Q&A Chimney liners- Is it a DIY job?

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New Member
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Nov 27, 2012

I recently bought a 150 year old house with 3 brick chimneys. They all need work of some kind. Two of the chimneys are original and are unlined brick/mortar with no chimney caps. One of these is used for the oil burner, the other is for a fireplace which I will not use in the present state for safety. The third is newer external chimney lined w/ 10' terra cottar, which I plan on using for a wood stove. All 3 are a minimum of 30 feet in length. A sweep quoted around $1500 a piece to line old stacks w/ stainless one piece liners, backfilled w/ lightweight concrete. Since I can not afford the bill and am an accomplished diy'er, I was wondering if there are any liner systems available for the homeowner to install. Also, I am shopping for a wood stove for the terra cottar lined chimney, and would like to know your thoughts on installing a 6 inch s/s flex pipe thru the flue damper area into the existing terra cottar.


The price you received is a good one for the job the sweep is doing, but if you want to DIY:

If you are handy, and not scared of heights, then the lining can probably be done by you. You might not be able to do the insulating concrete, but in many cases this may not be needed. If you did want to insulate the stainless, there are wraps available to do so with.

If you can use rigid liners (usually 4 foot sections), then this costs a lot less than flexible liners..about $10-12 per foot for material, as opposed to double that.

The terra cottar chimney would probably be OK with a short flexible tube extended into it from the stove. This is the way most fireplace insert retrofits are done.

Many stove stores, and even some plumbing/heating supply houses will sell this piping. Shop around a bit by phone til you find someone that stocks it and knows what they are talking about.

12/2007 Note that this was originally posted in 2001. The prices mentioned in this post could be considerably higher in the present day market. If possible obtain 3-4 separate quotes, and compare proposed materials etc. prior to committing to a reline job.
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