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Chimney Cap Replacement Cost

Chimney Cap Replacement Cost

National average
$350
(stainless steel single flue chimney replacement cap)
Low: $240

(galvanized steel single flue chimney cap)

High: $700

(copper multi-flue chimney cap)

Cost to replace a chimney cap varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from fireplace contractors in your city.

The average cost to replace a chimney cap is $350.

In this guide

Cost factors
Materials
Shape and size
Labor
Maintenance
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to replace a chimney cap?

Chimney caps are essential for protecting the structure of your chimney. The caps prevent moisture from entering the flue and seeping inside the interior of the chimney. Chimney caps are also used to prevent pests from nesting inside the flue 1. Over time, chimney caps can sustain damage from pests or poor weather conditions and require replacement.

The average cost to replace a chimney cap ranges between $300-$600, with the average customer paying around $350 to replace a stainless steel chimney cap for a single flue with professional installation.

Chimney cap replacement costs

Chimney cap replacement costs
National average cost$350
Average range$300 - $600
Minimum cost$240
Maximum cost$700


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. 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 chimney cap is that a buildup of creosote 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 out professional assistance immediately. Creosote has a black, oily appearance and 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 chimney cap needs replacing.

Looking at the overall physical appearance of the chimney cap is another strategy to determine if it needs replacing. When inspecting the chimney cap, 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. There shouldn’t be any rust present if the cap is made from galvanized steel 2.

If the chimney has sustained any type of structural damage, you should replace the cap, too. For instance, if there was a chimney fire, the structural integrity of the chimney cap is likely compromised. Severe weather events such as hail storms and hurricanes could also damage the cap.

Cost factors

The total cost of a chimney cap is influenced by a number of factors:

  • Size of the flue. ​Before a chimney cap can be ordered, you need to know the size of the flue and if there’s a liner. Different style caps are available for both lined and unlined chimneys with similar price points as long as the homeowner can use the standard sizes available.
  • Custom chimney cap. If the homeowner prefers a custom chimney cap, then the cost is significantly more than standard versions. Custom options are made-to-order for homeowners who wish to have a specific decorative style for the cap or if the chimney has an irregular size or shape. For instance, the cost with installation for a custom copper single flue cap is approximately $1,200.
  • Multi-flue caps. Multi-flue chimney caps are sold at a higher price point than standard versions. Multi-flue chimney caps are larger than single-flue types and require additional time to install.
  • Accessibility. Installation costs are also dependent on the accessibility of the chimney. If a contractor has a difficult time accessing the roof or chimney, a surcharge of $100 or more may be applied. Also, if the cap needs to be replaced due to structural damage, you will pay for additional repair work to other parts of the chimney. As an example, a chimney crown repair can cost upwards of $1,200.
  • Installation time. For an install without any masonry work, the entire process takes approximately one hour at the cost of about $200. For custom caps or multi-flue caps, installation may take at least two hours. In this case, the installer will charge around $300.

Materials

One of the key buying decisions will be the material used to construct the chimney cap. Your budget and style preferences will shape your final buying decision.

MaterialCharacteristicsPrice
Galvanized Steel

Least expensive type

Lasts approximately five years

Simple styles that are widely available

$35-$75
Aluminum

Similar price point as galvanized steel

Softer material more prone to breakage than steel

More style choices with shiny finishes

$75-$110
Stainless Steel

Mid-range price point

Rust-proof and made from more durable materials

Similar attractive styles as aluminum caps

$150-$300
Copper

Most expensive type of replacement cap

Durable material usually with a lifetime warranty

Very attractive style choices

$400-$750


Shape and size

Determine the type of chimney cap needed for the replacement by looking at the shape of your flue. The most common types are round, square, rectangular, and oval.

Most flues are either rectangular or square. With these flue types, the chimney cap is attached directly to the crown. Round chimney caps are attached outside the flue or slipped inside the flue. Homeowners with oval flues typically either need a customized version or to find a rectangular model that will fit over the opening. Standard round and square versions are the least expensive, while custom types can exceed thousands of dollars. A small round and square stainless steel cap will start at $120 and above, while a rectangular stainless steel cap will be at least $185. Specialized caps are also available if the homeowner is looking to extend the functionality. As an example, draft-increasing chimney caps are used for buildings exposed to high wind conditions. The chimney cap utilizes natural wind conditions to create stronger updrafts. Flue extended chimney caps raises your flue by one to two feet to reduce smoky conditions caused by the fireplace.

Determine the size needed for the chimney cap by measuring the flue. For most chimney caps, you will need the length and width measurement of the outside flue. For round versions that slip inside the flue, measure the diameter inside the flue. Most chimneys accommodate pre-fabricated cap sizes. The larger the cap, the higher the price.

Labor

Chimney sweeps and chimney service companies perform chimney cap replacements. For safety reasons, a professional is needed for proper installation. If a chimney cap is not installed properly, the flue may not work correctly, with an increased chance of exposure to toxic substances like creosote and carbon monoxide. In addition, chimney cap replacements involve climbing onto the roof. Chimney service professionals know how to take the correct precautions to reduce fall risks while working on a roof.

On average, you can expect to pay $200 for a basic install of a pre-fabricated chimney cap. Installers charge $200 for the first hour and a discounted hourly rate of $100 for subsequent hours.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance of the chimney cap will extend 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 chimney cap screen becomes blocked with debris such as leaves and twigs—especially after severe storms. When the chimney cap 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 chimney cap since your goal is to limit the amount of moisture entering the flue. No other maintenance is required for the chimney cap. The cap may be removed during a chimney sweep, but should be secured back to the crown immediately following the cleaning.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Decorative caps

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 $1,100.

Chimney pots

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.

Chimney liners

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.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Permits. The amount of work involved with repairing a chimney cap determines if a building permit is needed. For instance, municipal building codes may require a permit if any construction is being done on the crown or liner during the cap installation. Installs of a chimney cap alone typically don’t require a permit.
  • DIY. DIY is not recommended for chimney cap replacement since improper installation can increase carbon monoxide exposure and fire risks.
  • Durability. Chimney caps typically last five years for budget models made from galvanized steel and aluminum. Copper chimney caps can last for the lifetime of the home.
  • Do it as soon as possible. Chimney cap 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. Chimney cap 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.
  • Chimney sweeping. Chimney sweeps remove debris from the cap as part of a basic sweep. For a basic sweep, you can expect to pay around $100 to $300.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to replace a chimney cap?

The average cost to replace a chimney cap with a stainless steel model and professional installation is $350.

  • Is a chimney cap necessary?

Chimney caps are highly recommended and reduce the overall cost to maintain your chimney. Without a chimney cap, you may need to pay for services such as pest removal if any wildlife becomes trapped inside the chimney. Also, chimney caps 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 $200 for chimney cap installations that are done with a standard single flue model. Along with materials and labor, the average cost for a cap replacement project will be around $350.

  • When should a chimney cap be replaced?

Any type of visible damage is an indicator that the chimney cap requires replacement. If the screen is ripped or torn then moisture and other debris are able to enter the flue. When a chimney cap is tarnished, it signifies that it’s time to replace the piece. When a chimney suffers any type of 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 $1,200 when done by a professional while major crown replacements are $3,000 or more.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Flue 1 Flue: A duct or pipe through which exhaust gases from a fireplace, stove or boiler are released to the outdoors
glossary term picture Galvanized Steel 2 Galvanized steel: Steel that has had a protective zinc coating applied to it to make it resistant to rusting

Cost to replace a chimney cap varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Professional on the roof installing chimney cap on a brick chimney

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, VA
+38%
Asheville, NC
-18%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Billings, MT
-12%
Brighton, TN
-23%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Columbia, MO
-19%
Danbury, CT
+43%
Durham, NC
-1%
Erie, PA
-17%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Henderson, NC
-41%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Modesto, CA
-12%
New York, NY
+77%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%
Providence, RI
+13%
Richmond, TX
+63%
Riverside, CA
+13%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Mateo, CA
+44%
Seattle, WA
+9%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Stockton, CA
+4%
Tampa, FL
-2%
Temecula, CA
+1%
Toledo, OH
+9%
Troy, MI
+26%
Tulsa, OK
-14%
Vancouver, WA
-12%
Victorville, CA
-1%
Virginia Beach, VA
-8%
Washington, DC
+23%
Wilmington, NC
-8%
Labor cost in your zip code
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Methodology and sources