Hearth size???

An inspection from a couple months ago… I am hearing throught the grapevine as clients have not called me yet… but the wood stove shown was removed by sellers, and the new owners (clients) are having a wood stove of similar size/style installed and the installer is stating the size of the hearth is too small or too low??? not sure… trying to get more info as we speak…

does anyone see an issue with it the way the install is in the photo? **** installers have issue with mantle… NOT hearth!

CPI_Pearson_Richmond 149.jpg

Hi Jeff,

If the stove is not UL listed then the clearance are very large, here is a link on the subject to the Maine Fire Marchalls guide to clearances




I did not examine this stove as it was leaving with the sellers… but I am told they are putting in a “new one” which I would imagine would be UL listed… I just learned the issue is because it is being set inside the old fireplace… (the home is 200 years old)… the installers are havig issue witht he distance from the top of the wood stove to the Mantle above (you can just see a portion of the wood mantle) which is 18-22" above the old stove…

Hi. Jeff;

The NFPA 211 12.5 states that non-combustible material at front and sides of front loading wood burning apparatus should be a minimum of 18".
Your picture seems to indicate that you have 20" and more on the sides, and you also meet the 36" min. to non-combustible from the unit.

I see no issue here.
Good luck.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Hi Jeffery,

I do wood stove inspections up here and although our laws might be different I may also have an issue with the mantel clearance whether its projecting to not. I’d have to see it a bit better to be sure.

However the liability to make sure its up to snuff will fall on whoever installs the new stove so you off the hook in that sense.

I don’t know about your location, but many places require a building inspection to install a wood stove. I would advise your client to start by checking the at the local department of building and safety to see if local standards are in place.

Even if there are no local requirements, the building officials will steer you to the building code and section in use in your area. The stove manufacturer will also have installation guidelines available at their website. Google the manufacturer.

How is that your problem? Wood stove clearances are determined by the manufacturer.

Joe’s right. Fireplace hearths have code requirements but not stoves.

So the old one is gone. They’re putting a new one in somewhere the old one was not installed - that has nothing to do with you - have a nice life folks.

The “Older” stove may have met the Manufacturer’s recommendation at the time of the original installation.

A “New” Stove must meet the current Manufacturer’s recommendationswith regard to the current installation.

The physical characteristics of the Stoves may be the same and/or similar.

The installation guideline may now be different…

the hearth was not in question… it turned out it was the wood mantle exposed above the fireplace that will house the wood stove… see photo…

Anytime a client has a question, I try to answer it or direct them in the proper direction. I never said it was my problem, only i was looking to give the folks some guidance… in fact it was not the client rather a mutual friends/family that contacted me… the installers were giving them a hard time and they wanted the proper guidance… thanks to Gerry I was able to provide them with some information to help them understand the requirements… poor practice to tell them it is not my problem… :wink:

thanks again for all the comments…:smiley:


All Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues require a Level 2 Inspection prior to closing (per NFPA Standard 211)

This has been the Standard for over 6 years.

easy now… know your states… this is the quickest article I could find… but Maine is not quite there yet… but we are getting there…

In other states, a level 2 inspection is required anytime a property changes hands, but not in Maine. Maine adopted the NFPA standards in their entirety in January, except for the real estate transfer portion. Parlin said the Maine Association of Chimney Service Professionals will be going back to the Legislature to try again.


“Maine adopted the NFPA standards in their entirety in January, except for the real estate transfer portion”

Maine did not adopt the NFPA Standard.

They settled for and adopted a less than minimum standard of their own.

Let me ask those of you doing level 2 chimney inspections hand in hand with your general home inspections, assuming you are properly qualified, are you getting extra $$ to do so?

we have professional chimney sweeps that will charge for doing this service but curious how the rest of the profession operates… should i get certified in light of pending requirements… as stated Maine does not require a level 2 at this time… but like everything, things change…

remote camera scanning equipment looks expensive… worth it???

that answers that… six day class in Indianapolis??? I really do not want to learn how to clean them… is this the only avenue? vs. having independent inspection outside of the general home…?




What are the requirements for how far a hearth should extend form a wood burning fireplace?

16" for fireplace opening less that 6 sq. ft.
and 20" for openings more than 6 sq. ft.

Hearth slab thickness. 4"


Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley: