When you buy your new wood burner or multi-fuel stove, we appreciate that it can be something of an investment and you may now be looking for ways to save money. One of the first things that many of our clients ask us is whether they can install their own stove.
In the most simple terms; yes, you can fit your own stove and you would not be the only person to do this. However, there are a lot of things to think about and it is important that if you decide to go ahead, you are fully prepared both physically, with the right equipment, and most importantly, legally.
In this article, we are going to be talking you through everything you will need to think about before making a decision on whether to install your own stove.
Things To Consider About Installing Your Own Stove
There are a lot of things that you will need to think about before you even begin to think about installing the stove. Before you make your purchase, you should assess the area where the stove will be placed and make sure that it is suitable. Furthermore, you should be sure that you fully understand the type of stove you need and any intricacies that may need to be addressed.
After this, we would strongly advise paying attention to the following considerations.
Are You Able To Install The Stove?
As we have mentioned, installing a multi-fuel or wood-burning stove does require a level of previous experience and some basic knowledge. This is not something that can be learned overnight. If you want to have a go at installing your own stove, we would first recommend having a detailed read of the stove installation manual and be sure that you understand everything you have read.
But aside from understanding how to fit the stove, you should make sure that you have the physical ability. It’s all well and good trying to save money by completing the work but if this comes at the cost of injuring yourself or wearing yourself into the ground, it simply isn’t worth it.
Installing a stove does require a degree of physical fitness, there may be a need to move bricks, not to mention the stove itself. What’s more, you will need to know how to safely operate a drill and be comfortable going up and down a ladder.
Must Conform To Article J Of The Building Regulations
Something as complex and potentially dangerous as a wood burner or multi-fuel stove cannot merely be installed and forgotten about. This type of appliance has legal requirements that must be met.
Article J of the building regulations refers to combustion appliances and fuel storage systems. This details protection for the building in which the appliance will be installed, the air supply, provides information on flues, hearths and fireplaces as well as the discharge of combustion products. All regulations in this document must be adhered to when installing the stove. If you do not have previous experience, this may be somewhat confusing and unless you fully understand what you must do to comply, it may be worth considering hiring a professional.
There are several things that may need to be altered or addressed when installing a stove, such as the following:
- Stoves must have a hearth. This may be a smaller hearth or a large one, but the size will be determined by the stove you are using and its location within the room. If a hearth is not currently installed, this will be something else that you will need to do.
- High wattage stoves, in particular, may need to have a vent added but regardless of the stove, there will need to be sufficient ventilation, and if it is not already present, you will need to add this in.
- You cannot place a stove within a certain distance of combustible materials. This means that if you have any wooden beams or other combustible structures nearby where you wish to place the stove, they may need to be removed. It doesn’t take us to tell you that could be a significant job and may not even be possible where the structural integrity of the building is concerned.
Regardless of who installs the stove, it must be declared to the building control and the relevant certification must be given.
A HETAS certificate is a piece of legal documentation that will be provided when your stove is installed. Professional installers will provide this documentation for you and will be trained and able to self-certify. But if you are going to be installing the stove yourself, this is another hurdle that you will have to overcome.
The HETAS certification demonstrates that your appliance is fully compliant with building regulations and, therefore, safe to use. In England and Wales, you must provide your HETAS certification to your local authority as a way of letting them know that the stove was installed.
Ensuring That The Appliance Meets Your Needs
One of the most important things to think about is whether the stove will meet your needs once it has been installed. If these appliances are not fitted correctly, there is a serious risk posed in terms of both operation, your health and your property.
One of the first things you should think about is that the way in which the stove is installed can have a direct impact on its emissions. As we discovered earlier, there must be sufficient ventilation. If there is not, this could result in toxic fumes being released into your home.
Installing the correct flue will allow any harmful gases to be removed from the home effectively. One of these gases is carbon monoxide. Since this is odourless and often undetectable until it is too late, it is known as an invisible killer. When fuel is not burned correctly, carbon monoxide can occur and this will put your and your family at risk. It simply is not worth it.
If you hire a professional stove installed, they will usually test the flue to ensure that everything is in good working order. If you are going to be installing the stove yourself, you will also need to think about this aspect of the job and whether you feel confident in your ability to judge the effectiveness of the flue.
In addition to stopping poisonous gases from accumulating in your home, the flue also serves as a way to prevent fires from developing in the chimney, which is not uncommon. This is due to a build-up of creosotes, which when left, can quickly heat up and catch fire.
Finally, you should make sure that the stove your purchase can be used where you live. If you live in a smoke control area, you will need to make sure that you are using a DEFRA approved stove. But on top of this, it is important that you understand how to operate any stove using the correct fuel.
An Important Note About Fitting To The Manufacturer’s Instructions
It is critical that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to a T. They made the stove and know its workings in and out. Omitting any little detail in the instruction manual could be the difference between a fully functioning stove and one that is dangerous.
While it can be tempting to take on the installation of your new wood burner or multi-fuel stove yourself, there are risks that come with this. Not only could an inexperienced person fit the stove incorrectly which could be very dangerous, but it is important to think about building regulations and the correct certification.
Unless you are completely confident that you are able to take on the installation and all of the jobs that come along with it, then we would always advise hiring a professional.