You think your chimney is in need of repair so you decided to call a Chimney Repair company out for a free estimate. WOW, the price seems too high. So, you call another contractor out for a second opinion. The second company provided you with an entirely different scope of work. Now your getting fed up, you called a third company intending to get to the bottom of this. Now, you have three estimates that totally contradict each other and they each seem to suggest different repairs & prices for your chimney.
Inspection Fee or Free Estimate
I don’t want to pay for a chimney inspection, Do I?
We all know that the economy has slowed down from the years past. Now, more than ever is the time you want to hire the right contractor for your job. There are many willing contractors that cant wait to give you your free estimate! What is an estimate? Well, just that. An educated guess on what a job will cost. It is not a diagnosis, chimney inspection or the proper way to go about having your chimney repaired.
Numerous local reputable companies charge an inspection fee to look at your chimney. This is becoming more common every day. Hiring a reputable chimney company is the suggested way to go about hiring your chimney repair contractor. You are paying the company for their expert opinion on the condition of your chimney and the proper way to rectify your problem. Only if needed, you will get an estimated cost of the repairs. In most cases you will get better results, more consistent in what work is required, because you paid for their service/inspection. You did not just asking someone to drive to your home, possibly go on your roof, and give you all of their knowledge about your chimney so you can “shop around”. Rest assured you will get what you called for, a “free estimate” for work you may or may not need.
Inspectors Are Not Equally Qualified
All chimney companies are not equal. There are many circumstances where the knowledge of the inspector limits the level of information relayed back in an inspection report. Most chimneys in Connecticut, and the U.S. for example, do have missing mortar between the terra-cotta flue tiles. Does this mean that the flue liner is OK? Absolutely not. Does it mean that the chimney is dangerous or poses an immediate hazard? This is where the inspector you hired plays a major role. This question is a very difficult one to answer. A well trained, highly experienced chimney inspector will use the standard measures that have been put in place and determine if there is an elevated risk within your chimney.
Continuing Education is offered in the hearth and chimney industry. It is recommended that you look for a chimney sweep that is an accredited member of the BBB.
Real Estate Inspections
When buying or selling a home there is often conflicting inspection reports. The buyer will generally hire a home inspector that looks for problems around the house, this includes the chimney. The inspection reports most always recommend to contact a mason or chimney professional for further evaluation. It is common for the seller to have the chimney inspected with the expectation that there are no problems. For the transfer of real estate a Level II inspection is usually recommended. The average costs for a chimney and/or fireplace inspection is between $99-$149.
Upon completion of a chimney inspection your chimney professional should be able to provide supporting documentation along with their estimate. Photo’s of the area(s) in question along with a written explanation is a good way to provide the information to the consumer.
When choosing a contractor to make the needed repairs it is of utmost importance to choose a company that you feel comfortable with hiring to complete your repair. Likely price will be considered, but remember the old saying “If it seems to good to be true, It probably is.” Don’t let a low price be the most important factor in deciding to have your chimney repaired.