Wood Stove Installation


All wood burning appliances must be vented through an approved masonry chimney built to the International Building Code and the International Residential Code requirements See a IJL-listed, all fuel chimney. UI—listed, all fuel chimneys (double or triple wall pipe) shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer's specifications. All chimneys shall be installed to a minimum height of two feet (2') above any part of a building within ten feet (10').


Existing Chimneys

An unused or existing chimney must comply to current building codes and be thoroughly inspected before use. If you would like to use an existing chimney, engage the services of a competent chimney sweep who also specializes in chimney repair. He can clean and evaluate the condition of your chimney, making sure that the chimney has a proper liner. A settled foundation, shifting, cracked mortar or liner, blockage, chemical deterioration, or poor construction are all reasons why a chimney can fail a safety inspection. Most can be repaired, or a liner installed if unlined. A poor chimney can be not only a fire hazard, but can be a health hazard as well. Never try to utilize a gas vent with a wood burning unit, even if you plan to install a gas log.



All fireplaces and fireplace inserts must be approved by the International Code Council (ICC) and installed in accordance with manufacturers specifications. Fireplace inserts  are generally permitted only in masonry fireplaces, not in manufactured fireplaces. Check with the building official to see if your model is approved for installation.


Stoves installed in garages shall have the lowest point of the fire or ash box 18 inches above the floor. For more information on construction permits, contact the City of Lincoln's Building and Safety Department's Construction Section at 441-7521.

Why are Permits Required for the Installation of Wood Stoves?

Combustible wall safety is the primary reason for requiring permits. City inspectors check to make sure construction and installations are proper for the protection of your family and property, your neighbors and buyers of your property.

Where do I get Permits?

At the Building & Safety Department located at 555 S 10th St., suite 203. If you're having a contractor do your work, the contractor can obtain the necessary permits, but you should check to make sure the contractor has done so.

How Much do Permits Cost?

The cost varies depending on the type of project, but it is not prohibitive.

Listed Wood Stoves

One of the things you should consider in choosing a heating device is that it has been tested by a nationally recognized testing  laboratory (ICC-ES or UL). These units will have been tested under extreme conditions and are approved for installation with specifications for distances these units can be placed from combustible materials.

Unlisted Wood Stoves

These are appliances that are not approved or tested for safety. All unlisted appliances are required to be a minimum of thirty-six inches  (36") from combustible materials. No homemade wood stoves shall be approved.

Mobile Home Owners

For those of you who wish to install a free standing fireplace or stove in your mobile home, remember only listed wood stoves and fireplaces for mobile homes are approved.

Hearth Protection and Floor Clearance

Where the stove has legs that provide at least four inches of open space between the stove and the floor and where No. 24 gauge or thicker sheet metal or a non-combustible material at least three-eighths of an inch (3/8") thick entirely covers the floor under the stove and also extends out at least sixteen inches (16") beyond the stove on the front or side where ashes are removed. Floor protection shall extend eight inches (8") beyond the side and rear.


Reduced Clearances to Combustible Walls

There are methods of reducing a required clearance by using an air-ventilated shield. For example, use of five-eighths inch (5/8") fire code sheet rock or 28 gauge sheet metal, which can be covered with decorative non-combustible materials. You must allow at least one inch (I") air space from of the two wall inches and (2") keep above the shield the hearth. If a minimum you extend the shield to the ceiling, be sure to  allow at least one inch (1") of air space there as well. This allows air flow between the shield and  the combustible wall to reduce heat buildup of the combustible materials. These two methods allow the minimum 36" clearance to be reduced to a 12" minimum clearance.


Stovepipe Clearance

When running a single wall stovepipe to a chimney, the unprotected single wall pipe must never pass through a wall, ceiling, or within 18" of a combustible material. Protection can be provided for single wall pipe to pass through a wall to the chimney by using an air ventilated thimble.