I’m in my 4th season of wood heat and did most of the installation myself, with help from a contractor friend in putting in the chimney. I splurged a bit on the stove (Woodstock soapstone) because it is very efficient and beautiful.
I also had a lean-to built on the side of the barn for wood storage. Almost all the lumber came from a spruce tree I cut down and sawed to lengths, had transported to a sawmill to custom cut rafters and beams. I hired a couple Amish guys to do the building. They did good work cheaply.
I built the pad to put under the stove a lot more cheaply than buying one. it isn’t difficult.
I buy loads of logs locally for about $700-750. A load contains about seven full cords. I cut, split and stack it myself. This year I bought a log splitter because my old splitter is in college now.
I try to have at least a years worth of wood cut and stacked in the lean-to at all times. That ensures that I’m always burning well seasoned wood. I move most of a winter’s wood from the lean-to to the front porch before the heating season begins.
I had a heavy gauge triple wall stainless chimney fabricated by a local Amish fabricator for about half what I would have paid for an inferior chimney from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Then I ran it straight up through the center of the house about 22 ft. I would advise not running a chimney out through a wall and then up. I always have a good draft. Never any puff back.
I live in western NY where we have pretty cold winters. I’ve already paid off my investment in what oil heat would have cost. I could harvest timber off my property if it comes down to that, but buying logs is cheap enough and a lot easier on my aging bones.