Building a chimney can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $15,400, depending on the size, type, number of flues, and labor charge. The more flues it has and the more customization it gets, the higher the chimney cost.
Moreover, the total cost will vary if you’re just adding a chimney to your home, replacing an existing one, or rebuilding an old one.
To better understand the cost of chimneys, we’ll discuss the factors that will affect it and the maintenance cost you can expect once it’s built. We’ll also share some tips that you can follow to lower the cost and fit your budget.
How much does it cost to replace a chimney?
The cost to replace a chimney ranges from $2,000 to $13,500, depending on the size of the old and new chimneys and their chimney type.
Removal of the old chimney alone can cost $500 to $3,500, while making a new one usually ranges between $1,500 and $10,000.
Note that replacing a chimney is not always the best solution. Some contractors may suggest rebuilding the existing one if the foundation is still intact and can last for a longer time.
Rebuilding an existing chimney can be significantly less expensive, as they will try to save some parts of it, less material will be used, and the approval of a structural engineer is not always needed.
How much does it cost to rebuild a chimney?
Rebuilding an old chimney can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $3,500, depending on how much portion of the chimney can be reused.
While this costs less than replacing a chimney, it’s still best to talk to a professional builder when deciding whether to replace or rebuild it. They’ll inspect your chimney and give a better insight into which option will save you more money in the long run.
How much does it cost to repair a chimney?
The cost to repair a chimney typically ranges between $160 and $750, depending on the type of repair, the type of chimney, and the extent of repair needed. The cost can also significantly rise if the repair is an emergency service.
What factors can affect the cost of installing a chimney?
|15 feet||$1,500 - $3,000|
|20 feet||$2,000 - $4,000|
|30 feet||$3,000 - $6,000|
|35 feet||$3,500 - $7,000|
|40 feet||$4,000 - $8,000|
Companies sometimes have a fixed rate for each linear foot of a chimney. Hence, the total size of your chimney will significantly affect the cost of installing one.
Even if the company doesn’t have a fixed rate for each linear foot, a larger chimney will still generally cost more than a smaller one. They’ll have to use more materials, prepare a bigger site, and need more time and effort to complete the project.
The most common chimney size is 30 feet tall, and it usually costs about $ 3,000 to $6,000. This can go higher depending on the type of chimney you’re getting, the number of flues, and whether it’s a full or partial rebuild.
Remember that this size isn’t ideal for every home, and the contractor will generally suggest a different size if the house needs it. As a general rule, the chimney has to be about 2 feet taller than the roof.
Type of Chimney
|Type of Chimney||Cost per foot|
|Masonry||$150 to $200|
|Prefabricated||$100 to $150|
There are two main types of chimneys that homeowners get: masonry and prefabricated.
These two types use different materials and installation methods, so the total cost can be significantly affected.
A masonry chimney is typically one of the most expensive chimney types to install. Depending on the design and material, it costs about $150 to $200 per foot.
Bricks, stones, and other materials used for them can be costly, leading to a higher installation cost. Masons also have to consider the home’s structural integrity, as masonry chimneys are very heavy.
One of the biggest reasons masonry chimneys are preferred is because they last for a long time. They can last for over 50 years if built correctly and maintained properly.
This is why most houses still prefer them, even with the high upfront cost.
Masonry chimneys can enhance the visual appeal of a home and its overall value. They’re available in various designs and can be customized to match the home’s architectural style.
Prefabricated chimneys, as the name suggests, are pre-made chimneys that are only assembled on the site rather than built. They are manufactured at a factory and are typically made of metal.
Prefab chimneys are generally more cost-effective than masonry due to lower material costs. They’re also a lot easier and quicker to install, reducing the labor cost required for installing one.
Expect to pay around $100 to $150 per linear foot if you get a prefabricated chimney.
It’s worth noting, though, that they’re not as durable as masonry chimneys. They usually last for only 10 to 15 years—20 if you’re lucky—and can’t handle extreme temperatures.
They’re also not as visually appealing as the traditional masonry chimneys. The metal look often doesn’t work well with the house’s architectural style.
Number of Flues
Flues are the passageway on the chimney that allows gas and smoke to exit the house. The more flues you have on your chimney, the higher the cost will be due to additional materials and labor.
You’ll usually have to install multiple flues if your home has multiple heating appliances that need their own venting system. Typically, you’ll need two flues for your home if you have a wood-burning stove and a gas furnace.
Multiple flues are usually only seen in masonry chimneys, as it’s rare for prefabricated chimneys to have more than one.
Each additional flue requires additional materials, labor, and construction time. This includes the cost of bricks or stones as well as the cost of flue liners and insulation if needed.
Installing multiple flues involves more complex masonry work. Builders have to make sure that everything is properly sealed and insulated, driving up the cost of labor.
Expect to pay an additional $1,200 to $2,000 per flue on top of the cost of the masonry chimney alone.
Building a chimney is a non-DIY project because of how complicated it can get and the number of safety considerations you must take. It has to be done by a professional, or you’re risking your and your family’s safety.
Labor costs vary widely based on location, complexity, and other project-specific considerations. One thing about it is sure, though: it’s never cheap.
Building a chimney can’t be finished within an hour or two, and most chimney professionals charge $50 to $150 per hour, so expect the labor cost to be quite hefty.
If you live in the city, you can also expect higher rates, as the cost of living in cities is usually much higher than in other rural areas.
How much does chimney maintenance cost?
Maintenance costs for chimneys can range from $100 to $500 per service. The service usually involves inspection; cleaning of mortar, debris, and creosote; and sealing of cracks.
By hiring someone to do routine maintenance on your chimney annually, you’re not just prolonging its life but also ensuring the safety of the residents of your home.
If the chimneys are not regularly inspected and cleaned, it can lead to a buildup of creosote, which can create a fire hazard for your home.
The chimney may also get obstructed by foreign objects, which can lead to carbon monoxide leaks and smoke entering the home.
Inspections and cleaning must be done by professionals to ensure that your chimney is safe to use.
How can I save money building a chimney?
Building a chimney can be a significant investment, but there are ways to save money while ensuring that your chimney is safe and functional. Here are some helpful tips that can help you not go over your budget:
Compare quotes from multiple suppliers
Talk to different chimney professionals or contractors and get their quotes. Compare each of the quotes to make sure that you’re getting the best deal.
Ask what’s included in their estimate to avoid hidden costs that could be added to the final receipt.
Choose more cost-effective materials
Consider using more affordable materials that provide the durability and safety you need.
For example, concrete blocks can be more budget-friendly than custom brickwork, but they’re still relatively safe and durable.
Ensure that the chimney is properly sized
An oversized chimney can drive up the installation cost, so ensure you’re only getting the size your house needs.
Choose a standardized design
While chimneys with elaborate designs and custom details can be really beautiful, they usually add to the cost of construction. That’s why choosing a straightforward chimney design with minimal customization is best to save some bucks.
Check if you have insurance or some government incentives available
If you have a homeowner’s association in your area, you likely have home insurance. You can ask them for help if you need to replace your chimney due to an accident.
Local governments in some areas also offer incentives for chimney-related improvements as long as the improvement is good for the environment. These incentives can help offset costs, so it’s a great idea to research more about them.