Sunday photoblogging: houses

by Chris Bertram on October 19, 2014



ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© 10.19.14 at 1:58 pm

That’s a nice shot, Chris.

I have a couple of Familiar Bluets.


PJW 10.19.14 at 2:24 pm

Turtles all the way down.


bad Jim 10.20.14 at 4:44 am

On my first visit to London, rolling in on the Picadilly Line from Heathrow, I became obsessed by the number of chimneys in view. Most buildings have several. The smog was horrific when they all burned coal, but what they do with the fireplaces now?


ZM 10.20.14 at 5:28 am

bad Jim,

You can fully seal them over with plaster so they look like part of the wall, or if you like an ornamental fireplace you can seal them off in the chimney so as to prevent draughts but keep the look. You might seal the top of the chimney too, but sometimes bees will still get in and make a hive which can come crashing down in the middle of the night, or a possum might squeeze itself through a hole in the wire and wake you up in the night too. That’s for Australia – in England it would be squirrels tumbling down the chimney. Birds also might like to nest in the chimney now it’s not too hot and smokey.


Emma in Sydney 10.20.14 at 11:03 am

Why is it that UK builder built terraces, when Spanish and French builders built 3 or 4 story walk up apartments, and later 6 storeys with lifts? It’s very striking in Spain that even small towns ( at least in the north) have five storey buildings right next to fields– no fringe at all.


Maria 10.20.14 at 11:30 am

Bad Jim, it used to be that as ZM says the chimneys would be prettily sealed to prevent drafts. But the current fashion is to put a wood-burning or smokeless fuel stove in, as you can now have a fire in one of those to fairly efficiently heat a room (much more so than with a traditional fire where most of the heat goes up the chimney) and not produce smog. That’s in the UK, anyway.

Emma, I just don’t know the answer to that. Funny, when I saw Chris’s picture I immediately captioned it ‘The British Dream’. And I say that as someone who lives in a 3-bed semi at the end of a London terrace, is planning the typical glass box kitchen extension and lusts after a wood-burning stove.


maidhc 10.20.14 at 11:24 pm

My mother’s house had an ornamental gas fire installed in the fireplace. During the big ice storm last Christmas it was the only source of heat in the house. Since one side of the electricity supply was disconnected, the furnace wouldn’t turn on, but there was still enough power to turn on the gas fireplace. Luckily it stayed on even after the power was totally disconnected. Over the course of about 3 days it managed to raise the temperature in the living room to a fairly comfortable level. The rest of the house wasn’t so warm, but it was warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing.

So even though it was installed purely to look nice, it came in pretty handy in a pinch.


bad Jim 10.21.14 at 3:46 am

Thanks, all. I live in Southern California where their use is deprecated as a source of air pollution, and are arguably more effective at cooling than heating. I’ve left mine alone, because the fireplace is part of an immense stone mantlepiece, but my brother conceals his behind his big-screen TV.


Dr. Hilarius 10.21.14 at 4:07 am

I have a wood stove but it’s unlikely to incite much lust. Small stove but cabin is only 120 sq. feet.


bad Jim 10.21.14 at 4:10 am

I should add that the photo is a pretty tasty composition: the serried array of house fronts below, chimneys above, both alike, and in the middle, varied roofs with wiring as random striation.


reason 10.21.14 at 8:23 am

Emma in Sydney @5
Probably has something to do with zoning laws. In Germany large apartment blocks are often on the outskirts as building land is only slowly released and often on the outskirts. High land prices and restrictions on areas with single dwelling land use means that new land will generally be used for apartment blocks.


reason 10.21.14 at 8:27 am

Some of the chimneys will be used to let steam out, and some to let exhaust from gas heaters out (not the fireplaces inside, but the chimneys themselves).


ezra abrams 10.21.14 at 2:17 pm

What you see are rectangular masonry towers (chimneys) with two cylindrical projections (flues)
In the US at least, a flue can also be for a hot water heater, or even a sewer vent


Shelley 10.21.14 at 3:14 pm

Give me the yellow one.


Anonymous Coward 10.22.14 at 8:36 am

I’ve never heard them referred to as flues before, they’re generally known as chimney pots in the UK. Also in my experience, it’s extremely uncommon to use chimneys as vents for steam, gas hot water heating flues, or sewer flues. These are all vented separately. It’s fairly common to have a fireplace that originally was for a coal fire to have been fitted with a gas fire at some point, which would vent to the chimney.


squirrel nutkin 10.22.14 at 11:21 pm

Which part of town is that?


Chris Bertram 10.23.14 at 6:48 am

squirrel nutkin: Southville/Bedminster. Looking down either Leighton or Beauley Rd (can’t remember which).

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