Overview of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code Fireplace Standard


The Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code establishes standards for residential construction of residential property in the state of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code also sets forth the minimum standards that must be met by a residence in the state once it is constructed. Moreover, the code includes regulations pertaining to alterations or additions to residential property.

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Within the Code are specific standards associated with different components of a dwelling. An important element of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code is the Fireplace Requirements section. If you intend to have a fireplace added or modified at your residence, it is fundamental that you ensure that the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code fireplace standard fully are satisfied.

Due to the potential danger associated with fireplaces, strict adherence to the Code is required. In addition, a comprehensive inspection is to obtain a permit and to confirm Code compliance when a job is completed. The primary elements of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code as it pertains to fireplaces is examined to illustrate what is required for a fireplace to be or remain in compliance.

General Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code Masonry Fireplace Standards

Fireplaces within the masonry category can be constructed of only one of three substances, according to the Code. They can be constructed of masonry, concrete, or stone. A masonry fireplace must be placed on a foundation made of concrete or masonry. In addition, the walls of this type of fireplace must be at least 8 inches thick.

The Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code includes a table which establishes the parameters for masonry fireplace flue. The primary considerations that come into play in regard to a masonry fireplace flue are the underlying materials used to construct the fireplace and the size of the opening.

According to the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code, the chimney on a masonry fireplace must extend at least three feet beyond the highest point at which the chimney passes through the residence’s roof. The chimney must also be at least two feet higher than any other portion of the roof that is within 10 feet of the chimney.

Masonry fireplace chimneys shall extend at least 3 feet above the highest point where the chimney passes through the roof and at least 2 feet higher than any portion of the dwelling within 10 feet of the chimney.

The fireplace box itself must be crafted of preformed metal that is at least a quarter of an inch thick. It must be listed by a nationally recognized laboratory. In the alternative, the box can be lined with firebrick. The firebrick must be at least 2 inches thick. It must also be laid in thin joints of refractory cement. The back and sidewalls of the box shall be at least 8 inches nominally thick masonry. At least for inches of the back and sidewalls must be solid for 4 inches.

General Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code Masonry Chimney Standards

A masonry chimney can never rest upon wood, no matter the design and construction of the remainder of the dwelling. A masonry chimney must rest upon the same type of material as requires for a fireplace chimney.

A key requirement of the Code in regard to a chimney at a residence is lining composition. A lining in a residential chimney must be made of material that will resist corrosion, softening and cracking. The lining must be able to withstand temperatures up to 1800 degrees F.

General Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code Factory-built Fireplace Standards

The Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code sets forth an independent set of standards for factory-built chimneys. Because these chimneys can be fabricated outside of the state of Wisconsin, it is crucial that a close examination is made of compliance with the Code prior to installation.

The most important element of the Code as it pertains to a pre-fab fireplace is testing of all component parts. The complete pre-fab fireplace must be tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. In addition, a pre-fab fireplace comes complete with a specific listing for installation. The listing must be followed to the letter to be in compliance with the Code.

Fireplace Inspection

In the state of Wisconsin, there are various companies that are approved to undertake inspections of newly constructed or modified fireplaces. When the time comes to seek approval of a fireplace, you need to make certain that you seek an inspection from a properly authorized inspection company. In seeking an inspection of a fireplace, a home owner needs to confirm that a company is duly certified to provide this type of evaluation.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading steel tubing suppliers of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.