Conflicting info about chimney height requirement

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Tithis

New Member
Jul 30, 2020
14
Western Mass
Shortly after we moved in we hired a company for sweep + inspection on the chimney servicing our wood stove which turned up a few issues. On the maintenance end the crown needs to be replaced and the top few rows of brick relaid. On the code front I was told I needed an insulated liner due to wood frame clearance, and that my chimney was a foot too short and needed to be extended to 3ft.

At this point I'm gotten quotes from 2 masons for the chimney repair and tomorrow I'll have quotes from two sweeps.

Both sweeps have told me that what the inspector said isn't true in Massachusetts and since my chimney is at the peak of the roof 2ft is to code. I'd love to believe them and save myself a bit of money, but I want to make sure when we get stove replaced after the repair we will be good with the installer, town inspector and our home insurance.

Anyone know if this is a common way the 3-2-10 rule is interpreted? Either in Massachusetts specifically or in general?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,178
central pa
Shortly after we moved in we hired a company for sweep + inspection on the chimney servicing our wood stove which turned up a few issues. On the maintenance end the crown needs to be replaced and the top few rows of brick relaid. On the code front I was told I needed an insulated liner due to wood frame clearance, and that my chimney was a foot too short and needed to be extended to 3ft.

At this point I'm gotten quotes from 2 masons for the chimney repair and tomorrow I'll have quotes from two sweeps.

Both sweeps have told me that what the inspector said isn't true in Massachusetts and since my chimney is at the peak of the roof 2ft is to code. I'd love to believe them and save myself a bit of money, but I want to make sure when we get stove replaced after the repair we will be good with the installer, town inspector and our home insurance.

Anyone know if this is a common way the 3-2-10 rule is interpreted? Either in Massachusetts specifically or in general?
3 feet above the roof penetration or 2 feet above anything within 10 feet whichever is greater. There is no interpretation needed your inspector was right.
 

Tithis

New Member
Jul 30, 2020
14
Western Mass
So both sweeps are wrong then?

That's what I thought when the first sweep said 2ft was fine, just based on my own research and looking at stove manuals. Was wondering if I was maybe the one who was mistaken when the 2nd chimney sweep said the same thing.

First sweep did give me a quote for going to 3ft and the 2nd one said the initial quote I'll get tomorrow will be for keeping the current 2ft height and just doing repairs, but that they can write up one for extending to 3ft if I want.

Emailed the town inspector to get his weigh in. Mostly want to make sure everything will be fine when we get a new stove both at the inspection and with our home insurance.
 

BigJ273

Feeling the Heat
Feb 15, 2015
429
Maryland
I had my crown replaced, and the top 5 rows of brick last year. Also had all the mortar down to the roof line grounded out and replaced. Wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was gonna be. $2000. The guy did an awesome job and was literally here for days.
 

Tithis

New Member
Jul 30, 2020
14
Western Mass
That's pretty in line with what we've been quoted.

Two masons quoted around $4000, and each chimney sweep quoted about $2000. Just waiting for the final written quote to come in the mail before calling to schedule the work.
 

MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
134
Massachusetts
Dont let them do the work in the winter...