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Can I Install a Stove in a New Build Home?

Have improvements in building regulations in recent years altered the possibility of installing new build homes?

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Our ethical imperative to better insulate our homes to save wasted energy means that over time, in the UK at least, our building regulations are regularly reassessed for various reasons (such as building safety) - but they also focus upon the mitigation of energy loss from future property builds and refurbishment.

Gas, multi fuel and wood burning stoves need an air supply to burn for combustion, so the supply of non-stale air in the property is vital to ensure the stove operates both optimally and safely. Therefore, some method of getting that air inside the appliance is required, which means some form of property ventilation. In new builds and renovated properties, homeowners are required to take measures such as insulation and double-glazed windows to prevent heat being lost, meaning it is harder for non-stale air to permeate into the property.

For more information, the Part L Volume 1 building regulations (for England and Wales) released in 2021, focuses on the idea of airtight construction, with more less lenient allowances for air permeability. There are equivalent regulations for Scotland (Section 6) and Northern Ireland (Part F1).

Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen stove in Terracotta

Can I have a wood burning stove in my new build?

Yes, you can. Our stoves comply with ventilation requirements of Document J of 2008 UK building regulations. Included in the regulations, it states that all stoves with a heat output of up to 5kW are not required to have additional room ventilation for the stove to operate (where the air permeability of the property is greater than 5m/h.m). Stoves with a heat output greater than 5kW require more air and so additional ventilation may be required as part of your installation. Most of our freestanding stoves have the facility to optionally draw their combustion air straight from the outside via a direct air adaptor, so ensure the model you’d like has this facility if you’re looking to install a stove over 5kW.

Can I install a gas stove in my new build?

There are two gas stove options to choose from: a conventional flue or a balanced flue. Conventional flue gas stoves are also subject to the same requirement of access to an air source (as mentioned above) as wood burning stoves. For a balanced flue gas stove, the twin-walled nature of a balanced flue does two things. It draws in external air for combustion, but it also vents burned gases directly outside. This means that the appliance is completely sealed from the room it is installed in. Balanced flues can either exit horizontally through an external wall or run vertically through the roof.

What we mean by the term ‘new build’?

Opinions differ on this, even between mortgage providers, about what the term ‘new build’ means. It can simply focus on the age of the property (for example, a home built one year or two years ago), if the property has been previously occupied or not, or a substantially recently renovated property that is effectively a new dwelling. To simplify for purpose of this article, we are using this term to refer to a modern ‘sealed property’ built since 2008.

Arada Hoxton 5 Widescreen stove on optional low pedestal

Can I have an electric fire in my new build?

The simplest solution, electric fires are the easiest fire to install as it doesn’t require a professional to install and sign off the work. There isn’t a need for a flue or chimney, so no structural changes are required either. Our Ellere Electric Fires are powered from a standard UK 13amp fused plug, so you don’t even need to call upon an electrician to do any wiring – just plug it in and you’re good to go! Plus, if you’re dab hand at DIY, you could even build your own bespoke media wall to integrate it into your living space.

What is ventilation and air permeability?

This is a complex subject, but this is basically a measurement of how much air leaks into a building. All properties built after 2008 should have their own air permeability report that you can refer to.

Arada Farringdon Catalyst shown in Graphite

Find out more

If you would like more technical advice about your installation needs, speak to your local Arada retailer. They can conduct a property survey and walk you through the optimal stove appliance, and any additional options such as prefabricated flues or direct air kits.

Find your nearest Arada stove retailer here

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Posted by Alexandra Newell
1st October, 2023.

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