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Walls near chimney

I am building a closet in our office to make it a bedroom. The chimney runs through the room. While the bricks are only warm to the touch after hours of a raging fire, I suspect there are some regulations about how close I can build a wall to the chimney.

Is there a gap that must exist between the chimney and the new closet wall? Are there any firestop materials that must be used on the side of the wall closest to the chimney?


Re: Walls near chimney

I believe that you will need a permit for such a wall. Contact your building department and ask them.

Re: Walls near chimney

The wall is not load bearing so a permit is not necessary in this case.

Re: Walls near chimney

Generally cumbustible materials should be kept 1" away from a masonry chimney you describe. Assuming their is fireblocking at the floor & ceiling, no additional fireblocking is required. I am on the east coast, so what so. cal. regulations say about the subject are beyond me. It never hurts to check with the building depaqrtment.

MLB Construction
Re: Walls near chimney

just because you're not moving a load bearing wall doesn't mean that you don't need a building permit.

Re: Walls near chimney

Thanks ed21, that is exactly what I was looking for. I sort of assumed that just by using common sense but didn't know if there was any "best practice" things that I should know before getting started.

After reviewing the codes in NC, it states that a permit is required for:


Construction, additions, remodeling, repairs, replacements, upgrades or any project over $5,000

Accessory structures such as detached garages, sheds larger than 12 feet, platforms, green houses, etc.

Any project that involves structural support changes (roof or floor), load bearing walls, screened porches, decks, and balcony projects

Mechanical permit for replacing a hot water heater, duct running, ventilation, etc.

Plumbing permit for running lines or replacing shower and/or bath tub enclosures

Electrical permit for building projects that require electrical wiring such as installing ceiling fans, electrical outlets and overhead lighting

Landscape Irrigation system installation

Retaining walls that stand over four feet in height

Interior and exterior fire place and fire place inserts

Sky Lights

Re-roofing, if third layer of shingles

Exterior Siding

None of this criteria fits the job that I am doing.

Re: Walls near chimney

You're lucky. We need a permit to blow our noses.

Every chimney I have met has an air gap between the studs and the masonry. Including the 1927 brick chimney in my house which runs up the kitchen / dining room wall.

Re: Walls near chimney

Metal studs and 5/8" type X drywall can be zero-clearance.

Re: Walls near chimney

You speak of "NC codes" but you need to check locally as well. Here in SC counties deal with this, each one is different, and the cities in those counties often have far more restrictive language as well as some very nasty fines for un-permitted work. My county states that if the project value is $200 or more you have to pull a permit- just about every painter violates this law without problems but let me build you a small fence or deck and I'll get busted :(

You may want to get a permit and inspection anyway if you can, for if a fire were to occur, your house insurance claim might be denied. With the permit and inspection that won't happen. Just sayin, neighbor :cool:


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