The average cost to repair or replace the damper in your fireplace or chimney is around $60 for damper door replacement only, with DIY installation. If the frame needs to be replaced as well, plan on $350-$400 and a Pro to do the job.
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022
How Much does it Cost to Replace the Fireplace Chimney Damper?
This cost estimate deals with the replacement of a fireplace throat damper door and frame if needed. The damper is the small door inside of your fireplace chimney that opens to allow smoke to exit the chimney. We also include a comparison to remove the throat door and install a chimney top damper.
$10 – $80
Average Cost Estimate
$60 – $260
$135 – $450
|Damper Type||Throat or Top||Throat or Top||Top Damper|
|Throat Damper Size||24″ – 30″||24″ – 48″||24″ – 60″|
|Damper Cost||$30 – $50||$30 – $200||$30 – $200|
|Repair or Replace?||Clean and Repair||Repair / Replace||Replace|
|Installed By?||DIY||DIY||DIY / Pro|
|Supplies Cost||$10 – $20||$10 – $20||$40 – $100|
|Permit / Inspections||$0 – $150||$0 – $150||$0 – $150|
Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro
Overview of Fireplace Damper Replacement
Fireplace damper repair cost for minor repairs is lower than damper replacement cost. But because repairs sometimes require more labor than replacement, the cost-effective choice might be to replace the fireplace damper assembly when repairs are extensive and/or to get the benefit of new equipment. Not only will it make your fireplace more safe during a fire, but it will seal tighter and can save energy when not in use during the cooling season.
This Costimate gives you accurate prices for both, including a range of damper repair costs based on what needs to be done to restore the damper to good working condition. The list of prices for damper repair and replacement will give you a good idea of what to expect when getting local fireplace repair estimates. After discussing the cost of damper repair or replacement, you can compare our numbers with those from other sites around the Web and see prices for damper repair and replacement shared by other homeowners. There’s a final word on DIY or Pro damper repair and replacement.
Related Cost Estimates
Damper and Supplies Cost Details
Fireplace Damper Cost Factors
How much does it cost to repair a fireplace damper? Once you understand what your repair will cost, you can compare that to damper replacement costs. You might also want to consider the energy-efficient advantages of a new, tight-fitting damper even if the old one can be repaired. Fireplace damper repair cost is determined by these factors:
- DIY or Pro Repair: There are times the damper won’t close properly because it is gummed up with creosote, soot and debris. A wire brush, cleaning solution, flashlight, eye protection, dust mask and rags might be all that’s required to clean it and restore it to smooth working condition. Disassembling the damper for more thorough cleaning is recommended, and a professional is best equipped to do that and to put it back together properly. Additionally, a fireplace that has been used without being properly cleaned in two or more years is a fire hazard. It should be professionally inspected, cleaned and, if needed, repaired.
- Whether the Damper Needs Cleaning: Pros won’t attempt to repair a damper if it is covered in creosote, a byproduct of incomplete combustion, and a substance that can catch fire. The creosote also hinders the damper from working properly and closing tightly, creating a drafty damper that is hard to operate.
- Size of the damper: Standard sizes range from 24 inches to 60 inches, and cost goes up as they get larger.
- Extent of the Repair: A broken linkage, chain, cable or handle on the control mechanism might be a low-cost repair. When the damper plate is warped or cracked and must be replaced, both the cost of parts and labor will increase.
- Whether Mortar Work is Required: Repair and replacement costs are higher when the damper is anchored in the mortar between chimney bricks rather than bolted to bricks. If the bracket is replaced and the bolt holes don’t line up, then additional time and cost will result from having to drill new holes.
Note that very old chimney’s or those in need of extensive repairs may benefit with the installation of a new chimney liner. In addition, the repairman may suggest chimney cleaning, to not only extend the life of your fireplace and chimney, but prevent costly repairs due to creosote buildup.
Cost of Installation Supplies
This list gives DIYers an idea of their costs and others a look at the costs professionals cover in their repair estimates. If you plan to repair the door yourself, the Firewood for Life site has a great overview of doing so.
- $5-$25 ea. | Range of hand tools like pliers, screwdriver set, hacksaw, battery-powered driver
- $4-$10 | Wire brush
- $16-$35 | Creosote removing solution
- $1-$5 | Minor hardware incl. nuts, bolts, chain linkages
- $19-$55 | Damper control handle
- $35-$50 | Wire cable for cable-controlled dampers
- $37-$95 | Damper plates
- $38-$65 | Rotary control assembly for vestal dampers
- $125-$625 | Complete damper assembly
If you’re unsure about how a damper works, or why you have one in the first place, visit the Chimney Keepers website to learn more.
Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs
If repairing or replacing the damper is the only work being done in the fireplace or chimney, a permit is not necessary. Repairs to the chimney masonry, liner or exterior crown might require a permit in your community. Contact your local building department for details.
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $100-$400 | Permit and inspection fees, if damper repair/replacement is part of a larger chimney restoration project. Permit fees vary widely by community.
On a cost-related note, if you are having more extensive work done and/or a damper is being installed from the roof, make sure the contractor you select is licensed, bonded and insured. This will protect you against liability against damage to your home or if a worker is injured or if work is not completed as promised. Also, if you are aware that your fireplace, flue, chimney or roof have significant repair issues that might cause risk to the contractor or crew, be sure to disclose those issues in writing and have the contractor sign the document prior to the start of work. This further protects you in case of injury.
Chimney Damper Installation Cost
The estimates you receive from fireplace contractors or handymen services should be divided into materials and labor costs. The materials are the parts and supplies listed above. Here are the damper repair costs for labor. Ask the contractor to price the job both ways – repairing the old damper and replacing it with a new damper assembly. You’ll have the information needed to make a cost-effective decision based on what you get for the money spent.
- $100-$225 | Damper repair cost
- $200-$300 | New damper installation
- $80-$800 | Fireplace and chimney cleaning, if advised by your contractor
Fireplace Damper Installation Time
Most damper repair and replacement work can be done in a half day or less.
DIY or Hire a Pro
I’ve not had my hands too deep inside of a chimney before, but have cleaned and checked functionality of my own dampers many times. It’s a dirty, cobweb filled place, but if nothing appeared broken or in too much disrepair, I would not hesitate to repair the damper myself. You can view the repair page at Ask the Chimney Sweep, with basic instructions. On the other hand, if the frame was broken or the damper plate would not fit properly, I’d call a local pro just as quickly.
- Dirty job, in a cramped and kneeling position.
- Simple repairs are OK for DIY, but for complete replacement, it might be best to call a pro.
- Warning: If you have ANY questions about the safety or functionality of your fireplace and chimney, do not burn a fire!
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.