Installing solid fuel stoves - Kent Local Authority Building Control

Installing solid fuel stoves

If you are planning to install a domestic solid fuel, wood or biomass stove, either in an existing chimney or a new flue, you will required Building Regulation approval.

There are two ways to obtain Building Regulation approval. The first way is for your installer to be registered with the Government's Competent Persons Scheme, such as HETAS. This enables the installer to self-certify that the installation work meets the requirements of the regulations. The notification of compliance using this route must be notified to your local authority building control office within 30 days of completion of the works. If the installer is not registered with the scheme, or you are installing the stove yourself, the alternative way to gain approval is to apply to your local authority building control office for approval.

If you choose to use your local authority building control office to gain approval, the following background and advice should assist you in achieving compliance with the requirements.

How do I make a building control application?

If your installer is not registered with a Competent Persons Scheme then you will need to make an application for building regulations permission. You have two options here:

  • A Full Plans application, which will include full details and specifications of the stove and associated information to demonstrate compliance; or
  • A Building Notice submission that does not require details and specifications, although building control may request these when the work starts.

If you opt for a Building Notice the installer will not have independently approved specifications to work to, which may cause problems when your stove is being installed. Inspection of the work may reveal items that are deficient or missing.

When you are ready to start work following approval of your application you must notify your local authority building control office. A building control officer will inspect the works to ensure compliance and then you will receive a completion certificate. You will need this certificate when you come to sell your property.

Selecting a solid fuel stove

When choosing a solid fuel stove it is important to make sure the stove has been properly tested before you buy it. Low cost stoves with no evidence of testing should be avoided as they may be unsafe. The minimum acceptable heating efficiency rating for solid fuel stoves is 65%. Stoves that meet this standard will have been tested to the European standard BS EN 13240 by a properly accredited organisation, such as Kiwa Gastec. To prove this, the stovewill be marked with either the British Standard kite mark or the CE symbol. The label will include the name of the manufacturer, the product reference code, recommended fuel types and efficiency rating of the stove.

Who should you use to install your stove?

Although qualifications are not compulsory, any person fitting a solid fuel stove must be competent to do so.

Some installation companies are registered with one of the government's approved Competent Persons Scheme. This permits them to install and 'self-certify' the stove without having to make a formal application to the council under the building regulations.

The most prominent Competent Persons Scheme provider is HETAS. Do make sure the installer is listed on its register and that he leaves you with a certificate of compliance at the end of the job.


Download our guide to installing solid fuel stovesGuide to installing solid fuel stoves

PDF file: 3.82MB, 8 pages

This guide is aimed at any person who intends to install a wood burning stove in an existing building. It is assumed you will have sufficient skills to undertake the work. You are likely to be a member of a Competent Persons Scheme and authorised by your scheme operators to undertake this work. If you are not, then you will have to submit a building regulation application to the local authority where the work is to be undertaken.

This guide is intended to assist you in the installation process, outlining key issues that may affect the safe installation of the appliance. It guides you through the regulatory requirements and stages of commissioning of an appliance.


Download our guide of how to testing the safety and efficiency of flues and chimneysHow to test the safety and efficiency of flues and chimneys

PDF file: 219KB, 4 pages

This guide is intended to advise installers on the practices and procedures that must be followed in the commissioning and testing of flues and chimney systems serving solid fuel appliances.

The guide informs you on how to check that existing, relined or new flues discharge safely to external air. It is restricted to natural draught flues intended for open-flued appliances. It informs you how to assess whether the flue in the chimney, the connecting fluepipe (and flue gas passages in the appliance) are free of obstruction and acceptably gas tight.


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