Cost of installing a wood burner in a conservatory, shed or extension?

Have you ever looked at your cold and uninviting conservatory, shed or extension in winter and wished you could enjoy one of your favourite spaces all year round?

Well, more and more of our customers are now turning their conservatories, sheds and cold extensions into an all year-round spaces thanks to a good quality wood burning or multi-fuel stove installed by a professional. We are now being told by most of these customers that they actually prefer these spaces in the winter now that they have a wood burning or multi-fuel stove to keep them cosy all year round. 

Murray and McGregor install somewhere in the region of 200 wood burning stoves and multifuel stoves per year at homes throughout Scotland. An increasing number of these installs are in conservatories, sheds or extensions.

So, it goes without saying that we are being asked the question of how much it costs more frequently. A great question and this article will give you the factors that affect costs when installing a woodburning stove in a conservatory, shed or extension.

Why install a woodburning stove in a conservatory, shed or extension?

It’s easy to understand why you might want to install a woodburning or multi-fuel stove in your conservatory, shed or extension. These areas tend to be abandoned during the winter months as they have become cold and unfriendly places. Leaving us with distant memories of the long fruitful days spent in your own little piece of heaven.

We have installed in conservatories and extensions three times in the last week and although they were all slightly different installs, they all adhere to the same range of pricing and have to be approached with the same common problems and considerations in mind.

Main factors that affect the cost of installing a woodburning stove?

We will assume that there isn’t an existing chimney in your conservatory, shed or extension, there some exceptions to this but they are few and far between.

A general rule of thumb is, an installation into an existing chimney will be approximately £1000 cheaper than an installation where there is not an existing chimney. Where there is no chimney present, twin wall rigid flue is used to create your chimney. We use Schiedel ECO ICID twin wall flue at Murray and McGregor Stoves and Fireplaces which we consider to be the very best on the market, as it also carries a lifetime warranty.

Main factors:

  • Choice of stove
  • Height, route and diameter of twin wall flue
  • Fitting (HETAS registered or white van man)
  • Stone or Glass Hearth (Shape and size required)
  • Position of stove 

Typical costs involved:

  • Stove cost - £800- £2000 (Although you can pay much more, a stove in this price range will last 15-20+ years)
  • Flue cost - £1200- £2,200 (As discussed above we are assuming twin wall flue here, there is always cheaper flue but in our experience, you get what you pay for. We are often asked to attend other companies’ installations and replacing full flue systems that have only been installed for a few years)
  • Fitting cost- £500- £1000 (This can vary depending on who is fitting the stove. Factors like, do they have a showroom, are they HETAS registered and are they offering a workmanship warranty)
  • Glass or Stone hearth- £180- £350 (Varies due to size, shape and material required)

To give an example, our three installations this week in a conservatory, shed or extension have ranged between £3,300- £4,200 to supply and install by a HETAS registered installer using Schiedel ECO ICID twin wall flue and a 5-year workmanship warranty. This sort of pricing is consistent throughout the industry, although there are cheaper and more expensive examples around.

Why is there such a wide range in these costs?

I’m sure you will agree, it's important to discuss the reasons that these costs can vary. I mean we all want to be able to make an informed decision, right?

Ok, so let’s discuss the main factors in a little more detail below…

Stove cost – Wood burning and multi-fuel stoves are just like any other product in the sense that there is cheap rubbish out there in the market place and there are overpriced products that have a ‘name’ whereby commanding considerable sums for a product that isn’t any better than another well designed and manufactured stove at half the price. For the purposes of this article let me rule both of these outliers out, with an explanation to why?

Cheap stoves: These will cost anywhere between £300- £600. These tend to be made in China from 3mm-6mm welded steel or very this cast iron. They will last anywhere between 1-5 years before they warp and become unusable or unsafe. They tend to have very high distances to combustible making their application very limited and certainly not suitable for most conservatories, sheds or extensions without a lot of building work.

Really expensive stoves: I would consider a really expensive stove to be anywhere between £2500-£6000. These are normally statement pieces or very design led, so in comparison to a stove that costs £900- £2000 there is normally no difference in terms of the quality of build or controllability of the stove. Of course, we do high end really expensive stoves, however we also understand that they are simply unattainable or not of interest to 80% of our customers.

So, now that we have ruled out the really cheap stoves and the really expensive stoves, let’s take a dive in and look at the factors that affect stove cost. The main factors that dictate stove cost are:

  • Country of Manufacture- The best quality stoves tend to be British or Scandinavian made.
  • Construction material- The best quality stoves are made from 4-5mm steel on the body with 8-10mm on the top and bottom of the stove. This is normally made from rolled steel and a cast door to take many, many years of continuous use.
  • Air-wash- Air-wash will be present on a good quality stove, using either cold or pre-warmed air to keep the glass clear and free from residue most of the time. A very well constructed stove will normally have a single control to vary the primary and secondary air. There are of course exceptions to this.
  • Require a constructional hearth- A cheaper, lower quality stove will invariably need a constructional hearth beneath the stove. This is effectively a 125mm thick concrete or stone base. This is because it throws a lot of the heat down under the stove and could cause a fire if placed on a standard cosmetic hearth of 12-20mm thick.
  • Length of warranty- A good woodburning stove should come with a 10-year warranty from the manufacturer. There are a couple of examples of very well built stoves that carry a 5 year warranty. However, this is now becoming less prevalent and if you buy from an accredited dealer most good stoves will come with 10 years warranty.

When considering a woodburning stove for any situation, use your local showrooms to pick their brains. An ethical company will have no hesitation in telling you what stoves are good, well built and ready to last from their own vast experience. They really don’t want to sell you something that you are going to come back to complain about, so use their experience, you will be able to spot the rogues who just want to sell you a stove to make the most profit.

Flue cost- As we are talking about twin wall flue here, on the assumption that there isn’t an existing chimney in your conservatory, shed or extension. It is quite a costly product no matter where you look, even the ‘cheapish’ stuff out there online can be expensive and customers are always a little surprised at the true cost to twin wall flue. There is a reason for its cost, it is very highly engineered to withstand extremely high temperatures whilst emitting very little heat to the outside of the flue. This is normally very important when installing in a conservatory, shed or extension as there is limited space and quite a few combustible materials around.

To give an example, single skin flue (vitreous enamel) needs a high distance to combustibles. Single skin flue needs to be 3 X the internal diameter from combustible material. So, if you have a 6” flue it needs to be 450mm away from any combustible materials, such as wooden window frames, skirting or joists behind a Gyproc wall.

Twin- wall flue will generally have a 1.5 X the internal dimeter as a distance to combustible so would only have to be 225mm away from combustible materials. In many instances the best quality twin wall flue such as Schiedel ECO ICID or Docherty’s SFL Nova have distances to combustibles as low as 50-60mm. They hold long guarantees and will last the full lifetime of a good quality wood burning or multi-fuel stove in excess of 25+ years.

When considering the flue cost, it makes real sense to have a survey carried out, there are so many variables that will affect the cost here. Such as, are there bends required? What type of roof do you have? Where will the stove be positioned?

All important questions when considering your twin wall cost! For example if you position the flue where it is less than 2.3m from your house, it will have to go full height! So, if you have a conservatory attached to a double story house and where you want to position the stove is within 2.3m in a direct line to the house, this means that I’m afraid the twin wall will also have to go full height and beyond.

That’s why it is best to take the advice from a showroom and to have a survey carried out. Most companies provide this survey service for free and it will mean that you are being advised properly and can discuss all of the options available to you.

Fitting cost- I really need to get this one out of the way before I go any further, you may have noticed I didn’t even mention the possibility of you installing yourself. There is reason for this, we have seen some sights in our time from self-installs and (I hate to say it) builders who just have a go.

Solid fuel is every bit as dangerous as gas, if not more so in the wrong hands. Let me ask you, would you attempt to install your own gas boiler? (Ok, gas safe engineers sit down). So, why would you think about installing your own wood burning or multi- fuel stove? Don’t do it!!

What you need to consider is this:

  • Does the installer have their own showroom? Although this makes their overheads higher, which normally means that you will pay more, it also makes them more accountable and willing to address any issues that you have after the installation.
  • Is the installer HETAS or OFTEC registered? Anyone who is HETAS registered has had to pay thousands of pounds to do so. They are also inspected regularly and have to pass very specific exams that relate to the installation of solid fuel appliances and flue systems. Although being HETAS or OFTEC registered is not a legal requirement in Scotland, most forward-thinking showrooms and installers realise that the well informed consumer will appreciate and prefer to use an installer who is accredited. This also allows the installer to register and sign off the installation and would supersede the need for a building control warrant.
  • Does the installer offer a workmanship warranty? If so, how long? This gives you a real indication to how the installer values his or her own work and for how long they are willing to deal with any workmanship complaints after installation.
  • WARNING- As Scotland works to the Competent Person Scheme, there are more rogues who fancy trying their hand at installing wood burning stoves without the proper training. This includes plumbers or builders who realise that this is a popular thing. I would advise you to ask for examples of their work and do some general research. The HETAS website has a find an installer function that allows you to check the competence and valid registration of any prospective installer - https://www.hetas.co.uk/find-installer/

Installing a wood burning stove in your conservatory, shed or extension could be the best investment you ever make. We hope that this blog has given you a good insight into the cost to install a wood burning or multi-fuel stove in Scotland within a conservatory, shed or extension. If you want to know more before buying a wood burning stove, we will be publishing a wide range of articles to help you make an informed decision.

If you feel that I have missed anything or simply want to get in touch to pick our brains for your project, you can contact us here. We provide a FREE SURVEY service across the whole of Scotland where one of our friendly surveyors can give you all of the options available to you with absolutely no pressure!

Regulations and potential problems when installing a wood burning stove in a conservatory, shed or extension?

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We all want to make informed decisions, right?

Well if you are researching potential problems or regulations that you need to consider when installing a wood burner or multi fuel stove in your conservatory, shed or extension, this article will tell you everything that you need to know or that your potential installer should know and be telling you prior to installing a wood burner at your home.

After all, we all do some research prior to making an investment like this. So that we can assess which installer to go with and how to choose between the different quotations that you get to install this type of work.

Wood burners and multi-fuel stoves are becoming common sight in conservatories, sheds and extensions for good reason. They absolutely change these spaces so that they can be enjoyed all year round in the coldest of climates.

Murray and McGregor have installed 100’s of stoves in just about every type of conservatory, shed or extension you can imagine. We absolutely love this type of installation as our customers just can’t believe how much this transforms what is a cold and threatening space in the winter time to the warm ‘winter wonderland’ it becomes with a well installed stove from a professional.

This gives us the ultimate satisfaction, we love nothing more than enhancing someone’s lifestyle.

However, we realise that there is little or conflicting information out there regarding any potential problems or regulations regarding installations in conservatories, sheds and extensions.

This handy guide will mean that you are much more aware of what to look for when investing in a wood burner to enhance an already considerable investment such as a conservatory, shed or extension.

Unless you have an existing chimney, which is very rare indeed. This type of installation will be done using a double skinned insulated rigid flue pipe, this is called ‘twin wall flue’. This is expensive, so it is important to consider the factors that will limit the height required for your installation.

We come up against the same questions and explain the same solutions time after time, they all cover these 5 areas:

  1. Position of the stove and flue height
  2. Planning permission
  3. Distance to combustibles
  4. Sealing the roof
  5. Output of stove and ventilation required

We can almost guarantee that when considering the installation of a wood burner in a conservatory, shed or extension 90% of the question will come from these five areas.

1. Where should I ‘position my stove’ in the conservatory, shed or extension?

This is a great question, the answer to which will be different depending on these main influencers:

Does the proposed position of the stove mean that the flue will be within 2.3 metres of the house?

If the flue is less than 2.3 metres from your house the flue height will have to go the full height of the house until it reaches at least 600mmm beyond any point that is within 2.3 metres of the adjacent building.

So, if you have a double storey house and the flue position will be within 2.3m of the house, it is most commonly recommended that the stove is positioned so that the flue can be anchored to the outside of the house for this height using extendable wall brackets as illustrated.

However, this will obviously cost more to install than a stove that was positioned so that the flue was more than 2.3 metres from the house. Although there is always a minimum flue height from each manufacturer, this ranges between 3.5 metres and 4.5 metres in most cases.

This flue route is very common and just the same as many stoves that are installed inside a house and taken through the wall before going up the outside of the house to its terminal.

If you were to position the stove so that the flue would be more than 2.3 metres from the house, the flue would only have to be 1 meter above the conservatory roof, which makes it cheaper and easier to install. Although, you must also adhere to the manufacturers specified minimum flue height, this is most commonly 3.5- 4.5 metres in height. An example of such an installation is below.

Structural locking bands or a telespopic roof support can be used to make sure that the flue stands up to high winds. It is important to have a survey carried out to establish which would be suitable in your home prior to booking an installation with your local installer or showroom.

2. Do I need planning permission to install a wood burning stove in my conservatory, shed or extension?

In nearly every circumstance the answer to this is no!

However, there are a few limited cases where this might apply, such as, listed buildings. This should be discussed with you at survey stage with any prospective installer and if in any doubt at all you should contact your local authorities’ planning department or ask your installation company to do so.

You may require a building warrant if you were crazy enough to attempt this yourself, we really can’t be stronger in our advice not to do this though.

Otherwise a lot of installers and showrooms have HETAS registered installers who can self-certify. This supersedes the need for a building control certificate which will save you anywhere between £200-£350 depending on what6 your local authority charge.

3.How close will the stove be to the wall?

This is a ‘distance to combustibles’ question, as are lots of others. So, to explain, all stoves have a distance to combustible materials. This will give a minimum distance to the rear, sides, front and above the stove from any combustible materials such as joists in walls, wooden window sills, door frames and soft furnishings. This is the type of thing that would be discussed at your survey and recommendations can be made based on your own individual circumstances.

A low distance to combustibles is preferable in these situations, so this needs to be a real consideration when choosing your stove. There are 3 main ways to get a low distance to combustibles:

Fit a rear and/or side heat shield- Many stove manufacturers make a heat shield for some of their range that will lower their distance to combustibles. Once fitted you can achieve very low distances, like that of a modern tall stove. The heat shield is fixed to the rear of the stove and creates a secondary barrier and an air gap which allows for this distance to be reduced considerably.
Fit a stove with a low distance to combustibles- Most tall modern stoves are perfect for this type of installation as they tend to have much lower distances to combustibles. Where you can sit the stove as close as 50-150mm from combustible wall. The reason that these stoves have such a low distance to combustibles is that they are built in such a way that they are cased in a steel or cast that acts as a heat shield which is integral to the design.

Building work where joists are cut out and blocked up- If you see the stove of your dreams but it has high distance to combustibles. Building work can be undertaken such as removing the joists from within a stud wall, this area would be braced and blocked with brick or block. A non-combustible board at the same depth of surrounding Gyproc can be applied to the wall prior to being finished by taping or plastering.

Another consideration with 'distances to combustibles' are hearths. All stoves must have a hearth installed underneath the stove. There are two main types of hearth:

A cosmetic hearth- A cosmetic hearth is considered 12mm- 20mm and above. This is most commonly made from a stone such as slate, granite or marble in 20mm. However, there are other options such as glass hearths that are 12mm thick and either clear or smoked in appearance. For a stove to be considered suitable for a cosmetic hearth, it must not transfer heat below the stove beyond 100 degrees Celsius.

A constructional hearth- A constructional hearth is a concreate base that must be 125mm thick, this is most commonly found where there is an existing chimney. You will recognise that big block of concrete in front of a chimney breast that is level with the floor joists, right? Well this is a constructional hearth and is always required for open fires, however with wood burning and multi fuel stoves the requirement of a constructional hearth will depend on how much heat is transferred down to the hearth stone. For an installation in a conservatory, shed or extension you should make it a priority to choose a stove that is suitable for a cosmetic hearth. This will minimise the cost and work required prior to installation.

4. How will you seal the roof of my conservatory, shed or extension when installing a wood burning stove?

This is quite rightly a big question we get, so how do you make sure that after you make a hole in my roof that no water comes through?

Simple! although the answer is different depending on the construction of your roof.

Types of roof

There are 4 main types of roofs in conservatories, sheds and extensions. We will cover them all below:

Tiled or Slate roofs

These are both what would be considered ‘solid roofs’ which are the same as the type of roof that most people have on their house. We use the same flashings that we would use taking twin wall up through a house.

Concrete tile- For a tiled roof we would use a lead-based flashing, the lead base has coverage, that once the tiles are replaced provides a 100% seal to all weathers. There are two main types of lead flashing that can be used for this, let your qualified installer advise which is best for you.
Slate roof- An aluminium flashing will normally be used for a slate roof, again this has coverage that will provide a 100% water tight seal and allow the flue to have a storm collar to be fitted which will also direct the flow of water out and away from the area directly above the roof exit.

Glass roofs

Glass roofs are common and is the only type of roof finish that a qualified installer may ask you to contact your conservatory company to assist prior to installation. There are a few methods to install a flue through a glass roof:

Contact your conservatory company or glazier, to cut a templated hole through the section of glass required. The flashing used here would be an EDPM flashing. This is commonly referred to as a ‘rubber dektite’. These are sealed with sealant and a fastener, the flexible base is virtually compatible with any roofing material such as metal, plastic, asphalt, tile and rubber membrane. The stepped cone design makes it adaptable to almost all pitches and suits all flue diameter sizes from 90mm to 660mm.
Remove the required section of glass and replace with a polycarbonate section, this is often the preferred method and means that your installer can simply mark up the position that requires the hole and cut this to the desired size and diameter. This would be finished using an EDPm flashing and sealing as they would on a glass ,corrugated or uPVC roof.

uPVC or polycarbonate roofs

These are probably most common and offer the simplest solution. Your installer will just cut the desired hole and use an EDPM flashing to keep you nice and water tight.

Corrugated metal roofs

These are also easy to deal with using a good EDPM flashing despite the up and down contour of this type of roof. All hail to the EDPM  flashing, a stove fitter’s friend in many instances!

So, as you can see there is a solution to all these problems.

Hopefully having this knowledge will help you make the correct choices when deciding on your preferred installer. At Murray and McGregor, we offer a workmanship warranty of 5 years, to ease our customers minds. Most installers will offer a 1 year or 2 year ‘call back’ window. So, it is worth bearing this in mind when choosing the best company to complete your installation.

If you choose an installer who is a man in a van, what is the likelihood that he will come back out to attend to any issues that you have 1, 2 or 5 years down the line? Some will, some wont…

5. How big should my stove be?

When we are asked this, a customer is really asking, what output should my stove be? I feel like writing 5kW and that’s it!

However, lets go into it a little more and explain why this makes me smile.

I would say that 90% + of the time, this will be the right answer. Most extensions, sheds and conservatories will be adequately heated with a good 5kW ‘nominal’ stove. Nominal output is taken from what might be considered a light load of wood, so in reality there will always be a range of output that you can achieve from a well designed and crafted wood burner.

It’s very common to have a range of 3-7kW from a 5kW stove. So, it would have to be one hell of a space to need more than this output.

Any reputable installer or showroom will give you the correct advice here. Something to consider would be if you install a stove with a higher output than 5kW. You will have to install a core vent, supplying the room with a constant supply of ‘fresh air'. Most people hear “Cold air” when I explain this and truth be told, they are not wrong. My advice here is simple, you need a 5kW stove and that’s that, although not quite.

There may be very rare instances where a house has an enormous orangery ,for example, that may require a larger stove. However this is very rare, if anything, you might need to consider a 3 or 4kW stove so that you are able to stand the heat in a smaller conservatory, shed or extension.

Installing a wood burner in your conservatory, shed or extension is a great idea. It really helps connect you to the outside and brings the family together in a way that can’t be achieved by buying a new kitchen or bathroom. It can and should bring a much deeper level of connectivity to yourself and surroundings and maybe, just maybe be the conduit to live your life the way you have always wanted to.

We have written an article on the cost of installing a wood burning stove in a conservatory, shed or extension that you can read HERE.

I hope that that this article has been useful to your research when considering installing a wood burner. If you think we have missed anything or just want to pick our brains we would love for you to Contact us.

We provide a FREE SURVEY across the whole of Scotland where you can benefit from the experience of one of our friendly surveyors, who will give you the options and information to make an informed decision with absolutely no pressure!

About the author

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Ross Murray Poole is the founder of Murray and McGregor Stoves and Fireplaces who has a deep passion for conservation and sustainable ways of living. He resides in Bridge of Allan with his young family and now considers the Stirling area to be his home although born and brought up in Glasgow. Deeply committed to providing simple execution of quality and service to his clients, this blog will serve as a platform to educate and engage the wider community. 

Murray and McGregor Stoves and Fireplces are a proud family run company supplying a wide range of wood burning stoves, multi fuel stoves, gas fires and fireplaces across Scotland and the UK. Based in Stirling, Dundee, Perth and Glasgow we bring the showroom to your home anywhere in Scotland  - You can visit us at our showroom in Dunblane, Perthshire where we have a selection of stoves and fireplaces. Call us on 0800 316 9800 to chat about our wood burning stoves including Newman Stoves  Burley Stoves  Broseley Stoves  Dunsley Stoves  Aarrow Stoves  Pevex Stoves Henley Stoves  Carron Stoves  Jetmaster Stoves  Trianco Stoves  Aduro Stoves  Firestorm Stoves  Varde Ovne Stoves  Nordpeis Stoves  Franco Belge Stoves  Nestor Martin Stoves  Rika Stoves  Wiking Stoves  Hwam Stoves Riva Studio Stoves  Riva Cassette Stoves  Yeoman Stoves  Yeoman Gas and Electric Stoves  Dovre Stoves  Stovax Stoves  Jydepejsen Stoves and AGA Stoves and many more. We supply and fit our wood burning stoves and gas fires to a wide range of areas including Stirling, Glasgow, Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh, Arbroath, Aberdeen, Fort William, Kilmarnock, Paisley, Livingston, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Callander, Falkirk, Inverkip, Bearsden, Milngavie, Strathblane, Croftamie, Old Kilpatrick, Lenzie, Helensburgh, Balfron, Drymen, Beith, Kilbirnie, Barrhead, Johnstone, Bridge of Weir, Kilmacolm, Paisley, Renfrew, Neilston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Newlands, Clarkston, Kinross, Auchterarder, Bridge of Earn, Crieff, Comrie and many other locations throughout Scotland. We can also provide Morso, Jotul, Scan, Charnwood and Contura in our Dunblane Showroom. 

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