New house -quote for SS liner high?

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biggytre

New Member
Aug 21, 2020
8
Melrose, MA
Just bought new house. Late 1930's colonial outside Boston. 3 flues running through central chimney (basement fireplace, 1st floor fireplace, oil boiler/gas hot water). Got flues clean and diagnosis for 1st floor fireplace flue (the main one I plan on using) was creosote buildup throughout + gaps in mortar joints between flue tiles + exposed brick in smoke chamber + crack in top tile. Asked them for a quote on what it would take to replace clay flue with SS just for 1st floor fireplace flue. Chimney height from 1st floor to top is ~30 feet.

They quoted $8,000 for installation of SS liner including 1/2" foil faced insulation blanket + stainless armor mesh + an additional $1,600 for removal + disposal of clay flue tiles. They also mentioned the other two flues (basement fireplace + boiler/hot water) may be damaged during removal of clay flue tiles. This was on top of other charges ($700 top mount damper, $1,400 custom outside mount/cap, $1,800 smoke chamber repair, $200 removal of existing throat damper).

Other info: Hoping to install wood burning insert in 1st floor fireplace. Basement fireplace was in much worse shape (many offsets, appears undersized, heavy glazed creosote, spoked bricks in chamber, multiple cracks in flue tiles) and the oil flue was also in bad shape (had to sweep from roof, couldn't get camera access, piece of flue tile came down with large amount of ash while sweeping). Planning to vent oil boiler directly out of basement and not use that flue. Not sure on plan for basement fireplace - potentially gas.

1) Is this quote insanely high? I asked why quote was so high for SS liner and he basically said, "We have stainless steel hybrid smooth wall flex with a half inch insulation blanket."
2) Any general recommendations on next steps if my main goal here is wood burning insert on 1st floor, gas fireplace in basement, direct venting oil boiler + gas hot water?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,606
South Puget Sound, WA
Ouch, that seems high. Is there anything about the chimney location or roof that makes this a very difficult or dangerous job?

I'm wondering about the alternatives. Is the removal of the clay tiles a necessity? What is the ID of the fireplace flue? Can we assume that the insert will have a 6" flue collar?
 

biggytre

New Member
Aug 21, 2020
8
Melrose, MA
Ouch, that seems high. Is there anything about the chimney location or roof that makes this a very difficult or dangerous job?

I'm wondering about the alternatives. Is the removal of the clay tiles a necessity? What is the ID of the fireplace flue? Can we assume that the insert will have a 6" flue collar?
No, nothing about fireplace location or roof that make it very difficult or dangerous. Not sure if removal of clay tiles is a necessity, but that's what was recommended by tech. I assume ID means interior dimensions - 1st floor flue is 8x12 and the other two are 8x8 (he mentioned basement fireplace flue is undersized). Don't know much about wood burning insert flue collar size. Would one with a 6" flue collar be the preference in this situation? I want it 60% for aesthetic reasons and 40% for efficient space heating reasons.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,606
South Puget Sound, WA
An alternative to clay liner removal would be to install an oval DuraLiner system. It is a preinsulated, rigid liner system. The chimney will still need to be cleaned, but the clay tiles can remain. Try contacting DuraTech to locate installers for that system and get a quote. I would expect the total cost to be more in the $3K ballpark.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
In my non-pro opinion, that does sound high. I’m not sure how much the mark up the living just outside of Boston is, but you might think about shopping around for another quote. And to be honest, it sounds all strange that they’re going to charge you a separate rate for disposal of the old clay liner. In the end of it, it will be a pile of rubble that frankly won’t amount to very much in terms of disposal. You could actually do it yourself at the dump for probably free.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,136
central pa
In my non-pro opinion, that does sound high. I’m not sure how much the mark up the living just outside of Boston is, but you might think about shopping around for another quote. And to be honest, it sounds all strange that they’re going to charge you a separate rate for disposal of the old clay liner. In the end of it, it will be a pile of rubble that frankly won’t amount to very much in terms of disposal. You could actually do it yourself at the dump for probably free.
30' of clay liners sized for a fireplace will add up to quite a bit of rubble. Disposal fees could easily be a couple hundred dollars.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,136
central pa
Just bought new house. Late 1930's colonial outside Boston. 3 flues running through central chimney (basement fireplace, 1st floor fireplace, oil boiler/gas hot water). Got flues clean and diagnosis for 1st floor fireplace flue (the main one I plan on using) was creosote buildup throughout + gaps in mortar joints between flue tiles + exposed brick in smoke chamber + crack in top tile. Asked them for a quote on what it would take to replace clay flue with SS just for 1st floor fireplace flue. Chimney height from 1st floor to top is ~30 feet.

They quoted $8,000 for installation of SS liner including 1/2" foil faced insulation blanket + stainless armor mesh + an additional $1,600 for removal + disposal of clay flue tiles. They also mentioned the other two flues (basement fireplace + boiler/hot water) may be damaged during removal of clay flue tiles. This was on top of other charges ($700 top mount damper, $1,400 custom outside mount/cap, $1,800 smoke chamber repair, $200 removal of existing throat damper).

Other info: Hoping to install wood burning insert in 1st floor fireplace. Basement fireplace was in much worse shape (many offsets, appears undersized, heavy glazed creosote, spoked bricks in chamber, multiple cracks in flue tiles) and the oil flue was also in bad shape (had to sweep from roof, couldn't get camera access, piece of flue tile came down with large amount of ash while sweeping). Planning to vent oil boiler directly out of basement and not use that flue. Not sure on plan for basement fireplace - potentially gas.

1) Is this quote insanely high? I asked why quote was so high for SS liner and he basically said, "We have stainless steel hybrid smooth wall flex with a half inch insulation blanket."
2) Any general recommendations on next steps if my main goal here is wood burning insert on 1st floor, gas fireplace in basement, direct venting oil boiler + gas hot water?
Yeah that sounds pretty high. Get other quotes
 

biggytre

New Member
Aug 21, 2020
8
Melrose, MA
Thanks all for advice. If I'm looking to install a wood burning insert, does anyone have advice on what size flue collar I should be looking at? Should I be shootiong for 6" size flue collar for insert and 6" SS flue?
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
6 inch is the most common size. Going with a 6 inch will give you the most choices for different stoves.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,606
South Puget Sound, WA
There are only a few inserts that require an 8" flue collar. Tell us more about the dimensions of the fireplace and how much area you are hoping to heat with it. Is the fireplace room open to the rest of the house or is it a room closed off by doorways?
 

biggytre

New Member
Aug 21, 2020
8
Melrose, MA
There are only a few inserts that require an 8" flue collar. Tell us more about the dimensions of the fireplace and how much area you are hoping to heat with it. Is the fireplace room open to the rest of the house or is it a room closed off by doorways?
Opening is 27.5 " tall. 42" wide at front, 31" wide at back. 18" deep at bottom, 15.5" deep at top. Harth is 63" wide x 19" deep. 6.5" exposed brick above opening and 7" exposed brick on either side. Mantle 19.5" above top of opening, 13" above top of exposed brick. Room is 23' wide by 12' deeep (think formal living room 1938 colonial). Fireplace in center of longer wall. Room has one 4' opening (no doors) leading to front foyer and french doors 5' wide leading to living area we plan to spend significant time in. House is what I would call "partially open concept" but this room is not very open (especially if French doors are closed).
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,606
South Puget Sound, WA
OK, no problem then with a 6" flue on the insert. That is what should be planned on. I'd look at an oval liner to make this installation easier. This transitions to 6" round at the damper area. If the fireplace is on an exterior wall, request that a damper area, insulated block-off plate be installed.