If you live in an old home, the radiators can be placed directly in the way of furniture and utilities. Moving your radiators around can free up space, allowing you to design the home you want to live in. Luckily, it’s also usually relatively simple to move a radiator from one wall to another – although complications like built-in piping can change that.
On average, the cost to move a radiator in the UK is about £150 per radiator or about £400 per room. That involves about £40 per hour for your plumber and £20-£30 in supplies. However, if you want to replace your radiators with new models, such as upright radiators, you can expect costs to go up to about £425 per radiator. In addition, you’ll pay another £50-£70 to bleed the system after moving your radiator.
Why Move Your Radiators?
There are many reasons you might want to move your radiators. For example, if the current radiators are in the way of your home layout. If you’d like to put a couch against the wall, it could block heat flow from the radiator. Moving the radiator to another wall could improve that.
You might also want to move your radiators if you’re knocking out walls or adding new ones. Splitting a room into two might be necessary if you have kids who need their own rooms – but a radiator might be blocking that. And, even the opposite can be true.
- Improving heat flow through the home
- Removing radiators in rooms with underfloor heating
- Moving radiator pipes out of the way
- Creating more usable wall space
- Knocking down a wall
- Building a house extension and improving heat distribution
- Replacing too large radiators with smaller ones from another room or vice versa
- Adding a wall
- Painting or decorating behind the radiator
- Swapping a large radiator out for two smaller ones
Essentially, there are a lot of reasons you might want to move your radiator. And, you might realise more than one benefit by doing so.
Moving Radiators Costs*
The cost of moving a radiator normally depends on the cost of labour in your area. In addition, the total cost of the job will depend on the number of radiators you are moving, and the complexities involved in the job.
For example, the following costs include estimates to move a single radiator connected to the central heating.
|Moving a radiator||Labour||£40-£160|
|Replace pipes, tails, valves||Parts||£8-£90|
*Please note, these estimates are based on quotes at the time of writing in April 2023. Actual costs are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
Moving Around Radiators Price Factors
The cost of moving a radiator can vary significantly. For example, you can pay as little as £40, or an hour of labour, for a very straightforward job. However, that’s often very unlikely because most labourers have a minimum rate they’ll do a job for, which is often around £100. There are also a lot of cost variables that will impact the total job.
Local Cost of Labour
The cost of labour is the most influential cost in the cost of moving a radiator. For example, the national average for plumbers in the UK is £40 per hour. In most cases, you’ll pay about £100 for the first hour of work, which covers the cost of travel and the consultation. Afterwards, you’ll pay the lower rate.
However, your plumber could charge £60 or more per hour. On average, moving a radiator takes 1-4 hours per radiator. This will, of course, drop if you’re moving multiple radiators and they align with each other. However, if they don’t align with each other, the 1–4-hour rate will still apply.
It’s also important to note that you’ll often hire plumbers in teams of two. This means you’ll likely pay a day rate of around £750 – as the plumber will need a second person to lift and move radiators. That’s important for safety as well as for the radiators.
Number of Radiators
The more radiators you choose to move, the more the project will cost. However, it’s not as straightforward as calculating a directly proportional increase.
For example, if you want to move two radiators in line with each other, you might expect something like 3 hours to move the pipes and extend them and then 30 minutes per radiator to remove it, put it back on the wall, and refill it.
On the other hand, if each of those radiators were moving to a different wall and needed a different branch of radiator pipe, you could expect 3 hours to apply for each of those radiators, meaning you’d spend an additional 3 hours on the same job.
Location of the Pipes
Most radiator piping is installed on the outside of the wall or under a cover. In other cases, you might not be so lucky and the radiator pipes might actually be in the wall. In some cases, that can be quite a bit of an issue. For example, if you want the new radiator pipes installed in the wall, you’ll actually have to build in a cavity in the wall. Or, you’ll have to install the new pipes outside the wall.
In other cases, radiator pipes may primarily run between wall cavities. That’s convenient for hiding them but makes them difficult to work with. Accessing them may mean removing drywall or knocking a hole in the plaster. That will always take additional time. In addition, you might notice that it takes extra time to cut access points for new pipes.
Other project complications that will add to the project timeline include:
- Moving pipes around corners
- Moving pipes further away from the boiler
- Old or rusty pipes
- Moving radiators further up the wall
- Changing the style of the radiator
Each of these factors will mean that your plumber spends more time on the total job. Therefore, you’ll spend more on the project.
Location of the New Radiators
Choosing where to put your new radiators can greatly affect the cost of the job. For example, if you want to move radiators to a new wall, putting them both in line with each other and running them off of the same pipe will save you a lot of money. On the other hand, putting them on opposite walls will increase costs.
There are pros and cons here as saving money isn’t always the best thing. You may prefer to spend more and get better heat distribution – especially if part of the reason to move the radiators is to improve heating efficiency. Of course, you can always ask your plumber for recommendations.
However, in general, if you can draw a straight line between your radiators and don’t have to run a new line for each, you’ll have a much cheaper installation.
What To Ask Your Plumber
It’s important to consult with your plumber before deciding where and how to move your radiators.
- Are you registered with the Competent Person’s Scheme? If they aren’t, you’ll have to handle Building Control notification yourself, which will add £170- £690 to the total cost of the job depending on where you live.
- Are you part of any trade unions such as the CIPHE?
- Do you have reviews or recommendations?
- Where should the radiators be placed for optimal heat distribution?
- Does the new radiator placement work with the boiler?
- Should the radiators be cleaned?
- How much does it cost to flush out and bleed the system versus just bleeding it?
- How long will the project take?
- Do you see any complications? What can I expect?
- Do you have liability and worker’s compensation insurance?
- What about a workmanship guarantee?
- When can you complete the work?
Otherwise, you should be good to go. As long as your plumber is registered, you shouldn’t have any real concerns. However, if they aren’t, it is a good idea to look up notification costs in your area. For example, if you have to notify and it costs £690, it’s almost always going to be cheaper to hire someone else.
What Is Involved In Relocating Radiators?
Moving a radiator is a simple process that you can usually complete in less than a few hours.
- Plan piping for the new location
- Drill any holes and run the piping. Attach it to the wall
- Remove any floorboards and drywall panels that are in the way of the work being completed
- Drill holes for the radiator mounts
- Properly seal and solder the new piping
- Turn off the central heating system/boiler and allow the water to cool
- Drain the central heating system
- Drain the individual radiators you’d like to relocate
- Remove the radiators from the wall and move them to the new location
- Remove the old piping
- Cut the old piping and run it into the new piping
- Cap off any unused ends
- Install the new radiator
- Check the thermostats, tailings, etc, to ensure they’re still good
- Refill the boiler and the radiator. Do a leak test.
- Turn the system back on and do a safety and leak test
- Refill the boiler as water moves back into the radiators
- Bleed the system
- Put floorboards and drywall back in place
From there, you should be good to go. Many people also opt to have their radiators flushed at this point, as it’s only a small amount of added work over draining the radiators. That process can remove built-up sludge and debris, which could improve the efficiency of your radiators.
Moving a radiator can improve the heating in your home or in a room. Often, it will also allow you to better utilise a space as well. And, in most cases, moving a radiator will cost about £150 per radiator. However, in the worst-case scenario, you could spend up to £450 on the same job – especially if you have a lot of rigid pipework to deal with.
If you’re looking for someone to relocate your radiators, it’s important to compare quotes and options. Use the form at the top of the page to request quotes from plumbers in your area.