Do you want to get a better idea of your central heating costs before choosing an installer?
If you’re thinking about installing a full central heating system – including radiators – figuring out the cost can be a bit confusing if you don’t know what to look for.
As an experienced heating engineer, I can tell you the overall cost can also depend on your current home’s set-up, along with the size and type of property you own.
Perhaps you have an electric heating system in your property, or maybe you have a one-pipe gas system which needs to be replaced – some people also come to us because they have no central heating at all.
Whatever the reason, this blog will hopefully give you a much better idea of your central heating installation costs, including some of the different factors that can affect the final price you pay.
The average cost of a new central heating system
The price you’ll pay for your central heating system is really very individual, as a lot of it will come down to the type and size of property you own – then there’s things to consider such as the type and brand of boiler you want (see our blog about boiler installation costs for more information).
Saying that, the typical average cost for a new central heating system, with our most popular Worcester Bosch 30kw combi boiler, six radiators + pipework and valves works out at around £4,200 – £4,800 incl. VAT.
What can affect central heating installation costs?
Because the cost of a new gas central heating installation can vary so widely, I’m unable to give you any kind of cost breakdown – so instead, I’m going to talk about exactly what can affect these costs.
Type of property
For instance, working in a very small top floor flat can be more time-consuming and costly than say, doing the same work in a roomy bungalow or semi-detached house. This is due to carrying tools up all the stairs, having nowhere to store equipment, having to move furniture etc.
With small flats, you often have to move furniture out of the way to lift carpets and floorboards – something that’s unfortunately essential to install the necessary pipework for your new system.
Then, it’s a matter of putting things back, and repeating the entire process at the other side of the room.
Whereas in a bungalow with a garage, there’s lots of space for tools to be unloaded, and there’s often a hatch which can be lifted so we can gain access underneath the floor to fit the pipes.
Bungalows are usually 2-brick thick for coring flue holes, whereas sandstone walls tend to be 800mm thick; this can make a difference of about four hours’ worth of work.
Type of radiators
For radiators, most people choose white pressed steel, and possibly a chrome towel rail. However, if you decide you want column radiators, vertical radiators or specialist coloured radiators, these will again affect your overall costs.
I have replaced a lot of heating systems recently, and many customers aren’t sure whether it’s worth spending extra on designer radiators. On the last three occasions, we’ve priced the system on standard Stelrad radiators.
This allows the client to then check the prices of these against designer radiators and further refine their quote to better reflect their desire and budget.
Type of flooring
Depending on the type of flooring you have, you may find yourself having to fork out extra to replace it. For instance, if you have stone floors, it may be worth considering cutting the concrete and installing pipes opposed to having these running along the surface.
This, of course, means more upheaval, distribution, mess and expense, but it also means you’re left with a much better job with integrated pipes within the floors.
Polished flooring will never go back the same way as it was, and you may consider getting a specialist contractor in to lift and relay.
How long does it take to install a new central heating system?
On average, I’d usually say a new central heating system can take around 2 – 3 days to install, if we’re talking a boiler and around 6 – 8 radiators.
However, there are a few things mentioned above that can of course also have an effect on timescale, including all the usual such as the size and type of property, number of radiators, types of flooring (tiled or concrete) etc.
Your chosen engineer should be able to give you a much more accurate timescale when conducting your home visit.
Advice from an experienced engineer
The advice I always give to anyone is to always ask for a fully inclusive fixed price quote, so you know exactly how much you’ll be paying before you commit to any of the work.
However, you’re also going to need to know how your chosen company are going to be undertaking the job, and if there are any extras you’ll have to arrange afterwards (such as redecorating, new flooring, carpet re-laying & stretching etc.), as this could have an added cost implication.
I hope you’ve found this blog useful when trying to determine roughly how much you can expect to spend on your new gas central heating installation. I only wish I could give you a more exact figure, but these things really come down to your individual home’s set-up.
Saying that, if you do have any questions that might help to narrow it down further, please feel free to leave them in the comments section – I’ll be happy to get back to you when I can.