Here’s a list of typical questions that we get asked. If you can’t find the answer to your question, feel free to call or drop us a line. If you click on the heading of each question, you’ll be directed to the page that has more information about it.

 

 

PRE – INSTALLATION

 

 

STOVE INSTALLATION

  • How quickly can you perform a stove installation after performing the site survey?
    • Almost immediately if we have space in our diary. We normally stock various flue components and failing that we can order and have them delivered the next working day. The stove will likely be the biggest hold-up as this can take anything from a few days to several weeks to be delivered depending on what time of year it is and if you are requesting bespoke items on your stove.
  • What is included in an install?
    • Your estimate will detail exactly what is included. All flue components, labour, testing and certification are usually included. Hearths, fireplace modification, stoves and unblocking flues are considered additional extras.
  • Can I provide my own products for installation?
    • Very unlikely. We install with the best flue materials as we are responsible for signing it off. We also turn up to every job with far more kit than we anticipate using so that we can ensure the job gets completed in the allotted time without having to leave site or order in materials.
  • I’ve got some freebies from the internet company I bought my stove from – can you use them?
    • Not likely. You will typically receive a few items such as a section of flue pipe, a “register plate” and a CO alarm. The flue pipe is normally a section that is 1m. This is poor quality and normally useless. In any case, it won’t fit our flue pipe if we need to use more than one piece of flue (very likely).  The register plate will also be useless as we bring our own steel that is thinner than what is provided – thus easier to cut. The free plate is usually not big enough for standard installations. The CO alarm can be used but is lesser quality than what we provide.
  • Do I need my chimney lined?
    • Yes. On rare occasions will, this answer will be no. The flue liner will protect your existing flue, make the installation and system safer and more efficient. The cost difference is really insignificant (less than 10%) if you are serious about installing a solid fuel appliance.
  • Flue insulation – why, when and how is this done?
    • There are three options. Loose fill – Vermiculite or Leca, and a Chimwrap type product that blankets the flue liner. Insulation helps maintain the heat within the liner so that when the heat rises within the flue, it can safely expel the waste products of your fire. Otherwise, they may not be expelled and can cause blockages, poisoning and chimney fires. Insulation should be considered if your existing flue is very large or if your chimney stack is exposed on three sides.
  • Do you do all the work yourself?
    • We do all our installations, sweeping and stove services. We mostly do all our fireplace modifications. However, when we are very busy, we tend to recommend builders we trust to perform the work. We can organise everything and will ensure the work is completed continuously – fireplace modification, plastering, installation.  You’ll just need to pay the builders directly for the labour on completion.
  • Can I do any work to the fireplace myself or employ my own builders?
    • Yes. Providing that building regulations are adhered to and the work is performed in such a manner that it does not hinder the installation. We request that we meet your builders prior to any work is commenced to specify exactly what is required. We can offer lots of free advice and helpful tips.
  • What size hearth do I need?
    • This size and depth of your hearth will vary according to where your stove is installed. The stove will largely dictate the size. You may need a constructional hearth (which is a minimum of 125mm thick). You will definitely need a superficial/superimposed hearth (which is a minimum of 12mm thick). In cases where the stove is set independently of a fireplace, the hearth must be at least 860mm x 860mm. Typically the hearth must also project at least 300mm to the front of the stove and 150mm to each side. A practical rule to follow is to allow the hearth to project as far in front of the stove as the door can open.
  • How long does an install take?
    • Flexi flue liner installations: 1 day.     Twin wall bungalows: 1 day.    Twin wall 2-storey houses: 1-2 days.  Full fireplace renovation and installation: up to 5 days.
  • How much mess will you make?
    • Remodelling fireplaces is the messiest type of work and creates the most dust. In this instance, we seal doors, use lots of dust sheets and cover everything. We ask you to remove any small items such as ornaments and pictures beforehand. On completion, our sheets are carefully removed and all surfaces are vacuumed. However, dust still tends to settle a few days after the work is complete. Actual installations are relatively mess-free. We take extra care and precautions when sweeping. Furthermore, we always sheet everything up, including our entrance and exit pathway through the house. We take pride in keeping our workplace clean, respecting your house and tidying up after ourselves. This is something many of our clients remark about.
  • How much will it cost?
    • Expect to pay £1000.00 + for flexible flue liner installations, and between £1300.00 – £2000.00 for twin wall installations. Extra costs include hearths, stoves, fireplace modifications, ventilation.
  • Why does it cost so much?
    • We only use what we consider to be the best materials, our business expenses are considerable, we spend an incredible amount of time on admin, and the actual installation involves fire and putting ourselves at risk on a weekly basis.
    • Insurance costs are fairly high when your line of work is installing fires into people’s houses! We have a substantial number of top end tools (with insurance cover) that we use and need in order to provide the very best service. We run two vans (MOT, service, repair, insure and fuel), and as Cornwall is the most competitive county for stove installations in the UK, advertising is another necessity. Storage, laundry for clean dustsheets, accounting software, computers and computer programmes are also essential. We pay to maintain our registration with HETAS (business and installer fees) and we undertake regular training, ensuring we stay at the top of our game. We work diligently on administration tasks; enquiries, emails, voicemails, texts, surveys, estimates, scheduling, ordering, spreadsheets, social media, blogs, websites…Having run Blazing Burners successfully for several years, we understand the amount of admin that is required in order to deliver excellent customer service. It takes dedication and time and we believe in giving this to each and every one of our clients – we typically have a vast number of clients running at any one time that we have to devote time to, in order to provide this level of service. Our duty is to supply you with copious helpful advice and information. And finally, we have to ensure that we get paid for the actual installation. Who else wants to risk their life on ladders in all weathers, and deal with fire every week? All we ask is that we are paid fairly to cover these costs, provide a fantastic service and stay in business.
  • Do I need to do anything before an install?
    • Yes. We ask you to clear the room where we will be working from as best you can – we can do the rest. We will need space to park our van (where possible). You should inform your neighbours and ideally get their consent especially if you share a party wall/chimney.
  • Can I install my own stove?
      • Yes. You’ll likely save about £400.00. If you’re using your existing flue, you’ll need to pay for a chimney sweep and on completion pay a company like ours to come out and test it. You’ll also have to book in the local building authority to check your installation is up to standard. If successful, they’ll sign it off.
  • Should I install my own stove?
    • No! If you get it wrong, there could be serious and life-threatening consequences. You really want to make sure you’ve got it right – not just for your sake but for your family, friends, and neighbours that will be privy to your skills.  With respect to Building Control, they don’t know installations as we do. They also can’t check all of your work. Even if what they do and can check is wrong, you may be charged again for a repeat visit. It will likely take you at least twice as long to do the work. The building regulations that guide a stove installation are worse than rugby rules, so this will again take you a lot of time to digest. Then you’ll need lots of tools and a good head for heights and awareness of how to be safe on ladders. We’ve seen too many botched jobs to demonstrate that this is actually a specialised profession. It’s really not rocket science, but there are lots of rules to follow ensuring it is safe, and techniques using the right equipment that can save a lot of time and make an installation fantastic instead of just OK. The warranty on the flue will be void, as likely will be the stove warranty. For the sake of a few hundred quid, and realistically 3 days lost on researching and actually doing the work (that takes us 1 day), why take the risk?
  • I still want to install my own stove. Any tips?
    • Yes. Get in touch. We can even supply everything you need. We can also guide you in how to install it correctly, but we’ll also charge you for it, but at least you’ll have solid advice on how to do it and what kit to use. It’ll likely cost you about £150.00 in consultation fees and site visits.
  • Will you sign my installation off? 
    • Never. We only sign off our own work. So please show us the respect and don’t ask. We use the best kit, with the best techniques – as we like to sleep well at night, knowing that you are doing exactly the same!

 

 

SOLID FUEL APPLIANCES

  • How much does a stove cost?
    • £500.00 – £4000.00! You can buy stoves for under £200.00 but we wouldn’t recommend it. We recommend you start looking at stoves that cost around £500.00. 5Kw stoves that fit into standard fireplaces are about £700.00 – £1000.00. Cylindrical stoves are typically about £1000.00 – £1500.00. Prices increase when various “extras” are added – stands, plinths, colour changes, glass sides, sandstone tops, direct air kits, etc.
  • How do I know if I’ve chosen a good one?
    • We always recommend that you contact us before ordering a stove. We don’t have a showroom so we’re not biased or limited to a selection of manufacturers. We’ve also installed hundreds of different ones. The bare minimum requirements is that is must be CE marked and certified BSEN 13240 (which means it’s been tested in an approved laboratory to be at least 65% efficient). If you’re not sure about the stove you want, get in contact.
  • What fuel can I use?
    • If you buy a wood burner, you can only burn wood or “wood” products such as wood briquettes. A multi-fuel stove means you can burn wood and smokeless fuel – although you should NEVER burn these two fuels at the same time. Never use coal on your stove either.
  • What does EcoDesign Ready mean?
    • This is a type of stove that uses the cleanest burning technology available. There are hundreds to choose from, covering everybody’s needs and budget. These stoves maintain air quality and we strongly recommend you consider investing in one of these.
  • What does DEFRA approved/exempt mean?
    • A DEFRA stove (whether it’s listed as approved or exempt) means that is can be installed in a Smoke Exempt (SE) area. This means nothing to us in Cornwall as we don’t have limitations on our air quality. A DEFRA (or SE) stove has some small modifications made to it, most notably that you cannot completely shut down the stove – so that there is always some form of airflow passing over your fuel. We believe this is a great thing as it ensures that you have a cleaner burn of your fuel, which in turn improves air quality. It also means that we may be able to use a flue that has a diameter of 5″ (normally it is 6″), which in turn means that your installation is suddenly very feasible.
  • How do I know what size stove to choose to give me the right heat?
    • You don’t! Some companies and internet based shops give a good indication of what you require based on the cubic meterage of the room you want to heat. However, this calculation is considerably altered depending on how old (or new) your property is; how well insulated it is; how many windows you have; how exposed it is; if you have other rooms and/or stairs coming from the room; if you like to walk around in your pants! The best thing to do is to get us out as we’ll listen to what you want and need and give you options including any pro’s and con’s you might experience.
  • Do I need additional ventilation?
    • Yes – if your stove is fitted in a “new build” (built after 2008). And yes again if your stove is above 5Kw (irrelevant of how old or new the building is).
  • How much air gap should I have around my stove?
    • As much as possible! At least 4″-6″ to the sides and ideally 8″ above it. Your freestanding stove is desperate for air; it needs it to work. Squash it in your fireplace and things will likely go wrong. When we absolutely can’t achieve this amount of air gap, we’ll bring it out of your fireplace and into the room using a “T-piece” on the rear connection of your stove.
  • What is an inset stove?
    • An inset or cassette stove is designed to sit within your fireplace without any air gap. It fits snugly either where your open fire used to be, or in an opening that has been specifically created for it. This means that you only see the front of the stove, just like having a flat screen TV on your wall.
  • What’s the difference between a contemporary, modern or traditional stove?
    • Stoves can be classified on their appearance. Contemporary stoves are usually very modern looking and nearly all tall cylindrical type stoves fall in this bracket. Modern stoves tend to be square or rectangular with large viewing windows. Traditional stoves tend to imitate older stoves in appearance, with often details such as “tracery” or “skirts” featured.
  • What are the differences between a wood burner and a multi-fuel stove?
    • Multi-fuel stoves have extra components in them so that smokeless fuel can be used. This includes a raised metal (usually cast iron) platform with a riddling mechanism that allows the smaller embers and waste to drop into a collection tray. They will also have an extra air vent that directs airflow from underneath the fuel. As wood burns from the top and generally produces less waste, these components are not required. Consequently, multi-fuel stoves are typically more expensive than wood burners.
  • Cast iron or steel log burner?
    • Cast iron takes longer to heat up but retains the heat. This is a good choice if you intend to get lots of use from the stove. Steel stoves are generally cheaper as a well made cast iron stove is only cast from the same iron and put together without poor welds. We prefer steel stoves as they are generally lighter!
  • Are second-hand stoves any good?
    • We recommend you steer clear of second-hand stoves. Mostly because you don’t know how they have been treated previously. Secondly, if it’s a second-hand stove, it will likely mean that its relatively old – modern day stoves are so much more efficient than any produced not even 10 years ago. You’ll be wasting money on fuel, spending to fix the stove up and in any case, the Eco Design Ready stoves are the future of wood burning and air quality.
  • How soon can I light the stove after it is installed?
    • You need to wait 24 hours as any sealing products we have used will need to cure before being exposed to high temperatures. In any case, you will need to cure your stove on initial use. This normally involves having several small fires in between allowing the stove to cool down. We test the stove using a heat gun that warms up the stove and flue for 10 minutes then introduce a smoke pellet.
  • How do I control my fire?
    • With air vents. You will normally have either 1, 2 or 3 vents. Air is either passed over the glass, from the back of the stove or underneath the fuel. Wood burns from the top so airflow from the back and over the glass is used to control the burn. Smokeless fuel burns from airflow underneath it. In any case, a manual will accompany the stove which you should always refer to. Sometimes there is one lever that acts to control all vents. We always demonstrate how you should control your fire before letting you loose with it! We encourage you to be there whilst we perform the smoke test so that you can physically see how the smoke moves when different vents are used.
  • How do I light my fire?
    • Paper, firelighters, firelogs, kindling are all safe materials used to start a fire. Wood and smokeless fuel need different techniques. We will explain how to light a fire when we hand over the stove to you on completion.

 

 

WOOD, MULTIFUEL & ACCESSORIES

  • What can I burn?
    • If you are burning wood, ensure that it is seasoned (under 20% moisture content) and that it is not treated in any way. There are only two smokeless fuels that we rate: Maxibrite and Supacite. Smokeless fuel is different from coal, and coal is not permitted on stoves.
  • How much fuel will I need?
    • This completely depends on how much you use your stove and how you control it. You should expect to burn anything from 2-4 cubic metres of wood per year whereby you will be using it regularly.
  • How much will my fuel cost me?
    • You will probably spend in the region of £300.00 on fuel per year. Kiln-dried is more expensive than seasoned wood. Hardwood is more expensive than softwood. Smokeless fuel is cheaper than wood.
  • How should I season and store my wood?
    • The wood should be placed in a sunny yet windy spot. It should be off the floor and ideally exposed to wind from all sides. The store should have a waterproof roof.

 

 

CHIMNEY SWEEPING & STOVE SERVICING

  • How do you service a stove?
    • We completely strip it down, clean it and then put it back together. We check all components are working and that all consumable parts are still effective. If any need replacing, we replace them and charge accordingly. We also re-paint the stove and clean the glass. We’ll test the CO alarm and the moisture content of your wood.
  • What do you charge?
    • £45.00 per sweep. £80.00 for a service. If you sign up to our 3-Year Service Agreement, the sweep is £40.00 and the service is £60.00 per year. Consumable parts are extra depending on what is required.
  • What is the 3-Year Service Agreement?
    • It is an agreement (not a contract) that states we will either sweep your flue and/or service your stove for 3 years at a discounted price. It will be performed annually (or twice a year if you wish and require it), and we will schedule your service at a convenient and agreed date, whereby you will be reminded twice before each appointment. Payment is only made on the completion of each service.
  • Do you provide a certificate?
    • Yes. Your household insurance will require this. It will be emailed to you as a PDF. Any work we have performed and recommendations will be included.

 

HETAS & SAFETY

  • What does HETAS mean?
    • Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme. In a nutshell, HETAS are our governing body and as we are registered with HETAS we can self certify installations making them safe and legitimate.
  • What other safety precautions do you take?
    • We also install a CO alarm and a Data Plate. Your installation will follow Government building regulations. In some cases, we will also have to install an air supply.