Repairing a chimney can sound like a daunting task. In fact, it usually is a big project. But even something as small as chimney cap repairs can be categorized as a chimney repair.
We publish our prices for work that has a flat rate, but there are a lot of other jobs that are dependent upon different variables, such as measurements, material, and other special tool rentals.
While your project prices could vary, I hope that this report gives you more insight into what you can expect for your job.
Table of Contents
Liner Repair & Installation
How to Hire
When putting this report together, we pulled data from all the repair jobs that we’ve done in 2020. This excludes any inspections and sweeps for both chimneys and dryer vents.
Here’s what we found (with outliers):
- Average Cost – $1,900.60
- Minimum Cost – $130.00
- Maximum Cost – $28,634.00
That’s a very big difference! Luckily for you, that’s not a typical number for many chimney companies. In fact, jobs totaling more than $10,000 make up less than 1.5% of our total jobs in 2020.
If we take out the jobs that are way outside of our typical jobs (that 1.5%), then the averages look closer to this:
Here’s what we found (without outliers):
- Average Cost – $1606.86
- Minimum Cost – $130.00
- Maximum Cost – $9,958.00
Still a big difference, but much more manageable, right?
While the above numbers consider all jobs that we did, the following overviews of jobs take a look at the line items for the work prescribed. Many chimneys require more than one repair job, due to a lack of regular maintenance.
Chimney Caps cover the opening at the top of your chimney.
The most obvious reason for having one is to keep water from coming in straight from the top. But it also helps keep animals out, prevents downdrafts, and keeps embers from flying out.
You can get one to cover a single flue or cover multiple flues if your chimney has a couple.
Single Flue Caps
For jobs including single flue chimney caps, here’s what you’re going to expect:
- Average: $1,600.00
- Minimum $155.00
- Max: $8,673.00
But sometimes, we’re only adding on a cap. Caps are flat-rate items and you can see our prices on our price list.
Multi-Flue Chimney Caps
If you have a couple of flues on a single chimney, we’d likely recommend a multi-flue cap. If so, here’s what you’ll expect:
- Average: $3,532 with the outlier; $2,783.16 without the outlier
- Minimum $615
- Max: $17,760
Multi flue caps aren’t as straight forward to price as single flue caps. These are often based on measurements of your chimney and then custom-built to match.
A damper can be similar to a flue cap in that it usually sits on the top of your chimney. This is called a top damper. The difference here is that the dampers can close.
The benefit of closing the damper will be to keep the warm air in the home during winter (when you’re not using the fireplace) and to keep the cool air in during the summer.
In addition to sitting on top, your damper can also be located inside the chimney.
No matter where it’s located, you still have the ability to open and close it.
If you’re having a damper installed, whether it’s a top damper or one located in your chimney, here’s what you can expect:
- Average: $1,307.86
- Minimum $375
- Max: $3,045
Top dampers are pretty simple and like the single flue chimney caps, you can find our actual prices on the price list page
Crown Repair & Build
Crown repair is a very common repair for us. We see deteriorated crowns on nearly half of our repairs.
The crown sits on top of the chimney and helps push the water away on top of your roof.
Even though diverting water is a key part of the crown’s job, the material is made of a porous mortar that absorbs water. During the winter the moisture will seep in and soak into the mortar.
If it goes through a freeze/thaw cycle, you’ll have cracks in the crown. And eventually, you’ll see more water in your chimney.
You can’t see your crown from the ground, so many customers have no idea what the condition is until we go out to take a look.
Here’s what’s usually expected with crown work:
- Average: $1,830.32
- Minimum $340.00
- Max: $8,673
Liner Repair & Installation
Liners are what’s inside your flue. They need to be properly sized so that your chimney can actually work as it should.
If the liner is too big, you may have smoke sitting inside the chimney too long since it can’t exhaust out as it should. And you’ll have more creosote deposits, increasing your chance of chimney fires.
If the liner is too small, you’ll also have drafting problems where the smoke will just get pushed back in the room.
Liner installation usually includes removing an old liner. It’s a very involved, complicated job that takes at least half the day.
Due to this, liners are more expensive than most of the other services we offer.
Here’s what you’ll usually see:
- Average: $6,016.54 with outliers; $4,574.95 without the outliers
- Minimum $1,125.00
- Max: $25,988.00
The flashing is the area that connects your roof to the chimney. You can probably imagine that it’s not hard for water to enter that area if there isn’t anything covering it.
Unfortunately, flashing isn’t indestructible and can lose its touch after a few years unless you cover it with flash seal and keep applying waterproofing.
Even then you’ll probably have to replace the flashing every decade or so.
Just like with the crown, you can’t see the flashing (most of the time) from the ground. So many customers have no idea of how serious their flashing problems are until they call us out there.
But also like the crown, if the flashing is ignored, you can see much larger repair costs because so many other things can go wrong.
Here’s what you’ll see:
- Average: $2,143.66
- Minimum $200.00
- Max: $9,958.00
Tuckpointing is a process to repair damaged mortar joints. That means we apply mortar to the space between bricks.
Like the crown, bricks and mortar are susceptible to cracking from water penetration.
It’s a design flaw, in my opinion, because the exterior bricks should be able to withstand the weather much better than what they actually do.
Bricks and mortar are porous so they absorb water. And that means they’ll crack when there’s a freeze/thaw cycle, allowing more water in.
More water will lead to more leaks. When you notice the leaks, you have a much bigger problem.
We cover the damage with a stronger, water-resistant mortar to heal the damaged mortar. And that’s tuckpointing.
If you want to learn more, check out our tuckpointing article here.
Here’s what our 2020 tuckpointing projects cost:
- Average: $2,424.82 with outliers; $2,160.07 without outliers
- Minimum $200.00
- Max: $25,988.00
Stove installations are interesting because they usually include a new liner because the liner needs to be custom-fit to the stove that we’re installing.
Stoves put out different amounts of heat and the liner needs to accommodate. If not, your stove won’t work properly.
If it’s a wood stove, you could see smoke pushed back into your living room. But if it’s a gas insert, and the liner isn’t sized properly, then you could have carbon monoxide leaking in your home.
Here’s the overview of cost in 2020 for stoves:
- Average: $10,812.00
- Minimum $3,976.00
- Max: $28,634.00
When we waterproof a chimney, it’s always a stone or brick chimney, and it’s usually in addition to other work.
We use a water-based waterproofing agent that seeps into the porous bricks.
This material is really neat because it allows the water to evaporate out of the bricks, but doesn’t allow water to come back in.
We’ve done waterproofing on about 25% of the total repairs that we’ve performed this year.
Here’s how the pricing stacked up:
- Average: $2,742.69 with outliers; $2,060.88 without outliers
- Minimum $220.00
- Max: $28,634.00
Chase covers are like the crown, but for factory-built chimneys.
You’ll usually know that you have a factory-built chimney if the exterior of the chimney is the same as your house siding.
Your chase cover comes in several different materials. And depending on the one you choose, you could see rust.
If you have rust on your chase cover, then you’ll likely have pinholes that will allow water to leak into the chimney and in your house.
The frame in most factory-built chimneys is wood. So having water penetrate is a recipe for disaster as mold will form. And sometimes you can have wood rot if you’re not careful.
That’s a scary thought. So we always recommend stainless steel so that you have rust-proof material. And if it does rust, you’ll have a lifetime warranty attached to it so it can easily be replaced by the manufacturer.
Just like most of the chimney, it’s hard to see from the ground up. When you actually notice the rust, that’s when you have a bigger problem because the rust has been around long enough and is spread enough to leak down the sides.
Here’s what we charged in 2020:
- Average: $1,534.77
- Minimum $932.00
- Max: $3,430.00
How to Hire a Chimney Technician
When you’re ready, you should schedule a time for a certified chimney expert to go to your home to give your chimney an inspection.
You can easily reach out to your local chimney company and have a done-for-you solution in no time!
But navigating through all of the chimney companies in your city can be a chore all on its own. And it makes sense, too.
Hiring anyone to come into your home to fix something like your chimney shouldn’t be a task you take lightly. So I created a list that you can use to make sure you make the right decision when you need someone to help you in your home.
Questions to Ask
When you’re hiring a chimney company, you should always ask the following questions before allowing them to come into your home:
- Can the company provide references?
- Does the company carry a valid business liability insurance policy?
- Does the company ensure that a certified chimney technician will be on the job?
If they guarantee all three of those, then you are in a good spot. The technicians don’t necessarily need to be certified by the CSIA, but I do recommend putting in a bit more due diligence before accepting a certification that’s not by the CSIA.
This is because certifications are a tricky thing, especially in an unlicensed industry like ours. Any company can craft a list of job-related questions and sell them as an exam and certify those who pass.
I recommend you take a few extra minutes in your research before making your hiring decision to learn more about the certification the company has. Here are a few tips to make sure the certification is reputable:
- Is the word “certified” just part of the business name or is it an earned designation?
- Is the certifying body a for-profit business or non-profit?
- Does the certification need to be maintained and renewed through continuing education as the industry evolves, or is it well enough to be certified through a one-time exam?
- Is the certifying body well-established or are they relatively new to the scene? New doesn’t mean “bad” but you should make sure the requirements for certification are more or at least equally stringent as those of more established certifications
- Is the mission statement of the certifying body focused on educating and protecting homeowners or is it more focused on making it easier to earn a certification?
- Does holding the certification require following a code of ethics?
If you can answer all of these questions, then I think it will be safe to allow the company in your home to work on your chimney.
Please note that If you are hiring a chimney company to install a cap for you, most of the time, they will need to buy the cap themselves. This is primarily for liability and insurance purposes.
Besides, it’s probably cheaper for them to buy a cap at the dealer discount than for you to buy one at retail cost.
It doesn’t matter if you are in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Blacksburg, or some other city anywhere in the USA — if you have any questions about the safety of hiring a chimney company, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 540-225-2626. I’m happy to help!