The Cost To Repoint a Chimney

All you need to know about the costs associated with repointing a chimney including materials, labour and time frames.

Repointing Chimney

What the job entails

The pointing is the finished cement between brick courses on a wall or chimney. The costs to repoint a chimney or wall will ultimately depend on the size of the wall/chimney stack and the height/access. If the pointing is left to decay and crumble over time, this can lead to penetrating damp and ultimately expensive structural problems, so it is best to get any repointing done as soon as possible to avoid further expense down the line.

If you are considering having your chimney repointed, you probably have a leak and are hoping that repointing will solve the problem. However, you should also inspect (and replace if necessary) the chimney pot and flaunching, the lead around the chimney base and tiles around the chimney and under the flashing. If you need scaffold erecting to do the pointing (most houses will), it may be worth considering any other jobs which may need doing in the near future which could make use of the scaffold such as any fascia, soffit or guttering work.

The most difficult part of repointing a chimney is gaining safe access to the chimney and working at height. This will almost always involve hiring a scaffold company to provide safe access. Once you have access you should also inspect the flaunching on top of the chimney and remove/replace if in poor condition. Then the old pointing should be raked out and any loose dust removed with a brush. Do not be tempted to just have a thin layer of cement applied over the top of the old pointing, this is a false economy and will not last, peeling off after just a few months.

For a job to last and stand up to the British weather, it is paramount that the old cement is raked out to around an inch deep or more. Then the new cement can then be pointed into the brick course. Repointing can be done as a DIY project as long as you are comfortable working at height and have the necessary safe access using a scaffold or access tower. No planning permission is required.

Things can always go wrong when working at height, increasing the cost of the job. So ensure any company you hire has the experience and qualifications to do the job properly, and, failing that, they carry adequate insurance cover for any damage or injuries caused! Your location will also affect the price as labour costs differ considerably across the North/South divide!

Costs of Repointing a Chimney

The average cost to repoint a chimney is typically around £300 for a small chimney with easy access on a low roof. A chimney on the gable end of a semi-detached house is expected to cost £800 due to scaffolding costs. Repointing a large chimney stack in the centre of a roof is the most expensive, typically around £1200. This average price can vary greatly depending on location, amount of scaffolding, type of chimney, and whether the chimney is at the end or middle of the roof, as well as if it's at eaves or ridge height.

A roofer will often charge around £150 per day in labour costs and will likely work in pairs to repoint a chimney due to safety reasons, so expect to pay around £200-£250 for two workers. The time to complete the work will depend on the size of the chimney and where the chimney is located. A small chimney will take up to one day, whereas a larger chimney will take on average 2-3 days.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a chimney specialist to repoint your chimney:

Chimney Type Scaffold Type Avg. Cost Duration
Chimney on a Bungalow None £250 1-2 days
Chimney on the side of a Semi-Detached House Scaffold Tower £600 2 days
Chimney in the middle of a Semi-Detached House Scaffold over Ridge £1000 2-3 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for hiring a roofer to repoint a chimney on the gable side of a semi-detached house - Total Cost: £600

5%

Materials
£30

50%

Tradesmen
£300

45%

Scaffolding
£270

FAQ's

The price will vary depending on many factors, but on average, a very small chimney on a low roof (such as a bungalow so no scaffolding required) with easy access would cost around £250 to £300. But for a standard sized chimney on a semi-detached home requiring scaffold for safe access, expect to pay in the region of £600-£700.

Repointing a large chimney stack located in the centre of the roof is the most expensive of all. This type of job requires extensive scaffolding up from the ground level and from the edge of the roof across the tiles to the chimney. The scaffolding cost will vary and really does depend on the height of the roof, but a typical quote including scaffolding would be around £1000. Access to the chimney is the primary factor in the cost and access issues can really bump up the quote. The price of materials (sand and cement) is negligible by comparison.
Most quotes will include the erection of required scaffold or access towers to the chimney, inspection of the chimney cement flaunching and replacement if it’s in poor condition, raking out of existing cement between brick courses to about 1 inch depth, inspection of all chimney leadwork and any necessary minor repairs, new cement mix pushed into brick course, new cement cap, dismantling of scaffold and removal of all waste.
The quickest jobs, for example a small chimney on a bungalow, would take less than half a day as no scaffolding should be required. A typical job with scaffolding will take a full day, perhaps with some work to finish off on the second day. These timescales do not include the scaffold erection/dismantling time and assume no problems of course, other works which may need doing such as the flaunching, lead flashing and roof tiles that need replacing, will take longer and obviously increase the cost of the job too (though often roofers will include minor repairs to flaunching and lead flashing in the quote as long as they do not take too much time).
The brickwork and pointing on an exposed chimney is subject to heavy winds and driving rain so the cement will begin to fail eventually. Much earlier than other mortar located in less exposed locations on the property as chimneys really get the worst of the British weather! As the cement starts to fail it will get washed out and the bricks will at some point collapse onto each other. Once a chimney has deteriorated to this extent, it is impossible to repoint and would require to be completely rebuilt at a much greater cost.

In addition, bricks can become loose and lift off the top of the chimney in high winds, should these bricks damage a neighbour’s property or injure somebody, you will be liable! There is also an increased risk of penetrating amp which could eventually cause structural damage to the property and damp patches internally. Sticking your head in the sand and doing nothing will not help, it is cheaper in the long run to have the chimney repointed as soon as possible!
We do not recommend DIY enthusiasts to clamber around roofs doing repointing, however there are no laws against it, planning permission is not required and Building Control do not normally get involved. But unless you have experience with this kind of work, are comfortable working at heights and have access to all the correct safety equipment – leave it to the professionals!