chimney liner

Old 07-31-01, 09:27 AM
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I am SO GLAD I found this site. I'm hoping that you can give me some sound advice.

I live in the Puget Sound area and my chimney suffered extensive damage from the February earthquake. My chimney was
scanned today and shows huge cracks, missing mortar and on top of that I have lots of creosote.

I have two options and the cost difference is significant. Having said that, I don't mind paying more if it will be better for the
house while we live in it and better for the re-sale value when we decide to sell it.

Option 1) Includes new wood stove. Steel liner will insure safe burning, but no repair to cracks/mortar. 4,500.00

Option 2) Includes new wood stove. Ahrens cast in liner (repair mortar/cracks). Insures safe burning and reinforcement to
chimney. Will be "gas ready" when the gas lines reach our area. 7,700.00

Is it worth is to pay that much more for the cast in? Is it worth it for re-sale value?

And is 7,700.00 excessive? Another problem I have is that the chimney companies are actually turning down business
because they're so busy right now so getting another estimate will probably take me 2-3 months. The fellow that quoted me
that price is the only one in my area who does the cast in liners and the soonest he can get to me is sometime in February.

One more question is that my husband is now thinking about a pellet stove instead of a wood stove. If we switch stoves does
that mean the liner has to be changed also?

I know I've asked you a LOT of questions and I hope you can help me.

Thank you so much!!!!
Old 08-02-01, 02:36 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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I understand that the real estate market is very good up in your area.
You would probably be o.k. to go with Option 2 ($7,700). Those cast-in concrete liners add a lot of structural strength to your chimney.
Is your homeowners insurance covering any of the cost of the earthquake damage?
With the weakened structure and Option 1, the whole thing may come down with the next one, and you may end up rebuilding it, anyway.
As for whether or not the quotes are excessive, the only way to tell that is to get three bids from competing contractors in your immediate area.
The lowest is not always best. Check references and the BBB, if you have one there.
A pellet stove would be fine using the same chimney as a woodstove.
Just have the chimney cleaned and inspected annually.
Good Luck!

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