Author Topic: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert? (Read 3618 times)

MsPeacock

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Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« on: February 19, 2015, 10:32:07 AM »
The cold weather has me thinking again about making my fireplaces functional. I had them looked at years ago and basic consensus was that w/o an insert they were really only "decorative." The cost of insert and lining was of course extremely high and the project was set aside in favor of more pressing issues. However, the basement family room has no heat source at all - and it is extremely cold. I'd love to have an insert there, and then one in the living room as well - to help w/ heat, because they are pleasant, etc.

So, I was looking online and the chimney's would need to be lined - checked out some DIY instructions.... and it doesn't seem very complicated at all. I have low DIY ability in terms of carpentry, and I am terrified in terms of heights. However, I have a boyfriend who will happily manage most of the on top of the roof parts of projects (e.g. he will also clean my gutters). Wondering if anyone here has done the project and it is as easy as it appears.

Secondly, for those who have wood burning inserts - how was in the instillation? I see on craigslist there are people selling used inserts (many of them very new and from good brands) for significant discounts. From what I can tell the stove is fit to the fireplace opening w/ metal flashing that covers the space between the stove and the edge of the opening? Is this correct? What are the complications or challenges w/ getting an insert installed correctly?

This would be a summer time project in anticipation of being cozier next winter.

Thanks!

Gone Fishing

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 11:35:58 AM »
Never done a liner/insert but have done a woodstove and chimney installation. Not too difficult. The hard part is making sure your insurance company and local codes are in order. We heat with 100% wood now.

sandandsun

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 11:48:12 AM »
I bought insert and all new, high end liner three years ago- bought it new and the installation cost was very minimal (most of the profit for them, I am guessing, was in the retail cost of the insert). Was almost 5k total, but I have access to free wood, so should pay for itself in a few more years... have been very happy with it...

MsPeacock

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 05:22:45 PM »
I had the furnace chimney lined and I think it was about $1200 6 years ago. Well, I see that the lining kits sell for $200-$300 now - and it was sort of a one or two man job, done in a couple of hours....

Inserts are expensive - but I think that I could find a used one since I am in no rush.

The basement fireplace at some point had an insert in it - or something. Someone had run the stove pipe maybe 4 feet up the chimney and later owners pulled out the stove/insert. This left the chimney wide open w/ no flue for idk how many years. I have an insulated inflatable bag in there now that is designed to block air leakage. The inside of the chimney was incredibly dirty because it wasn't vented correctly. I had them cleaned and inspected at one point in thinking about an insert (and because parts of both chimneys had to be rebuilt were missing caps, had to be repointed, etc.). But 5k or so is just more than I can spend on the project - but if I could DIY for $1000 or so that would be worth considering.

PatStab

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 05:28:10 PM »
We don't have a fireplace but in a rental we bought I had the chimney lined. The house is 105 years old also a new pipe. The HVAC guy said I didn't have to but it would be much safer. It didn't cost all that much and I think well worth the money. I believe in renting safe houses, hubby is rewiring it now.

sandandsun

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 08:46:29 AM »
I'm sure you could do it much cheaper than 5k... that was for exactly what I wanted- very large insert- and for a house we are planning to be in for next 10-12 years. People sell used inserts all the time- just make sure it will fit your opening as they come in different sizes...

exstrax

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 01:49:08 PM »
I installed a stainless chimney liner on one of my rental properties after converting the heating system from oil to natural gas (that part was done by a licensed installer). I ordered the kit online for $500 and it came in a few days. They have an installation video which was easy to follow. Took about 3 hours with two helpers. My helpers fed the liner through the chimney from the roof and I did the hookups inside to the heater and HWH. Saved a lot of money. Installers in my area want $1500 - $2000 for stainless liner installs on 3 story (including basement) houses.

MsPeacock

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 04:05:02 AM »
I installed a stainless chimney liner on one of my rental properties after converting the heating system from oil to natural gas (that part was done by a licensed installer). I ordered the kit online for $500 and it came in a few days. They have an installation video which was easy to follow. Took about 3 hours with two helpers. My helpers fed the liner through the chimney from the roof and I did the hookups inside to the heater and HWH. Saved a lot of money. Installers in my area want $1500 - $2000 for stainless liner installs on 3 story (including basement) houses.



Thank you! That is exactly what I hoped to hear. I paid to have one done a few years back and it was about 150 0 for 2 stories . I really need to do something good about the basement fireplace situstion, so I think this will now rise towards the top of my to do wish list.

Pav

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 10:07:20 AM »
I installed a pellet insert and chimney liner in my home in December. 25' chimney liner + insulation kit ran me ~$500, and the steel pellet insert I got from craiglist for $270. I figured that a 6" diameter wood stove chimney liner with 1/2" insulation wrapping would be tough to jam down my 25' chimney. But the 4" diameter for pellet stoves would be simple. Boy was I wrong! Even with the smaller diameter, it was a serious struggle for two grown men to jam down the chimney. Me, jamming the liner down the chimney from the roof, and my father-in-law in the fireplace with a rope pulling it down. I have no great fear of heights, but being loose up on the roof, and using all my physical strength to stay balanced while twisting and shoving the 25' liner down... makes my palms sweat just thinking about it. In the end, I'm still alive and I saved a chunk of dough between craigslist and a little DIY attitude.

The pellet insert is a Lopi PI-400 FoxFire model, I believe manufactured sometime between 90-94. It's probably not the most efficient model, but it definitely warms up the house and creates decent ambiance. It doesn't have the same character as a wood, but it's definitely more user friendly. Filling up the hopper, and the flick of a switch and I have fire for 10 hrs with no need to tend.

iamsoners

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2015, 11:29:07 AM »
I have a related question I'm hoping someone here can answer. We would like to the same thing--an efficient insert plus liner. We had a chimney company come out, just to give us an idea of what the cost would be and they quoted something like $2000 to have the chimney re-mortared, some work on the cap, etc. etc. But my question is, if we're just going to line it, do we really have to do those things? Wouldn't the liner make all that redundant?

I do know our hot water heater and furnace vent out through the chimney as well--does that play into these considerations?

Pav

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Re: Anyone DIY chimney liner and wood stove insert?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2015, 02:07:52 PM »
For what it's worth, I also had chimney sweep / repairmen come to look at my chimney last spring. They quoted me $500+ just to add a chimney cap to cover all 3 exhausts (Gas hot water, Gas boiler, Fireplace insert). When I was up on the roof, there were definitely loose bricks. And the flashing could be replaced, too. So I'm sure my chimney could further deteriorate, and needs the work. Maybe you're in a similar situation? It's recommended work that should be addressed, but maybe not a do-or-die situation.

If they quoted the installation of a poured-in-place liner, or a clay flue liner, that would be redundant with a flexible steel, insulated chimney liner. The DIY chimney liner kit I purchased only includes a cap for the one exhaust. So my chimney top doesn't look symettrical or fancy (or appropriate for all three), but I'm sure that it's an improvement on what it was before.