To me this article is right on the money explaining the difference between Code and Acceptability. But then again, it is all up to the eyes of the beholder, in this case the Owner.
The Floating Chimney Syndrome
This is one of those things that really bugs me. It isn’t actually wrong, but it could certainly look much better.
This foundation is poured concrete and the brick veneer for the chimney has been placed on top of the foundation, at the same level as the first floor, instead of on a brick ledge at ground level. Since brick chimneys are generally a major focal point, this pet peeve is hard to dismiss.
One normally expects an object as large as a masonry chimney to be anchored securely to the house and its footings. However, a surprisingly large number of builders apparently don’t give this a second thought, so many homeowners end up with what you see here. The ultimate effect, particularly in this example, is that of a chimney floating in mid air.
There are reasons for building a chimney like this, they just aren’t very good. The foundation contractor saves time but not necessarily money. While he does not have to do the extra work of preparing a special brick ledge, more concrete is used in the foundation. The mason saves time and money by not having to build a block foundation and installing less brick veneer. The builder saves the cost of the brick and block that would have been needed if the brick had started at the ground. Perhaps most importantly though, it is simply easier for everyone. No one has to take the extra time to figure out where to set the brick ledge and no one has to do any special work. Imagine how much easier, and less expensive, it would have been to install the brick veneer on the front in the same way. Before you build, check to see how your chimney will look when it is finished. If the answer is not to your liking, ask for a price to install the brick for the chimney so that it starts at finish grade. Better yet, tell your builder that this is one of your “pet peeves” and ask him to see if the foundation contractor and the mason could work together to figure out a better way. If this happens to be your house, some well placed shrubbery will hide the unfinished foundation from casual viewers, but plants cost money too. Besides, it would still bug me!
Compliments of BE4U-BUILD.COM