Building a house has been a fascinating experience so far. It seems like every time I go to the construction site I am surprised by some detail that I had not expected – luckily, most of the time the surprises are good! There are things that have been clearly detailed on the house plans, and yet they come as a complete surprise when I see them installed on the house.
Last week the chimney pots were installed. Chimney pots are pipe-like structures (made of clay, metal, or masonry) that can be added to the top of a chimney in order to improve the draft, and to add height to a chimney. According to Get Your House Right (available on Amazon here) they are also useful for keeping out rain and birds. I was not even aware that we were going to have chimney pots, although checking the house plans, they have been there all along.
Driving around Atlanta this weekend, I was amazed at the number of chimney pots on the houses around town. There is a huge variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. A casual observation – most of the chimney pots seemed to be on the European style houses, not the classic Georgians or Colonials. Time is a bit tight these days to spend a day documenting the chimney pots in Atlanta, but the files on my computer provided many examples of this interesting architectural element.
I was very surprised to see chimney pots on some of the homes that I had admired for years and analyzed extensively – I truthfully had never noticed the chimney pot. Case in point: this French style house designed by Stan Dixon, which I have posted on my blog quite a few times. Note the clay chimney pots.
Here is a close up picture. Honestly, I had never noticed the chimney pots before! I like the style of this one very much. I tend to prefer the chimney pots that have a lip on the top.
The house I had featured in my Halloween post also has chimney pots; in fact, each chimney seems to have several pots. This might be because there are two flues in these chimneys; each flue gets its own chimney pot.
Here is a closeup, from some pictures taken during construction. I like this style too– simple, with a lip on top. Get Your House Right notes that a lip is important to give the chimney pot the right appearance. (This house was designed by Bill Baker, with construction by Benecki Fine Homes).
Note the chimney pots on this charming house, with architecture by McAlpine & Tankersley. Image via Benecki Fine Homes, who built the house (and have worked quite extensively with McAlpine & Tankersley).
A close up of the chimney pots.
A house featured in my post on Tudor architecture in Atlanta has several interesting chimney pots.
Another Tudor house featured on a post earlier this year has a charming chimney pot. Residential design by Bill Baker.
I drove by this beautiful house designed by Peter Block, and featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles recently. Sure enough – a chimney pot. Photo credit Erica George Dines.
Chimney pots are frequently part of Bobby McAlpine’s designs, including the cover house of his book The Home Within Us (available on Amazon here). Interestingly, these chimney pots are two different styles. Image via Cote de Texas.
These chimneys have quite a few pots, with a large scale. They are definitely a defining architectural feature on this home. I read that one pot should be used for each flue – either this means that the house has 7 chimneys, or some of them are decorative. These chimney pots are from Superior Clay, which is one of the leading sources of clay chimney pots. Image source.
One of my favorite French Normandy style houses has subtle chimney pots; I have looked at this picture so many times, and I never noticed them before! Architecture by Pak-Heydt.
More chimney pots – very simple and subtle. Interesting that there are three on one side, two on another. Given the strong symmetry of the house, I like this small bit of asymmetry. Architecture by Pak-Heydt.
I like how the chimneys are formed on this house. The two flues are each given their own stack, topped by a chimney pot on each. Architecture by Spitzmiller & Norris.
Chimney pots come in all different sizes, scales, and designs – these small ones are very subtle, but effective.
This French style house in Houston has rain caps on the chimney pots, which is not a look that I like very much.
Checking out some chimney pots on the internet, it seems like ‘chess like’ styles are a popular option for certain styles of houses.
Although these are a bit elaborate for me, I think they look charming on this old house in England. One of the sets are castles, the other crowns.
Round chimney pots on another house in England.
Looking through my pictures, I even spotted small subtle chimney pots on La Lanterne, the country home of the president of France (on the grounds of Versailles).
Jack Arnold has European copper chimney pots in a variety of styles, for an alternative to the clay chimney pots.
Now I see chimney pots everywhere I look. Hooked on Houses has a post on the English cottage in the movie The Holiday, and I immediately noticed the chimney pots on the house!
What are your thoughts on chimney pots? Do you ever see these on houses in your area? Although chimney pots are an architectural design element that I never noticed before, I will probably always notice them from now on!
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