After months of searching, you’ve finally found the escape you have been looking for. You are gearing up to enjoy long hot summer days by the water with a nice cool cocktail or maybe you are getting ready to cozy up to your wood stove with some mulled wine and a good book. BUT WAIT! Did you have your stove or fireplace inspected by WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) certified technician?
Let’s rewind to when you were ready to put in an offer. You and your Realtor have added in some standard conditions (finance, home inspection, water test ….). Make sure you tell your Realtor that the wood stove/fireplace needs to be inspected by a certified WETT inspector. It is a certification that professional chimney installers or inspectors receive in order to determine whether or not your wood stove or fireplace is up to code. Often, when you are getting your cottage or recreational home inspected, the home inspector will either be able to do the certification himself or recommend someone that can do the job. If you are selling your cottage or recreational home, it might also be a good idea to get a WETT inspector to do a pre-inspection on the fireplace or wood stove and provide it to your buyer at closing.
With the WETT condition included in your offer, you have a better idea of what it is you are buying with respect to your wood stove before you start enjoying the benefits of it. In my own experience, many times, a stove will not be up to code. Often it’s an easy fix: pulling the stove out a few inches from the wall, laying another row of tiles or brick around the stove to provide a larger square footage of inflammable area around the fireplace. But it can also be quite an onerous task that will require serious work to bring it up to code.
So, what do you do if the wood stove or fireplace is not up to code and your closing date is fast approaching? This can be especially concerning because most insurance companies will require a WETT certification before they will provide home owners insurance. The reasoning being that most cottage country communities are quite rural and not in close proximity to a fire station so if a fire starts – it usually burns down the house and everything in it. That being said, most insurance companies will provide a new home owner with a grace period to get the stove up to code. This grace period can be anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months (it generally depends on the season).
Many cottages are filled to the brim with DIY jobs (This is also unfortunately true for the fireplace or woodstove). This is especially true in unorganized townships where there are no permits or inspections. I say unfortunately because a mistake with the installation could be deadly and unless you get the wood stove inspected you may not realize this until your entire investment goes up in smoke.
If you are considering buying a property and have any questions about getting a wood stove or fireplace certified please feel free to contact me directly.