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Faith in Chimney Installers

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Jester, Oct 2, 2008.

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  1. Jester

    Jester New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    206
    Loc:
    Seacoast Massachusetts
    Hi all. Need to vent. Installing the stove. I called three chimney companies that all had good refrences. One showed up, had estimate of 600 from the inside of his van before seeing the install. Its gonna be a straight up, through the cieling then out the roof, as I dont have clearances in the front wall. His price was 650 (ish). Second guy shows up, goes over everything, takes measurements comes back witha quote of 1500 9750 matierial 750 labor). Third guy blows me off then gives me a hard time when I confront him on it on the phone (yeah, let me hire you)
    I decided to go with guy # 2. This was over a month ago. I just got a call from him and the simpson duravent parts are on backorder, and they wont be in until Monday, so he wont start the job on Monday. they offer me Wednesday, contingant on the parts being there, and if not the next time they can get me in is November 27th. So, it gets better. Im building my own hearth pad, but want to keep it as minimal as possable, so Ive been trying to get them to tell me how much space is on the cieling thimble, between the edge of the thimble and the edge of the pipe. I plan on using this to figure out how far out from the wall I need to be (I figure 5" for the pipe plus whatever the edge of the pipe to the edge of the cieling thimble is plus 2" for good graces)
    They tell me on the phone, after giving me the good news of not coming Monday that I cant build the hearth until after the instalation is done, because they dont know how far out from the wall I will need to be with the stove. I asked them if they hook the stove up, and I put it on a 3" high hearth pedestal, wont that effect, say the length of the pipe from the stove to the cieling? They say no. I cant immagine that the pipe is slip jointed, and that once everything is in and installed that raising the height of the stove 3" wont matter.
    Should I trust these guys? I know parts for chimneys are scarce (should have been ordered over a month ago) but I think what they're telling me about the hearth is crap.
    Your thoughts? Should I kick them to the curb and look for someone else? Seems like all these chimney guys are sketchy at best.
    If anyone has used anyone decent in the Newburyport area let me know.
    Thanks

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  2. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    That about sums it all up :) No possibility of doing the install yourself?
  3. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    Aug 26, 2008
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    Loc:
    Littlestown, PA
    The pellet vent pipe is not cheap although 1500 might be a tad bit on the high side.

    Also, Durevent does make an adjustable straight pipe because otherwise it would be hard to get all installations exact.
  4. camdids

    camdids Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    196
    Loc:
    Very North and Very East Mass.
    I'm in the newburyport area, but I'm afraid I cant give you any good news. I had a Good one a few years ago from Methuen, but he's not in business anymore. All I can say is last year when we wanted to do a job with our chimney, we called about four of the best looking Chimney guys around us (from the phone book), and it was obvious they either didnt want any work or were just trying to rip us off.
    I would just try as many as you can. Strangely enough when we had a remodel done the LOCAL contractor used someone from Methuen as well. Funny that.
  5. Jester

    Jester New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    206
    Loc:
    Seacoast Massachusetts
    I was looking at someone from Methuen as well. I might put a call in to home and hearth in North Hampton and see who they recommend. If this were a through wall I would be more than happy to do it myself but where Im cutting through the roof I want to have someone else to groan at if it leaks other than myself :)
  6. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    south shore
    Kick them to the curb and do it your self. It is not hard. These clowns have a high regard for themselves. This is not rocket science. You can buy what you need on-line. Plenty of people who have never installed a pellet stove myself included have done it . The hardest part for you is the roof penetration. (and that's not hard either with proper measurements and planing) Measure twice and cut once. If it's more than one story and you don't like heights or very steep pitch then don't . Otherwise go for it follow your instructions to the letter and go for it. Tell everyone you know what slime balls they are. They will probably do a hack job anyway. Ps. (Use a plumb bob to locate your holes)
  7. Jester

    Jester New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
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    206
    Loc:
    Seacoast Massachusetts
    Ok, some more stewing. I just mowed the lawn and this came to mind. When she "guarenteed" that they would have the parts in thier hands on monday, just not in time to do the job I suggested that she call her warehouse and ask them to overnight the parts they were missing, and she laughed at me.
    Guess when they know they got ya by the kahonies they can do as they please.
  8. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    South Shore MA
  9. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Decatur, Alabama
    Like the other fellas have suggested, you might want to consider doing the install yourself. I had the same issue with being scared of cutting through the ceiling and roof. But, after calling around and getting the run-around, I got up the nerve and did it myself, and was very glad I did. I have been very satisfied with my installation and I know that it would not have been done as well by anyone else. It's not hard, you just need to make sure your measurements are good. I drilled very small holes through my ceiling and roof once I made my measurements just to make sure I was where I needed to be before I cut bigger holes. I figured a little hole is easy to plug and conceal if I was not in the right place.

    If you are able to build a hearth, I am sure you can do the other stuff if you have the tools. For what you will be charged, you can buy any tools you need and still save money.
  10. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    461
    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    I almost wish that I lived in your neighborhood because I would be more than happy to assist you and we could install the stove ourselves. As someone has mentioned, it really is not that difficult to do. Yes, I installed my own stove in August (Castille free-standing) but I am fortunate in that I am quite handy. The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions they did their own install is if it was done correctly. Well, I did my homework and this forum is where I was able to find every single answer and the source of the information provided as well. I know that I did the installation as good as (or better than some) anyone else could have, professional or otherwise.

    Yes, in Massachusetts you MUST pull a permit to install a pellet stove. If you hire a professional then it is his responsibility to get the permit, but a homeowner can pull his own permit and do it himself. Either way the building inspector will be required to inspect the installation and approve it.

    Here is a question that I don't know the answer to, hopefully someone else can tell me: If I had hired a professional to install my stove, does he have to be certified? For example, does he HAVE to be a chimney guy or can it be any handyman? The reason I ask is because if you can find someone with experience with roofing and tiling and all the necessary trades to install a stove properly, then you won't have to find JUST a chimney company.

    If it were me, I would ask around in your own town for everyday contractors or a good handyman that may have all the experience necessary to assist you or even do the complete install. Like myself, you can find ALL the help and answers to any questions right here.

    As far as the "gentlemen" that you hired to do your install - they would be history in my book. Several years back I added an addition to my house and I pulled my own permit. In Massachusetts you can also pull your own electrical permit as long as it passes inspection you are good. BUT, you cannot even change a faucet in this state without hiring a plumber and getting a permit for the work, so I could not do any of my plumbing - I had NO choice but to hire someone. I went to the yellow pages and called the first guy and one of the first things he asked me was "Where did you purchase all of your materials (shower enclosure, faucets, toilet, fittings, etc.)" I told him I got everything from Home Depot. His exact answer to me - and I quote - was "Oh, I don't do any work with any materials from Home Depot, you'll have to call someone else."

    Ok, so I called the second guy on my list. After explaining what I needed done which was to plumb an entire bathroom and a laundry room, he asked me if there were any crawl spaces involved. I told him that "Yes, there's about 40 feet of 4" drain that has to be run in a crawl space", he replied "Sorry, I don't do crawl spaces."

    My point is that there are a few professionals who think that their poop does not stink. As long as you don't HAVE to hire a chimney guy, you could probably find someone local with the skills necessary to do the job. It sounds like your vent pipe install is similar to mine in that my pipe exits my stove to a "T" with a cleanout, then straight up through the ceiling into the attic and out the roof, extending exactly 2' above the roof peak. Materials cost was right around $400.00 - labor was free. I personally think you are being overcharged.

    Good luck and I hope you can find someone else, someone local who can help you out.

    Steve
  11. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    south shore
    Jester, I would like more details of your install. How many story house do you have ? Roof pitch , House style , Ranch , cape etc. ? I think you should pay close attention to Shortstuff"s post. I have seen some of the biggest hack jobs preformed by so called professionals. I do everything myself now. You won't need much in the way of tools either. You will, need a sawsall or jigsaw with some good blades and that is more than likely the only tool you may not own. The money you'll save will allow you to buy the tool as well. I my opinion it is one of the most useful tools I own. After your very careful install you will be filled with pride and know the job was done right. It's like being a good cook. If you follow the recipe and don't scrimp on the ingredients you'll always get the same good result. Go slow, think before you act. Have a helper to hand you things and you'll do great. The only way to learn is by doing. We live in tough economic times and the money you can save by learning to do things yourself has the same net effect of earning more to pay a ripoff artist. They say time is money and that is true. When someone wants $ 700.00 - $900.00 to do four to six hours of work I'll find the time and save the money every time. Good luck.
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