Some builders specialise in installing and repairing chimneys and fireplaces, often they have experience with a wide range of appliances fuelled by wood and solid fuel too. The number of chimneys being brought back into use in the UK is growing rapidly with the popularity of wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves, partly down to people seeking to reduce their reliance on gas and oil. Typical services offered include internal chimney inspection using CCTV camera equipment to check for blockages or structural failures, installation of metal flexible liners, installation of metal chimney systems where an existing chimney is not present, installation of wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves, and investigations into poorly performing chimneys and stoves. Many companies also offer a full range of repair, restoration, renovation, building and surveying services.
Chimney flues are controlled services as defined in Regulation 2 of the Building Regulations, so if renovation, refurbishment or repair amounts to or involves the provision of a new or replacement flue liner, it is classed as "building work" and must not be undertaken without prior notification to the local authority. If you are in doubt about whether or not any chimney renovation, refurbishment or repair is notifiable "Building work", it is recommended you consult the Building Control department of is qualified to legally work with gas pipes. Chimney regulations for wood burning stoves are designed to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, if you have a gas fire which needs to be disconnected before the chimney can be swept, it is required that the chimney sweep is Gas Safe registered, which means they are qualified to legally work with gas fittings.
Typical charges for having a chimney swept in the UK range from £40 to £100. Any building or repair work will obviously depend on the condition of the existing chimney and the amount of work required. However, as a general guide, repairing flashing on a chimney stack will cost from £300 to £500, chimney breast removal and ceiling repair comes in at around £1000, replacing a chimney pot costs around £60 to £120, while a complete chimney rebuild costs anywhere from £1000 to £5000.
Finding the right person to carry out your chimney maintenance is extremely important, a chimney that has not been swept properly could cause carbon monoxide poisoning or a chimney fire. Over 12,000 chimney fires are reported in the UK every year, most are caused by the build up of debris such as leaves and birds nests on top of existing soot. It is necessary to clean chimneys before their first use and employ a professional specialist chimney sweep thereafter to avoid fire and carbon monoxide hazards. A good place to start when employing a chimney sweep is the National Association of Chimney Sweeps, which offers a directory of qualified businesses in the UK. At minimum chimneys should be swept once per year, but much more often if you are burning wood.
Insurers also warn to clean your chimney regularly and if you have an insurance policy that covers your home against fire, you may find it is invalid if you have not had the chimney swept at least once per year. National Association of Chimney Sweeps registered, approved Chimney Sweeps will be more than happy to assist you and issue an A4 size Certificate of Chimney Sweeping which is recognised by local authorities, the government and insurance companies. You can easily find chimney sweeps and repair specialists in your local area using the free MyJobQuote service, just provide details of the work required and let local tradesman contact you with free quotes and prices.