Boilers... When you have to buy a new one, it doesn’t fill you with the same excitement as, say, buying a new car would.
In fact, you could say it’s never a fun experience, and the costs can be confusing.
More often than not, you’ll find that when you actually get a quote from an engineer or a firm that it doesn’t match up at all to that online research that you’ve done. Understandably, this might leave you a little bit perplexed.
Factors such as how large your house is, where you’re having it installed, what type of boiler you’re replacing, whether or not your floors are sealed, labour costs, VAT, who you’re choosing to install your boiler…
All of the above can have a drastic impact on the cost of getting a boiler fitted to your home.
Now, you might be tempted to try and cut costs and just go for the cheapest options you can. After all, it’s a boiler. How different can they be? Turns out, very! And you tend to get what you pay for...
With the benefit of many years of installing and replacing boilers, I’m going to take you through all of the major considerations and questions you may have about boiler replacement and boiler installation costs.
Hopefully this’ll help you avoid all the drama and clear up the mystery...
Let’s start with the boilers…
There are a few different types of boiler, and we’ll briefly go through them so you can decide if these are appropriate for your property.
For example, a larger property with multiple bathrooms and a high hot water demand will need more than a combi boiler.
All of these prices don’t include labour costs, gas safe installation or any other extras.
Otherwise known as a combination boiler, these boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on the tap. Unlike a regular boiler or a system boiler, they don’t need an extra tank - or cylinder - to store hot water.
Combi boiler costs
A budget combi boiler will cost anything between £500 - £900, mid range between £900 - £1,200, and for a premium range, £1,000 - £2,000.
A straightforward like-for-like swap of a combi boiler should cost anywhere between £2,150 - £3,500. To replace a regular boiler with a combi boiler will cost anything between £2,500 - £4,500
System boilers are typically found in larger homes with higher demands for hot water. They feature a separate water storage cylinder and provide a constant supply of hot water throughout the home, unlike a combi which only heats water on demand.
System boiler costs
System boilers are between £500-900 for a budget model, between £900-£1,300 for a mid range model, and between £1,300-£2,500 for a premium model.
Replacing a combi boiler with a system boiler will cost up to £5,800, and if you’re replacing a regular boiler with a system boiler, that will set you back up to £5,500.
Regular boilers are similar to system boilers in that they are typically found in larger houses with higher hot water demands, and also have an external cylinder for hot water storage.
Regular boiler costs
These boilers can cost anything between £500 - £2,750, depending on the size, model and quality of the boiler.
Replacing one can cost you anything between £1,850 - £3,500.
Much less discussed are back boilers. These are boilers that are fitted behind a household fireplace, usually gas or electric (though occasionally can be found behind open fireplaces).
They use heat from the fireplace to provide hot water and central heating to the property. They’re much more of a rarity to find these days. They’re also highly inefficient in comparison to other boiler types.
As a result, you probably wouldn’t want to repair one, and they can’t be replaced in a like-for-like boiler swap.
NOTE: There are other considerations for replacing a back boiler. Often, replacing one will mean leaving a hole that will need plastering over, or the complete removal of a fireplace.
There may be additional costs when replacing your old boiler, such as repiping costs, or coring a new flue hole - but we’ll get to those shortly.
What about everything else?
So! That’s everything covered, right? Actually, not quite. It’s not just the cost of the boiler unit, or the labour costs of installation you need to consider.
Firstly, are you doing a like-for-like swap of the same boiler type in the same location in the property?
If you’re moving locations, you’ll have to consider the cost of any new pipe work, or coring a new flue for your boiler. The cost of an extension flue pipe alone is about £40 per meter.
Then there are other costs like having your central heating system flushed through of any debris and sludge, especially important if you’re replacing an old back boiler.
TIP: Some engineers and firms offer this service as standard, included in their boiler installation costs. It pays to check when getting quotes.
Speaking of back boilers, do you now have to plaster over an unsightly hole in the wall? Or remove a fireplace completely?
Will you want extras, like boiler controls (up to £300), or a magnetic central heating filter (£90 - £250 for installation, relevant filters and chemicals)?
You even have to consider things like whether or not you have sealed floors that need to be taken up and replaced, which will add yet more cost.
Then you have to take into account labour costs. This can vary dramatically depending on if you’re going with a larger company or a sole trader.
Boiler installation costs broken down
Here’s a quick, rough guide of the sorts of prices you can expect to be paying.
- Typical, mid range boiler: £450 - £1,200
- Boiler installation labour costs: £600 - £1,500 (incl. straight swap to conversion)
- Vertical flue costs: £300 - £600
- Extension flue pipes (if necessary): £45 per metre
- Magnetic Boiler Filter: £90 - £250
- Upgraded boiler controls: £100 - £300
Back boilers are a much more expensive prospect to replace because of all the aforementioned work. Replacing a back boiler with a combi boiler - the most common conversion for a back boiler - can cost £3,500 - £4,500.
TIP: An accurate quote for how much a boiler will cost to replace in your property ultimately depends on your specific situation. While a quote online is a good starting point, it doesn’t tell you the whole story.
Advice from an experienced engineer
When shopping around for quotes for a boiler installation, it’s wise to get 2 - 3 quotes that are not only fixed price, but inclusive of as many services as you can find.
For example, a lot of engineers and firms will include the cost of a system flush, boiler controls and even the installation of a magnetic central heating filter in their overall installation costs.
All boilers come with a one year warranty as standard, but again, it’s worth shopping around. Some warranties can be extended further, from 10-12 years.
This can come at additional cost or caveats, and only if your boiler is serviced every year or serviced by a registered technician of a particular firm.
However, you might think it’s worth it for the peace of mind, knowing you’re covered if your boiler malfunctions. Think of it as investing in the future health of your boiler.
While a back boiler replacement seems like an eye-watering amount of money to be spending upfront, when you consider that back boilers are horribly inefficient, you will be saving yourself a lot of money (up to £300 a year).
And finally, home visits or a video survey will give anyone you’re looking to hire to install your boiler a much better idea of what to expect with your property. This can help avoid any nasty surprises and any unexpected boiler installation costs
The world of boiler replacement and boiler installation costs can seem a bit murky, but hopefully with this blog, I’ve demystified the process for you, and answered most of your questions.
You get what you pay for with a boiler. They might not be exciting, but they’re essential to a home, and you should put a little time into getting the right one. Buying the very best boiler you can afford will actually save you money in the long run.
As long as you do a bit of research, and get a selection of fixed price, inclusive quotes, and make sure you get a decent warranty, you should be fine.
Saying that, if you do have any more questions, or would like to find out more about the services we offer, please get in touch. I’m always happy to help!
Written by: Chris Mahoney, Founder of Brecon Boilers
Phone: 07749 379858