Over the past week, I have gotten back to my long-delayed nursery/bedroom project in the upper level. Unfortunately, I had to spend my time removing some framing work I had done earlier that will not pass inspection.
Here is where my wall went wrong: I framed a wall directly next to the interior of the chimney brick. My plan review with the city pointed out that code requires a space of at least 2″ around the chimney.
The required air gap will reduce the potential for a fire to start in the wall. Considering this house has already been touched by fire early in its life, I’m all for proper fire prevention.
This week I will reframe this wall with the necessary air gap. Here’s how you can learn from my mistakes:
- Use your city’s planning and inspection department. The building code is too big for the average homeowner to master, so use these professionals to help you learn about how to meet code and renovate your home safely.
- Get your plan finalized and approved before you start working. This is the equivalent of measuring before you cut.
- Keep your work moving forward. In part, my problem arose because I was impatient to get something done during the short and infrequent times I could work on the project. If you don’t have time to do the work yourself, hire some help.
- Admit when you’ve goofed. You don’t have to tell the whole world about your mistake like I have, but your home and the people who live there deserve better than shortcuts and screw ups–particulary on issues of safety.
If you would like to help me feel better, or if you just want to experience the emotional release of admitting your shame, share your own project goof-up story in the comments.