DIY Chimney liner installation - anyone done this?

We just had our chimney cleaned and it was highly recommended that we get a liner. We were told our chimney is unsafe. We also have to get the crown replaced and there might be some mortar repairs - I’m getting a second set of eyes on it next week.

The estimated cost of everything was around $3600, which is especially unpleasant, since we just had to have a new well drilled. It all happens at once, doesn’t it?? Anyway, I’ve been investigating liner kits and it doesn’t look like the installation would be that difficult. But I’d love to hear from anyone who’s done it themselves. It’s looking like we can save close to $2K in labor costs.

And lest anyone think we’re rookies, we’ve done major remodels ourselves on this house and others we’ve owned, plus my husband has helped his dad build at least 2 houses. We know our way around toolboxes.

So, anyone got experiences to share?

When we needed a sudden new water heater, on short notice, which, by code, required a new liner in the chimney, the fellow from the company we rented the water heater from, quoted us over $475, just for the liner, plus installation! Oh, and they had no idea when it would be done!

We could not wait, my hubby’s cousin, a plumber, came over the next day, sized it up, went and fetched parts, including water heater, and between them they had the liner installed in less than half a hour! The entire thing was done before the sunset -saved our ass! And I believe it actually cost less than $200 for the liner.

If you’re not freaked by going up on the roof I’d say give it a try, maybe get some extra hands?

I would do some checking on sizes. I have 4’’ type B pipe inside an older 7-8 inch chimney. Wasn’t a bad job.

The tech who was here said we need an 8" liner, but I did some looking on line - for what they estimated, I could get a new insert that uses a 4" liner, plus the liner and insulation kit and still have money left over. Our insert may have some life left in it, but the blower is really noisy and not the most efficient. I wonder if we could install an insert also? Those suckers are heavy…

I assume you’re talking about the stainless steel accordion style insert that you pull through. I intend to do this myself in the next couple of years as a precaution. The chimey has been declared sound, but I worry about a crack showing up somewhere critical. I’ve heard from two people who did it, and they reported it was very easy. I also asked the furnace service guys about it and they’ve seen it in several locations and had no negative feedback.

what type of wood and how much do you burn?

8" pipe and flue is common when used for heating as far as i know.

**TriPolar **- that’s precisely the style I mean. I’ve seen it installed, sorta, on TV, but they don’t show a whole lot of detail about the process. It didn’t look like a big deal, and since it’s sold DIY, I assume it’s not that huge a deal for a reasonably capable homeowner.

**johnpost **- we’ve been burning seasoned hardwood, although we’ve been talking about switching over to a pellet stove. I was led to believe that the insert you install determines the size of the liner. We will do more research before shelling out any money. Mostly I’m trying to get a feel for how complex a project this will be.

I’ve had my chimney sweep recommend that I needed to spend thousands of dollars on the same sort of thing and I’ve had “tree specialists” tell me that I needed to spend thousands to prune my trees.

I called the guy who inspected my home a couple of years ago and asked him why he didn’t mention the chimney crown in his report. He said he did a visual inspection when he inspected my roof and there is nothing wrong with my chimey crown and I certainly didn’t need to replace it but gave me the number of a handyman if I felt like spending money, he would give me the number fo a handyman.

The handyman told me taht i probably didn’t need to do anything but since he was already out there, he would repoit the brickwork, do some concrete patchwork apply a nother layer of mortar and seal it. He also installed a chimney liner and a chimney flue. It took him two days and he even cleaned my gutters while he was up there. He charged me $1000 plus the cost fo the liner and chimney flue.

ETA: BTW I’ve had at least half a dozen “tree specialists” tell me that they sued to trim the trees for the previous owner and would be happy to continue their work for a few thousand dollars, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The handyman even told me taht it was probably unnecessary to do the work but I was a new homeowner at the time (I’d only ever lived in condos) and $1000 seemed like a small price for peace of mind. Now it feels like a small price to pay for the lessons I learned.

The company that cleaned my chimney this time had done it in the past and never tried to sell me anything. Granted, it could be a new company policy to “upsell” since it’s been a couple of years. I’ve contacted another company for a second opinion/inspection. I won’t tell them what the first guy said other than we were told it’s unsafe to use.

After talking to my husband about this and watching some videos, it looks easily within our abilities as a DIY project. This could make for an interesting thread in the fall. :wink:

I think you mean, an interesting thread in Autumn.

Cheesesteak, avid DIYer who hates ladders and roofs and chimneys.

I tried doing it myself, but my mistake was trying to save on materials too. Pro tip: Don’t use cardboard.

Good point. I don’t do roofs myself, so my husband and daughter will get that honor and I’ll be in the family room.

Do it yourself and save money! We did this project and it was not hard.

I’ve done it a couple of times. The most unnerving thing is standing on a ladder at the top of a chimney and wrassling this metal thing.

First, strap your ladder to the chimney.
Second, strap yourself to the ladder.

Also, expand the metal on the ground. You are NOT going to be able to expand it inside of the chimney. Put pieces of cardboard over the edges of the tile and bricks so you don’t risk damaging the liner. Have a pull rope, but do not count on using it from anything other than guiding the liner down the flue. If it gets stuck, do not yank the rope - instead, pull the liner back up and try again. Communication with the person on the other end is vital.

We had a fireplace insert installed a few months after we moved in. House (and chimney) were just about 10 years old and well-built. Installer measured his experience in decades.

It took about 8 hours to install the insert. 1 hour for the insert, 7 for the chimney liner and cap. With a helper.

For every instance where it goes smoothly with no special effort, there’s a case like this.