Chimney Flue (Liner) Replacement

Haven’t used the fireplace much in my house (e.g., not once in the past 10 years) due to a problem with the damper. Had a chimney service come out today and they showed me how to work the damper properly (DOH!) but recommended a cleaning and video inspection of the flue.

Given that:

  1. my house is 70+ years old,
  2. this is the original terra cotta flue
  3. there are signs of water in the current flue liner
  4. the brick was pointed about 15 years ago

I need to get the video inspection and cleaning done. However, they gave a ballpark of $8000 for replacing/insulating the flue with a new stainless steel liner.

This seems incredibly high… ’

Any advice or experience would be appreciated.

We just had 7 done in the house using terra cotta liners for 14K; in contrast, they quoted us 24K using stainless steel. There’s probably a significant diminishing marginal cost by the time you get to 7, so I’d guess that 8K for one is a little high, but not crazy high.

A flea and a fly in a chimney flue
The flea said, ‘Let’s fly!’
The fly said, ‘Let’s flee!’
So they flew through a flaw in the flue!

I had my liner replaced when I replaced the old wood-burning stove with a new, efficient Napoleon one (with a glass front, yet!). The whole job, including the cost of the stove, the steel liner, County permit, and installation was about $6,000. Note that this house was built in 1934 and has low ceilings (about 7 feet) for heat retention. (It gets chilly here.) The chimney is just high enough to not have needed extending.

You can do this job yourself in an afternoon’s work. I would NOT pay that kind of money for the installation. If anything, purchase the chimney liner online and have a handyman install it.