Building regulations Document J for the installation of wood burning and multi-fuel stoves
When you decide to buy a wood burning or multi-fuel stove, there are certain safety regulations that must be adhered to. Most importantly, the stove must be fitted to a suitable chimney or insulated pipe to ensure that emissions can move unobstructed away from your dwelling.
When you choose your stove, you will need to follow guidance on size and heat output, determined by the heating requirements and the dimensions of your room. The size of your flue is also a consideration. A qualified heating engineer or reliable supplier can advise you about how to ensure you have the right stove and follow the correct installation procedure to have a safe and efficient heating system.
Building Regulations for Stoves (Document J)
The advice that professionals give you should be in line with official building regulations (Document J) that can be accessed through the government’s planning portal website, or by contacting your local planning authority.
These building regulations include the following aspects which must be taken into consideration during installation for the stove to meet safety standards:
Air supply – permanently open vents to ensure air circulation are required for stoves with an output that exceeds 5kW.
The size and position of the flue – the flue must be an appropriate diameter and height, with the flue outlet at a suitable position, to allow a good draught that will ensure the safe and efficient combustion of fuel.
The size and material of the hearth – the hearth must be made from a non-combustible material to ensure that a fire hazard is not created when the stove reaches maximum temperature or burning fuel accidentally falls out of the stove. The thickness of the hearth will depend on the maximum heat output of the stove.
It is clear from the list above that safe installation depends on a number of variable factors, including the heat output of your stove, the fuel you will be burning and the size of your flue. Installation will also depend on the design of your home and whether or not you are replacing an existing fire.
For example, the installation procedure will be different if you are connecting a stove into an existing chimney (lined or unlined) or adding an insulated fluepipe.
Given the range of variables, and the importance of ensuring your stove is both safe and efficient, it is advisable to contact a qualified installation expert. Your supplier should be able to recommend a list of fully-qualified heating experts in your area.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms are a necessity.
Gr8Fires 2019-09-23 17:55:08
@ Steve Johnson Hi Steve Double-fronted means there is glass on 2 sides of the stove (because
you've got a chimney breast that serves 2 adjacent rooms or you're putting the stove centrally in a
room. This calculator will help you to work out approximately what heat output you need:
https://www.gr8fires.co.uk/calculator Yes, even a simple installation of a new appliance to an
existing flue system will require building control sign-off. Along with the correct heat output,
you should also be aware of whether you live in a smoke control area. If so, a DEFRA exempt
appliance is needed. This article details more considerations:
https://blog.gr8fires.co.uk/2019/09/17/installing-a-wood-burning-stove/ Thanks, Gr8Fires
Steve Johnson 2019-09-19 09:19:40
What does double sided mean? I am wanting to up grade my existing burner which was signed some years
again as part of part J, How do you calculate what size burner for a room. I have a 6in liner. Do
i have to get a new burner signed off again. To keep up with current regs and the new ones coming in
what should i like for in a new burner?
Phil Lawrey 2019-08-29 16:36:09
Hi Adam. Many thanks for all of your e-mails. The advice and tips are all very interesting and
useful. Much appreciated. Thank you.
Gr8Fires 2018-10-04 14:57:44
@ graham Soar Hi Graham We wouldn't be able to overrule a manufacturer's guidelines,
unfortunately. Thanks, Gr8Fires
wayne reade 2018-10-01 19:41:56
Thanks for all the information you are sending. Much appreciated
graham Soar 2018-09-28 20:06:23
if not possible to position the coolwall flue the prescribed 6 mm from a rafter as it exits the
roof, will the manufacturer be happy with a fire board to protect the timber. The coolwall, even
with a roaring fire is still ok to place a hand on without burning at aprox 2 metre from the fire
and passes through the roof at 4.7 metres from the fire.
Phillip Plevey 2018-07-19 14:25:21
Appreciate all the help and information you are sending to me. All excellent value and very helpful.
Gr8Fires 2018-04-11 11:00:06
@ Barry Thrower Hi Barry Tricky one for us to help with since it's largely guesswork on your part.
If your neighbour used an installer from a competent person scheme they would not need building
control sign-off. For your own peace of mind, if approaching the neighbour to discuss the situation
isn't an option, we can only suggest getting a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to any fumes:
https://www.gr8fires.co.uk/honeywell-xc70-carbon-monoxide-alarm Thanks, Gr8Fires
Barry Thrower 2018-04-09 13:54:23
Hi I live in a Victorian terraced house and my neighbour has installed a wood burning stove, I've
not seen any liner go in nor any council official attending. As far as I can tell he and his
neighbour set to and just installed it one day. I am wondering if I am at risk from emissions
seeping into my adjoining chimney as in these old houses chimneys are rarely sound and often
partially blocked with collapsed internal brickwork.
Gr8Fires 2017-10-24 12:02:12
@ Sue Reed Hi Sue Here are some great options for you:
-home/ Thanks, Gr8Fires
sue reed 2017-10-24 11:11:43
Please could you recommend a wood/fuel burner for my mobile home . The measurements are 32 x 12 ft
. I am on rather a budget with this so top of the range is not really on !! Look forward to
hearing from you. Regards Sue
Gr8Fires 2017-10-16 12:44:07
@ Barry Fox Hi Barry Sounds like this is what you're after:
https://www.gr8fires.co.uk/5-twin-wal-flue-to-5-flexi-flue-adaptor Thanks, Gr8Fires
Barry Fox 2017-10-14 20:26:54
Can you get (and is it allowed )a reducing kit to fit an 8 inch twin wall flue is from 8inch to say
6/5 inch to accommodate a flexible liner .
Gr8Fires 2017-10-11 15:51:14
@ Sue Handford Hi Sue Here's our take:
https://blog.gr8fires.co.uk/2017/06/23/document-j-wood-burning-stove-building-regulations/ You can
follow the link to the Building Regulations above to read up for yourself. If you're installing
yourself, you will need sign-off from your local building control officer, so you could liaise with
them. If a competent installer is doing the installation for you, you could get their advice
beforehand. Thanks, Gr8Fires
sue Handford 2017-10-11 15:24:24
we have bought a 4kw multi fuel burning stove but are very confused as to how deep the hearth should
be or how far from the wall/windows we need to situate the stove there seems to be different
measurements on different websites.
Gr8Fires 2017-10-02 13:59:46
@ David Davies Hi David, Plastered masonry block wall is considered non-combustible, whereas
plasterboard would be considered a combustible due to the contents (paper elements) being
combustible. You can purchase fireproof board if require it. You can use a single wall enamel flue
to come off the stove inside your house. This will need to swap to an insulated twin wall flue
(https://www.gr8fires.co.uk/6-inch-twin-wall-external-flue-kit) when it passes through walls or
floors and goes outside. We recommend using a OFTEC or HETAS qualified stove installer to fit your
stove. Thanks, Gr8Fires
David Davies 2017-10-01 18:01:23
I understand that plasterboard is considered a combustible material but what about a traditional
plastered wall. I am looking at having a freestanding wood burner in a new build house extension and
was considering having the section of wall behind it plastered rather than boarded and skimmed to
allow siting to be closer to the wall. Also, I had intended having the flue run up the wall for a
bit before taking it outside through the wall. Does the section of flue inside the house have to be
double walled or can I use enamel flue inside and go to double walled to pass through the wall?
Gr8Fires 2017-09-19 15:40:47
@ William Kelsey Hi William In Scotland, the relevant documentation is the Building (Scotland) Act
2003: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2003/8/contents In Northern Ireland, the legislation is
the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012:
http://www.buildingcontrol-ni.com//assets/pdf/building-regulations-ni-2012.pdf Thanks, Gr8Fires
William Kelsey 2017-09-19 13:10:29
This is helpful as far as it goes for England and Wales, but what regulations are pertinent to
Northern Ireland and Scotland? Names of documents / regulations and weblinks to them would be very
helpful. I would be very grateful if you would kindly look up these for us. Many thanks. 20170919.
Gr8Fires 2017-09-18 09:46:58
@ Linda Hi Linda Straight is always the best way to go if that's a viable option. It helps with the
draw and efficiency of the burn. Thanks, Gr8Fires