Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. In NH and ME there is no licensing for chimney professionals, anyone can call themselves a sweep, or install wood or pellet stoves. (The only licensing is for gas appliances and it is mandatory). Your home and your family's safety are worth investing in professional services. Ask if they have any certifications, gas licensed, belong to local or national professional organizations. Real professionals keep up with the latest fire codes and use modern professional grade products. And real professionals don't advertise on trees and telephone posts!
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. We have a lot of people call us and ask why they need a professional sweep, it isn't rocket science. What I explain is that brushing your teeth is easy and it is something you do yourself, but you still need to see a dentist. Why because the Dentist uses professional tools to do a more thorough job and checks for developing problems. We do the same for your chimney venting system. And if you have a pellet stove they are very complex machines, and every manual recommends a professional servicing annually by an NFI certified pellet professional.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. If you are looking to add or change a heating unit there are some things you should consider first that will help us better help you. 1. Pick your fuel. Wood, gas, coal and pellet all have pluses and minuses (we have a web page on our site that may help). 2. Is this for primary heating or supplemental heating? 3. What type of look do you want? Both for the appliance and the overall installation. You want to be happy with the appearance of the room when you are done. 4. Safety, clearances to combustibles, cracked chimneys, non code installations may save money at first, but put your home and family at risk. If it is worth doing it is worth doing right.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Mark Jones is a Nationally Certified Master Hearth Professional and teaches classes to other chimney professionals, firefighters, and home inspectors. We also do fire investigations, inspections for insurance purposes and real estate sales. We have been in business for over 20 years.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. We help people heat their homes safely. Nothing is more important than taking care of your home and family and we get a great deal of satisfaction from helping people do just that.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Most people of course want to know "how much?" We do have basic rates for chimney cleanings, pellet stove service and Inspections. However we do not do "one size fits all" pricing on installations because every house is different and we would prefer to give you a price on your needs after coming out to see what you want and where you want it. Our service is all about making you happy, warm and safe in your home. One size fits all does not accomplish that.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. We are always attending trade shows and conventions which provide a wide variety of classes to take on all aspects of our business. We also subscribe to online classes through the National Fireplace Institute. Ongoing education is a requirement for maintaining certifications. Mark also teaches classes to other chimney professionals at these conventions.