Chimneys have been around a long time, at least since the 12th Century. One of the first in Europe is claimed to be at Conisborough castle, near Doncaster. Their popularity grew in Tudor Britain where it became fashionable for the rich to install fireplaces and adorn their roofs with chimneys. Commoners, on the other hand, still had to put up with smoke filled rooms as they continued to burn fires on an open brick base.
Chimneys have always been in fashion, even when used purely for decorative purposes. Initially they were constructed from wood, plaster and even mud but by 1719, a new law decreed that, due to the number of chimney fires, all chimneys had to be made from brick and mortar and they had to rise a minimum 4½ feet above the roof.
And that’s the way it’s largely been right up to today. They add to the aesthetics of the property even if they no longer serve the purpose intended. We like our chimneys – working or not. However, one of the problems facing house builders is that chimneys are heavy and complex and add significantly to the overall cost of the work.
In pre-central heating days, because of the weight of the chimney, house builders would often construct a ‘stack’ with individual fireplaces sharing one chimney. As the house style became more elaborate in the 20th Century, so did the chimney.
And in the 21st Century, despite our modern heating systems and improved insulation largely making traditional chimneys redundant, they are still as popular as ever. Some of this is due to local planning regulations especially in conservation area but most of it down to our continuing love affair with the chimney.
The cost of installing chimneys, especially when they will never be used, is a dilemma facing many builders, especially those involved in refurbishing property. This has been recognised by Build Lite UK who supply the ‘Litestack chimney’ – a lightweight, highly cost effective alternative to the traditionally built chimney.
It’s available in a range of finishes including brick, stone and render – all carefully matched to the existing materials, and is quick and easy to install. There’s no need for heavy lifting gear, just a telescopic fork lift or light crane with the chimney hoisted into position and bolted on to the roof trusses and leaded in the usual way.
At Build Lite, we specialise in Architectural Solutions, including products like Litestack GRP Chimneys. We offer unmatched knowledge and skill in architectural transformations across the UK. To find out more about our products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.