Fireplace & Chimney Codes

Masonry fireplace and chimney construction is regulated by the building code. Unlike UL or some other "listing" the building code is not proprietary. The sections which regulate residential construction are "prescriptive" so that they can be understood and followed by a contractor or craftsman without needing to hire an engineer.

The several "model codes" used in the United States (BOCA, NFPA, UBC and SBCCI) have all being merged into one new International Building Code (IBC) and it's residential counterpart, the International Residential Code (IRC). This has been a major twenty year long effort and now the 2012 IRC is in print. The part that regulates fireplaces and chimneys - is CHAPTER 10, CHIMNEYS AND FIREPLACES.

In addition to the building codes, most states and some local jurisdictions and once in a while the federal government sometimes adopt or enact various energy, indoor air quality and emissions regulations, all of which are generally enforced by the building official. Many of these regulations, insofar as they impact masonry fireplace and chimney construction, are on line linked from the "code" page on this website.

  • Exterior Air
  • Fireplace Doors
  • Recent Important code Changes:

  • Fireplace Clearance
  • Chimney Clearances
  • Clay Flue Lining
  • Seismic reinforcement
  • Firebox Constuction
  • Hearth extensions
  • Smoke Chambers
  • Chimney Caps
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