Fireplaces & Chimneys
A real masonry fireplace can be a beautiful focal point in any room of the house. Modern concerns about energy efficiency can be addressed by bringing combustion air directly to the fire from outdoors, and by isolating the thermal mass from outdoor cold with insulation. Building a fireplace that draws properly is a job for an experienced mason.
If you have a fireplace that doesn’t work properly – smoke comes back in the room – your chimney may be:
- Blocked by bird or animal nests, or debris from damage or deterioration of the chimney itself.
- Too short. The rule is that the chimney should be three feet higher than anything within ten feet.
- Dwarfed by trees: even farther away than ten feet, the large canopy of a tree can disrupt air flow and cause a downdraft, especially in windy conditions.
A chimney cap might help; you might need to add height to your existing chimney; or you may have to have an expert – a chimney sweep or a mason – evaluate the fireplace for proper design and construction.
Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are increasingly popular, and can be as simple or as ornate as you choose. Ready-made kits help make it simple!