Installing a woodstove in Scotland?

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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Hi all,
The wife and I bought a house a few months back. Full renovation job and it's been a lot of work but we're coming to the point I've been most looking forward to - installing a wood stove in the living room.

I've already ordered the stove itself.

I understand that building regs in Scotland are different so we don't need permission to install the stove which is great - but what is unclear is whether or not it needs to be signed off by a registered HETAS engineer?

I've done an awful lot of reading online about it and feel with confidence I am more than capable of installing a flue, closure plate etc etc myself. Indeed if anything I'd probably over do it compared to an engineer.

The question is am I allowed to do this? Can I install the stove myself and get it signed off or do I HAVE to get it installed professionally?
If the former, should I do it myself? All the bits I'd need add up to over £500 + rental for the ladders etc etc. I'm not overly bothered about working at height and would endeavour to be as safe as possible. But is it worth the faff? I've no real wish to pay a small fortune to have this done by someone else knowing I could do it myself....


As ever your opinions will be greatly appreciated.

All the best
Andy
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Congrats on the house. So nice to have your own digs.

Have you a local building code? What does it say that you must do? You might be able to DIY then have the work properly inspected.
Best possible idea when it comes time to declare heating appliances for your home-owner's insurance (everybody has their hand in your pocket.)

I was able to do that but the code was an absolute nuisance.
Concrete floor but still MUST HAVE the $$$ asbestos fire pad under the stove.
Written by somebody paranoid about birthday candles on a cake.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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You write the house needed a full renovation.
That brings a question:
Is the chimney/ flue in perfect condition?

I would say - if the house needs a full renovation then the chimney and flues are toast. Dampness over years, rain etc could have damaged it.

I have had installed woodburners in all houses I have lived in over the years ( except the last one I built here on island) and had it done by a qualified company.
Usually by a company as recommended by the company that sold the wood burner.

If you make a mistake - house can burn down. Dangerous. Deadly.

Check with your house insurer if you are covered for a house fire caused by a badly installed woodburner.

Even if the chimney is good, I would still recommend you line the chimney. Peace of mind.
The chimney needs to be tested. Absolutely necessary if it is an old house.
 

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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Is the house old? Is the chimney/ flue in perfect condition?
I have had installed woodburners in all houses I have lived in over the years ( except the last one I built here on island) and had it done by a qualified company.
Usually by a company as recommended by the company that sold the wood burner.

If you make a mistake - house can burn down. Dangerous. Deadly.

Check with your house insurer if you are covered for a house fire caused by a badly installed woodburner.

Even if the chimney is good, I would still recommend you line the chimney. Peace of mind.
Even if it is a new house, the chimney needs to be tested. Absolutely necessary if it is an old house.

House was built in 1935 so not old old but it's not a new build either. The chimney is in adequate condition as it is but I'd be lining it with a multifuel liner regardless.

I appreciate your point but believe me when I say I am well aware of the issues and what needs to be done. I'm getting the chimney professionally cleaned in a couple of weeks when I get ashore before I start anything.



We're in Clarkston on the south side Mary. I had considered that issue before we bought the stove so opted for a Defra approved model that can be used in smoke controlled areas.


atb
Andy
 

Janne

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Well, that sounds good! Mr Chimney-sweep can tell you the condition of it.

The last British house we installed woodburners in, in East Sussex, the gentleman that installed them ( including linings) did the pressure testing and chimney sweeping. Full service guy.

(There are two things I am not happy doing on a house. Electricity and fire stuff. Only because I am a 'scary cat' ! :) )

I take it the lining is stainless steel, and you will pour those insulating little bits between the new lining and the chimney?
 

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
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Well, that sounds good! Mr Chimney-sweep can tell you the condition of it.

The last British house we installed woodburners in, in East Sussex, the gentleman that installed them ( including linings) did the pressure testing and chimney sweeping. Full service guy.

(There are two things I am not happy doing on a house. Electricity and fire stuff. Only because I am a 'scary cat' ! :) )

I take it the lining is stainless steel, and you will pour those insulating little bits between the new lining and the chimney?

Sorry if my earlier post sounded a bit arsey. It wasn't intended to be.

I fully agree - I'm all for saving a penny here and there and like I say I'm confident in my ability to do it but I'm also happy to admit when I'm out of my depth.

Yeah I'd go for the more expensive twin walled stainless stuff, more durable and longer lasting. Getting the liner down the chimney would likely be the most difficult and awkward bit but sealing it all up would be a doddle. It's the testing side of it I'd not be able to do myself.

It won't hurt to get some quotes in and go from there.

Andy
 

KenThis

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Jun 14, 2016
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I installed a multi fuel stove in our house for my dad. Did everything except for actually installing the chimney liner. I'm not great on heights. My fathers friends carried the liner onto the roof and lowered it down and then I connected it up. I think the liner bit is a two man job for safety but it probably depends on your roof and your head for heights.
I basically followed all the building regulations and guidance, even adding an extra air vent in the room that wasn't strictly necessary. I'm a natural worrier and took my time. Once I was happy my dad had a HETAS engineer come and go over everything. My dad made out that he wasn't sure the guys that did it were any good so to double check. The engineer was more than satisfied. It gets cleaned and checked every year and it's 6/7 years old.
In my opinion if you do it yourself you will be happier with the job as you'll know exactly how it's been done and it'll be up to your standards as well as saving money. However I strongly advise having it double checked by an engineer to do the testing for the certificate (house insurance etc.) and for peace of mind.
Like Janne there are some things I won't mess with (for me it's gas and running electric cable) I think everything else is fair game.
Whatever you decide best of luck.
 

Janne

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Yes, the double walked liners are the best. Should you burn through one ( it can happen over time closest to the burner) you still have one layer.

The wood burner we had installed in our house in Norway needed a fairly narrow flue/ liner, said the installing guy, as it was supposed to be more efficient.

Our house there is built just after the war, from bits and pieces that survived the burning if the vilkage the Germans did.
The chimney and concrete foundation are original from the first house (1910’s) nd patched up.
The biggest priblem was that the chimney was repaired, then enclosed in the middle of the house. Enclosed because it is butt ugly.

Insurance demanded a s/s liner.

I wish you lits of enjoyment from your new woodburner.
It would be interesting to read about your plan of the house restoration!

The first house I rebuilt/ restored in UK was built in 1932.
It was fun!
 
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Everything Mac

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Thanks Janne,

Can't imagine that would make much of an interesting read. We got the house back in November and since then I've basically been pulling the place apart finding one badly done DIY job after another.

We had artex on the walls in the hall way so I removed all of that to find a lot of the plaster underneath was blown so it all came off. Much of the "browning" plaster had separated from the bricks too so all that came off and was replaced. We discovered that the bathroom is too small for a regular bath so they chipped away at the wall to make it fit, breaking big holes in the wall at the top of the stairs in doing so. Cemented all that up, as well as an original old soap dish that had broken the brick away into the wall cavity behind.
Removed and replaced the plasterboard ceilings in 2 rooms and the downstairs hallway.

I had to rip down and rebuild a partition wall between two of the bedrooms. Pulled up a hodge podge of odd boards that were flooring the loft, laid down an extra layer of insulation then put plywood flooring down. Repointed a couple of lintels above windows here and there.

Had plumbers and a sparky in, so completely new boiler, radiators and plumbing system in the whole house. sparky said most of the electrics were actually ok but was horrified by some of it, so much of it was replaced and moved around as required.

The fireplace was a total mess, they had an old electric fire in there so I pulled all that out and opened up the space behind but they had cut out the lintel for some reason so I had to remove what was left of that and fit a new one.

Plasterers came in about two weeks ago and re-plastered a good portion of the house while I tiled the bathroom. Once all the tiling is finished I'll be ripping up the bathroom floor so I can add extra supports, then replace the floor with plywood and cement board so we can tile over it. Then I'll be installing a new bath etc etc.

After that it's just a case of sanding down and varnishing all the floor boards as the wife doesn't want any carpet. Bit of paint here and there and we'll be sorted.

Makes you realise just how much work you've done when you write it all out like that.

All the best
Andy
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Thanks for the "trip report", Andy. I really wish you well and a bottle of cheap pain-killers, too.
Maybe area rugs for winter?, sure are cozy on the feet, first thing in the winter mornings.
Actually, I use new horse saddle blankets for bedside mats over stone tile floors.

Have family in NYorks finally doing a total rip-out of the old farm house.
From the pictures, all of the best features were buried in DIY rennos over the decades.
The place will be a castle when it's done.
 
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mousey

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Jun 15, 2010
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In my old house I had an aga fitted with a water tank and 11 radiators to replace the storage heaters. The guys that came round were from the 'local' closest aga approved place and they were not bothered about getting the right sized radiators for each room / checking the output would match the radiators installed, didn't care if there was a plinth in place in the kitchen or not, botched the pipe runs in the loft nackering the possibility of opening a fire in the living room, didn't know about adding additional ventilation into the space where the Aga was, wanted to fit a radiator in the kitchen - the room where the aga [the heat source!] was. Basically the 'approved' people were totally useless didn't spec the job properly and reacted very badly when asked questions on their installation method. Needless to say not very happy.

For a simpler job of installing a stove I'd seriously think of doing it myself - but my current house is three stories facing the north sea so a bit scary at the top! - I'll live with my open fire until I move again.
 
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gonzo_the_great

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My house was 'corperation' built in 1936. Looks like a council house, but never was. So you would assume that it would have been done well. But I have loose plaster everywhere. Any little job you do tends to snowball, to the point of gutting the room and starting again.

The worst bodge job, possibly DIY, but I suspect it was doen by a tradesman... The replacement cold water tank.
The original riveted steel one, was located on the joists over a supporting wall. The replacement plastic one, was 4 times the size and had been sited right over the centre span of a room. Causing all the joists to bow and crack all the lath and plaster ceiling away from the lath. Which came down, and you can imagine the mess.

I'd planned to put in a woodberner, when I moved in. But the whole chimney brest had been knocked out in my side, only the neigbours had a chimney. So end of that plan. But I have installed a couple in my assorted workshops, so all is not lost.
 
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Toddy

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Eh ?

No, my cold water tank is sealed and water is clean and kept clean. The hot water tank however is now sealed, but wasn't when I was a child. I still refuse to mix hot and cold through one tap. Sure fire way to get polluted potable water.
The header tank of cold fresh water means that we always have water, even when there's a problem with the mains, we always have pressure. Bit like the kidneys need the pressure to keep the system running :)

M
 
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Janne

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Noooooo, mixing hot and cold water does not polute it in any way. What pollution would that be?
If that could happen, warmer countries ( southern Europe, the Americas, us here, other civilized countries) would get sick. Which does not happen.

The cold water tanks I threw out had lids. Disgusting. No matter what you do, dust, and even small animalia can get in there.

One day Britain will enter the modern age when it comes to plumbing too!

It is easy to bypass the tank. DIY easy.



Restoring houses or apartements is a good way to make money.
We always bought the worst house in the best possible area, and restored them ourselves.
You need a sympathetic spouse though.
Living in a building site is not acceptable to many people.
 
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Toddy

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Nope, no mixing. Why risk contamination of potable water ? Just so it's convenient to wash your hands in the loo ??

Modern water tanks are sealed, there is no way to get in bar through the pipes. They're easily changed out too.
Old cisterns were just that. The world moves on, even in British plumbing :) Nowadays many folks have combi boilers, ours is a double and it still has a cistern tank on the top.
Constant pressure, y'know ?

Our hot water used to come from the back boiler behind the fire in the living room. It was common, but no one really has those now.
We moved into a brand new house and the back boiler was as bright and shiny as a new penny....until we lit the fire.
 

Janne

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But contamination from what? The hot water is just as clean as the cold water!
The lead pipes that still exist in UK houses?

Do not worry, I had many battles with my builder ( I used the same guy + son for all 4 UK houses )
over the water supply.

The best one was when we had bidets installed.. He thought it was a foot bath!

I understand your reluctance. Tradition!

I know the Brits travel with a plug. It is the butt of many jokes all around the world!
I am sure the security people around the world think the plug is used for something else...
:)