Wood Burners

If you are planning on installing a new residential wood (or pellet) burner please use the Application for Building Consent for Residential Wood Burner Form. An application fee is required to be paid at the time of submitting this application.

If your project involves building work in addition to the installation of a wood burner please use the standard PIM and Building Consent form.

When applying for a building consent for a new a wood burner you will also need to get smoke alarms installed.

Do I need to get a building consent for a wood burner?
Yes - it is a legal requirement under the Building Act 2004. The Act requires all owners installing wood burners, for both open and solid fuel heating appliances (fireboxes), to get a building consent before installation. A building consent helps to make sure that the burner meets all safety standards.

Make sure you have a final inspection prior to using your new wood burner. If the inspection passes, we will issue your code compliance certificate (CCC).

What if a wood burner is installed without consent?
The health and safety of occupants may be at risk if an illegally installed fireplace causes damages to your property. Your household insurance may also be invalid.

Are there different types of wood burners?
Yes. There are inbuilt and freestanding burners. Freestanding wood burners stand away from the wall and the flue pipe is clearly visible (the flue pipe is the passage that the smokes travels through). Inbuilt wood burners are partly encased inside a building structure and you cannot see the flue pipe.

Can I put a firebox into an existing fireplace?
Yes, but be very careful. Any materials near these appliances need to be properly protected by maintaining clearances (distances between) or by the use of adequate screens.

We will inspect the opening prior to the fireplace being installed. The manufacturers's specifications for the fireplace must be followed. Any variation from these instructions must be discussed with our building officers first.

What do I need to know if I am installing a secondhand wood burner?
Secondhand fireboxes also require a building consent. They must first obtain a certificate from the the Home Heating Association of New Zealand confirming that the secondhand wood burner is still suitable to use.

The heater and flue system need to be assembled and installed according to the original manufacturer's instructions. The installation instructions are specific to the year and model of the firebox. Using installation instructions from a different year may result in incorrect clearances being used.

All second-hand heaters need to have a new flue.

Wood heaters and flue systems that have been altered in any way from the original specifications are considered to be untested for purposes of installation and are to be installed in accordance with AS/NZS 2918:2001.

Do fireplaces require maintenance?
All fireplaces should be regularly checked for reliability. The best time for a check is in autumn, well before heating is needed.

For inbuilt fires, you will need to check that none of the timber framing around the fireplace is in contact with, or closer than 50mm to, the outside of the fire surround.

A firebox works best with the fuel that it was designed for. Other types of fuel may be harmful to the appliance and your family.

A cleaner flue will burn more efficiently and give off more heat, especially in slow combustion heaters. If the chimney is not cleaned, the fire will not draw properly, will burn slower and may smoke.

Frequently used fireplaces and flues must be cleaned regularly to avoid flue fires. They should be cleaned at least once a year or more often if in constant use.