Conflicting info about chimney height requirement

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Tithis

Member
Jul 30, 2020
56
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
30,238
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

Member
Jul 30, 2020
56
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.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
10-3-2 rule.JPG
 

BigJ273

Minister of Fire
Feb 15, 2015
572
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

Member
Jul 30, 2020
56
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

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2021
355
Massachusetts
Dont let them do the work in the winter...
 

Tithis

Member
Jul 30, 2020
56
Western Mass
When I spoke with them Tuesday they said they were scheduling working for the end of July, so would be then or early August.
 
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BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
Is that August 2021 or 2022? A lot of guys around here are so busy they're scheduling jobs a year or more out.
 

Tithis

Member
Jul 30, 2020
56
Western Mass
Is that August 2021 or 2022? A lot of guys around here are so busy they're scheduling jobs a year or more out.

Thankfully they aren't that busy.

Ended up going with the 2nd chimney sweep. Much cheaper than the full masons and more than the first sweep quoted, but the first sweep couldn't do the masonry work himself (said his dad would) and he wanted to wrap the liner onsite with insulation. 2nd chimney sweep could do the masonry work (remove top 4 rows, add 8 rows and poured crown) and the liner is a UL 1777 listed pre-insulated liner with a lifetime warranty. Business has been around for about 40 years.

July 26th for rebuild, 27th they take off the crown form. Aug 16th they'll put in the liner.

Masonry work: $2,500
Liner: $2,400

Pictures of the chimney in its current condition.
z1RgJCS.png

pNvLS44.png

sNksyzf.jpg


Will be nice to actually burn this winter. We enjoyed it last fall before the inspection revealed all the issues.
 
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