Installing a wood-burning stove and character and warmth to any property. They look great too, especially on a typical UK winter’s night plus they offer nice distribution of warmth throughout the house and are in fact more cost-effective than you may think. You don’t need an existing chimney to install a wood burning stove as there is the option of adding a wall flue which is relatively simple to install and not too expensive.
Installing a wood burner is not a DIY job however, you will need a certified competent installer to complete the work or the installation will have to be approved by a member of your local Building Control department from the Council at your cost. Before fitting you should also check if you are in a smoke controlled area which will restrict the type of stove you can choose. The best bet is to consult a professional right from the start, most offer free survey plus advice on the right type and size of stove for your home.
If you don’t already have a hearth then one will be required for safety as log burners do emit a great deal of heat. These can be constructed using a number of materials but stone is the most popular. A chimney or flue will also obviously be required. If you have an older property you will likely already have a chimney, but this will have to be professionally swept and then have a chimney liner installed before it can be declared safe for use with a wood-burning stove. If you live in a new property that does not already have a chimney, then a double walled flue can be used on the outside wall then a stainless steel chimney can be run up outside of the property. Note it is not an actual legal requirement to line your existing chimney, but it would be crazy not to as there is a risk of potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning if the chimney is not properly sealed!
Wood-burning stoves are very efficient boasting an energy efficiency of up to 80% so can save you money on your utility bills. However they do require regular maintenance including sweeping the chimney once per year plus of course regular emptying of the ashes from the burner and cleaning of the glass in the door. Modern woodburning stoves are perfectly safe and come with lockable doors to protect children and pets from naked flames. But they still get extremely hot so some sort of fireguard is recommended to keep young children and pets safe.
The costs of the actual wood stoves can vary tremendously with cheap imported units costing as little as £250 whereas high quality items but decent quality European of American made stoves will cost from around £700. But buying cheap is a false economy as cheap imported stoves, often made in China, rarely last more than five years, whereas a quality stove should last 15 years or more. In addition, more expensive quality wood burning stoves are often more energy efficient so you will save more money on fuel bills. The installation costs will also vary depending on the property and whether or not you already have a chimney. But professional wood-burning stove installations can start from under £2000 which will include a small but good quality stove and lining an existing chimney. For installations without an existing chimney, expect to pay in the region of £3000 for a small stove and a twin-wall insulated chimney to a typical two storey house. Installing a granite or slate hearth if one is not already in place will typically cost an extra £500.