Installing Woodburners in Thatched Properties – Feasibility

Installing Woodburners in Thatched Properties

Increasing energy costs have meant that everyone, including thatched homeowners, are looking at their heating options.  We decided to ask our friends at Quantum Chimney Services for some more advice.  This time looking at the feasibility of installing woodburners in thatched properties. The reason for this was our receiving an increasing number of enquiries on this topic.  We then thought an article was the best way forward.

Here’s their advice, based on their knowledge and experience, covering some of your questions on the installing woodburners in thatched properties.

Am I Permitted to Have a Wood Burning Stove in a Thatch Property?

“The simple answer is yes.

There is no statutory or regulatory legislation which prohibits thatch property owners from installing a wood burning stove.  Proposed installation works can be to a thatch property, mid-terraced stone cottage or any other dwelling.  So long as the building regulations are adhered to and any risk to both property and occupants can be shown to have been sufficiently reduced to an ‘acceptable’ level, there is no issue with a wood burning stove being installed.

Feasibility of installing a woodburner into a thatched property information

Physical Feasibility of Installing a Wood Burning Stove in a Thatch Property?

There is no reason why you cannot feasibly install a wood burner whether you have an existing fireplace and chimney or none at all.  Many registered installers are not prepared to undertake installations in thatch properties.  This may be because it requires a better understanding of potential fire risks, increased knowledge of the building regulations and enhanced knowledge of property construction compared to typical domestic properties.

There should be no issues so long as:-

It can be documented that the requirements of the building regulations will be and then have been achieved, a completion certificate will be issued.  This will be by either a building inspector when works occur underneath a building notice or issued through a competent person scheme.

What May be Involved in a Physical Installation to an Existing Fireplace

If you are wanting to install a stove into an existing fireplace, making use of the chimney, it is likely you will require a new insulated chimney system.  This should be of suitable dimensions to suit your chosen appliance.

There are many different alternative chimney systems used to serve wood burners in thatch properties.  The two main types are either;

(a) An insulated proprietary chimney system, such as clay, ceramic or pumice, or;

(b) A rigid insulated stainless steel twin wall flue system.

Selection of the correct system will depend on a number of different factors which is why having a pre-installation flue condition inspection is essential.

Feasibilitity of installing a woodburner picture from Stubbys

Other Feasibility Factors

Feasiblilty may also relate to either permissibility by other relevant authorities / parties or cost effectiveness.

Feasibility of Woodburners in Thatched properties - Building Regulations


The feasibility of installing a wood burner could be affected by your insurer. They may not provide cover for certain types of appliance or chimney systems, or may stipulate only certain types of installation will be insurable. This is why it is worth checking you will be able to be provided cover before undertaking any works.

Listed Buildings

If your building is Listed or in a Conservation Area you should ensure you have permission to undertake works in writing before any works commence.  A pre-application can usually be submitted at minimal cost, to receive a written response as to whether full consent may be required.  Where full consent is required and restrictions may be imposed on the works proposed, a building notice will likely be required to allow a completion certificate to be issued, as any restrictions will likely not allow a competent person scheme to complete works according to their CPS rules of registration.

Cost Effectiveness

When discussing the feasibility relating to cost effectiveness, unfortunately there is no ‘standard’ cost that can be attributed to installing a woodburner in a thatch property.  Each property is unique with its own set of specific criteria to achieve compliance.

It is however unlikely that an installation cost, including supply of an appliance and scaffold access, will fall below £5,000 when using one of the chimney systems discussed above. The other ‘cost effectiveness’ criteria that should be considered are;

  • Reduction in other energy costs when used as a primary heat source;
  • Potential additional value to your property;
  • Potential impact on insurance premiums.

In Summary

With energy costs soaring and people looking for alternative methods of providing heat within a property, we would argue wood burning stoves are a feasible alternative within thatch properties as much as any home.”


Cosy cuppa sat by a woodburner installation

The feasibility of installing woodburners in thatched properties is an important topic which many avoid. The Thatch Advice Centre are pleased to be able to share this important advice on this topic, with huge thanks to Quantum Chimney Services for their valuable input.   There are not only the physical installation consideration, but also other areas to take into account e.g. Insurance, Listed Building status and cost.

Please, do not forget our other fire safety advice and articles on such installations regarding maintenance, correct use of appliance and care with what and how you burn.  Remember to read our Thatch Fire Safety Leaflet and make sure you have appropriate insurance cover.

Helping our visitors to understand their options and make informed decisions is our aim.

Next month we will have more information on solid fuel stoves from our friends at the Stove Industry Alliance, so Watch this Space…..

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