Hearth Installations - what should I know?

Do you do free estimates?

Yes we can do free estimates, but we do not conduct free on-site assessments and inspections. In order to provide a free estimate, we will need for you to gather the information and take the measurements necessary to work up an estimate. This often involves getting up on the roof to confirm the flue tile size and chimney height, and taking careful measurements of the firebox and mantel for clearance and sizing purposes. The reason we do not do free assessments is simple: time is $ and conducting a proper assessment involves a lot of our time.

Are the estimates a guaranteed price?

If we have not conducted an assessment, we cannot guarantee the estimate’s accuracy, since we are basing it on the information you provide. In most cases, we can determine through some back and forth through email and on the phone, and good digital pictures an accurate approximation of what the final costs are going to be. Sometimes during this process, it becomes clear that an assessment is either necessary or desirable.

What’s involved in an assessment?

Our NFI-certified hearth specialists carefully inspect your the chimney and fireplace, as well as the roof and exterior of the building. In addition, we will also take an overall look at your home and your home’s systems, including HVAC and any other appliance or system that might affect the operation of a hearth appliance, Often we need to look in basements, crawl spaces and attics. We do a very thorough job, and therefore believe there is value in paying for this service. You are not only getting an accurate quote, but you are getting the benefit of our experience and knowledge in choosing the perfect hearth appliance to meet your goals.

How much does an assessment cost?

Our fee for an on-site assessment is $95. If you live further than 20 miles from our store, we have a trip charge of $3.00 per mile one way to cover our additional fuel and labor expenses.

How can I get the most accurate quote?

The best way is get an accurate quote is to pay for us to come out and do a thorough in-home assessment. Being able to see the site and examine in depth what existing systems you have is essential to getting the most accurate quote. There are many details involved in installing a hearth system, and sometimes subtle problems (like flue tiles being offset from one another) can significantly increase the cost of a job.

Do you ever change the price from an estimate?

We take our estimates seriously. However, sometimes there are things we cannot foresee, no matter how thorough of an assessment and inspection we conduct. This is very rare but it does happen. For example, on one job the flue tiles needed to be broken out to accommodate the new lining system. In a properly constructed chimney, code requires a 1” airspace between the flue tiles and the surrounding masonry. The mason on this job felt it would be good to leave a larger void and fill it with loose sand. Thousands of pound of sand had to be controlled when we broke the tiles, adding unforeseeable cleanup time and trips to the dump. We have not seen this extreme bizarre variant before or since, but other creative masons have left us scratching our head in disbelief. Fortunately, these occurrences are infrequent. When they do happen, we do not try to make any $ on our labor or materials involved in addressing the problem–we simply charge you for the extra cost, at our cost. We feel that is a fair way of dealing with these problems. Generally, we know what the potential pitfalls are going to be (if any) and can communicate them ahead of time–and address what the increase in costs might be.

What sort of warranty do you offer on your labor?

We are so confident that our NFI-Certified hearth specialists will install your stove or fireplace to the highest standards of safety and quality, that we guarantee our installations for life! Read more about our lifetime labor warranty.