Can I Install A Wood Burner In My Log Cabin, Home Office Or Garden Building?

What an idyllic setting… It’s winter, you’re enjoying nature changing through the seasons, sitting in your log cabin feeling nice and warm in front of your wood burning stove - is there a better image that depicts the word “cosy”? Probably not!

But before you can make this dream a reality, you need to find out what is required to install the final component of this blissful combination – a wood burner. Ultimately, yes – you are able to install one into your log cabin or home office, as long as your garden building adheres to the rules and regulations.


            1.    Structure

Firstly, the type of floor you have will highly affect the decision; your floor needs to be strong enough to support the stove and the hearth.

Depending on the stove you select you may need to have a constructional sub hearth which is 125mm thick concrete 840mm x 840mm. Some stoves only need a 12mm non-combustible board so it is very important you check with your supplier.

Most garden buildings are constructed of wood and other combustible materials so it is critical that you position your stove safe distances from walls etc. The use of heat shields is very practical especially at the rear of the stove so that it can be closer to walls. Also, you need to be sure the building can take the weight of the chimney system.

 

            2.    Chimney

Your stove will need a chimney and this is probably best achieved using a twin wall insulated system, which is cost effective and has minimal distances to combustibles. The chimney has to rise above the ridge of the roof and should be a total vertical height of 4.5m. Obviously this needs to be supported and you may need to put a hole in the roof, which will need to be weathered in correctly.

 

            3.    Insulation

If your building isn’t very well insulated, we suggest investing the money in rectifying this first. Most important is your cabin ceiling as most heat is lost upwards. If too much heat escapes this way it will be replaced by cold air dragged up through the floor and can cause uncomfortable cold draft from your knees down, no matter how large your stove or how ferociously you burn your wood. Also, a high-powered stove will be a more expensive one-off purchase, but you will also need to fund the constant supply of wood and fuel, which over time will add up.


            4.    Size

Depending on the size of your cabin and how well insulated it is will depend on the kilowatt output required for the stove. Generally, we suggest purchasing a stove that creates 5kW or less of heat. You’ll find that all stove brands have stoves of this size; you can find the ones we stock here.

 

            5.    Planning permission 

In most cases, you do not need permission to add a wood burning stove to your home but for some garden buildings will need to contact your local council to obtain consent. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to check.

If your house is noted as a listed building or located in a conservation area, you may need to apply for planning consent to install one into your garden.

 

            6.    Rules and regulations

There are various regulations surrounding wood burners, which are in place to protect you, your neighbours and the environment:

§  If you’re concerned you may live in a Smoke Control Area, read our guide here

§  Ensure that the height of your flue does not negatively affect your neighbours, as the height may be considerably lower than a house flue

§  It is imperative that you invest in a carbon monoxide detector, particularly in a small outhouse because it will take less time to fill to a dangerous level

§  Building Control should be informed once you’ve installed your wood burner. In the UK we use HETAS. You can do this through a CPS form (competent person scheme)

§  A professional should install your wood burner; we use HETAS engineers in the UK

§  You should only purchase a stove from a HETAS registered retailer

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If you have more questions regarding installing a wood burner to create a toasty atmosphere during the winter months, please contact us on 01483 209 363.