By law the installation of all multi fuel stoves and wood burners requires that you notify your local Building Control Officer so that they can inspect the installation and ensure that it complies with local Building Regulations (Click here for your local regulations). We believe that it can cost as much as £150 for the inspection visit, but this can vary depending on the local authority.
Hetas approved installers (our industry's version of Corgi, now Gas Safe) are the only other people who can certify that the installation complies with the regulations and issue the appropriate conformance certificate, which you may need if you sell your house or you have to make an insurance claim.
The actual installation itself is not rocket science and most practical DIYers can manage this without much difficulty (if you're okay with heights when it comes to dropping a liner down the chimney). However, in our opinion (and we say this purely with your safety in mind) it is always best to leave the installation of a stove or boiler stove to a professional installer who will have experience of fitting hundreds of stoves in virtually every type of situation. Hetas registered installers know the relevant building regulations and they know the right components to use – above all, they understand the danger a poorly installed stove can create for the end users.
If you do decide to install your own stove then please get to know the requirements of Document J before you start. There are three important elements:
- Ventilation. You must provide adequate air to feed the stove and to avoid the build up of toxic gases – any stove of 5kW and above must have a dedicated 'air brick' fitted in the room the stove is located in. Since October 2010 this now applies to all stoves, even if the output is less than 5kW, when they are installed in any dwelling built after 2008. The actual size of the air brick, for example for a 6kW stove, is relatively small and certainly much smaller than the air bricks most of us are used to.
- Flues. You must ensure the safe passage of fumes and smoke from your flue or chimney and that they do not create problems for any windows on your own or neighbouring buildings etc.
- Combustible materials. There are strict guidelines about the proximity of combustible materials such as wooden mantles, stud walling and the type of hearth you need etc. Document J also includes requirements on how your flue should pass through walls and ceilings etc, when you do not have a traditional chimney breast and are creating a 'new' flue or chimney system. Although Document J is a very detailed technical document, you'll be pleased to know that the section on solid fuel stoves is only a small part of it.