All you need to know about having a wood-burning stove installed, including costs of materials, costs of labour and time frames.
The average cost of installing a wood-burning stove can range from £1,500 to £2,700. The price depends on the type of stove you choose, if your home has a chimney, hearth or backplate, and what labourer you choose for installation.
There are three types of a stoves to select from:
Depending on what type of stove you’ve chosen, an average installation will cost around £1,500 to £2,700. Other factors can have an impact on the overall cost. For example, if your home doesn’t have a chimney, this can significantly alter the price, as you’ll have to install a chimney system which will cost, on average, an extra £2,000. Even if you have a chimney, you may need it lined and swept before installation, again costing extra.
|Average installation cost with chimney||£1700|
|Average installation cost without chimney||£2200|
The process of installing a wood-burning stove varies in every home. It’s based on your requirements and any additional equipment and renovation needed. Here’s a breakdown of what you may need to budget for:
|Additional Costs||Average Price|
|Chimney sweep and liner||£950|
|Chimney system (home without chimney)||£2,000|
|HETAS installation and certificate||£300|
Individual costs to install a wood-burning stove in a two-storey house with an existing chimney - Total Price: £1700
Time frames are different for every project, but for a standard installation of a stove will take 1 - 2 days, where a full renovation can take 5 - 7 days.
A twin wall flue is used when there’s no existing chimney. It creates a chimney system to remove toxic gases from the log burner to the outside. It’s manufactured from metal piping (available in chrome or black finish) and costs around £70 a metre.
A full renovation consists of everything: chimney sweep, chimney liner, twin wall flue, hearth & stove installation, and clean-up. This will take longer and cost more.
|Flexi flue liner||1 day|
|Twin wall (bungalow)||1 day|
|Twin wall (house)||1 – 2 days|
|Full renovation and installation||5 – 7 days|
Labour costs vary based on location and type of installation, but you can expect charges of £300 - £1000. The average day rates for a specialist to install a wood burner will be between £120 - £200.
If your home has a chimney, it might need a liner. It needs to be installed into the existing flue, as it prevents carbon monoxide (which is toxic), from entering your home by directing it outside. Your chimney may also need to be cleaned before use. This creates a great deal of dust, so your tradesperson may seal doors and use dust sheets to cover all furniture.
If your home has no chimney, a twin wall flue needs to be installed through a wall and will run outside the property to the roof. (Again, this will create dust and debris.) You have to inform Building Control before installation.
When placing your wood-burning stove, you have to keep in mind the distance of combustible materials. Most models have a guide in the instruction manual of how far away it needs to be from walls and other surfaces. A hearth will need to be installed to the floor if the stove is not being placed inside an existing fireplace recess.
After the work is complete, you may need a price from a plasterer to skim the walls if they’re damaged.
Here's how you can calculate what size stove you need:
|4-6 KW||Small wood-burning stove|
|7-9 KW||Medium wood-burning stove|
|10-15 KW||Large wood-burning stove|
Other factors to consider is how well your home is insulated, whether the room is open plan, and what temperature you want the space to be.
Cheap log burners won’t have the same life expectancy as expensive versions which means you may have to replace them a lot sooner. They’ll only last around 2 – 6 years, mainly due to manufacturing. Cheaper log burners are made from welded steel and very thin cast iron. The higher-quality log burners are made from rolled steel and heavy cast iron.
Low to mid-range stoves may need a constructional hearth, but with a more expensive stove, you get away with having a non-combustible hearth. Replacement parts for cheap log burners aren't usually available, so if it breaks, you may have a hard time fixing it if a part needs replacing.
If you’re thinking about installing a double-sided log burner, you will need to take in to account the extra cost of fuelling it. They can be used to heat two rooms and can have an output of over 20kW, so they’ll need more wood to burn, costing more to run.
Chimney sweeping is not a profession of the past and is still needed in the modern-day to prevent flue fires and remove the hazard of toxic emissions. So, regular chimney sweeping will help you keep a safe and efficient fireplace and costs approximately £50 a time.
It's advised that you clean your chimney once a year, or after a long period of disuse (after summer etc.). A good tip is to clean the chimney before a long period of disuse too. The more often you use a chimney, the more often it will need cleaning. Here's some more information on what's involved with chimney sweeping.
In addition to the cost of annual chimney sweeping (£50), an inspection by a certified professional is recommended at least once a year. This is usually carried out after a long period of use and costs around £40-£100.
You can self-clean the stove by removing ash when needed and cleaning the interior with a wire brush. Glass requires cleaning on a regular basis as tar deposits can build up over time. Make sure to check for any cracks, rusts, holes, or damaged seals.
Running costs can be non-existent if you’re able to obtain free wood within your area. However, if you need to purchase wood, here’s an idea of how much it could cost you:
|Kiln-Dried logs||£135 per cubic metre|
|Seasoned logs||£116 per cubic metre|
|Briquettes||£150 per cubic metre|
|Wood pellets||£120 per cubic metre|
On average, stove owners use about three to four cubic metres of wood annually, cost of wood will depend on your location and merchant you’re buying from. Freshly cut logs are cheaper than dried at around £100, but you won’t have a high heat output if used.
The average life expectancy for a wood burning stove is between 10 – 20 years. This is determined by if you’ve bought a low, mid or high-quality range stove, and also if you’ve kept up with maintenance.
|Low-range Stove (£200 -£500)||2-6 years|
|Mid-range Stove (£600 - £1200)||10 – 15 years|
|High-range Stove (£1300 +)||15 – 20 years|
Higher range stoves may even last longer than 20 years if kept clean and regularly inspected by a licensed professional.
A hearth is used to guard your home against potential fire hazards by preventing burning logs or embers from tumbling on to your floor. Therefore, wood-burning stoves have to have a hearth made of non-combustible materials, such as slate, tile and glass.
Slate hearths can cost between £60-£250. Glass can be more expensive and cost between £100-£350. Tile is the cheaper option, depending on size and style of tile, can range from £30-£100.
Depending on size and material, they cost between £70-£300.
If your stove is being placed in a fireplace recess, it'll already be sitting on a constructional hearth that's built into the floor. This type of hearth will need 150mm on each side of the stove, and 300mm in front of the stove.
If your stove is cool hearth rated, they're an exception to the rule and are suitable for 12mm superimposed hearths, which are made from manufactured slate and glass.
If you have a free-standing stove that's not being placed in a fireplace recess, you'll need a free-standing hearth which can be superimposed but has to measure 840mm by 840mm.
Chimney liners prevent toxic emissions from escaping through gaps in crumbling brickwork and ending up in your home. They also help to avoid chimney fires.
You’ll need your chimney line or re-lined if:
There are three types of chimney liners available: clay tiles, metal and cast in place liners.
Clay tiles are cheap, so if you get a chimney relined, you’ll mostly be paying for labour at around £100 - £300 per day. Clay tiles do crack overtime in heated conditions, and even if well maintained they will need replacing.
Metal liners come in stainless steel and aluminum. Stainless steel is more commonly used with wood burners. You can purchase a complete flexi-stainless steel flue lining kit for around £250; if you’re hiring an installer to complete this for you, it could cost between £100 - £300 for labour for a day’s work.
Cast-in-place liners are the most expensive. Masonry is poured down the chimney to create a fireproof, seamless liner. You can expect to pay between £1,000 to £3,000.
It’s a regulation that your installer has to comply with, and if your chimney is eroding or defected, it will need to be lined. Here's some more information about chimney lining, what the job entails and the costs involved.
A multi-fuel stove can burn not only wood but coal and smokeless fuel. It has a riddling plate for coal to sit on, letting air reach it from the base so the coal can ignite. Wood burns best in a firebox, where the air circulates from above.
Even though multi-fuel stoves can use multiple fuels, it's not ideal for burning wood efficiently. If your primary source of fuel is going to be wood, it'd be best to buy a wood-burning stove. But, if you're planning on using wood and coal regularly, a multi-fuel stove would be a great addition to your home. There’s not much difference in price between a wood stove and a multi-fuel, and you can expect to pay between £430 to £2,200.
Yes, ventilation is vital for a stove to combust and evacuate the flue gases, to otherwise it will not work. If there's no ventilation, the stove won't light, and smoke will empty into your home. For the smoke to empty in to the chimney or flue, there needs to be an air source. Many stoves have somewhere to attach an external air supply, and can obtain kits to connect to the stove.
A vent, ideally, needs to be fitted near the stove and can be installed in the floor, ceiling or wall. Make sure it's placed at an angle or in a way that it can't be obstructed by debris.
HETAS, (Heating Equipment and Testing Approval Scheme) are a company who will certify that work has complied with building regulations when installing wood-burning stoves. By law, you need to contact your local authorities before any installation takes place. After you have installed your stove.
Even if you have installed a stove yourself, you'll still need an inspection from HETAS for a certificate to show the stove has been installed correctly. This can cost between £120 – £300.
If installed correctly by a tradesperson, wood-burning stoves are perfectly safe within your home. Having a carbon monoxide detector is essential to detect if any carbon monoxide is entering your home. If this does occur, something is wrong with the installation of your stove, and it's recommended to stop use and seek the help of a professional.
If you have small children and your stove's exterior becomes hot-to-the-touch, purchasing a fireguard can help avoid any accidents, and cost anywhere between £10 - £100.
Yes! You can install your own wood-burning stove. You'll still need a certificate from HETAS to comply with Building Regulations, and you'll need to inform your local authorities before any installation or work takes place. It can cost up to £150 for an inspection visit; prices can vary on the location of your home.
The fitting itself isn't difficult for an avid DIYer, and there are three main things you should consider:
It’s always suggested that you hire a professional to install your stove to guarantee safety.
Before purchasing a stove, you’ll need to check if your home is situated in a ‘smoke controlled’ area. This means no wood can be burnt on any open fires or stoves, only smokeless fuel, such as briquettes. You can face a £1,000 fine if this law is broken.
You’ll also need to buy an authorised stove, as many stoves are exempt due to their high emissions. For all information on smoke-controlled areas and accepted appliances, visit the GOV website.
You can remove a wood stove yourself. As they're usually made from cast iron, it's highly recommended you ask for help from family or friends with any heavy lifting. The actual disconnection of the stove will only take a couple of minutes:
You can hire a professional to complete the removal for you, which can cost around £600 but may be safer than completing it yourself.