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My chimney (25ft approximately, one story house) was recently inspected and the guy recommended a chimney liner for the furnace due to the grouting having been eaten away. He quoted $2000 for the parts and labor.

It looks like this should be a fairly simple thing to install, not only that but the most expensive and largest diameter kit I could find online was still well under $1000.

Is this a reasonable DIY project? What sort of surprises should I be aware of? (i.e. needing to expand the hole in the basement)

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I'm wondering the same thing. I've got a two story, but I've also got an existing, old chimney. I found stuff from -- woodlanddirect.com/Chimney/… but like you, I'm a bit hesistant to do it myself. Would LOVE to though, I've been getting the same kind of estimates - 2-3k bucks –  jeriley Oct 18 '10 at 16:40
    
I found this video of someone installing one of these kits right before posting the question. youtube.com/watch?v=RRauuzjI-H4 –  Winder Oct 18 '10 at 17:16
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3 Answers 3

Installing a flue liner is NO job for a DIY'er. There are several considerations that must be answered before a new liner can be installed. First and foremost, the existing flue must be cleaned completely and inspected with a camera to determine the condition of the existing mortar joints. Entry points of thimbles must be inspected as well and assured that they are properly sized and isolated from combustibles. When adding a flue liner to an old existing chimney it is imperative that all old tile liners are removed, to assure proper drafting, flue must be properly sized to the height and type of fuel being used. Besides the obvious fire hazards the other major concern is carbon monoxide. An improperly installed or sized flue can be a silent killer. Seek a couple of quotes and perhaps look at the "SuperFlue" monolithic pour system. I am a general contractor and wouldn't consider doing that job myself, I always hire a certified chimney specialist. This type of job is best left to experienced pros. It may cost more than trying to doing it yourself, but will be a lot cheaper than having a pro come in to fix your mistakes, plus you can sleep well at night knowing that that warming fire in your house is your friend and not a potential killer.

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I had a chimney liner installed in my old one story house. I hired a chimney company install it. They installed a solid one piece liner from the roof down the chimney. The part that looked like it required the most skill was mixing the masonry mix to the right consistency and applying it inside the fireplace, so it wouldn't fall out. They also came back to inspect to make sure nothing had cracked. Given the fact that he chimney is one of the most important fire prevention measures in your house, I wouldn't risk it to a DIY job.

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How high is your chimney?

We're looking at installing a wood burner and had someone round to quote. We discussed the options and they were adamant that they would need scaffolding erecting to reach the top of the chimney. They said that manoeuvring the liner up the outside of the house would be nearly impossible without it.

Now our's is a three storey house so that's a lot of scaffolding and I expect that to be a major part of the cost. So the quote could well include that which you might not have accounted for.

This would make it, for me, something I'd be happy to pay someone to do. We fitted a lightweight pipe in another chimney where we had access to the top from inside the house and that was very easy, but a heavy weight liner for a fire/furnace would be a different matter altogether.

In your case - for a single storey house the cost of scaffolding (if any) will be a lot less.

What you should do is to ask for a quote that's broken down into parts. So you want to know (as a minimum):

  • the cost of materials (not just the pipe)
  • the cost of labour
  • the cost of scaffolding (if any)
  • the cost of removing waste - in the UK this can be significant

Given that the cost of the pipe you found was less than $1,000, $2,000 for the whole job doesn't seem too outrageous when you consider the other factors. As a rule of thumb I look at the cost of the parts and then double it to account for the labour charges.

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I am guessing approximately 25', it is a one story house. –  Winder Oct 15 '10 at 11:23
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