Learning how to build a chimney can be fun, especially if you like to build stuff. If you ask a kid why they have a chimney on their roof, I bet they would say it’s because it’s Santa’s way of delivering presents to them.
But we all know the main reason for chimneys is to safely allow the escape of ash and fumes provided by a fireplace. A fireplace is a pleasant addition to any house.
It provides warmth and coziness to the home. It might not be in use during the summer, but in the winter, you’d be so glad you have a chimney.
Whether you already have a chimney or want to rebuild one, you need all the information you can gather. Well, especially if you are planning to build it yourself.
It’s possible to perform a DIY check, but just a heads up, it might not be so easy, especially without prior experience or expertise.
To build a chimney, you need to get suitable materials, and it should be adequately built to avoid any form of damage to your house.
Building a chimney yourself would save a lot of money, but involving a professional would build a fine and long-lasting chimney. But if you choose to do it yourself, keep reading to find out what you need to know.
How to build a chimney: What you need to know
Check the codes
Every community has codes for building a chimney and how it should be, but most of them are derived from the National Fire Protection Agency Standard 211.
So you can always check out the website for chimney building rules or check your local codes. These codes include how high your chimney should be, which means the chimney should be at least 3 inches taller than the roof and two inches higher than the highest part of the building.
Get the materials
Before deciding to get materials, you must have decided what material your chimney should be made of. Chimneys can be made with any chimney-related material.
But the most common material for building a chimney is masonry or brick. Now that you have decided which material you want, you need other materials/tools to make it work. They include:
- A cement mortar
- Concrete and bricks; regular (for the outside) and fire bricks (for the inside).
- Support material (like rebar)
- Chimney cap and Flashing
- Roofing nails
- Tin snips
- Appropriate ladder or scaffolding.
When purchasing the materials, it would be appropriate help to ask the salesperson for their ideas on how to build a chimney.
How to build the chimney
- Make your mortar by mixing cement and water. The consistency of the mixture should be as thick as peanut butter.
- Then, using your trowel, fill the bricks with mortar until it overflows the edges so that no air can flow through.
- Now tightly lay the bricks on top of each other to build the chimney walls. While doing this, always check that the bricks are level vertically and horizontally.
- If it isn’t, do well to adjust the bricks before the mortar dries out. This is so that your chimney does not come out oddly shaped. Fill up any space with mortar.
- Cover the roof with a tarp when you’re nearly at the top of the building. This prevents mortar staining.
- Carefully place the chimney flue into the chamber, using the mortar to seal it to the bricks.
- Continue to lay and fill bricks with mortar until you are at the top.
- Identify the slope of your roof and install the flashing around the chamber just where it meets the roof. Seal it by bending it.
- Put the chimney cap on after the flashing. The cap helps to keep rodents and other elements from getting into the chimney.