It is really important to consider wood burning stove installation costs before you make any decisions about the log burning stoves you are interested in buying — you need to budget for the whole project, not just for the product itself.
There are many things to take into account when fitting a new wood burning stove, including the type of chimney you have (if you have one at all), the style of stove you opt for, where in the country you are and who you get to install it.
This guide will give you a clearer idea of the kinds of costs you could be facing to have a new log burner installed and explains what you can do to keep costs down if the quotes you do receive are higher than you expected. We will also cover those pesky hidden costs you may have forgotten to budget for.
What are average wood burning stove installation costs?
According to Direct Stoves, the average cost of installing a wood burning stove is between £700-£3,500.
Obviously there is quite a large difference between the lower and upper figures here which could leave you feeling you are none the wiser. It is also important to get several quotes before deciding on an installer.
"Shop around for parts and the installer," says Michael Coke, biomass products manager for Stovax Heating Group. "It may seem obvious, but get at least three installer quotes – ensuring they are all fully qualified as it will cost more to have a bad job rectified – and if you are privately buying the parts as a homeowner."
For this reason, we have broken costs down in this article to cover the prices involved with different installation scenarios. Those with existing fireplaces and chimneys, for example, will be looking at much lower costs than those with no fireplace or chimney in place.
How much do log burning stoves cost?
When calculating how much installing a new log burning stove is going to cost you, it is important to first have an idea of the price of the actual stove.
At the lowest end of the price scale, starting prices of between around £300-£450 can be expected. Take the Clarke Carlton III 4.2KQ wood burning stove from Machine Mart, for example, which costs just £322.80.
However, these lower figures can easily rise to £4,000 - £5,000 for designer, contemporary models. On average though, a price of around £900 - £1,500 is typical.
"Ensure the appliance is correctly sized for the room it is being installed into — too big, and you could be overpaying for the appliance and fuel," suggests Michael Coke."It might help to look for an appliance that does not require a constructional hearth. If the appliance only requires a decorative hearth, then this could save a good amount on the installation cost as there is less work involved.
"A top tip could also be to find a stove or fire that has a 5" flue outlet. This is the smallest flue outlet for solid fuel appliances in the UK – the bigger the diameter, the more expensive the flue will cost.
"Get the most out of the appliance as well — burning the correct fuel in an appliance that is 78% + efficient will see you spending a lot less on fuel than a less efficient model," continues Michael.
"If your home was built prior to 2008, and has not had lots of renovations such as cavity wall insulation or double glazing, consider buying an appliance with an output 5kW or less. This way you will not require an air vent to be installed in the wall which can be a costly operation depending on the building fabric. For example, drilling through granite block walls requires specialist equipment, and can take a long time.
"And finally, just remember, do not compromise on safety for a reduction in cost!"
The cost of installing a wood burner with a chimney
If you have a chimney already in place, you will be looking at lower installation costs than if you need to fit a log burner with no chimney.
For the fitting of a log burner, with an existing chimney, you can expect installation costs of between £800 - £1,500.
The higher figure would be expected to include having the chimney flue lined if necessary. It would also be likely to include the associated flue pipes, a stainless steel liner, a register plate, chimney cowl and HETAS registration. You may also be able to get a carbon monoxide detector (which you'll need for Building Regulations purposes) for this higher price too.
Installing a log burner without a chimney
Need more advice or inspiration for your project? Get two free tickets to the Homebuilding & Renovating Show
It is quite possible to have a log burner without a chimney although they are generally more expensive to install. This is because you will need to fit a twin walled flue system in order to take the fumes produced by the fire outside.
These systems fit to the back of the stove and then run either out of an external wall up the side of the house to roof level, or within a false ceiling up and out of the roof.
Installation of a wood burning stove in this case would cost between £1,500 - £3,500, including the flue system.
Whether or not you have a chimney already in place, if you will be requiring a new fire surround and hearth, don't forget to factor in these costs — you be looking at between £500-£1,000 or more.
Factors that could affect wood burning stove installation costs
Installation costs for log burning stoves can really vary quite widely depending on several factors, largely based on your log burner ideas. If you want to install a log burner but have no chimney, for example, you will be looking at higher installation costs than if you have an existing chimney. Other influencing factors to consider include:
- Access issues: In some cases it can be necessary to construct scaffolding or use a cherry picker in order to gain the access required to drop a chimney liner in. This will add around £200-£650 to your overall costs.
- An existing gas or electric stove: If you want to replace a gas fire with a wood burner, you need to factor in costs for having the gas feed capped — around £50-£70.
- Fireplace opening resizing: It is recommended that there should be approximately 100mm of circulation space either side of a wood burning stove and about 40mm behind. In some situations this might mean a fireplace recess has to be altered, which will inevitably add to costs and may result in some re-plastering and decoration work around the opening. The above might result in the installation of a new lintel too.
- Hearth: Don't forget the cost of a hearth if you don't already have one. Slate or granite are popular options, although tiles tend to be a little cheaper. Expect additional costs of at least £130-£200.
- Chimney sweeping: Your chimney should be checked and swept before the new stove is installed (and regularly thereafter). Prices for chimney sweeping tend to come in at around £50-£80.
- False wall/chimney construction: It is common for those installing a stove with no chimney have a false chimney and fireplace constructed in which to house the new stove (although a freestanding model doesn't require this). The cost of this varies hugely, but taking into account building and plastering could be expected to add around £1,000 to your overall costs.
- If you need your chimney lined with a flue liner
- Complex log burner ideas: Some, for example, involve the construction of built-in log storage
Is DIY log burner installation possible?
Some people feel confident in undertaking the job of installing their own wood burning stove — and there are certainly no regulations stating that you can't. However, you will need to notify your local Building Control Officer so that they can inspect the installation and ensure that it complies with local Building Regulations for chimneys, stoves and fireplaces — something that can cost as much as £450.
If you were to get a HETAS-approved installer to fit your stove, they would be able to certify that the installation complies with the regulations and issue a certificate.
Making the most of your wood burning stove
Once you have gone to the trouble and expense of having your log burning stove installed you will no doubt want to make sure that it operates at peak performance.
Ensure you regularly clean your stove out of ash, keep the glass of the doors sparkling clean, ensure your chimney is swept regularly and seriously consider getting your hands on the best stove fan you can. We particularly love the TOMERSUN 4 Blade Stove Fan from Amazon which is currently on offer at just £18.99.
Get the Homebuilding & Renovating Newsletter
Bring your dream home to life with expert advice, how to guides and design inspiration. Sign up for our newsletter and get two free tickets to the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (21-24 March, NEC, Birmingham).
Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.