House Tour

House Tour
House Tour

Learn How to DIY Renovate

Learn How to DIY Renovate
Learn How to DIY Renovate

DIY Tutorials

DIY Tutorials
DIY Tutorials

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Wood Burning Stove?

DIY Installing a Wood Burner

It's that time of year again; where we're all swapping out the summer duvets for winter ones, blowing the dust off those old thick woolly jumpers and beginning to set timers for our heating to automatically come on at the crack of dawn. (Well, if you have central heating that is - we actually don't!) We'll do almost anything to stay warm and cosy! And as the temperatures start dropping across the country, wood-burners are getting lit and dominating our Instagram feeds and it gets you wondering - how much does it cost to install a wood burning stove? And should I get one? 

Good question - I wondered the same thing before we bought our wood burner too. Thing is, I couldn't find much info online about it. And even after getting a few quotes in, I had no clue how realistic or reasonable they were. So, I thought I'd share our experience, how much we paid, and what's likely to affect your quote and how much you'll pay too.

Can You Install a Wood-Burner Yourself?

Absolutely. You can do most things yourself (no, not gas), but installing a wood burner or multi-fuel stove does come with building regulation requirements, which means any new installation needs to be fully certified. AKA, you need to have it checked off with building regs, which is something you pay for. Prices vary depending on where you live, so it's worth researching and taking this into account before you decide to go ahead and get stuck in yourself. From what I've read online, this charge can be between £100 to £300 depending on your local council. If I remember rightly, our area would have been around £250. YIKEZ.

Fitting a wood-burner is relatively straightforward in theory, however, getting up onto a roof whilst carrying a giant length of steel flue liner and all the necessary tools isn't. Unless you have scaffolding, this definitely isn't for the faint-hearted. Personally, we decided to opt for a 'best of both worlds' scenario and do some of the work ourselves, and some we paid for.



can you fit a wood burner yourself?

What Costs are Involved?

So I thought I'd share a breakdown of what exactly is involved in a wood-burning stove installation and why costs can vary. If you've never had one installed before, it can be hard to understand why they cost so much and where exactly that money goes. So I'll share how we kept costs down and the parts of installation which can considerably up your quote.

Cost of the Stove

You can buy both wood-burner stoves and multi-fuel stoves from as low as £300 all the way to over £2000 and more. Needless to say, the bulk of the cost comes from the actual cost of the burner itself. How much you're willing to spend on one can considerably increase how much you'll spend overall. So, what's the difference between a £300 stove and £2000 stove? 

Well, when buying a wood-burner, here are a few things you should think about:

  • Size of Burner - A bigger stove means a bigger heat output. A bigger stove is often more expensive but may be necessary depending on how big your room is. It's worth nothing any stove over 5KW will require an additional air vent in the room and this may mean more work and more costs involved if you don't already have one.
  • Efficiency - How efficient your stove is, generally relates to how much actual heat your stove produces from the logs you put in it. The higher the efficiency, the better and the less you'll spend on fuel (logs). I personally think it's worth splurging a little more to get a decent efficient stove.
  • Designer Look - Some of the most expensive stoves have a very unique and designer look about them. The size of the viewing window is one of the more favourable features of an expensive stove. Is it worth the extra cost to you?
  • Quality - Some very cheap stoves, particularly ones bought from eBay are often imported from China. In the past, these have been known for their poor quality design, with door seals that won't last, paint that flakes and even glass that breaks. I'm not saying a £2k stove is the best quality stove out there, but it's definitely worth looking at reviews of any stove before you buy it. This site is a pretty good starting place for reviews.
  • DEFRA Approved - There are certain areas of the UK where you can only use a smokeless stove. In this case, you would need to buy a DEFRA approved stove which has been tested and certified to use in these areas.

Our stove is a 7KW Saltfire ST3. It was just under £500, well reviewed and one of the cheaper models you can buy for this size stove. We've now had it installed for two years and have had no troubles with it. For an affordable model stove, I can definitely recommend it. If you want to read about the Saltfire range, I recommend this post.

budget wood burners



Length of Flue Liner

I'm sorry to say it, but the taller your house and chimney, the longer your flue will need to be and the more it will cost. If you're going spend anywhere though, spend here. Always opt for a quality stainless steel liner, because the last thing you want is a cheap one which can easily break and become incredibly dangerous. Do your own research, (or just READ THIS ARTICLE) but I personally wouldn't scrimp on my flue.

Chimney liners come in different diameters, (usually 5" or 6") and which one you need will depend on which stove you buy. (So make sure you buy your stove first!). As a rough guide, our flexible 9m length of stainless steel flue liner cost £300. If you don't have a chimney and need an exposed twin-wall liner, this can cost even more.

Side note: some chimneys may not *require* a flue liner, providing they can be proven to meet certain requirements, however, greater risks are involved in relation to chimney fires, carbon monoxide and even smoke escaping to your neighbours house as sometimes chimneys are interconnected in any way (this is actually the case with our chimney!). 99.9% of information online strongly urges you to use a liner. And I do too.

Do You Need Scaffolding?

If scaffolding is required to install your flue liner, your quote is likely to be higher, as renting scaffolding isn't the cheapest. Some installers always request scaffolding, others are bit more fearless and are happy to just scramble up a ladder. I think a large part of whether you need scaffolding also depends on your house and how easy it is to reach the chimney. Our chimney can't be reached with a ladder, however, our installer just used a ladder at the front of the house and scrambled across the roof to the back. A neighbour further up the street, on the other hand, had scaffolding erected during their install, even though their chimney could be directly reached by a ladder. Go figure.

bird guard on chimney pot



What Type of Hearth?

The hearth is the flooring beneath your wood-burner. This also must adhere to certain building regulations as it must be fire-proof, free from combustible materials and able to withstand any falling flecks of burning logs from the burner. Which yes, does happen. So for this reason, it needs to protrude from the door of your stove a minimum of 225mm and be at least 12mm thick. I recommend reading this guide for more information and remember building regulations do change often.

The cost of a hearth can vary dramatically. If you decide to go for a solid slab of granite, you're going to need a bigger bank balance. If you can find some suitable tiles on the cheap and fit it yourself though, it's going to cost a lot less. We used a dark Cathedral Ash Limestone tiles, which cost £56 and we cut and fit it ourselves (blog post on that can be found here). Inexpensive and simple.

How to fit a limestone hearth

Lining Inside the Chimney Opening

The inside of your chimney where the wood-burner resides must also be fireproof. Until you have a wood-burner, you can't really appreciate the amount of heat it emits. It's HOT! For this reason, you can't simply install plasterboard to the inner walls, as it's likely to burn. You'll need either to line it properly with a cement board or render it. We used cement board called 'hardiebacker board' and it cost £48 to fit ourselves. (Blog post with all the info here) I know some people have plastered inside theirs, however from my own research, this is likely to crack due to the heat, so should be avoided.

If you want to save money here, you can also opt for leaving it as exposed brick and unlined, as brick obviously isn't combustible. Of course, you would need to have bricks in decent condition for it to look visually pleasing, but this could definitely save you a job and a small amount of money.

how to line the inside of a chimney behind wood burner



Does Your Chimney Require 'Opening Up'?

So all the points above assume you already have a chimney that's relatively 'log burner ready' with an opening that's big enough to fit a log burner. However this isn't always the case, your opening may be too small, or it may have been bricked up altogether. Taking a chunk of brickwork away from your chimney can seem like quite a daunting thing to do, but it's completely doable and nothing to fear. You, of course, pay to have this done with your log-burner install, but it will add an additional chunk to your quote.

We've opened three chimneys up in this house so far, so if you want to save on labour - this is a definitely a DIY that can save you a wad. Here's a link to our latest chimney opening venture.

opening up a chimney for wood burner

Is a Lintel Required?

After opening up a chimney, you may discover to your horror there's no lintel, a cracked lintel, or a makeshift lintel made from random pipes, like us. In which case, you will need to fit a new lintel. For us, this was the least expensive part of the wood-burner installation, and we did it ourselves too. A lintel cost us £14 and it was much easier to fit than you might expect. You can read all about how we DIYed this here, but if you choose to have an installer fit your lintel, it will certainly cost more.

how to fit a lintel in a chimney

Labour Costs

So I think that brings us nicely to the cost of labour. If you've read all the above, you'll see how much work needs to go into fitting a log burner, before you've even fitted the actual log burner. The more work involved, the more it will cost. If you pay an installer to knock out an opening in your chimney, fit a hearth, line the inner walls, replace your lintel, whilst renting scaffolding, you're going to pay a lot more than just connecting a log burner to a new flue liner.

I gathered multiple quotes for varying degrees of labour and the most expensive came in at £1000 (excluding materials) for a couple of days work completing all of the above. I then gathered quotes for just connecting the log-burner to a flue, which was a days work and this was just £400. Again, this does exclude materials and please do bear in mind - location is a huge factor for deciding labour costs. We're in the Nottinghamshire area and these prices are in relation to 2016, now two years ago.

If you're able to do half the work yourself - install your own hearth and do the inner decorative work, the labour cost can literally be cut in half. This is the route we went for and it also meant our installer was able to self-certify his work, meaning there was no additional sign-off charge.



Where to Find Installers?

If you are looking for a wood-burning stove installer, I recommend checking out the HETAS website. These are fully certified installers who can sign-off their own work. They work independently from stove shops, so in my experience, are far more reasonable in their charges. And, they may even be able to get you trade rates on a stove.

Additional Material Costs

So aside from everything I've already mentioned above, there are still a few more costs involved. And those are in regard to additional materials you need. Things like fire cement, a chimney cowl/bird guard, connectors, a chimney pot, a register plate (this is the 'board' that blocks off the rest of the chimney so you don't have a huge hole above your burner and around the flue) and even a carbon monoxide alarm, which is required under building regs. All of these things aren't particularly expensive, but they do add up. £30 here, £60 there. You can expect to pay up to £300 for all the additional extras depending on what exactly is required.

Saltfire ST3 wood burner review

Wood Burner on a 'Budget': How Much We Paid

OK, so let's get down to the nitty-gritty. We handed over £1051 to our log-burner installer and this is the breakdown of the costs and materials involved:

Labour + Certification £400
Stainless Steel Flexible Liner £300
Adapters + Bird Guard £120
Register Plate £75
Vitreous Pipe £36
Materials (Fire Cement etc) £30
Carbon Monoxide Alarm £25
Chimney Pot £65

The additional work we did ourselves (opening the chimney, fitting a lintel and making it all 'log burner ready' totalled £156 and broke down as follows:


Lintel £14
Mortar £5
Hardiebacker Lining £48
Limestone Hearth £56
Tile Adhesive + Grout £33


The cost of the stove was £499 which gave a Full Total of £1706 on the whole job.

OVERALL SPEND INCLUDING STOVE: £1706




Saltfire ST3 in house

So, is that a good price? Well, it's a lot less than the majority of quotes we had, I'll tell you that! Stove shops, in particular, were offering installation from £2000 upwards excluding the cost of the stove!  Say what now?! So yes, we're vastly beneath that amount.

Aside from paying the £400 labour fee, I don't think we could have done it for much cheaper. I even checked out our installers spending on things like the chimney pot, adapters and register plate and in all honesty, all his spendings seemed reasonable and fair - I only found a couple of things a bit cheaper, but not by much. If we had installed the chimney liner ourselves, we may have saved £400 but we'd have had to pay for the building reg certification instead, which would have been a couple of hundred in itself. So really, I don't think there is much else we could have done to make this installation any cheaper on a considerable scale.

£1700 all in is still expensive, I can admit that. It's not exactly budget, is it? But, a wood-stove is a luxury item, is it not? I mean let's face it - it's not an essential household item and luxury = expensive. However, we are super chuffed with our wood burner and SO GLAD we went for it. It is bloody brilliant! For those of you who don't know, we don't actually have central heating here, so this truly is a lifesaver. Even the dogs love it, see!

Are wood burners worth the money?

So, in summary (a case of 'too long, didn't read') the cost of a wood-burner can vary considerably depending on your requirements and how much work is involved. If you're on a budget though, here are my tips for keeping costs down when it comes to wood-burner installations...

Tips for Keeping Wood-Burner Installation Costs Down

  • Do some of the work yourself.
  • If you use an installer, use independent HETAS installer rather than a shop installation prices.
  • Avoid scaffolding, if possible.
  • Opt for a budget-friendly stove.
  • Choose inexpensive hearth tiles.

Need Info on Installation? Read the Stovefitters Manual!

If you want more information about the installation of wood-burning stoves, regulations and all the rest, I HIGHLY recommend checking out The Stovefitters Manual as you honestly won't find a better guide online - it literally has ALL the answers for every possible query you might have. Additionally, there's a whole bunch of stoves reviews on there as well, with top recommendations (pleased to say our stove is one of their fave choices!), and there's even a shop to buy the supplies. I referred to this guide throughout all the DIYs we completed above and it was a MASSIVE resource of help. If you click any link on this blog post, make it this one.

I hope this was vaguely helpful. As ever, if you have any questions about our stove or want the contact details of our installer (Notts/Lincoln area) then feel free to hit me up!

diy blogger subscribe here

How much does it cost to install a wood burner?

2 comments

  1. After two years of using cheap stove (about 100£ in PLN) I can tell it's absolutely ok! The stove gives huge amount of heat and looks like new. Natural fire is also amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's amazing how you can easily reinvent your interiors with simple ideas like that. I'd never thought about it, but we're having another cold winter here, so maybe it would be an amazing idea?! I wish there were more informations online on how to implement such ideas. Thanks for all those tips.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...