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Understanding Chimney Repair Costs

Understanding Chimney Repair Costs
Austin Kilham
Austin KilhamUpdated August 17, 2022
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Chimneys are a critical part of your home’s infrastructure. They draw smoke out of the house if you have a fireplace, and they can provide the primary ventilation for your furnace. Because chimneys are subjected to the elements and also possibly smoke, soot, and heat, they commonly need repairs. The average cost of a chimney repair is $455, but you may end up paying more or less, depending on a number of factors, including how extensive the job is.Here’s what you need to know about chimney repair cost, and how to cover it. 

How Much Does a Chimney Repair Cost?

The average cost of chimney repair ranges from $160 to $750, with an average cost of $455. But the price can vary, depending on the scope of the work. Fixing a small crack could cost less than $500, while larger cracks could be as much as $1,500. If the damage is extensive and you need to replace the entire chimney, you might have to pay about $10,000.

Factors That Can Impact Chimney Repair Cost

How much the average chimney repair cost will be depends on several factors, including the type of repair needed, the materials your chimney is made of, and the labor involved. 

Type of Chimney

Chimneys can be made from a variety of materials. Some are prefabricated out of metal, others are built with brick. Typically, metal chimneys are cheaper to repair, with an average cost that ranges from $250 to $1,200, including labor. Repairing a masonry chimney will run you anywhere from $300 to $1,500 on average.Of course, the price you’ll pay will be based on the scope of the project. For example, repairing fewer than 10 cracked bricks typically costs $175 to $500. Fixing more than that can range from $750 to $1,500. 

Repair Type

Here are some common chimney repairs and their average cost. 
  • Crown repair: The crown of your chimney is the concrete slab at the top that keeps rain from coming down your flue and protects the brick and mortar your chimney is made of. It also helps keep hot embers from going up the chimney and landing on your roof. Repairs to the crown usually cost $150 to $300. Replacing the crown can cost as much as $2,000. 
  • Leaks: Water can get into your house through cracks in and around your chimney, which can rot wood and damage your roof. Sealing your chimney with mortar costs $180 to $350 on average. Adding metal chimney flashing around the base of the chimney for extra protection is $200 to $350. 
  • Cracked Chimney: Cycles of hot and cold temperatures can cause the masonry in chimneys to expand and contract. This can eventually lead to cracking. Major cracks can cost as much as $3,000 to repair. 
  • Flue repair: The flue is the opening that runs down the center of your chimney. Replacing cracked flue tiles can cost anywhere from $65 to $100 per square foot. Relining the flue if the cracks are more extensive can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. 

Labor and Installation Cost

The cost of the labor needed to make repairs or install new components is another factor to consider. Labor costs for chimney repair generally range from $50 to $150 an hour. Larger, more complicated repairs will require more hours to address, which can add to the total price. Also, the cost of labor varies depending on where you live. If you’re based in an urban area where labor is in high demand, the price per hour may be higher. 

Maintenance

Proper chimney inspections and maintenance are key to the safety of you and your family and can help you avoid potentially costly repairs. Consider an annual cleaning from a chimney sweep, which runs about $250 and typically includes what’s called a level one inspection for damage. For some types of chimney repairs, you’ll need a level two inspection first, which can cost $100 to $500. Major structural problems will require a level three inspection, which can range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Financing Options to Help Pay for Chimney Repair

You may be able to pay for some minor chimney repairs out of pocket. If you don’t have the money to pay for major repairs, financing can help. And if you’re thinking about repairing or replacing your roof while you’re at it, there is also roof financing that you may want to think about.Here are some chimney repair financing options to consider.

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan allows you to secure a loan using your home as collateral. The loan provides a lump sum, which you pay back in regular installments, usually at a fixed interest rate. Borrowers who use their home as collateral should be vigilant when it comes to paying off their loan on time. If you default, the lender can seize your home to help recoup some of their losses. 

HELOC

A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a type of revolving line of credit that gives borrowers access to up to 85% of the value they’ve built up in their home. Like home equity loans, HELOCs use the borrower’s home as collateral for the loan.With a HELOC, you draw against your line of credit and then repay the amount borrowed. HELOCs usually have a variable interest rate, and borrowers only owe interest on the amount they’re borrowing. 

Credit Card

Credit cards are another way to pay for chimney repairs, but they may be your best option when you can pay off your bill in full at the end of your statement cycle. Credit cards typically charge relatively high interest rates, which will kick in if you don’t pay off your bill each month. 

Personal Loan

Personal loans are typically unsecured, which means they don’t require collateral.  They allow you to borrow a lump sum which you can use for almost any purpose, including home repairs. You repay the loan in regular installments with interest. Other types of personal loans as well as home improvement loans may be available to you and can be worth checking into. Interest rates for each of these financing options is largely determined by a borrower’s credit history and credit score. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you may be offered. 

Personal Loans for Chimney Repair 

If you’re considering a personal loan for your chimney repairs, you can easily compare personal loan rates with Lantern by SoFi. With a single application, you can get information on multiple loans quickly to help you find the right lending option for your needs.  
Photo credit: iStock/jhorrocks
The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.LCPL0622002

Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Author

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles. He focuses on personal finance, retirement, business, and health care with an eye toward helping others understand complex topics.
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