WHY Are Chimneys on the Outside of a Home?

hi I'm Noah Bradley and I want to

welcoming you to handmade house TV

episode 15 where we solve that mystery

of why do they build a chimney on the

outside of a home stay tuned today I

want to answer one of the questions that

I get awful lot of the time and it's a

great question it's a wonderful question

it's a question a whole lot of people

know an answer to and it took me

actually years to actually pull all the

pieces together and that is why is it

chimney located on the outside of a home

I bet once a week maybe two or three

times a week on occasion I'll get the

I'll get the same question repeated and

I'm hoping to answer it as you can see

here today we're at a little log cabin

that I built years ago and it has a

chimney on the outside of it and the why

we have chimneys on the outside of our

home is first of all it's based upon

tradition that we seem to hang on to the

reasons of the past and also that there

are reasons why we want to continue

doing it today okay in in the past there

was a several reasons why they did it

one of the reasons why they did it was

because if it's on the exterior of a

home people had a major concern for

house fires back back in the early days

there was no fire department to come to

put it out there was no homeowners

insurance and it seemed like on a farm

or a rural setting that everyone had a

fire going all the time and the chimneys

back then were not the chimneys of today

they didn't have the fireproof clay

liners going down the middle they

weren't surrounded with cement that

would that would hold it all and keep it

confined they were basically dry laid

with stone with nothing more than most

of them with nothing some with mud some

with a little bit of lime mixed in with

it but nonetheless it wasn't uncommon

for a person to actually be able to

stand in the yard and and would see the

flames between a couple of different

rocks on a chimney

and that's that's the danger of so

chimneys were dangerous but necessary

things during colonial times during

during early American life and if you

had one on the outside of the house it

could be it could be the fire could be

extinguished easier it was closer to the

well closer to water and also it wasn't

uncommon for them actually to throw a

rope or a chain around the chimney and

with a team of horses - during a chimney

fire that they would pull the chimney

over in the yard just and let it just

explode and burn in the yard rather than

burning down the house so there was the

practical side of fire safety but

nonetheless in New England when you

could visit the northern states here and

here in the u.s. you'll find that there

were a lot of chimneys built on the

interior of the home and actually I've

said before that was kind of the the

origins of a home and that is that

people originally would gather around a

fire they'd want a roof over top of

their heads they would they would build

they build a roof the smoke would come

in there I needed to exit out and so

chimneys were invented and basically a

home was just enough space around a

chimney that people could get in there

and huddle around it and so there it

makes sense that one would want to have

a chimney on the interior of a home that

it heats the fire heats up the mass of

the chimney and that that heat would

slowly radiate back and it wouldn't be

lost to the exterior such such as in a

case like this but that is in New

England where the summer weather was is

is mild the winters are harsh and long

most of the United States from

Pennsylvania down to down to Florida

this summit we have four seasons and the

summers are excruciating ly hot and bear

in mind that fires were burnt fires were

kept year round that people cooked in it

year round a fire was in that fireplace

all the time and particularly in the

months of

July August and September there was a

lot of food that was that was put away

for the winter that needed to be

preserved over an open fire and the idea

of open fire inside during the summer

months with no air-conditioning you'd

want as much of that heat to be on the

exterior of the home to be dissipated so

yet again another reason why you'll see

so many on the outside but today we

continue that tradition for that for

those historic reasons because we are

used to seeing them on the outside and

so we continue that today but there's

another reason to have there's a couple

more reasons to have a one on the

outside for one thing a chimney takes up

a lot of space I've seen some of the

tiny houses that are popular today that

aren't much bigger than the base of that

chimney and you put that beast on the

inside you're you're taking away that

amount of square footage from the

interior of your home so it's stuck on

the outside but I think the number one

reason besides tradition why we do them

on the outside is because they are so

beautiful they are they they add so much

to the aesthetics of a home that we look

to see them I think that we judge the

quality of home by seeing an attractive

chimney on the outside and I always

focus on making the chimney as

attractive as I can and will go into

future episodes on how to make one

attractive and of course we won't want

functional I think that's that's that's

a no-brainer we want one that draws

properly and it's safe but but my focus

is on on taking it one step further on

making it as attractive as it can be and

so if you're going to go to the trouble

of building a chimney of making it as

attractive as it can and you want to

stick with tradition and you want to

make the outside of your home appeal and

you don't want to take up interior space

then then the next thing that I would

encourage you in the

of your home is to make sure and put the

chimney where you can see it when you

come up the driveway to this little

cabin that's you see that as you getting

out of the car and as you were walking

to the home you see the chimney you

don't have to walk around to the

backside of the of the home in order to

see it it's not it's not lost you pay a

premium for it it's a beautiful thing

show it off to the world bring it out

front make your neighbor's jealous okay

I guess that wraps it up for today

this is noah with a handmade house TV i

thank you so much for joining in come

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next week thank you for joining and

we'll see you then