Fireplace Resource Guide

If you plan on installing a fireplace, a permit is required.  If you have hired a contractor(s) to perform the work, they must obtain a Contractor's Business License with the village before a permit can be issued.

Questions can be directed to the Permitting Division of the Community Development Department at 847.923.4420.

Current Fee: $108

Submittal Requirements:

  • Village permit application- residential 
  • Two (2) copies of the plans
  • Size and location
  • Location and construction of new walls if applicable
  • Location of fireplace gas valve if applicable.
  • Room dimensions.

Required Inspections:

  • Base for hearth or structural support pre-pour.
  • Inspection for firebox, flue throat.
  • Final

Inspections can be scheduled up to 4pm the business day prior to the requested inspection date by contacting the Permitting Division of the Community Development Department at 847.923.4420. 

Code Requirements:

Chimney clearances:

Any portion of a masonry chimney located in the interior of the building or within the exterior wall of the building shall have a minimum air space clearance to combustibles of 2 inches (51 mm). Chimneys located entirely outside the exterior walls of the building, including chimneys that pass through the soffit or cornice, shall have a minimum air space clearance of 1 inch (25.4 mm). The air space shall not be filled except to provide fire blocking.

Exceptions:

1. Masonry chimneys equipped with a chimney lining system listed and labeled for use in chimneys in contact with combustibles in accordance with UL 1777 and installed in accordance with the manufacturers installation instructions are permitted to have combustible material in contact with their exterior surfaces.

2. When masonry chimneys are constructed as part of masonry or concrete walls, combustible materials shall not be in contact with the masonry or concrete wall less than 12 inches (306 mm) from the inside surface of the nearest flue lining.

3. Exposed combustible trim and the edges of sheathing materials, such as wood siding and flooring, shall be permitted to abut the masonry chimney side walls, provided such combustible trim or sheathing is a minimum of 12 inches (306 mm) from the inside surface of the nearest flue lining. Combustible material and trim shall not overlap the corners of the chimney by more than 1 inch (25.4 mm).

Fireplace clearance:   All wood beams, joists, studs and other combustible material shall have a clearance of not less than 2 inches (51 mm) from the front faces and sides of masonry fireplaces and not less than 4 inches (102 mm) from the back faces of masonry fireplaces. The air space shall not be filled except to provide fire blocking .

Exceptions:

1. Masonry fireplaces listed and labeled for use in contact with combustibles in accordance with UL127 and installed in accordance with the manufacturers installation instructions are permitted to have combustible material in contact with their exterior surfaces.

2. When masonry fireplaces are part of masonry or concrete walls, combustible materials shall not be in contact with the masonry or concrete walls less than 12 inches (305 mm) from the inside surface of the nearest firebox lining.

3. Exposed combustible trim and the edges of sheathing materials such as wood siding, flooring and drywall shall be permitted to abut the masonry fireplace side walls and hearth extension, provided such combustible trim or sheathing is a minimum of 12 inches (305 mm) from the inside surface of the nearest firebox lining.

4. Exposed combustible mantels or trim may be placed directly on the masonry fireplace front surrounding the fireplace opening providing such combustible materials shall not be placed within 6 inches (152 mm) of a fireplace opening. Combustible material within 12 inches (306 mm) of the fireplace opening shall not project more than 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) for each 1-inch (25.4 mm) distance from such an opening.

Firebox walls:   Masonry fireboxes shall be constructed of solid masonry units, hollow masonry units grouted solid, stone or concrete. When a lining of firebrick at least 2 inches (51 mm) in thickness or other approved lining is provided, the minimum thickness of back and side walls shall each be 8 inches (203 mm) of solid masonry, including the lining. The width of joints between firebricks shall not be greater than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm). When no lining is provided, the total minimum thickness of back and side walls shall be 10 inches (254 mm) of solid masonry. Firebrick shall conform to ASTM C 27 or C 1261 and shall be laid with medium-duty refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199.  

Hearth and hearth extensions:  Masonry fireplace hearths and hearth extensions shall be constructed of concrete or masonry, supported by noncombustible materials, and reinforced to carry their own weight and all imposed loads.  No combustible material shall remain against the underside of hearths and hearth extensions after construction.

  • Hearth thickness:  Minimum 4 inches (102mm).
  • Hearth extension thickness:  Minimum 2 inches (51mm).
    • Exception:  When the bottom of the firebox opening is raised at least 8 inches (203mm) above the top of the hearth extension, a hearth extension of not less than 3/8 inch thick (9.5mm) brick, concrete, stone, tile or other approved noncombustible material is permitted. 

Mantel and trim:   Woodwork or other combustible materials shall not be placed within 6 inches (152 mm)of a fireplace opening. Combustible material within 12 inches (305 mm) of the fireplace opening shall not project more than 1 /8 inch (3.2 mm) for each 1-inch (25.4 mm) distance from such opening.:

Smoke chamber:   Smoke chamber walls shall be constructed of solid masonry units, hollow masonry units grouted solid, stone or concrete. Corbelling of masonry units shall not leave unit cores exposed to the inside of the smoke chamber. When a lining of firebrick at least 2 inches (51 mm) thick, or a lining of vitrified clay at least 5 /8 inch (15.9 mm) thick, is provided, the total minimum thickness of front, back and side walls shall be 6 inches (152 mm) of solid masonry, in- including the lining. Firebrick shall conform to ASTMC 27 or C 1261 and shall be laid with medium-duty refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199. Where no lining is provided, the total minimum thickness of front, back and side walls shall be 8 inches (203 mm) of solid masonry. When the inside surface of the smoke chamber is formed by corbelled masonry, the inside surface shall be parged smooth.

Smoke chamber dimensions: The inside height of the smoke chamber from the fireplace throat to the beginning of the flue shall not be greater than the inside width of the fireplace opening. The inside surface of the smoke chamber shall not be inclined more than 45 degrees (0.39 rad) from vertical when prefabricated smoke chamber linings are used or when the smoke chamber walls are rolled or sloped rather than corbelled. When the inside surface of the smoke chamber is formed by corbelled masonry, the walls shall not be corbelled more than 30 degrees (0.26 rad) from vertical.

Flue lining installation:  Flue liners shall be installed in accordance with ASTM C 1283 and extend from a point not less than 8 inches (203mm) below the lowest inlet or, in the case of fireplaces, from the top of the smoke chamber to a point above the enclosing walls.  The lining shall be carried up vertically, with a maximum slope no greater than 30 degrees from the vertical.

Fireclay flue liners shall be laid in medium duty refractory mortar conforming to ASTM C 199 with tight mortar joints left smooth on the inside and installed to maintain an air space or insulation not to exceed the thickness of the flue liner separating the flue liners from the interior face of the chimney masonry walls.  Flue lining shall be supported on all sides.  Only enough mortar shall be placed to make the joint and hold the liners in position.

Vertical reinforcing:  For chimneys up to 40 inches (1016mm) wide, four No. 4 continuous vertical bars shall be placed between withes of slid masonry or within the cells of hollow unit masonry and grouted.  Grout shall be prevented from bonding with the flue liner so that the flue liner is free to move with thermal expansion.  For chimneys greater than 40 inches (1016mm) wide, two additional No. 4 vertical bars shall be provided for each additional flue incorporated in the chimney or for each additional 40 inches (1016mm) in width or fraction thereof.

Horizontal reinforcing:  Vertical reinforcement shall be placed within 1/4 inch (6.4mm) ties, or other reinforcing of equivalent net cross-sectional area, placed in the bed joints according to Section R607 at a minimum of every 18 inches (457mm) of vertical height.  Two such ties shall be provided at each bend in the vertical bars.