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Chimney cap suggestions for a victorian?

Posted by slateberry51 (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 13, 11 at 14:33


Hello forum friends! I've been lurking for a while due to lack of funds. But things are picking up a bit and I can finally start to think of some rather urgent maintenance issues, like capping a chimney that currently takes in way too much water. The chimney is angled out below the roofline to make it look bigger above the roofline. The angled section tends to leak a little if we've had several days of steady rain, and I'd like to keep the chimney drier so this problem doesn't worsen.

So, we're capping the chimney on the right side of the photo, and I'd like to choose a cap appropriate for the house. Actually, I'd like to choose a cap appropriate for how the house will look when we've removed the siding, restored the woodwork, removed the 1st floor "ranch bay" windows and replaced with windows similar to the rest of the house, and rebuilt the enclosed front porch--I'm speechless on that one. Moving on...

Anyway, I'm starting at the top. Cost IS an issue. I'd love to do copper, but would stainless be a crime (everybody else on the street has stainless). What about the stainless that comes painted in a weathered copper color? And what style?

Note: I'm not trying to one-up my neighbors. There is only one other victorian on the street, and that one has a chimney you can't see from the front. I guess what I'm trying to say is, maybe stainless wouldn't be so bad, even if you would normally recommend copper for a victorian, given what will be around it.

Local company quoted $438.50 to install a run-of-the-mill 27" x 29" stainless cap. I think I'd rather choose my own cap and just pay for their labor.

Also, if you look closely, you'll see that the left chimney is a more ornate style, while the right one (the one I'm capping) is rather plain. It bugs me that the plain one is plain, and I sort of have it on my "someday" list, but way way down, to have it rebuilt in the style of the left chimney. Would you bother? I think it would be at least 2K. Right now, there are so many things above it on the list (like that porch!), and it's soooo high up you hardly ever see it.

I just feel like the current appearance of this house is the result of so many ill-informed compromises and decisions; I'd like to start making good choices and maybe reverse the process a bit :-).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Chimney cap suggestions for a victorian?

I can't offer much of an opinion, since my house has stuccoed chimneys, but they have masonry caps around the flue tiles. The flue I use for my gas fireplace has a black metal damper attached at the top.

Maybe you could use zinc? That was a popular metal then, or get a metal finished to look like it?

RE: Chimney cap suggestions for a victorian?

Hey Columbus! By zinc you mean a dark metal look with some brownish-blackish tinge stuff going on, right? Not the galvanized thing (more modern). I'm searching for zinc and I can't find it in anything but galvanized yet. But I agree that would be a better look than stainless steel.

Here is a link that might be useful: Do you think any of these are an appropriate shape?

RE: Chimney cap suggestions for a victorian?

Nice site! I like the Princeton or the Donlley...but I could really see one of the chimney pots too!

From what I gather, the zinc acquires the 'tarnished' look over time--at least my window weatherstripping has in its 103 year life.

RE: Chimney cap suggestions for a victorian?

You know, I think the Carson Mansion has a zinc chimney top (and also one of the tallest ones I've ever seen:


Actually, I think the style of it is kind of...disappointing compared to the rest of the house. The color's not bad. But if it's good enough for the carsion mansion, maybe I don't have to stress _quite_ so much over what I do :-)

RE: Chimney cap suggestions for a victorian?

My zinc weatherstripping is definitely aged and has a 'dingy' appearance--but I can't say if it is galvanized or not--it certainly hasn't rusted through in the slightest.

I did replace one of my downspouts with new galvanized steel 'round', but it was immediately painted to match my house colors, so I can't say if it would 'tarnish' also--but an extension is still the original gray after about ten years use.

The link below shows my window weatherstripping--although mine is flat toward the edges without the rippling--need to buy some to replace some I trashed trying to replace window cords before I discovered tiny screws holding it in!

Here is a link that might be useful: Weatherstripping

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