Can a fireplace remain inoperable but decorative?

Old 12-08-14, 01:42 PM
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Can a fireplace remain inoperable but decorative?

Purchased a home 5 years ago. Basement has a beautiful fireplace that was rendered inoperable a long time ago (30+ years) when a garage was added to the house by removing the chimney.

Now selling the home, and having an issue about the fireplace with the city. (My city is one of the rare ones that requires passing a city inspection before being able to resell a home.) And, no, they're saying we aren't grandfathered in.

Question 1 - Is there a building code that specifies if a chimney is removed, what has to happen to the fireplace? His worry is that someone could start a fire in there, which I get. But, I'm looking at this as what I have to do, not what would be safest. (We've owned the home 5 years, and haven't been stupid enough to a light a fire in there.) Does it have to be boarded up? Totally removed? Can we just throw cinder blocks in there, so it remains somewhat decorative?

Question 2 - Can a chimney go "through" a garage? There's whatever "piping" chimneys have a few feet into the garage, and then it's capped off. If we have to do something, wondering if it would be worth making it operable again. If we can do this, how many inches deep from the house would the bricks need to go?
Old 12-08-14, 01:48 PM
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Obviously, it passed inspection when you bought the house. Why shouldn't it pass now? If the inspector said that something has to be done, he has to tell you what it is.
Old 12-08-14, 01:55 PM
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The chimney is gone. I don't see why it couldn't be modified to accept ventless gas logs. Not an ideal situation, but it could pass most inspections.
Old 12-08-14, 02:12 PM
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How is it currently sealed where it used to meet the chimney flue?

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Old 12-18-14, 08:03 AM
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Does seem as though your inspector should be able to tell you what needs to be done. you could have a fireplace mason look at your chimney amd tell you if it can be extnded thru your garage and out the roof. Seems as though if ti was operable before the garage was built this could be done. Fireplace codes have changed over the years so your current fireplace would probably have to be brought up to code. They also make nice electric logs . Seems like if something was written into the contract you could leave it the way it is .

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