Thursday, July 16

Are There Building Regulations For a Stove?

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When it comes to installing a brand new stove, it is often best to request the help of a professional. A stove is an investment you don’t want to get wrong – an incorrectly installed stove could not only perform badly, but could also be dangerous.

Contacting a HETAS installer is the best way to get your stove fitted properly. Since any changes to your chimney is considered building work, there are a number of building regulations that you will need to adhere to. They are all listed in Document J, which you can see here.

The benefit of having a HETAS installer fit your stove is that they already know every wood burning stove regulation, saving you the headache of reading up on them yourself!

Nevertheless, there are a few stove building regulations that are good for you to know about beforehand. In this blog, we will answer the following commonly asked questions…

Do you need planning permission to install a wood burning stove?
Is it a legal requirement to have a flue liner?
What are the hearth regulations for a log burner?
What are the ventilation requirements for a wood burning stove?
Do you need a carbon monoxide alarm for a stove?

Read on to find out more about these building regulations so you can get your new wood burner or multi fuel stove fitted without any issues…

Related: Stove Installation Advice

Do You Need Planning Permission to Install a Wood Burning Stove?

In the UK, you don’t need any prior planning permission to install a wood burner, if the work is carried out by a HETAS installer. In this case, your installer is qualified to certify the works themselves, and will issue a certificate of compliance as proof. This will be signed by your installer and used to notify your council of the building work.

If you fit your stove yourself, or have a non-HETAS installer do the job, you will need to tell your local Building Control department before you start any work. This isn’t strictly planning permission, but is a necessary step. When the work is complete, they will need to inspect it to ensure all building regulations have been met. This will be at your expense, so factor this into your stove budget. Be aware that failure to follow the guidelines could result in a penalty!

Once the stove is properly fitted, you will need to make sure you have a notice plate completed. This is another regulation that records all the details of your stove, hearth, chimney and flue. It should be placed by your hearth, electric meter or water stopcock.

If you live in a listed building, it is possible you might need proper planning permission. Check with your local council before hand, if you do.

You will also have to check whether you live in a smoke control area. If so, you will need to make sure you buy a DEFRA approved stove or an EcoDesign stove.

Related: What is DEFRA?

Shop All DEFRA Approved Stoves

Chimney flue liners can be a contentious issue for some people! There are those who insist they don’t need one, while others would never be without one.

There is no legal requirement or stove building regulation that states that you to have a flue liner in your chimney if it is in good condition. However, they are strongly advised by most HETAS installers for both safety and performance reasons. Some of these are:

  • Improved draw. Most chimneys operate better with the use of a flue liner.
  • Hotter chimney. The warmer your chimney is, the better smoke will rise out of the top. Cold chimneys can result in more tar and condensation build up.
  • Better safety. A flue liner offers protection against carbon monoxide leaks and reduces the risk of chimney fires.

Your chimney should always be checked for cracks or damage before a new stove is installed. If cracks are present and your chimney is at risk of leaking smoke, you will be required to fit a flue liner. It is strongly recommended that chimneys built before 1964 are lined as they were made from brick alone.

You might also be required to have a flue liner if your chimney is too big. Most stoves require a flue of 5-6 inches, so if your chimney is bigger than this, a flue may be necessary.

There are further building regulations when installing a twin wall flue system. Read our guide on how to have a wood burning stove without a chimney for more information.

Flexible chimney flue liner

Shop All Chimney Liners

Log Burner Hearth Regulations

Hearths are a very important part of your stove installation and are covered by building regulations.

Your stove must always be placed on a non-combustible material such as granite, slate, steel or glass. Always check the size of your stove before buying a hearth. If the heat from the stove doesn’t raise the temperature of the hearth above 100°C, the following measurements must be met:

  • The hearth must extend at least 300mm to the front and 150mm to either side
  • The full area of the hearth should be at least 840x840mm
  • It must be at least 12mm thick

If your stove heats your hearth to over 100°C, or it hasn’t been tested, the required thickness increases to 250mm.

Take a look at our full range of hearths and make sure you choose the correct thickness before installing your stove.

Shop All Hearths

Wood Burning Stove Ventilation Requirements

Before you decide to buy your stove, be aware that your room may need extra ventilation added.

Stoves need an air supply in order to operate. They draw in air from the surrounding room which then helps smoke draw up the chimney. If you don’t have enough air supply, you will find your stove struggles to burn and smoke could start backing out into the room.

Related: Why Does My Log Burner Keep Going Out?

The general rule is that if your stove is less than 5kW, usually no ventilation is required. If it is has an output of more than 5kW, you will need 550mm2 of permanent ventilation for every additional kilowatt. So, for example:

  • A 6kW stove would need 550mm2 ventilation
  • A 7kW stove would need 1100m2 ventilation
  • An 8kW stove would need 1650mm2 ventilation

Stove room ventilators can be bought if you need to add in some air supply. They are drilled through your wall and are best fit as near your stove as possible. They can cause a draft across your room, so think carefully about where is best to fit it!

If your home was built after 2008, there are slightly different ventilation requirements. New builds are very airtight compared to older homes, so you will need to carry out an air permeability test to determine how much ventilation you will need to fit for your stove.

Find out more about log burner ventilation requirements here.

Do You Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector With a Wood Burner?

It is a legal requirement that you fit a carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as your wood burner or multi fuel stove. A HETAS installer will ensure you have a working alarm fitted in the same room as your stove before completing the job.

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels don’t burn completely. This can happen in a wood burning, multifuel or gas stove. You need an alarm as the harmful fumes are odourless and can gradually replace oxygen in a room, so you may not realise until it’s too late. The best way to prevent carbon monoxide in your home is to have your stove and chimney inspected annually and fit a flue liner.

For more information on fitting your stove, you can contact us to speak to our expert sales team.

You can also find more resources on our blog, including these posts:

Why You Need to Sweep Your Chimney | Lighting Your Stove for the First Time | The Positives of Buying a Wood Burning Stove

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