Wood Stove Fitters
& Chimney Sweeps
Advice on buying a stove
Buying stoves off the internet has been an established market for over a decade. By reading the following advice, buying your stove online or from a show room is a straight forward process. The right choice of stove shall give you years of enjoyment and hassle free usage.
Find out what size stove you shall need. Stove output ratings are in kilowatts ( kw ) Do you want it for heating or a decorative effect, or a bit of both?
Check to see if you living in a smoke control zone. If you are you shall need a smoke exempt appliance if you want to burn wood in your stove, other wise you shall be limited to burning smokeless fuels. Please look at our stove tips section for more information on points 1 and 2.
Go online or visit your nearest show room and see some stoves for your self. If you want a free standing stove don't forget to take the relevant measurement of the fireplace opening to make sure your stove fits the area. Remember flue collars add extra height to the stove.
Always check to see the stoves returns policy.
With free standing stoves try to allow for atleast 15 cm of air space around the left and right hand side of the stove, and 30 cm on top of the stove to aid good air circulation.
You can even make a life size cardboard cut out stove model to ensure your happy with its proportions.
Get a home survey booked to check you've chosen the correct stove !
Get at least three estimates/ quotes from Hetas registered or Oftec installers
Find out if your quote is a fixed quotation or not, read the contract ask them questions! Some company's have sneaky sales tactics by keeping the quotation down but sting you at the end of the installation for extra materials which had to be used ! The most common additional expense usually comes in form of a few vitreous flue pipe bends. Vitreous flue pipe is expensive, this can amount to an extra £50 -150 on top of quotation leaving you to wish you had chosen the other guy
If you've been quoted for a twin wall flue pipe installation find out if they are going deduct any unused pieces off twin wall flue pipe off the quote at the end. For example a deduction of a few lengths of poujoulat twin wall from your quote could save you hundreds of pounds.
The cheapest quotes aren't always the best ones. Allot of companies skimp on the quality of materials and component usage, and cut corners with their installation just to ensure they get the extra sales.
If you have chosen an inset stove installation that needs plastering around it make sure they've quoted for heat proof plaster. Standard thistle plaster look goods for a couple of months but eventually cracks from the heat!
A professional stove fitter can inspect your chimney to determine what work needs to done. The most popular and cost effective method of updating your chimney is to have it lined with a class 1 flexible stainless steal liner. If your chimney is in a sound condition there is no need to have one!
Online stove sellers give away free register plate and vitreous flue pipe. At Wood Stove Fitters we are happy to deduct a bit off the quote if we can use the register plate. We shall also try to use your free vitreous flue pipe but usually its not always possible because its usually Midtherm vitreous flue pipe which is OK but can't be cut to size or is often the wrong length etc. Free carbon monoxide alarms are always useful.
If you online stove seller is giving away free components that fine but its false economy to go out and buy them in order to save a penny. Just buy the stove and leave the rest to your installer.
Any left over vitreous flue pipe or register plate can be sold on eBay !
Installation preparation - things to consider
If you've chosen a stove with a heat out put rating over 5 kw your going to need an air vent fitted
If your builder is preparing your fireplace make sure you watch out for the proximity of combustible materials! By this I'm referring to wooden lintels. Ideally they should be away from the stove and a good distance from the vitreous flue pipe. Electrical wiring, lights and pipe work may also need to be shifted.
IMPORTANT ADVICE - Get your wood burner fitted in the spring or summer time when there is less of a waiting list! Stove fitters can have too much work during the autumn rush and not enough during the summer. Allot of stove company’s charge rip off prices during the busy periods. There shall always be chilly summer evenings to test out your new stove new installation!
If your stove fitters recommends scaffolding to be set to gain roof access for your installation you might as well get two or more roof jobs done at once, such as removing old TV aerials, roof repairs, reinstating loose lead flashing, pointing up of chimney stack etc. On my journeys I have noticed ALLOT of blocked gutters which can lead to damp problem when not sorted. These are easily over looked when out of sight !
Choose the right type of hearth and Contemporary installations
If you need a hearth layed and you've got very specific requirement its worth sourcing the slabs ready for your stove fitter to lay down for you. Try the local builders merchants or even your local diy center, they most probably have some thing you like. Your hearth usually needs to protrude 225 mm - 300mm from the front of the stove and 15 cm on either side of the stove. This can vary depending on the manufacturers instructions. The hearth slab should be atleast 25 mm thick.
If you want a stove that goes straight on top of a glass hearth then onto a wooden floor you have to have the right type stove to do so. The reason behind this is the that temperature below a stove varies per make and model. For example a stove which has a log store built into the base indicates hearth temperature are low enough for it to go on a glass hearth (technically referred to a superimposed hearth) Where as a stove which has a much hotter underside when in operation can raise hearth temperature to 100 degrees. It will need a125mm thick non combustible constructional hearth underneath it. This is more substantial than a super imposed hearth.
Chimney sweep friendly Installations
At Wood Stove Fitters we believe it is essential for safety reasons that your stove installation is chimney sweep friendly. Most stoves can easily swept from inside the stove by removing the baffle plate, stoves which don't have easily removed baffle plates are best off with being swept though through a flue pipe hatch on top of the stove. They can also be swept through the vitreous T piece cap on the back of the stove. Please get your stove swept and serviced at least annually
Make sure you've got a decent sized log shelter. A standard cubic meter load takes up allot of space!
Please get your stove swept and serviced at least annually. Twice to four times a year for daily appliance user such as Rayburn, Aga or boiler stoves. Wood Stove Fitters provide this service