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RE: HELP: 2" clearance around masonry fireplace

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Thanks to all who offered me advice. The detail of the beam seated in the
masonry exterior wall of the fireplace was already in place. The inspector
allowed me to cut out 2" from the masonry at the sides and top of the beam
to create the clearance needed.
I do understand the need for the clearance although I've never been
corrected on this in the past. The fireplace is 7'-0" wide while the firebox
is only about 36" wide. This creates a cavity between the firebox and
exterior masonry wall. The firebox is masonry and firebrick. I have done
similar types of structures where a steel column (pipe col) was embedded
into this cavity to support the end of the beam but in this case the
architect was adamant on having the beam seated to the masonry.
I believe this to be a very low risk condition although I will find an
alternative detail should the condition arise in the future.

Thanks again for all your help.