A metal chimney installation is the least expensive alternative for a traditional masonry chimney. Metal chimneys have the capacity to handle to venting of smoke, fumes, gases and embers for a variety of heat-producing appliances ranging from wood-burning fireplaces to high-efficiency gas furnaces. The installation process is not difficult, but the project can be pricey with early 2010 prices in the area of $118 per three-foot sections of 6-inch stainless-steel pipe.
Use double-wall stainless-steel insulated pipe for your metal chimney installation. The pipe should be UL approved Stainless Steel Class “A” Insulated Chimney. The pipes are available in 6-, 7- and 8-inch diameters. Attach the pipe every 8-feet. Run your pipe so that it falls between floor joists and the rafters. For 6-inch pipe, cut a 12¼-inch opening in the ceiling. Build a 12 1/4-inch frame out of 2x stock. Match the framing to the dimensions of the rafters. You’ll probably have to secure the drywall to the new framing.
When you install the ceiling bucket, you may need to install a temporary brace to hold it from below as you install it from the attic side. Secure the ceiling-trim plate; it fits around the support bucket rim and covers the opening in the ceiling. To locate the spot for cutting the hole in the roof sheathing, drop a plumb bob to the center of the support bucket.
Where the pipe comes through the attic, install an insulation shield around the insulated pipe to protect the framing members. Connect sections of insulated pipe unit you reach the connection for the stainless-steel chimney pipe, which is insulated and must be threaded to the smoke pipe adapter.
Installing the flashing the correct way will save you from dreaded leaks. Use your pry bar to lift up the shingles around the top border of your opening. Remove any roofing nails. The top of the flashing fits under the shingles. Apply roofing caulk under the flashing and the shingles. Secure along the top and sides and apply sealant on the nail heads. When you attach the collar around the chimney pipe, apply some mastic or caulk around the joint.
Most building codes require the metal chimney to extend a minimum of 36-inches above the surface of the roof and 24-inches higher than any part of the building for a distance of 10-feet. Metal chimney installations that are more than 48 inches from the roof surface must be braced.
All chimneys must extend a minimum of 3 feet above the roof surface and 2 feet higher than any part of the building within 10 feet. Frame the metal chimney pipe with 2 x 4s and install a fire-rate material, such as cement board. Apply siding to match the existing material or choose a different look.
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