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Questions and Answers
Q: What do chimney services include?
A: Companies in the chimney business can offer three basic services, namely chimney building and installation, chimney maintenance and repair, and chimney cleaning.
Chimney building and installation include projects from the simplest gas unit installation to the building of a fireplace with masonry work and a flue. You can opt for a chimney installation in an apartment as well as a complete building of a true fireplace in the house.
Maintenance and repair chimney contractors offer regular checkups of your chimney units. They deal with all kinds of chimneys regardless of their fuel source. They frequently come for an annual checkup and perform a range of repairs if needed. Most often you should call these experts if your chimney is cracked or broken if there is creosote accumulation in the flue, or if you spot water infiltration problems.
The service of the chimney cleaners partially overlaps with the work of the maintenance experts. They generally sweep and inspect the chimney unit. In the cases of creosote buildup or animals living in the flue, you can expect to pay a lump sum for the chimney sweeping.
Q: How do chimney companies charge?
A: All chimney related services are charged for on per project basis. There are average costs for every particular service a company offers. Complex cases, however, may increase the price tag. Some companies, such as chimney sweepers, also have packaged deals that include, for instance, brick washing, chimney sweeping, and creosote cleaning altogether.
Q: What is the average cost of the chimney services?
A: The cost of the chimney services differs depending on the expert you need. Chimney building and installation on average costs about $850-$3,500 per project; for chimney sweeping most homeowners spend no more than $250. Chimney maintenance and repair experts usually get $160-$750 but the cost heavily depends on the kind of repairs and maintenance your chimney unit requires. We earnestly advise looking into repair prices and their peculiarities in our chimney repair cost guide.
Q: What factors affect the cost of the chimney services?
A: Regardless of the service you need for the chimney, there are universal cost-influencing factors to keep in mind.
- Kind of chimney. There are three basic types, namely masonry, factory-built units, and wooden stoves. Masonry chimneys require more work in every aspect of their maintenance and building, while pre-fabricated chimneys are easier to install and handle.
- Flue material. Again, masonry flues generally require more experts for the building project and much more maintenance care afterword. Metal flues are easier to install but they also have some peculiarities in maintenance. If you have a fireplace without a flue, then all the named problems will be absent from your mind and bill.
- Chimney age. The older unit you have, the more complex care and repairs it requires year by year. Sometimes, chimney repair experts even advise rebuilding the chimney from scratch because installation of a new one may cost less than maintenance and repair of an old unit.
Q: How to avoid dealing with a scam chimney company?
A: Whether you want to build a new chimney or looking for an expert to repair an old one, there are several universal documents that will help differentiate among reliable and scam chimney companies.
- License. Chimney building, sweeping, and repairing are services that all require particular training and so licensing. Always verify the presence of a valid license at a chosen company.
- Insurance. Unless paying the hospital bills for the chimney workers is in your plan, ensure that the hired crew is insured against accidents.
- Professional certification. Not all areas of chimney works require additional certification but in case of the chimney cleaners remember about the CSIA and NCSG organizations that monitor and hand certifications to these experts.
- Permits. Remember that it is the contractor’s obligation to obtain all the required permits for the chimney works before they begin working in your home. Before starting, always ensure that the hired company obtained proper city and state permits for building and cleaning your chimney. Otherwise, you risk paying a large fine!