Cost of Installing a Chimney Cowl
A guide of the process of hiring a roofer to install a chimney cowl, including the costs of labour and materials.
A chimney pot might work in some homes, but in certain cases, it won’t properly cover the entire chimney entryway. Heavy rains, birds, even small animals like squirrels, can easily get past the pot. In these instances, installing a chimney cowl is the superior alternative approach to be taken in some homes with larger chimneys.
When installing a chimney cowl, not only does it have to be properly placed and affixed, it also has to be the right size for your chimney. So as to prevent blockage and causing smoke to build up, but also to properly cover the chimney, to prevent these animals and obstructions from getting into the home. There is a delicate balance in choosing the cowl, and obviously installing it in the home.
What the job entails
The multi-purpose chimney cowl, attached to your chimney using a strap, is the most highly desired cowl system. Not only is it going to provide the best blockage, but is also a superior option to chimney pots and smaller systems that are available for installation.
If your chimney isn’t being used, the cowl can provide ventilation throughout your home. It will obviously block out rain, birds, squirrels, and other obstructions from falling into the chimney. In installing the cowl, there really isn’t much guesswork. It is typically as simple as fixing it atop the chimney, aligning it, and attaching the metal strap onto the chimney.
Why hire a professional
It is not that the actual installation is difficult, it is the fact that it is large, it requires climbing the roof, and typically require equipment most homeowners do not have. If you have never used a scaffold, don’t have the right power tools to affix the cowl, or aren’t experienced in doing similar projects, you can do something wrong.
For these reasons, it is a far better option to hire a professional roofer, or chimney specialist, and allow them to install the cowl for you. They have the equipment, experience, and can typically install these large pieces atop your chimney, in 1-2 days.
Tips for installation
Make sure you clean the space prior to having the company visit your home. They will conduct a survey, determine which cowl is best for your home, and determine how to install it. Make sure the area in front of, and around the chimney are clear. Also, make sure the roof is clutter free, and there aren’t any obstructions around your home, which will prevent them from getting on the roof with the scaffolding.
If you plan on doing roofing work or having your chimney swept, do it when installing the cowl. It will save time and money if you hire one company, as opposed to hiring two individual companies to perform each of these services. The company which will install the cowl can replace a few broken shingles, do minor repair work, and can also conduct surveys of the roof.
If you use your fireplace for burning coal or other wood-based material, and there is a cage in front of it, this should be removed. Not only so the contractors can easily access any crawlspace, but also to prevent blockage from burnt carbons, while the contractors are installing the cowl, or doing additional work on the roof of your home.
Costs & Duration
If you are simply installing the cowl, this project should take a few hours at most. If additional tile repair or roofing work is being conducted, you might want to set aside a 1-2 day window for the project to complete.
In terms of pricing, expect to pay an access fee anywhere between £150-£250. This will depend on the difficult to get to the roof, install the scaffolding near your home, and access to/through the chimney, from inside of the home. You can’t get around this fee, as the contractors have to assess the chimney. So, regardless of the company you choose to hire, you are going to pay this fee when installing a chimney cowl over the home.
A multi-purpose cowl can cost anywhere between £150-£300. Depending on the size, if scaffolding is used to install it, and other potential conflicts which are found during installation, the entire cost shouldn’t exceed £400 to install the new cowl.
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Here is a list of commonly asked questions in regards to having a chimney cowl fitted.
Q Do I need a chimney cowl?
This depends on the size of your chimney, what you’ve possibly found inside the chimney in the past, and where you live. In some areas, it is worth having. If you live in an area with plenty of small animals, rain, and other droppings, this is worth placing over your chimney.
Q Should I buy a multi-purpose cowl?
For the difference in price, it is well worth purchasing and installing a multi-purpose cowl over your chimney. It can block out nearly anything, will keep your chimney clean, and it can help improve ventilation in the home. If you can set aside the budget, it is superior to the specific cowl.
Q Can I install it myself?
The installation itself isn’t difficult, it is simply affixing the metal strap to the chimney. But, most homeowners don’t have a scaffold, the power equipment to fit the cowl, nor do they have the means to get it onto the roof. For such reasons, you are better off hiring a professional to install it.
Q How long does installation take?
This is a quick job. After setting up the scaffold and surveying the roof/chimney, the installation is the easy part. A licensed professional shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to install the new chimney cowl over your home.
Q I do not use the chimney, do I need to install a cowl?
The chimney cowl will not only help prevent rainwater from entering your home, it will also help increase ventilation. So, even if your chimney isn’t used often, it is a worthwhile investment to install a chimney cowl.