source of consternation for him as the price of fuel has doubled the transportation bill. Time for orders to come from Finland now take about nine weeks instead of six. That is because of the increased demand for the stoves, Pihl said.


A rerouting of the containers to Denver will knock a couple thousand dollars off the transportation cost, he said. "That helps, but does not solve the problem," he said. "I'm not totally discouraged yet".


Pihl actually is optimistic, as his staff of six, including himself, will have one or two more employees this year to keep up with the demand.

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