How Much Does Wood Stove Installation Cost?
An energy-efficient wood stove can create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere in a home. Wood stove installation cost ranges from $325 to $4,000.
- Typical Range: $325 to $4,000
Installing a wood stove can completely change the atmosphere of a room. A wood-burning stove provides an additional heating source and creates a welcoming, cozy glow. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, installing a wood-burning stove costs from $325 to $4,000, depending on the size and type of the wood stove, the installation location, the stove’s capacity, the total installation time, and the complexity of the job. A wood stove’s benefits include better heat than from a fireplace and multiple available placement options throughout the home. Fire safety needs to be a top priority with wood stove installation. Protection for the floor and walls and proper ventilation are important for wood stove installations as well. The addition of heat-resistant materials and inspection fees to ensure compliance with local building codes and wood stove manufacturer specifications can increase the price of installation.
Labor to install a wood stove runs from $250 to $800. Labor pricing typically includes chimney construction, stove fitting, a ventilation system, wall coverings, and a hearth pad, although some wood stove installers may charge separately for those items. The type of wood stove will also influence the labor costs, as will any masonry work, the complexity of the installation job, and any necessary repairs. This guide will examine the factors that affect wood stove cost, the types of wood stoves and the benefits of installing one, and some frequently asked questions about wood stove installation cost.
Factors in Calculating Wood Stove Installation Cost
How much does it cost to install a wood stove? Wood stove prices for installation are typically less than fireplace installation costs, but the overall expense depends on several factors. The pricing can differ from the national average due to stove type, material, and brand; heating capacity; chimney and liner installation; stove pipe installation; installation location; local labor costs; and permit fees.
Homeowners can choose between three types of wood stoves: catalytic, noncatalytic, and hybrid. Catalytic wood stoves are more appropriate for homeowners who are looking for sustained overnight burns and using the wood stove for a primary heat source. Noncatalytic wood stoves work well for supplemental heating or occasional use. A hybrid wood stove offers a cleaner burn than a noncatalytic stove thanks to a secondary combustion chamber with a catalytic combustor. Each wood stove type is discussed in more detail in a section below.
The overall price of a wood stove hinges on the material. Typically made of cast iron or stainless steel, freestanding wood-burning stoves radiate heat evenly, with the cast-iron option able to hold heat for longer. There is minimal difference between the two materials, aside from personal preference, cost, and design aesthetics. Cast-iron wood stoves are available in different colors with an enamel finish, while steel stoves are almost always black with a simple design. Cast-iron wood stoves cost about 20 percent to 30 percent more than steel stoves. Also available are cast-iron stoves with soapstone panels, which have the ability to release heat slowly for many hours after the fire has been extinguished.
Individual brands of wood stoves will range in price, while the installation costs will remain the same. Below are some popular brands of wood stoves and their average prices.
- Jøtul wood stoves. Jøtul wood stoves have been made in Norway since 1853. The company has a large selection of energy-efficient, clean-burning wood stoves in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. These stoves cost from $1,000 to $3,700.
- Unforgettable Fire wood stoves. Unforgettable Fire makes small wood stoves for cabins, tiny houses, yurts, and RV conversions and for supplemental heating for a traditional home. These wood stoves run from $4,800 to $5,200.
- Lopi wood stoves. With steel or cast-iron options, Lopi stoves deliver convective and radiant heat to warm every room in the house. Available on all Lopi wood stoves is the company’s GreenStart igniter button, which eliminates the need for matches and newspaper to start a fire. With the push of a button, the ignitor starts and the compressor forces heated air into the firebox for a quick and easy fire. Lopi wood stoves cost from $900 to $1,500.
- Blaze King wood stoves. Blaze King wood stoves boast up to 40 hours of burn time, depending on the stove model, and they use 30 percent less wood than their competitors with their unique burn system. These wood stoves run from $2,200 to $4,000.
- Woodstock Soapstone wood stoves. At its New Hampshire factory, Woodstock Soapstone is focused on quality wood stoves, not quantity. The company makes hybrid wood stoves with a cast-iron and soapstone cooktop, catalytic cast-iron stoves in a variety of hues, and clean-burning stoves with the radiating properties of soapstone. Homeowners should expect to pay between $2,400 to $4,300 for a Woodstock Soapstone wood stove.
- Vermont Castings wood stoves. Vermont Castings makes cast-iron wood stoves with a furniture-quality finish. Homeowners can choose from catalytic, noncatalytic, and FlexBurn options (which burn with or without a catalyst for added efficiency). These wood stoves cost between $1,200 and $3,600.
A wood stove’s heating capacity controls how much space it can heat. The most budget-friendly wood stoves are small, noncatalytic stainless steel options, which are good at heating small areas. Catalytic cast-iron wood stoves that heat larger areas are typically the most expensive. Below are the average costs of wood-burning stoves based on the heating capacity.
|Heating Capacity||BTUs||Average Cost|
|1,000 square feet||24,000 to 54,000||$1,500|
|2,000 square feet||28,000 to 94,000||$2,300|
|3,000 square feet||38,400 to 152,000||$2,700|
Chimney and Liner Installation
Chimneys have exact specifications to pass building codes and safety requirements. They must extend at least 3 feet above the surface of a roof, 2 feet above anything that is within 10 feet of them, and 3 feet above the roof’s peak. If a chimney extends more than 5 feet above the roof, it will need a roof bracket for increased stability. A chimney cap, or a Class A termination cap, needs to be installed above the minimum height extension to prevent birds from getting into the chimney. Exterior chimneys produce more creosote, so interior chimneys are typically preferred, if possible. Chimney pipes should have no more than two elbows, since the bends inhibit drafts. The cost to build a 15-foot chimney ranges from $900 to $3,000, while the cost of a chimney rebuild is between $1,000 and $5,000.
Chimney liners can help prevent soot and creosote buildup, which can be a fire hazard. The cost to install a chimney liner ranges from $625 to $7,000, with many homeowners spending about $2,500. Aluminum and clay liners are the most budget-friendly options, compared to thermocrete or ceramic.
Stove Pipe Installation
Also called an interior flue or black pipe, the stove pipe is the internal ventilation system that connects a wood-burning stove to the chimney. Stove pipes can be single- or double-wall, or 22- or 24-gauge, pipes. If a wood stove is installed in a room with a vaulted or cathedral ceiling and more than 8 feet of stove pipe is needed, a double-wall stove pipe is recommended. Double-wall stove pipes provide additional insulation and can keep the combustion gases at a hot enough temperature to vent up and out of the house by using the natural draft.
Wood stove pipes cost from $100 to $550 for installation, depending on the design and length of the pipe. The longer the pipe, the more expensive the installation and materials.
The cost to install a wood stove varies due to the installation location and design. For a chimney +that’s installed along an exterior wall, the costs can run between $2,300 and $3,200. If the chimney needs to be run through a vaulted or cathedral ceiling, it can cost from $1,800 to $2,100. When a chimney is run up through a second floor or attic, the cost ranges from $2,400 to $3,300.
The labor pricing to install a wood stove ranges from $250 to $800, depending on the complexity of the installation. Some wood stove professionals may include chimney construction, stove fitting, stove pipe, hearth pad, and ventilation system with the labor costs, but others may charge installation prices for these items individually. It’s always a good idea to ask what is included in the labor price. Labor prices can also fluctuate due to geographic location, since contractors based in densely populated urban areas typically charge more for labor than in rural locations.
The permits to install a wood stove typically cost from $50 to $250. The wood stove professionals who install the wood stove will usually get the permits, but it’s recommended that homeowners check with them to avoid misunderstandings.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When homeowners are budgeting for wood stove installation cost, it’s beneficial for them to have all the information that’s available regarding additional costs and considerations. Some factors that can influence the overall cost are the pricing for a freestanding stove versus a fireplace insert, a wood-burning versus pellet stove, gas fireplace conversion cost, additional customizations, tax credits, and available rebates.
Freestanding Stove vs. Fireplace Insert
The cost of a freestanding wood stove installation is typically more than the cost of a fireplace remodel for an insert, since a wood stove requires additional items, such as a stove pipe and protective materials around the unit. Freestanding stoves radiate heat much more efficiently than inserts, since the larger surface area of the entire stove is exposed. A fireplace insert is a fireproof box that is installed inside an existing fireplace. Made from insulated glass and metal, the insert is much more efficient at heating a room than an open fireplace, since it uses a closed combustion system and fireplaces lose much of their heat up the chimney.
Fireplace inserts typically cost between $700 and $6,500, depending on the insert type. Labor pricing is determined by the fuel source of the insert, whether it’s wood, gas, pellet, or electric. Another option for a wood-burning fireplace is to transform it into a more efficient heat source with a wood stove installation kit. Below are the average costs for different types of fireplace inserts.
|Fireplace Insert||Average Cost||Average Labor Cost||Total Cost|
|Wood||$800 to $4,500||$2,180||$3,080 to $6,680|
|Gas||$800 to $4,500||$1,500||$2,300 to $6,000|
|Pellet||$1,500 to $5,000||$525||$2,025 to $5,525|
|Electric||$200 to $1,500||$225||$425 to $1,725|
Wood-Burning vs. Pellet
Wood stoves cost between $325 and $4,000, while pellet stoves cost from $1,000 to $3,100. Pellet stoves are the most budget-friendly for installation costs, since they can be direct-vented without the use of a pricey chimney or flue. Instead of burning wood, they burn clean pellet fuel, which can cost $20 more per month than wood.
Gas Fireplace Conversion
If a gas fireplace has a chimney flue, the cost to convert it to a wood-burning stove is between $100 and $300. Factors that can increase the price are masonry work, chimney construction or replacement, and repairs to the fireplace. Converting a gas fireplace can make it 60 percent to 80 percent more efficient when heating a home. Below are some potential costs when converting a gas fireplace to a wood stove, including labor.
- Cost to build a 15-foot chimney: $900 to $3,000
- Flue or chimney liner installation: $625 to $7,000
- Fireplace repairs: $177 to $933
- Labor cost for masonry work: $40 to $75 per hour
When installing one of the best wood stoves in their home, homeowners can choose to customize some features of the stove or surrounding area. A hearth is required for wood stove installation because it provides a protective barrier between the stove and the floor. Typically made from concrete with the option of slate, granite, marble, brick, or limestone on the top, the hearth sits under the stove and the stove pipe and is a noncombustible base. The average hearth size is 3 feet by 3 feet, but the pad must extend a minimum of 18 inches from the front doors, under any horizontal run of the stove pipe, and 8 inches around the sides. The cost of installing a hearth pad ranges from $200 to $500, depending on the material.
Tax Credits and Rebates
For homeowners who install a biomass (pellet) stove that’s at least 75 percent efficient, the federal government offers a Residential Energy Credit of $300 for the installation and cost of the stove. Some states also offer a rebate of up to $5,000 when homeowners replace an old wood stove with one certified by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Types of Wood Stoves
When deciding on a wood stove for their home, homeowners need to decide between catalytic, noncatalytic, or a hybrid stove. Noncatalytic wood stoves tend to be less expensive, but each type has its own advantages, price points, and features.
Catalytic wood stoves trap and recycle particles and smoke in a chamber where they burn at a much lower temperature to increase the efficiency of the stove. This reduces carbon emissions and produces a lower particulate output as well as considerably less creosote buildup. A catalytic stove is considered the most efficient type of wood stove, with 72 percent thermal efficiency compared to 63 percent for a noncatalytic stove. The catalytic combustor needs regular cleaning and typically lasts six or seven heating seasons before needing replacement at a cost of $100 to $400. These types of wood stoves are best used as a primary heat source and cost from $1,700 to $4,400, on average.
Noncatalytic wood stoves are less expensive than catalytic stoves at a cost between $400 and $2,900. While noncatalytic stoves are considered easier to ignite, they sometimes have difficulty reaching the 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit required for the smoke in the secondary chamber to ignite. For this reason, these wood stoves are typically recommended as a supplemental heat source. They also need more fuel to produce the same amount of heat as catalytic stoves, and they release more particulate matter into the air.
A hybrid wood stove utilizes a secondary combustion chamber with a catalytic combustor for a cleaner burn than a noncatalytic stove.
Benefits of Wood Stove Installation
There are many reasons to choose a wood stove over a traditional fireplace. The ability to produce much more heat in an efficient manner is the typical benefit that many homeowners acknowledge, but there are a few others to consider as well.
High Heat Output
One of the most significant benefits of using a wood stove is the high heat output. The radiant heat from a wood stove warms the surrounding area much faster than a traditional furnace or open fireplace. The metal construction of a wood stove absorbs the heat from the fire and radiates it outward, keeping a home warm and cozy.
Modern wood-burning stoves are incredibly efficient, since wood stove manufacturers need to meet strict emissions regulations. Open fireplaces run at approximately 10 percent efficiency, as the majority of the heat produced in a fireplace escapes up and out of the chimney. A wood stove releases fewer emissions and produces more heat with longer-lasting fires than a fireplace.
Compared with a furnace, which uses natural gas, coal, or propane and emits some particulates into the air, a modern wood stove reduces the number of particulates that get released into the air. By burning off the combustion gases inside the stove, a wood stove can generate even more heat, and fewer emissions are released into the atmosphere.
No Electricity Requirement
Unlike pellet stoves or electric fireplaces and furnaces, wood stoves don’t need electricity to work. Homeowners can be assured their home will be warm and comfortable during a power outage during the cold winter months.
Installing a wood stove in a garage or any other location in a home where there’s an area to run a stove pipe provides exceptional versatility. Some homeowners prefer to install a few well-placed wood stoves in their home and forego a traditional furnace.
Wood Stove Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
While it may be tempting for homeowners to look up how to install a wood stove and follow a wood stove installation diagram on their own, this is a project best left to the pros. Installing a wood stove as a DIY project can run the risk of a house fire, carbon monoxide poisoning from an ill-fitting stove, or other damage to the home. Hiring professionals who know how to install wood stove accessories can guarantee a good fit, a proper chimney build, and stove pipe location. Wood stove professionals also know the local laws, regulations, and building codes regarding wood-burning appliances in the home. Some areas have banned wood-burning stoves, and other locations have restrictions on when a wood stove can be used based on air quality restrictions. It’s always best for homeowners to contact a local contractor and discuss wood stove options.
How to Save Money on Wood Stove Installation Cost
Homeowners looking to save money on wood stove installation cost may simply opt for the cheapest unit, but there are other ways to save without compromising on quality. Below are some tips to help save on installation costs.
- Avoid used wood stoves. Buying a new wood stove with an EPA certification will ensure the stove is efficient and will use less fuel.
- Consider the size. If a wood stove is too small, it won’t properly warm a home. If it’s too big, it will be underfired, which will create rapid creosote buildup and reduce its efficiency. A professional wood stove installation company can recommend the best stove size for your home.
- Hire an experienced pro. A wood stove professional will know about proper venting and placement to create an adequate draft. When a wood stove is properly installed, the fire will burn efficiently and produce more usable heat.
- Shop around. Get at least three estimates from reputable wood stove professionals in your area so you know what your options are and can fit them to your budget.
- Use the right type of wood. Homeowners may think that buying a damp cord of wood at a reduced price may save money, but wet wood is difficult to start and slow to burn, creating minimal usable heat.
Questions to Ask About Wood Stove Installation
Asking a wood stove professional about wood stove installation cost can help homeowners save money and avoid miscommunication. Below are some questions to ask about wood stoves and the installation process.
- What experience do you have installing wood stoves?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have references?
- Can you provide examples of prior wood stove installations?
- Do you provide free estimates?
- How much is it to install a wood stove?
- Do you have any wood stove safety tips?
- Do you hire subcontractors at any point during the wood stove installation process?
- What are the local building codes, regulations, and laws in my area for wood stoves?
- Will you get the required permits for installation?
- How long will the wood stove installation take?
- Who will install the wood stove?
- Do you provide any other services related to wood stoves?
- What warranties or guarantees do you provide on labor and materials?
- How can I leave a review?
Before homeowners decide on the right wood stove for their home, it’s helpful for them to have all the information about wood stoves and the installation process. Below are some frequently asked questions that will help in the decision-making process.
Q. What is a wood stove catalytic converter?
Just as a catalytic converter in a car reduces airborne pollutants by turning harmful emissions into less harmful gases, a catalytic converter in a wood stove traps particulates and combustion gases and burns them at a lower temperature. This increases a wood stove’s efficiency and cuts down on carbon emissions.
Q. Is it legal to use a wood stove as your primary source of heating?
Yes, it’s legal to use a wood stove as a primary heat source, as long as it’s permitted in your area. Beyond the permitting issues, if a wood stove is large enough to emit the amount of heat needed for an overnight burn, it can be a primary heat source.
Q. Can I install a wood stove by myself?
Installing a wood stove on your own is never recommended. To avoid potential dangers, such as a house fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other personal injuries, homeowners are advised to hire a professional for the installation process.
Q. How do I improve the efficiency of a wood stove?
To improve the efficiency of a wood stove, it’s important to keep the chimney clean, pay annual chimney inspection costs, keep the installation location at the center of the house, and ensure the chimney is the right size. Homeowners are also advised to use dry wood, light the fire properly, and try to ensure the inside temperature of the home is warmer than the outside temperature to ensure a good draft.
Q. What type of chimney do I need for my wood stove?
A wood stove requires the use of a Class A chimney pipe. Sometimes called an insulated, double- or triple-wall, or all-fuel pipe, this type of chimney is used to vent the high temperature exhaust that’s created by a wood-burning stove. The chimney pipe is not the same as the stove pipe; the latter is located inside the home and vents the wood stove to the outside of the home, where the chimney takes over.
Q. How long does a wood stove installation take?
A wood stove can take less than a day to install, but the installation time depends on the stove type and how many pros are working on the job.