How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Chimney Liner?
If you love the warmth and coziness of a real fire in your fireplace, installing a chimney liner is a must. Chimney liners protect the inside of your chimney and make it easier to maintain, significantly reducing the risk of house fires, creosote buildup and carbon-monoxide poisoning. In fact, many jurisdictions require homeowners to install a chimney liner by law.
There are several kinds of chimney liners, and there should be an option to suit most budgets. Let's explore how much a chimney liner costs and what impacts the price.
Your chimney liner's material and how well you maintain it impacts how often you need to replace it. Generally, Fixr says you should expect to replace a stainless-steel chimney liner every 15 to 20 years.
However, you should change the liner sooner if you notice shards of broken liner in your fireplace or excessive creosote buildup. Smoke inside your home is another sign you need a new chimney liner. If you're unsure, you can hire a chimney sweep to conduct a chimney inspection and check the condition of your liner.
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According to Bob Vila, installing a new chimney liner costs $2,500 on average, and most people pay between $625 and $7,000.
Before installation, you'll also need to pay for a chimney inspection and cleaning service if you haven't had your chimney swept recently. How much chimney sweeping costs depends on the type of inspection you require, but you should expect to pay between $125 and $250. Most jurisdictions require homeowners to obtain a chimney liner permit, usually costing $50 to $200.
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Chimney liners come in various materials. Which material you choose can significantly impact how much your chimney liner costs. Clay or terracotta chimney liners are the most affordable option, costing around $10 per square foot. However, they're not as long-lasting as other flue liners and take considerable effort to install.
Stainless-steel chimney liners are a durable, easy-to-install mid-range choice, costing roughly $100 per square foot (including labor).
Thermocrete is a brand-name ceramic chimney liner that is sprayed on the inside of your chimney. Because of that, it costs a lot more than other materials, coming in at about $200 per square foot.
Cast-in-place cement liners are the most expensive option — about $250 per square foot. Because the single-piece liner forms exactly to your chimney, it can last a long time.
Metal chimney liners are available as single-wall and double-wall liners. Single-wall liners have a single layer of corrugated metal and are more affordable, costing between $20 and $40 per square foot.
Double-wall liners have a corrugated outer layer and a smooth inner layer. They provide improved insulation compared to single-wall liners and are more straightforward to clean and maintain. Expect to pay between $40 and $90 per square foot for a double-wall liner.
Various other factors can affect how much chimney liner installation costs. Chimneys in taller houses typically cost more to line because contractors have to use specialized lifts to access the upper sections. Lining a chimney on a steeply pitched roof is also more expensive because working on a sloped surface is significantly more dangerous.
Another factor to consider is how many appliances use your chimney for ventilation. This issue won't affect most houses because many households only use their chimneys to vent a single fireplace. Each additional fireplace or vented appliance must attach to the chimney, increasing the cost of your chimney liner by around $400.
Finally, consider the condition of your chimney when estimating how much a chimney liner will likely cost. You can only install a chimney liner if your chimney is in safe working order, so you may have to repair any cracks or defects before starting your project. How much it costs to fix a broken chimney depends on the issue, but most common repairs cost between $900 and $2,800.
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