10 Rules for Buying a Wood Burning or Multi Fuel Stove

1. Only buy a stove from the company who will be installing it because it is safer and cheaper.

If you buy a stove and then have someone else install it, if it doesn’t work correctly after installation or several months later, the company who supplied the stove can blame the installer and the installer can blame the company who supplied the stove. This can make it impossible to get a refund from either party. Unfortunately, the only way to resolve this type of problem may be to buy a replacement stove from a company that will supply and install the new stove.

Buying a stove online may appear a good option. However, remember you will also need to buy an installation accessories kit and pay someone to install it:

Buying a basic good quality stove will cost around £600, a basic installation accessories kit will cost around £350 and a reputable HETAS or OFTEC registered installer will charge around £700 (£600 + £350 + £700 = £1,650).

GATFire can supply a high quality stove, all of the installation accessories normally required and our HETAS and OFTEC registered engineers will expertly install the stove for only £999 +vat = £1,198.80.

2. Do not install your own stove or have a builder do it for you.

The regulations surrounding the installation of solid fuel burning stoves are very strict. HETAS and OFTEC regulate the installation of all solid fuel burning stoves in the UK. If your stove is not installed by a HETAS or OFTEC registered installer you will be responsible for applying for building regulation approval from your local council before the stove is installed, then paying the council to inspect and hopefully approve the installation after the stove has been installed. In addition, failing to use a HETAS or OFTEC registered installer could invalidate your home insurance and you could experience problems selling your property in the future.

GATFire’s very experienced teams of installation engineers are fully HETAS and OFTEC registered.

‍3. Only buy your stove from a stove company who is HETAS and OFTEC registered.

HETAS and OFTEC are the only organisations who regulate the solid fuel burning stove industry in the UK. If you buy a stove from a company that is not registered with at least one or preferably both of these organisations, if something goes wrong in the future, the only way to resolve the problem could be to take expensive legal action.

GATFire is registered with both HETAS and OFTEC. We are also SiA ( Stove industry Association) members.

‍4. Only buy a stove from a well established stove company who have been in business for over 10 years.

The dramatic increases in gas and electricity prices has led to an increase in the demand for solid fuel burning stoves. To cater for this increased demand many new stove companies have set up businesses during the last few years. If your stove company is not very established or is not registered with Companies House or registered for VAT or does not have showrooms, it may not be concerned about its reputation and it may not be around in the future. If your stove company stops trading, it is unlikely you will be able to claim on their insurance if the stove installation causes damage in the future.

GATFire was established for over 15 years ago, we are one of the country's largest suppliers & installers of solid fuel burning stoves and we have showrooms in Essex and Kent.

‍5. Always buy your stove from a stove company who employs their own very experienced installers.

Some smaller less established stove companies save money on overheads by not employing their own installation engineers. Instead they pay freelance self employed installers to install the stoves they sell. Because some freelance self employed stove installers are not very well paid, they are less concerned about the quality of their work, prioritising installing stoves as quickly as possible over taking the time necessary to ensure stoves operate at it's peak efficiency.

If your new stove is not installed correctly although it may appear to work normally, it may not be operating at its peak efficiency. Unfortunately, this can mean your stove will never operate at its peak efficiency, causing unnecessary pollution and failing to produce the reduction in heating costs a wood burning stove can provide.

GATFire employs its own very experience installers who have ensured thousands of stoves operate at peak efficiency.

6. Do not pay a stove company a large upfront deposit.

If your stove company asks for a large deposit or stage payments, it could be because they are in financial difficulty and cannot afford to buy your stove or pay the installers before receiving your upfront payment. Over 70% of new businesses fail within five years. If a stove company goes out of business or your stove installation causes damage to your home you could have nowhere to turn. Additionally, paying a large upfront deposit can incentivise a stove company to delay or reschedule your stove installation for weeks or even months.

GATFire requires deposits of only £50.

7. Always check your stove company’s public liability insurance is up to date.

If something goes horribly wrong with your stove installation, if your stove company or the installers you used do not have current public liability insurance or they have not been able to afford to keep up their monthly instalments, you may have nowhere to turn.

GATFire’s public liability insurance is held with AXA, it covers up five million pounds per claim and it is paid for in one premium in November each year, you can view confirmation of our insurance cover in the Insurance link at the bottom of the page or here.

‍8. Insist the stove company puts everything is in writing.

Make sure your stove company provides you with a written quotation which includes a full breakdown of exactly what is included in the price and a copy of their terms & conditions of business. It is important you receive this information in writing because unscrupulous stove companies make sales by providing unbelievably low quotations, then adding extremely costly extras on the day of installation. If your stove company is reluctant to provide such basic written information you should seriously reconsider your choice of a of stove companies.

GATFire always provides written quotations which include a breakdown of exactly what is included in the price, a copy of its terms & conditions of business and written confirmation of the installation date.

9. Do not pay a stove company more than you need to pay.

Stove companies who do not advertise their prices do so because they rely on their salesperson to “design” stove installations which often cost thousands of pounds more than you want to spend. Stove companies who advertise “Prices from only…” without giving any real examples, rely on their salesperson to “upsell” stove installations which then cost thousands of pounds more than you want to spend.

GATFire’s will supply and expertly install a high quality wood and multi fuel burning stove for as little as £999 + vat. Alternatively, because we are one of the country's largest supplier's & installer's of solid fuel burning stoves our low overheads and strong purchasing power means we can supply and expertly install the stove of your choice at an incredibly low price.

‍10. Try to use a stove company which has been personally recommended to you.

Reviews included on websites, review sites, trust us sites and social media are easily manipulated and cannot always be relied upon. Stove companies who receive personal recommendations receive them because of the quality of the work they do and the price they charge.

GATFire’s combination of experience, quality of workmanship and competitive prices means over 80% of our new customers come to us because a previous customer has recommended them.