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Is it worth £800 to line a chimney to use a wood-burning stove?

(54 Posts)
MrsJamin Fri 23-Aug-13 07:37:31

We bought a house a few months ago with a lovely wood burning stove and I thought it was ready to use, however we have realised the chimney is not lined. We have a quote for £800 to do the work but it seems like such a lot of money- is it actually worth it? It's just over a month of my salary (work part time on a pittance). sad

Selks Fri 23-Aug-13 07:43:12

Depends whether it needs lining or not. Some chimneys don't need lining but most will. Some stove fitters would be prepared to do a smoke bomb test in the chimney to see if there are any smoke leaks or not. If there are not you may be able to get away without a liner.
I think it is probably recommended by HETAS to have a flue liner, for safety reasons. You could check out their website and guidance.
I'm having a stove fitted next week and will be having a liner fitted, mainly for safety reasons - possibility of waste gasses such as carbon monoxide escaping into bedrooms for example.

MrsJamin Fri 23-Aug-13 07:49:33

The guy who did the quote said we needed to get it lined. So you think we need to get another opinion? Another thing is that we get loads of soot and dirt crumbling into the fireplace regularly- which may indicate that something needs to be done?

PotteringAlong Fri 23-Aug-13 07:55:24

I love my wood burning stove - it was worth every hard saved up penny - but it's one of those things that needs doing properly and safely.

If the engineer says line then I'd have it lined. We had ours done.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 23-Aug-13 07:56:26

Our chimney isn't lined. We wanted it lined, but the shape of the chimney made it impossible. The fitter did a smoke bomb test the full length of the chimney.

uggmum Fri 23-Aug-13 07:58:59

That seems very expensive and I would shop around. We have been quoted £450 for this.

AvengingGerbil Fri 23-Aug-13 08:05:16

Check your insurance policy. Will you be covered for a chimney fire if you don't line it?

specialsubject Fri 23-Aug-13 11:13:50

insurance is also my thought. And if the chimney is crumbling you will probably get smoke everywhere if you light the fire.

get a HETAS quote and test.

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 23-Aug-13 11:25:20

Do you have the HETAS certificate from when it was installed (sellers should have passed this to you when you bought the house)? If so it shouldn't need lining as it wouldn't have been installed and signed off if it did. Perhaps get a couple more opinions just to make sure - a smoke bomb test will determine whether it really needs to be done as others have said already. I may be cynical but the person quoting was obviously going to tell you it needed doing wasn't he?

georgedawes Fri 23-Aug-13 11:35:19

we paid £1k to line ours, doesn't sound expensive for what it is (the good liner with 30 yr guarantee)

MummytoMog Fri 23-Aug-13 13:11:42

Christ yes. Do it. With stove and heart and installation, our woodburner installation was about £1500. I bought all the supplies from a list the chap gave me and then he charged about £450 to do the work. Our liner was a bit cheap though, I suspect we'll need to replace it in a few years and I wish I'd gone for a more expensive one.

Our stove is the best thing in our house. I love it. With a passion. Love. It.

MrsJamin Fri 23-Aug-13 13:57:13

Have asked DH for more details. We got two quotes, the £800 one was half of the other! The crumbling bits are the old lining. A smoke test was done too. I guess it's whether a wood burning stove is worth that amount of money- does it save you any money off your central heating bill or is it just the lovely aesthetics of having a real fire? I love the idea of one but it just seems so much money!

georgedawes Fri 23-Aug-13 14:01:14

You probably won't get your money back, but it is lovely. I love ours but you have to decide if it's worth it for you. Just make sure you get a decent liner if you do go for it though - no point getting a cheap(er) one that fails in a couple of years. Ours was guaranteed for 30 years and for me that's worth spending a couple of hundred extra for.

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 23-Aug-13 14:35:33

Ah so it has a lining which is failing? If so you probably do need it done. Tbh you probably won't save money by having it done because although wood burners are fabulous, they don't really take away the need to heat at least part of your house (and you can spend a fortune on fuel for them). They are really very very lovely though - there's nothing quite like sitting around the fire on a cold winter's day imo. Bear in mind it might be cheaper to get it done now than it would be in winter (when wood burner people likely to be busier) too.

MummytoMog Fri 23-Aug-13 14:50:45

Ours has definitely saved us money. Our house is freezing, and although we've spent about £300 a year on wood, we managed to spend that on gas in one month before we got the stove, and we were still cold.

Thinkingofmyfabfour Fri 23-Aug-13 14:53:42

It might save you money on heating depending on where it's located and how big it is. Ours is quite central in fairly open plan house and we hardly have our heating on in winter at all- just 30min morning and night. Heat from stove warms downstairs and some of upstairs too.
It's totally lovely as well!!

twistyfeet Fri 23-Aug-13 14:57:19

stupid question but would a chimney need lining if its already ok for an open fire? We use an open fire and have done for years but I was thinking of putting a stove in.

cathpip Fri 23-Aug-13 14:57:33

We have two log burners and in the winter it saves us a fortune. We are on oil fired central heating and its sooo expensive, when the timer goes offin the morning the stoves are lit and keep the house toasty for the rest of the day and 9 times out of 10 the central heating does not kick in in the evening as the house is still warm enough.

sweetiepie1979 Fri 23-Aug-13 15:06:27

Well the guy who gave you the quote would say it needs lined. Ours isn't lined we looked in to it and DH said we didn't need it he swept it and out the burner and new fireplace in. When he gets home from work I'll ask him for more info and let you know the whys and hiws

BadRoly Fri 23-Aug-13 15:12:57

Earlier this year the semi joined to my brother's house was severely damaged due to a fire. The cause has been reported as an incorrectly fitted wood burning stove. The insurance company are getting very twitchy (but not so much as the neighbours) about who is going to pay for all the repair work!

We had a wood burning stove fitted ourselves last year and found the chimney was already lined - the fitters suspect a previous chimney fire.

Get a second opinion but if they both say line it, then I would, regardless of the installation cost, for peace of mind smile. Oh and I'm not especially risk averse but this just doesn't seem worth it.

BadRoly Fri 23-Aug-13 15:17:31

Sorry I've read back now and see it's all moved on!

Ours was very expensive but is perfect for what we need and keeps the dampness from the house over winter when it isn't especially cold but is very damp (we're by the coast in Cornwall).

We also have a big log pile from trees in the garden so don't spend too much on wood. It was swept last month and that was £30.

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 23-Aug-13 15:38:19

twistyfeet it might do - I think with a woodburner the heat is more concentrated so the risk of fire is higher (not an expert though). You can get a smokebomb test done for a reasonable cost (think we paid about £50 when we had ours done a while back) which will show whether the chimney needs to be lined or not.

MrsJamin Fri 23-Aug-13 16:26:15

Both quotes said to line it, the fact that it was lined and that lining is crumbling down backs up that idea. I just feel like a bit of a mug having bought a house with a woodburning stove, assuming it was safe to use straight away. sad

MummytoMog Fri 23-Aug-13 18:33:26

That is a bit gutting - our neighbours laid a fire in their open fireplace, having been assured it was safe to use, and filled their entire house with smoke. Makes you wonder what the vendors used to do to be honest. £800 does sound a bit high if the stove and hearth are already there. Could you try and get some more quotes? If you're anywhere near Basildon, I could give you the number of the bloke who did mine - he gets you to buy the supplies yourself, so you control how much it all costs, and then he charged me £450 to open out our fireplace, set in the new hearth, build the stove, fit the register plate, drop the liner in, insulate the chimney around it and fit the chimney top hat. So should be a bit less surely if just your chimney needs lining, sounds like a one day job.

sweetiepie1979 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:52:36

I wouldn't feel like a mug you could have ended up with a boiler that could have went bust. It's just maintenance get it lined if it def needs it you will be so glad of it come the winter.

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