Can I have a wood burner in a thatch property?

One of the most common queries from thatch property owners is ‘Can I have wood burner installed?’.

The simple answer is yes, you can, There is no law that states thatch properties may not have a wood burner installed, but there are a number of considerations that need to be considered to ensure a safe and compliant installation minimising the risk to the property. Below we talk you through the steps and considerations to achieving your desired stove installation.

If you have any queries or require further assistance with any aspect of the topic discussed below, please contact us and we will be pleased to be of assistance.

  • The first thing we say to any client with this query is talk to your insurers before any physical work is undertaken. Many insurers will allow and provide cover for a thatch property with a wood burning stove installed, but it is likely there will be a cost implication in your premiums and this needs to be considered.
  • If your insurer is happy to provide insurance cover with a wood burning stove installed, we suggest you ask if they have any specific requirements regarding the installation. While this may sound like a strange question to be asking, as surely it is down to the installer to ensure all regulations and compliance is achieved, insurers may dictate they require a specific flue system or put limitations on the size of the stove. Please note though, if there are specific requirements, any installation must achieve compliance with the Building Regulations and these may supersede or be above the minimum requirements of an insurer.

If your insurer does not permit a wood burning stove in a thatch property, you could shop around different insurance companies.

Now you have discovered whether your property will be insurable with your current provider, whether there are set criteria for the installation or if you need to consider alternative insurance providers you are ready for the next step.

  • Installing a wood burning stove into an existing chimney will likely require a new lining system to be installed. We therefore strongly suggest that you have the existing flue shaft inspected and its condition checked, to ensure it is in a safe and suitable condition to receive any new proposed flue system to serve a potential stove. This is where Quantum Chimney Services can be of assistance. We offer a flue condition inspection service, where an existing flue shaft will be checked for its current condition and suitability for use. We can then provide a verbal appraisal, or written report including any defects that need repair prior to an installation, potential fire risk and flue system recommendations, which can help the property owner make an informed decision on progressing with a potential installation.

As many thatch properties are also Listed or in conservation areas, it be necessary that before any installation works are undertaken, relevant permissions may be required. We recommend that if you decide you wish to go ahead with an installation, that you obtain a detailed quotation detailing all the works, processes and materials involved. Most local Listed Building Authorities offer a pre-application advice service for circa £60.00 and it is a worthwhile investment presenting your proposal and quote to them to ascertain whether permissions are required. By submitting a pre-application, you will receive an answer in writing. If the answer does not require a consent to be sought, you have the evidence to prove this should it be required in the future. If consent is required, then the associated process needs to be followed and no person should undertake any works until this is granted.

Please note, undertaking any work to a listed property where consent is required leaves both the homeowner and contractor at risk of prosecution; up to a 2yr custodial sentence and / or unlimited fine.

There are many more areas of consideration required before undertaking any installation to ensure compliance and safety are achieved and the process can appear to be daunting on first glance, but if the correct steps are undertaken in the right order, time and potential financial implications can be reduced.

For further information, please contact us and we will be happy to be of assistance.

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