Q&A new wood stove installed without a permit

QandA Posted By QandA, Jun 17, 2007 at 11:46 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We purchased a Lopi/Revere wood stove (fireplace insert) and it is "semi-installed." (The legs are not yet installed, blower was not delivered, frame does not seem flush against the fireplace, etc). The dealer originally told us no problem, he puts them in all the time in our type of fireplace (site unseen). In other words, there's nothing special "required".... we just order the stove and they put it in. He is a reputable dealer and we trusted his comments. Boy were we stupid. Now we decided we needed to do our own research and find out that a building permit was required (he put it in without one) and we measured and found the clearance on the floor to where the rug begins is insufficient, plus from the top of the stove to the mantel. What kind of dealer is this??? Now we don't know if we can believe what he said about our chimney being "adequate", etc. It is only a 3 year old house but will we possibly need to have our chimney relined, etc. Also they have to saw away at part of the top of our fireplace??? We are concerned that we will be forced to rip the whole thing out or have to pay for other extensive modifications.


    There is some debate as to whether a permit is needed to install a stove into an existing fireplace. Some see it as similar to installing an air conditioner into an existing window..that is, the fireplace is already built and approved for the heat of a wood fire.

    The stove should be installed with a minimum 5 foot stainless tube up through the damper area. The area around this tube should be sealed, preferably with sheet metal. The panels need not fit tight if the seal is at the damper.

    A stove board or other non-combustible can easily be laid down to protect the carpet in front..without cutting the rug.

    Permits are a funny thing. If you ask if you need one, the answer is always "yes". In reality, there are specific definitions of when you need one, such as "structural modifications to a home". I looked into this years ago an was surprised by what I found. For instance, in many areas a permit is not needed to replace a central heating system.
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