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Chimney Installation Cost

Chimney Installation Cost

National average
$4,500
(30-foot masonry-built chimney in the center of the home)
Low: $2,400

(30-foot factory-built chimney with no decorative veneer finish and no cover)

High: $10,500

(30-foot masonry chimney with decorative stone exterior and copper cap)

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

The average cost of installing a chimney is $3,000 - $6,000.

In this guide

Types of chimneys
Chimney crown vs cap
Installation process
Labor costs
Signs that you need to replace your chimney liner
Maintenance
Enhancements and improvements
Additional costs and considerations
FAQ

How much does it cost to install a chimney?

If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove in your home or plan to install one of these, you need to have a functioning chimney. Chimneys help fireplaces and stoves draw, bringing them fresh air to help combustion while pulling the smoke up and out of your home. They come in many different types and styles and should be customized to the fireplace or stove that you have installed. The most commonly installed type of chimney in the U.S. is the masonry chimney, which may be made of brick, block, or stone. For a masonry chimney that is 30 feet in height, expect an average cost range between $3,000 and $6,000, with most homeowners paying around $4,500 for the job.

Chimney installation

Chimney installation costs
National average cost$4,500
Average range$3,000 - $6,000
Minimum cost$2,400
Maximum cost$10,500

Types of chimneys

Ideally, the type of chimney you have will be directly related to the kind of fireplace or stove. For example, a masonry fireplace needs a masonry chimney, while a prefab fireplace needs a prefab chimney from the same manufacturer. Many fireplaces and chimneys are not interchangeable, so always make sure that what you are installing matches the rest of the materials.

Metal chimneys

You are most likely to find a metal chimney on an older home or commercial building. They are much less common on newer residential homes because they are not as safe or attractive. They may be single-wall or double-wall in construction and are most commonly round, although they can be fabricated to be square. They cost around $65 - $95 a foot 1 on average.

Metal chimney in a roof

Factory-built/prefabricated/engineered

If you have a factory-built fireplace, you need to have a factory-built chimney to match. They may be called prefabricated chimneys or engineered chimneys, but they are all built off-site to the exact specifications of your home and fireplace. They are not interchangeable and must work with your fireplace. The above-roof section is usually brick but may be block or stone if desired. They cost around $80 - $100 a foot 1 on average.

Man installing a prefabricated chimney

Fireplace insert chimneys

Fireplace inserts can actually use a few different types of chimneys, including masonry and, in some cases, factory-built. This depends largely on the type of insert and whether or not you have an existing firebox 2, as well as what that firebox 2 is made of. For example, if the firebox 2 is masonry, you will have a masonry chimney to match. Therefore, costs can vary a lot from $80 - $200 a foot 1 on average.

Fireplace insert in a chimney

Freestanding Stove Chimneys

Freestanding stove chimneys are custom built for the stove. They may also be prefabricated or masonry, depending on your desire, but they are created just for that stove. They are frequently not interchangeable and are designed for the pipe of your stove to reside in. They cost between $80 - $200 a foot 1, depending on the type of chimney.

Masonry chimneys

Masonry chimneys are among the most common types because they are also often considered the safest. They are constructed out of many different materials that are created to withstand the heat of a chimney fire. They may be lined or unlined, and they may contain one flue 3, several flues 3, or no flue 3 at all. They are the most decorative chimney type and the most likely to raise your home’s value. However, they are also among the most expensive types and require a lot of maintenance, cleaning, and inspections to keep them at their best. They cost between $100 and $200 a foot 1 on average.

Masony chimney in the roof of a house

Wood stove chimneys

This type of chimney looks a great deal like a masonry chimney but is designed to house the stove pipe for your wood stove as well as to vent. It is a little more complex than a masonry chimney, even though it appears similar. It is also designed out of fire brick or material that is designed to handle the heat of the fire. They cost between $150 - $350 a foot 1 on average.

Wood stove chimney with wood in a room

Chimney crown vs cap

Whichever type of chimney you have, you want to protect it from moisture, snow, and small animals. Two different systems allow you to do this - a crown and a cap.

Crowns are made from leftover mortar 4 from a masonry chimney and are often included in the cost of the chimney if desired. There is no additional cost. They cover the entire top of the chimney but not the flue 3, so they still allow water and animals to enter and do not offer much protection. They can also crack over time.
Many homeowners choose to pair chimney crowns with chimney caps, which form a type of cage over the top of the chimney while being open on the sides. This keeps rain out more effectively and gives the chimney a variety of appearances, depending on the style and material used. Chimney caps cost around $350 and can protect the chimney, prolonging its life. They are recommended even for chimneys with crowns.

Installation process

Building a chimney is a very long and complicated process that involves several different professionals. A concrete pad 5 is poured where the chimney will begin, which is often behind the fireplace itself. Fire brick or fire blocks are used to start building the chimney, which may need to be supported at various points during construction by lumber scaffolding 6. The flue 3 is constructed inside the blocks, with holes drilled at strategic places to allow for a better draw. A liner 7 made of metal or clay tiles is installed on the interior of the chimney to protect it. The finished material is installed over any visible parts of the chimney, either the portion that extends past the roofline 8 or the exterior that is visible from the side of the home. Because precise angles are needed to reach from the firebox 2 to the flue 3 and ultimately to the roof, each chimney is built to the fireplace and home. A prefab chimney must be used with a prefab firebox 2 because they will not line up otherwise.

Labor costs

Labor makes up a big part of the cost of a chimney, particularly for a masonry chimney where the materials are fairly inexpensive. However, the labor to put them together can be very time-consuming. For an engineered fireplace, the labor is the lower part of the equation, with the materials being the more expensive piece.
Labor for a masonry chimney ranges between $80 and $95 a foot 1. Costs can be higher for more decorative exteriors. For example, a fieldstone chimney installed on the side of the home will have a lot more decorative work done than a masonry chimney that is installed in the center of a house with only the above-roof portion visible. Likewise, the pitch of the roof and height of the chimney above the roofline 8 also impact the cost. Roofs with a high pitch are more difficult to work on and require additional flashing 9 around the edges. For a masonry chimney measuring 30 feet, the average labor cost is around $2,700 out of the $4,500 total.

Signs that you need to replace your chimney liner

Your chimney liner helps extend the life of your chimney and flue 3, as well as helping to protect your home from fires. They can be made of metal or clay and may need replacement long before the rest of your chimney needs work.

If you need to replace your liner 7, you may notice several signs, such as cracks if you were to shine a flashlight inside it, efflorescence or white powder on the inside of the fireplace, rust on the inside of the fireplace, signs of water infiltration around the chimney, or even pieces of a broken tile from the liner 7 in the fireplace itself.

Chimney liners 7 can be nearly as expensive as a new chimney if you have them made of tile. To remove an old liner 7 and install a new one, it can cost around $2,000 - $4,500 in most cases but can go as high as $5,000 for chimneys that have turns and bends. A metal liner 7 is less expensive at around $1,000 - $2,000 on average.

Maintenance

If you use your fireplace or wood stove at all, you need to have your chimney cleaned and inspected yearly. This costs between $100 to $500, depending on the number of flues 3 and the level 10 of cleaning and inspection done. During this cleaning, the chimney sweep will look for cracks in the liner 7, missing mortar 4, and other issues that should be dealt with promptly to ensure that your chimney stays in good condition.

Enhancements and improvements

Chimney inspection

Your chimney should be inspected regularly. A cursory inspection is generally part of your cleaning, but occasionally, you need a more in-depth inspection to discover the cause of a problem. More thorough inspections cost around $300 with a basic cleaning.

Elastomeric coating

An elastomeric coating helps seal your chimney and prevents damage to the bricks or exterior material. The coating is flexible, so it can absorb some movement from the home, saving the mortar 4 in the masonry. It costs around $50 - $100 on average.

Additional costs and considerations

  • If you want to have a fireplace, but not a chimney, install an electric fireplace. They do not require chimneys but still add a lot of aesthetic value to a room.
  • You may need a permit to install a chimney in many areas. Always check with your town or city hall to find out.
  • If you want to have an outdoor fireplace, use a chiminea or clay fireplace with an attached chimney. They can be placed anywhere to give you a safely burning fire that draws like an interior fireplace and chimney.
  • Without a chimney cap, you may sometimes get small animals trapped in a chimney. This may sound like scrabbling, banging, or squeaking coming from inside the chimney. If you suspect an animal may be trapped, try lowering a rope down the flue 3, which gives them a way to climb out.
  • If desired, you may wish to seal your chimney. This can be done in sections or for the entire chimney. Costs depend on the part being sealed. Typical sealing costs start at around $100.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to install a wood stove chimney?

Wood stove chimneys have costs that start at around $150 a foot 1 including installation.

  • How tall does a wood stove chimney need to be?

Any chimney must be at least 3 feet off your roofline 8 and taller by 2 feet of anything within 10 feet of the chimney.

  • Can you install a wood-burning fireplace in an existing home?

You can, but it is an involved and expensive process for masonry. Prefabricated is often easier.

  • How much does a fireplace inspection cost?

A fireplace inspection costs around $300 on average.

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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 Footing 1 Foot: A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
2 Firebox: The chamber in a fireplace that contains the fire. It is usually lined with firebrick so it can withstand the extreme heat that it is exposed to. Manufactured fireplaces have fireboxes made of sheet metal
glossary term picture Flue 3 Flue: A duct or pipe through which exhaust gases from a fireplace, stove or boiler are released to the outdoors
glossary term picture Mortar 4 Mortar: A mixture of Portland cement or lime or a combination of both, sand, and water used to bind bricks, stones, and concrete masonry units together
glossary term picture Concrete Pad 5 Concrete pad: A flat area of concrete that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a patio or a driveway
glossary term picture Scaffolding 6 Scaffolding: A temporary structure used during construction/maintenance/painting projects to raise and support workers (or one worker), required materials, and equipment
glossary term picture Liner 7 Liner: A covering, usually made of vinyl, for the walls and floor of a swimming pool, used to keep the water in and protect the pool's surface.
glossary term picture Soffit 8 Roofline: Construction material, typically composed of vinyl or aluminum, used to enclose the underside of eaves and ceilings
glossary term picture Flashing 9 Flashing: Pieces of sheet metal used on roofs to cover joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, or around a chimney or skylight, to protect them and prevent water leaking through
10 Level: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.

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

Man installing a chimney

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Anderson, IN
-20%
Arlington, VA
+38%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Cary, NC
-5%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Clearwater, FL
-14%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbia, MO
-19%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Durham, NC
-1%
Englewood, OH
-8%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Iselin, NJ
+39%
Katy, TX
+63%
Lacey, WA
-16%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milpitas, CA
+33%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Missoula, MT
-21%
Modesto, CA
-12%
Monroe, NY
-4%
New York, NY
+77%
North East, MD
-26%
Nottingham, MD
+17%
Oceanside, CA
+8%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orinda, CA
+50%
Oxnard, CA
-1%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Pueblo, CO
-18%
Rush City, MN
+4%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
Santa Rosa, CA
+8%
Labor cost in your zip code
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Methodology and sources