How to Build a Chimney Chase

Wondering how to build a chimney chase? A chase is essentially a wooden or masonry box that contains and protects the part of the chimney that projects out of the house. A properly built chimney chase will limit the risk of fire and will be structurally sound.

How To Build A Chimney Chase On Your Own

A chimney chase protects your flue and chimney from the elements and can add design interest to your home. Here's how to compliment your fireplace with a first-class chimney chase:

  • Check with the man. As a structural part of your home, a chimney chase will by subject to local building codes and inspections. Check with your local building inspector, who will be able to give you details on construction materials standards and code guidelines.
  • In or out? Although many chimney chases today are built on the exterior of homes, these designs are not very energy efficient and can lead to back drafts that cause smoke to enter the home. An interior chimney chase is easier to design, build and maintain.
  • The manufacturer knows best. If you're installing a manufactured chimney, the product should come with very detailed guidelines on how to build a chimney chase. These guidelines should include information on minimum and maximum heights, minimum clearance values and general construction recommendations.
  • She's a brick house. If you decide to construct a masonry chimney chase, you may want to engage the services of a residential engineer. You'll need to provide a sturdier than normal foundation to support the weight of the chase and an engineer will be able to give you some guidance on the design and construction of a stable chimney chase. In some areas, you may not be able to legally build a chimney without having an engineer signoff on the building plans.
  • I was framed. A wooden chase is framed and finished much like a standard exterior house wall. Check with your chimney manufacturer for material recommendations and minimum clearances. For better chimney performance, check with the manufacturer about insulating your wooden chase.
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