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Chimney & Fireplace reviews in Middletown

  • A
    Excellent. There was a problem in lining up the new liner to the stove and up the flue; they tried several solutions and worked tirelessly to solve this issue which was unique to our house. Had three estimates, their description of the project was detailed and their price was very competitive.
    - Mark L.
  • F
    The employee Kevin phoned to advise he was on his way and arrived promptly. He came into our home and I told him we had two fireplaces. The one in the living room was never used and we wanted to be sure all set to use if we wished to. He looked at it, opened the flue and said it needed about $ 1200 worth of work. Said they would spray a coating in it. The estimate he wrote up states "apply smoketite chamber repair to smoke chamber and throat of fireplace." He advised it was o.k. to burn duraflame logs but warned not to make a hot fire in it. Then said he was going on the roof. With 3-4 minutes he walked in the front door ( no knock, no door bell ring) and asked to see the furnace. I showed him where it was and waited in the hallway. He opened the door to clean out area behind the furnace and began saying "oh boy, geez, just what I thought" . He then called me in to look and and showed me several broken pieces of cement on the bottom of the clean out area and said that the chimney liner was falling apart and that was what was sitting there. Said there is a bend in the chimney at the shoulder area and all the falling liner is piling up there. He said there was only about a 2 inch space and if he could not get in there he would have to open up the chimney and would cost more. I asked him to come into the other room and explain to my husband as well. He went into to this sales pitch about how we needed the liner replaced to the tune of about $ 1800. More if he could not put it in due to the pile up of the broken liner in the bend area. Warned us that carbon monoxide could back up into the house, shoot could bellow into the house and we would have to hire a restoration company to clean walls, drapes etc. Very costly. My husband asked if he had cleaned the chimney, Kevin said he could not do it due to the damage. Went into the sales pitch again, my husband said he needed to think about it. I pointed out the second fireplace and asked if he was going to look at it. He said there was no need to. (??) Kevin then wrote up the estimate for $ 1865 for that issue, again warned could be more. He advised me to call the office and they would be out by end of week to make repairs. I pointed out it was Wednesday, how could they be out by end of week when I had to wait a month for this appointment? He said this was a priority and so would come right out. He also offered a discount if we did both repairs. Before Kevin left he ran back to the basement, said he forgot to close the clean out door. My husband phoned another company for an estimate and cleaning and they came out a few days later. First they looked at the living room fireplace and said it needed some cosmetic touch up but no repairs. They also said the flue was left partially open, and proceeded to open it all the way. The gentleman asked me for a bag. Took out a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup, leaves, the skeleton of a dead animal and some paper. He asked how was an inspection done with all that in there? Good point.... He then went to the furnace area and opened the door. He said there was a lot of soot but did not see any broken liner pieces, I was there with him and did not see the pieces Kevin had said was the liner. Maybe why he had to go back to basement before leaving, had to take something back? This gentleman then went on the roof and looked. He said the chimney needed a cleaning first before he would give us a definite answer, the chimney really needed to be cleaned, but he did not see the damage Kevin said was there. There is a bluestone cap on the chimney and he suggested he take it off, clean the chimney and install an animal guard, replace the cap. He asked if Kevin had used a camera and showed us the damage, I advised him no. We hired him and he cleaned the chimney, DID NOT find the damage Kevin said was there. He said he had no problem getting brushes into chimney where Kevin claimed there was only a 2 inch space. The price for this , well, well, well below the $1865 Kevin said . You be the judge, what do you think ????? We would not recommend this company. I complained to Angie's List and was told since it was over 30 days since I had made payment, they would not give us a refund which I feel we should get. The cleaning was not done and should have been. If one company can clean it why could Top Notch not ? Maybe that was why we had to wait a month for the appointment, so they would not have to issue a refund for work not done? We would not recommend Top Notch based on our experience with them. I did phone Top Notch and asked if they use a camera to assess damage and the gentleman said only if the customer asks. I did not contact Top Notch to file complaint because I doubt it would do any good.
    - Elaine K.
  • A
    M&J Roofing did a really great job.  Louie is very knowledgeable, hard-working, honest, punctual and is committed to the job being done 100% correctly.  His team of workers is also very good, and I would use M&J again without hesitation.  Louie explained to me what they were doing, why they were doing it and showed me the work as it was being done via both cell phone pictures and an actual visit to my own roof!  Louie's price quote was spot on, and when some unplanned repairs were discovered, i.e. my chimney tiles were both pretty well shot, he brought me up to the roof to show me and gave me a fair price for replacing them.  His brother came out from Waterbury with the new chimney tiles and the repairs were done.  The new roof, skylights, and chimney all came out beautifully, and the whole job was completed same day.  Plus, I have a collection of pictures of the work, which will come in handy if I ever sell the house.  M&J did an excellent job of protecting the bushes, etc. around the base of the house from debris.  After cleaning up, the yard was cleaner than when they started.  (Another part of the house had been re-roofed before I bought it,  NOT by M&J, and I ended up removing about half a wheelbarrow load of shingles and roofing nails from my flower beds!)    Louie is an exceptional contractor, is very personable and I would recommend him highly to anyone.
    - Jeff O.
  • A
    Steve and Louis arrived on time and were courteous and friendly.  Louis went on the roof and examined the chimney.  Steve cleaned the furnace.  He explained everything that was done and gave it to me in writing.  This wasthe 3rd year in a row Steve has provided this service and if possible I would request him to come back next year.
    - Michael K.
  • A
    Better Built Basements worked with us on all the design work. They reviewed the process in detail with us, gave us the names of the retail stores and the names of our contacts for picking out the finished products for the basement. You can use your own home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes if you want or any other bath/kitchen suppliers that you would want to use. The sky is the limit and they tailor to your needs and wants. As little or as much as you want. Depending on your budget and the finished product. Our project included a full bath, a home office, a bar area with games, and a TV sitting area for the family to gather and watch a TV show or movie on the big screen. We also added a gas fireplace in our design. They work from your budget. So depending on what that entails you can go high end and go to some of the more expensive places if you wish. Once the job is started, you get access to their web-site and a calendar letting you know what will be done on a daily basis, i.e. painting on the 10th and 11th, flooring on the 13th. They move according to your schedule, but you do need to be ready with your choices as soon as it's time to do the work. They lay that all out for you and you are fully aware of what the next step will be and that "you need to have the tile picked out for the bathroom by next Tuesday". It' all methodically managed and the payment is broken out into portions of the job being completed. I believe that they may also have a financing program as well. As the project progresses, each team arrives at your home around 7:30AM and works until 4:00PM. They are all very polite and professional and treat your home as if it were their own. My wife and I actually work from home and they knew our schedule and worked around loud noises while we were on meetings or needed to have it a bit quite at times. Jim and Randy the owners popped in often to check out the progress of the job and to see if we had any questions or concerns during the entire project and they were always available to attend to our needs or concerns during the project. All the contractors cleaned up at the end of the day, so there was no trash hanging around like you see at a lot of work sites and it was all taken away each day. This was a big plus and a blessing. The project was finished on time and within our budget. All of our friends and relatives have nothing but great things to say about the quality of workmanship and the great space that they created for us. It's a great place for the grandkids as well as for family gatherings. Our Aunt and a few of our single friends asked if they could move in. We told them all that there was a long waiting list? LOL?. Well there you have it... Another fantastic job by Better Built Basements. We recommend them highly so give them a call for your next project.
    - John B.
  • B
    It was great and it worked out well. They were a little late because, they had a lot of jobs that day. They came on the day and they were very good. I was very pleased with them. They were able to clean it from the inside. They used their drop cloths and their vacuum cleaner. Nothing escaped into the room. They were really good about that. They were very efficient and knowledgeable about what they were doing. They did a good job. They took on to many job in one day. They called and stayed in touch.
    - Marie C.
  • A

    Mike performed a  good cleaning and inspecting my two fireplaces and furnace flu. 

    During the inspection Mike fixed the fire box in the living area fireplace.  Both Mike and his worker were professional, clean, and answered all my questions.  Inspection of the furnace flu Mike found the inner liner crumbling filling the cleanout and another 3 to 4 feet of flu.  Mike gave me his recommendation to install and stainless steel liner kit and showed me the problem first hand.  Paid for the work he completed and he gave me a quote and let me think about it having just moved into the home.

    I called back later that day to have the kit ordered.  A few days later when the liner came in Mike called and set up and installation a day or two later.  I asked Mike about a chimney cap for the second chimney, not a problem, the second chimney was capped when the furnace liner was installed.  During the job he was on time, courteous, explained and checked all his work completed.  I will call MTM Masonry & Chimney if work is ever needed again.

    - james t.
  • A
    They came and were clean, neat and polite.  They had the correct tools and explained the job.  The whole appointment was very professional.  This caused me to have them handle the rebuilding of the chimney tops. This was a separate contract.  I had a couple of issues with the subcontractor masons, however, Rich and John handled this quickly and responsibly.  When you drive by, you can see how nice the finished product fits this old lovely house.
    - mary alice p.
  • A

       They came when they said they would, called ahead to say they were coming, were courteous, neat, and helpful.

    - Sally C.
  • C
    To put it quite plainly and get it out of the way first, my biggest gripe was Marisa showing up a half an hour late and then charging me for 2 hours and 15 minutes versus just two hours for the job. From this experience, I can say she started charging time from the moment she crossed my front door's threshold to the moment the last tool was taken out of the house - not JUST the time spent working on the stove. So don't stop her to talk while she is working - you are only increasing your bill! If I use her again, it's because she is excellent at what she does AND I don't know of any other resource at the moment. If there were someone else, I'd probably try them.
    I'd say Marisa knows more about pellet stoves than probably 95% of the people in Connecticut! Her knowledge is very extensive and she was very willing to share it with me. You can tell she has a real appreciation and passion for these machines. She is to pellet stoves what the crocodile hunter was to exotic wildlife! Unparalleled!
    This stove was in my townhouse when I moved in, this is my first professional cleaning of the stove. I felt my stove was in great shape after Marisa did her job.
    My appointment was for 9:30 AM, I had made it a 2-3 weeks in advance. She called on the day at approximately 9:15 and said the GPS was telling her she'd be at my place around 10 AM. I was frustrated because I needed to leave home by noon, but I also needed this stove to be cleaned so I could use it to heat my place. She said on the phone that my type of stove could probably be done in 2 hours or less - this swayed me to keep the appointment and just hope for the best. She came into my home at 10 AM --This is why I give a D for punctuality. I would been completely fine if she had just acknowledged that she shouldn't have been late, owned it and apologized for it. But she gave me a few excuses which just annoyed me, i.e. she worked and quot;so lateand quot; the evening prior, she has to get the truck ready in the morning, customers who live 10+ miles out from her base will probably receive a late arrival, and this one I quote verbatim, and quot;I'm always running lateand quot;. --This is why I give her a B for professionalism. But who knows, maybe it's just my personal preference to have people I'm paying arrive on time. If this is how she's going to run the business, she should give a window of time for arrival (like delivery companies do), not an exact time - this would benefit her as well.
    Marisa got to work right away after getting all of her equipment downstairs. She started working on the stove at 10:15 AM, I know this because I was on high alert for time now since she had been late. She asked me to empty the full hopper of pellets. So I used what I had - a red Solo cup and a fabric bin, I transferred pellets for about five minutes. Not a huge deal, but I'd rather not have to do manual labor when I don't expect it. I would just say this company should tell people to do that prior to the appointment - because I had no idea.
    I talked to Marisa a little bit while she was working, she said nicely that she'd talk to me later because otherwise it was hard for her to get the work done, since she knew I was under time constraint now. I'm glad she did that, I don't mind her asking for quiet time, so long as it helps get the job done! But the little bits of time we did spend talking, where she was teaching/showing me things about the stove and the prep/clean up time - it all factored into the billed time. She said a few times, and quot;i'd show you this/do this but you're under time constraint...and quot;, when she should have been saying and quot;I'd show you this, but since I was half an hour late...and quot;!!!
    She was done with the stove cleaning at 12 PM - all the parts were back together and we were just trying to get a good fire going to make sure everything was still working. The removal of tools/equipment took about 10-15 minutes after that - I even helped carry two heavy tool kits and her protective cardboard mat outside for her to expedite the process!
    At about 12:17 she came back in to write up the bill. I was pretty upset that she charged me for 2 hours and 15 minutes, ESPECIALLY when she had been 30 minutes late -- this is why I give a D for price. She charged me from 10 AM to 12:15 PM. In my eyes, the work was from 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM - 1 hour and 45 minutes. I still even would have been fine with being charged two hours. But over two hours = not fair. I said to her, and quot;Even though you were late?!and quot; She responded something about how I'd probably be calling her in the future for stove help/advice, which I guess was her justification for the price. I think this was pretty bad form as far as customer service is concerned. You might think, it's only 15 minutes, but service costs $189 for the first hour, and $109 for each additional hour - it's not chump change!
    Pros - Thorough cleaning done, Marisa is extremely knowledgable and helpful with anything pellet stove-related, she emailed me a few days later with info on a hopper extender for my particular pellet stove
    Cons - Showing up half an hour late and overcharging the customer anyway
    - Jilla D.
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Chimney And Fireplace Contractors in Middletown

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