Many modern chimneys are too short – too short to be architecturally significant and “look right”. As A.J. Downing wrote in 1861,
“Chimney-tops generally occupy the highest portions of the roof, breaking against the sky boldly, and if enriched, will not only increase the expression of purpose, but add also to the picturesque beauty of the composition.”
Many modern chimneys are also too short to function well. Chimneys should be taller than any part of the roof so that they draw better than the house does. A chimney serving a fireplace in a one story family room attached to a three story house may meet code by being “two feet higher than any part of the roof within ten feet” but still may not be able to compete with an open window or skylight on the top floor of the main house.
So, here’s a solution. Some of our clay chimney pots, like the Magnum ES shown here, are made in sections. You can use two or three middle sections to create an extra tall – six, eight feet tall or taller – clay chimney pot. It’ll make AJ happy and it will work better.
PS: You can leave out the middle section to make a short pot, too.
Sometimes a chimney pot just isn’t big enough for that 24″x 24″ flue for your basic six foot wide Rumford. Maybe you like the style of a smaller pot that’s not available in a larger size or maybe you have other chimneys with smaller pots and one huge pot would just look out of place.
Solution: Group 4 pots together to make a grand statement! A pot used on a 1920’s vintage lumber baron’s house provided an example. It looked like a cluster of four relatively small pots that matched pots on several other chimneys. But a closer look reveled that what looked like a cluster of four pots was really one big pot made by grouping four pots together and cutting out the middle.
Each corner was an ordinary-sized pot with one quarter section cut out of it. Then the four modified pots were set with clay partitions between the corner pots so the whole thing was in reality a single pot with a large 24″x24″ opening in the middle.
We’ve used this technique to hide mechanical devices like chimney-top exhaust fans too.