How much does it cost to replace a chimney cap?
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Chimney Cap Replacement Cost Guide
Updated: Jan 01, 1970
Chimney caps are an important part of the exterior of your fireplace because they protect the chimney from exterior elements, such as rain, debris, leaves, and even pests. Chimney caps come in a range of metals and styles. This allows them to not only be used for protective purposes but for decorative as well. While they are built to last for several years, they will likely need to be replaced at some point due to wear and tear caused by the elements.
The price for replacing a chimney cap largely depends on the material of the cap, the size, and the shape, with the average price range being $300 to $600. Most homeowners pay an average of $425 for an 8” x 17” aluminum, square or oval prefab chimney cap. Prices can run as low as $250 for an 8” x 8” round, galvanized steel prefab cap, to as high as $1,250 for a custom shaped 17” x 29” and designed copper cap.
Chimney Cap Replacement Costs
|Chimney Cap Replacement Price|
|National average cost||$425|
Cost to Replace Custom vs Prefab Chimney Cap
The cost for replacing your chimney cap depends on whether or not you are replacing a prefabricated cap or need to have a custom one replaced. Custom caps cost more even if they are smaller since they will be built to certain specifications. Below you see the average price to replace your chimney cap, depending on which type of cap you have installed. Prices below include the average for any type of metal or concrete cap ranging in size from 8” x 13” to 17” x 29”.
|Type||Average Price (Labor Included)|
|Prefab||$300 - $650|
|Custom||$390 - $910|
A prefab cap runs anywhere from $300 to $650 to have installed. Whether you are on the higher or lower end will be largely determined by the size and material. Prefab caps come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, making it easier to find one to fit your chimney. Prefab caps often have to be replaced due to cracks or dents.
Custom Chimney Cap Replacement
If you need to have a custom cap replaced, you can expect to pay somewhere between $390 to $910. There are a few reasons you may need it custom. Custom options are often used when the chimney is an irregular size or has multiple flues at different sizes. You also will need a custom cap if you want specific decorative features on your cap to add to the visual appeal of the chimney. You may have to replace your custom cap if it becomes damaged due to weather or if you want to change the style.
Chimney Cap Replacement Prices by Size
The size has a major effect on the price you pay for the replacement. While most often, the size you want correlates directly to the size of your flue, in some cases, you may need a cap that covers multiple flues, such as a 17” x 29” or 14” x 37”. These caps will be designed to fit over the tallest flue and wrap around the adjoining ones. Below you can see the average price you can expect to pay to have your prefab chimney cap installed for any material.
|Size||Average Price (Installed)|
|8” x 8”||$250 - $285|
|8” x 13”||$300 - $390|
|8” x 17”||$325 - $400|
|13” x 13”||$350 - $425|
|13” x 17”||$385 - $475|
|14” x 37”||$625 - $700|
|17” x 17”||$400 - $550|
|17” x 29”||$590 - $650|
Chimney Cap Replacement Cost by Material
One of the factors that will have the greatest effect on the price of replacing your chimney cap is the material. You may choose different materials for different reasons. You may want the cap to match the look of your current chimney, you may prefer a certain material, or you may require a certain level of durability. Below you will see the average prices you can expect to pay for sizes ranging from 8” x 13” to 17” x 29” based on the type of material you choose.
|Material||Average Price for Prefab (Installed)||Average Price for Custom (Installed)|
|Concrete||$300 - $400||$390 - $520|
|Metal||$325 - $650||$425 - $910|
Replace Concrete Chimney Cap
Replacing a concrete cap costs $300 to $400 when opting for a prefab cap or from $390 to $520 for a custom one. They used to be the most common and are still often found with masonry chimneys. While concrete caps are extremely durable, there are a few drawbacks to them. Since they are constantly exposed to weather from all sides, they can crack or wear down, especially in areas with extreme weather.
Metal Chimney Cap Replacement
Metal caps come in a range of options and run from $325 to $650 for a prefab model or $425 to $910, depending on the type of metal. Metal caps are the more common option on newer builds since they are often paired with prefab chimneys. They are more prominent in areas where the weather is more extreme. The type of metal you choose will have to do with what you are looking for in terms of durability and aesthetics.
|Metal Type||Average Price for Prefab (Labor Included)||Average Price for Custom (Labor Included)|
|Galvanized Steel||$325 - $375||$425 - $485|
|Aluminum||$400 - $485||$520 - $625|
|Stainless Steel||$475 - $600||$650 - $780|
|Copper||$575 - $650||$750 - $845|
Galvanized Steel Chimney Cap
A galvanized steel chimney cap costs from $325 to $375 when choosing a prefab model and anywhere from $425 to $485 for a custom cap. Galvanized steel is the least expensive option and usually comes in a simpler style when choosing a prefab. They can last up to five years before being replaced, though that time may be shorter if it is exposed to areas with high winds.
Aluminum Chimney Caps
Aluminum caps are popular options, especially on newer homes. They run between $400 and $485 for a prefab cap and an average of $520 to $625 for a custom cap. Aluminum caps have brighter finish options than galvanized steel and have more style options available with prefab caps. They are softer than steel caps, making them more prone to dents if they are hit. However, you can expect them to last up to five years before needing to be replaced.
Stainless Steel Chimney Cap
Stainless steel prefab caps cost an average of $475 to $600 when choosing a prefab option and around $650 to $780 when opting for a customized version. They are considered the mid-range option and are often chosen for the attractive look and higher level of durability. You can expect a stainless steel cap to last up to ten years. It will look shinier for longer because the material is rust proof.
Copper Chimney Cap
Copper chimney caps are the most expensive option. Prefab versions cost from $575 to $650, and custom versions cost from $750 to $845. The reason for the higher price is the increased price for the more durable metal, prompting them to often come with a lifetime warranty. Copper caps improve the aesthetics of your chimney. The available styles in prefab caps give homeowners a wide range of options.
Chimney Cap Cost by Shape
The size is not the only thing that comes into play when it comes to price. The shape also affects how much you will pay. Round and square caps are the most common options and tend to be the least expensive, while custom shapes will be at the top end of the spectrum. Below you will see the average installation prices based on the shape of the cap you choose for sizes ranging from 8” x 13” to 17” x 29”.
|Shape||Average Price (Installed)|
|Round||$300 - $575|
|Square||$340 - $585|
|Oval||$360 - $625|
|Rectangular||$385 - $650|
|Custom||$425 - $845|
A round chimney cap costs from $300 to $575 to have installed, depending on the overall size and material. They are the least expensive type and also the most common. Round caps are most commonly found in aluminum and stainless steel, though you can find them in almost any type of metal used for caps.
A square chimney cap costs $340 to $585 to have installed. Square caps are another expensive option and are as commonly used as round caps. Square caps come in a wider variety of aesthetic options, allowing you to choose one to finish the look of your chimney.
Oval chimney caps fall in the mid-range when it comes to price. You can expect to pay anywhere from $360 to $625 on average to have one installed, with the material being the biggest factor when determining whether or not costs will fall on the high end or the low end. Large oval options can also be used to cover multiple flues, depending on their placement.
Rectangular chimney caps are one of the most expensive prefab options and cost an average of $385 to $650 to have installed. Rectangular caps are often chosen to cover multiple flues or for large chimney flues. They come in various lengths and widths, allowing you to get the ideal fit to provide your chimney with the protection it needs.
The price of having your cap custom-designed ranges from $425 to $845, including installation. While custom caps are most often created for aesthetic reasons, they may be needed if you have an unusual-sized flue or multiple flues that don’t group in a way that can be covered with a standard size.
Labor Cost to Replace a Chimney Cap
When you need a chimney cap replaced, you will be looking to retain the services of a chimney professional. These professionals often charge by the project instead of the hour, with the labor prices for most replacement jobs running from $200 to $350 and the total price for the job running between $300 and $600. When masonry work or multiple flues are involved, the process takes longer and results in a higher project price. Replacements of prefab caps will often take about one hour to complete, while jobs with masonry chimneys and multiple flues will average around two hours.
While there is no need for inspection before installing a cap, if the cap was damaged due to other structural damage sustained by the chimney, then other repairs may be needed. Homeowners will not need to perform any preparation before the replacement, though you may be asked to stop running the fireplace for a certain period before the appointment.
Chimney Cap Installation Cost
Replacing a new chimney cap is more costly than installing one because removing the old cap will not be a factor. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $220 to $685, including parts, with the labor portion alone comprising between $130 to $300. This would be for a cap made of any material with a size range of 8” x 13” to 17” x 29”. Single flue capping will be on the low to mid-range of labor. Covering multiple flues costs more. Installation labor prices are usually charged by the project instead of by the hour, so what you are quoted is typically the total amount you will pay, even if the project runs shorter or longer than the installer expected.
Signs That You Need to Replace Your Chimney Cap
Chimneys should be inspected annually by a service professional for any signs of wear and tear. This costs an average of $300 to $600. During the inspection, the professional checks for any signs that a replacement chimney cap is needed.
One of the first potential signs of a damaged cap is a buildup of creosote that has accumulated and blocked the flue. Creosote is a highly toxic substance with human health warnings issued through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you suspect a creosote buildup, seek professional assistance immediately. Creosote has a black, oily appearance. Long-term exposure is linked to lung problems. By shining a flashlight into the flue, you can check for creosote buildup. While checking the flue, if you notice any water leaking, this could also indicate the cap needs replacing.
Looking at the overall physical appearance of the chimney cap is another strategy to determine if it needs replacing. When inspecting it, it should be secured tightly to the chimney and not loosened. On the top of the cap, the metal mesh should appear solid and not show any visible holes or tears. No rust should be present if the cap is made from galvanized steel.
If the chimney has sustained any structural damage, you should replace the cap, too. For instance, if there was a chimney fire, the structural integrity of the cap is likely compromised. Severe weather events such as hail storms and hurricanes could also damage the cap.
Proper maintenance of the chimney cap extends its lifetime. The top form of maintenance for all parts of the chimney, including the cap, is to schedule an inspection. Inspections are best done annually to ensure no structural damage has occurred to the interior and exterior parts of the chimney. Request an inspection that includes roof access to include the chimney crown and cap.
Frequently, the screen becomes blocked with debris such as leaves and twigs, especially after severe storms. When it is blocked, airflow is compromised, and toxic fumes may enter the home. To remove any debris, clean off the screen using a wire brush. Never use water or chemical cleaners to care for a cap since your goal is to limit moisture entering the flue. No other maintenance is required for the chimney cap.
Finally, you should have your chimney cleaned annually to remove the soot and tar. This costs $100 to $300. The buildup in your chimney is flammable. If allowed to build up too long, it could become a fire hazard.
Repair vs Replace Chimney Cap
It may be hard for homeowners to decide whether the best route is to repair their chimney cap or replace it. Repairing runs from $100 to $250. Repairing is more common with concrete caps and more expensive metal caps because replacing them would be significantly higher. Repairs can be made if there are minor dents or cracks on the caps. Replacement would be the better option if there is a significant break or the cap has become rusted or corroded. Homeowners may also want to replace their cap if they wish to change the aesthetics of their chimney. Below you will see the average price difference between replacement and repairs.
|Project||Price (Labor Included)|
|Repair||$100 - $250|
|Replace||$300 - $600|
Chimney Cap vs Chase Cover vs Crown Cost
The primary job of a chimney cap is to protect the opening of the chimney so that water, animals, debris, and leaves are kept out. The top of the cap helps redirect water away from the opening, and the mesh screen along the side of the cap repels critters and debris. If you have to replace the cap, it runs between $300 and $600.
A chimney crown is found on masonry chimneys just below the cap and where the chimney ends. It provides added protection to the top of the chimney through rough weather. Unfortunately, the crown is often reinforced with mortar which can become damaged and cracked over time. If you need to replace the crown on your chimney, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 on average.
Chase covers can be used with a crown or on their own with a prefab chimney. They fit over the opening of the chimney and are designed to keep debris, water, and pests out of the chimney. Chase covers are not always required but can add to the longevity of your system. If they become damaged and need to be replaced, you can expect to pay between $300 and $600.
|Part||Average Replacement Price (Labor Included)|
|Cap||$300 - $600|
|Chase Cover||$300 - $700|
|Crown||$1,000 - $3,000|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Decorative caps offer homeowners the chance to upgrade the appearance of their chimneys. Swooped style chimney caps are a trendy choice with edges that slope over the flue. Bishop’s arch is a decorative style with an elaborate design that stretches the cap at least one foot above the flue. Stainless steel versions of the design cost an average of $500, while copper versions in this style cost around $1,600.
Chimney pots offer an alternative to standard caps, with tops constructed from clay or copper. Gothic style homes have even included a sculpture to the clay chimney pot. Chimney pots start at $1,000, with more elaborate styles exceeding $5,000.
Before replacing a chimney cap, you may decide to install a liner in the chimney. Liners are recommended by organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America to prevent fires, protect the chimney’s masonry work, and optimize heating efficiency. The average price of chimney liner replacement is between $1,500 and $6,000.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits. Since a chimney cap does not alter the structure of your home, you will not need to have any permits to have one installed.
- DIY. You can install or replace a chimney cap on your own as long as you take the proper measurements. For single flues, chimneys with a square top and simple length and width measurement will do. Round chimneys need to be measured using their diameter. If you have a multiple flue chimney, you will have to measure to get a cap that will fit them all simultaneously.
- Durability. Chimney caps typically last five years for budget models made from galvanized steel and aluminum. Copper options can last for the lifetime of the home.
- Do it as soon as possible. Replacements should not be postponed. Not fixing the issue as soon as possible could result in structural damage that costs thousands of dollars to repair.
- Season. Replacements can be done year-round, but the fall season is the best time to schedule the repair. This allows the cap to be replaced before the chimney is used during the winter for heating purposes.
- What does a chimney cap do?
A chimney cap protects the top of the chimney. Usually made of copper or steel mesh, the cap is installed on top of the chimney to protect against the elements.
- Is a chimney cap necessary?
Chimney caps are highly recommended and reduce the overall price to maintain your chimney. Without it, you may need to pay for services such as pest removal if any wildlife becomes trapped inside the chimney. Also, they reduce moisture levels to prolong the structural integrity of the flue. The draft is also improved to force more smoke out of the home.
- How much does it cost to recap a chimney?
Recapping a chimney usually takes about an hour when done by a professional contractor. Contractors charge around $220 for chimney cap installations done with a standard single flue model. Along with materials and labor, the average cost for a cap replacement project will be around $425.
- When should a chimney cap be replaced?
Any visible damage indicates that the chimney cap requires replacement. If the screen is ripped or torn, then moisture and other debris can enter the flue. When it is tarnished, it signifies that it’s time to replace the piece. When a chimney suffers any structural damage from events such as a fire or earthquake, you should replace the cap.
- How much does it cost to replace a chimney crown?
It is fairly common to replace the chimney crown at the same time as a chimney cap. Chimney crown repairs and replacements are needed when cracks or separation are seen in the masonry work. Minor chimney crown repairs may cost around $1,000 when done by a professional, while major crown replacements are $3,000 or more.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
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