FAQs: Fireplaces

How far does the chimney need to extend past the roof?

The chimney must extend a minimum of three feet above the roof line and be at least two feet higher than any thing within 10 feet of the chimney.

Where can my mantel and trim be placed around the masonry fireplace?

Woodwork or other combustible materials shall not be placed within six inches of a fireplace opening. Combustible material within 12 inches of the fireplace opening shall not project more than 1/8 inch for each one inch distance from such opening.


What clearances are required for a masonry chimney?

When a chimney is located in the interior of the building a two inch air space must be maintained between the chimney and any wood framing or other combustible material. Non-combustible fire blocking is required when the chimney passes through a floor or ceiling.

What are the clearances for a factory-built fireplaces? What are the hearth requirements for a factory-built fireplaces?

A factory-built fireplaces must be installed per the manufacturer’s installation instruction. The hearth extension shall be installed per the manufacturers instructions and be readily distinguishable from the surrounding floor area.

Can I install an unvented gas log in my bedroom?

No, unvented gas appliances (i.e., gas logs, room heaters) cannot be installed in and draw combustion air from bedrooms, bathrooms, toilet rooms or storage closets. A gas log in a sealed factory built fireplace that has combustion air ducts and direct-vented exhaust can be installed in a bedroom.

More Questions?

Contact Residential Inspections vial e-mail or telephone at 703-631-5101, TTY 711.

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