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Chimney Sweeping reviews in Downers Grove

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • I originally moved in my house knowing my fireplace needed some work per my inspector. I hired FP&C off of Groupon to do a chimney cleaning. The receptionist was friendly and the initial service was prompt. They gave me a list of 5 or 6 “fixes” they recommended which were consistent with my inspection a few months earlier. I called back a few weeks after the cleaning to schedule the rest of the services. They were going to seal some cracks, seal my gas inlet, install a new cast iron fireback, install a new cast iron fire grate, install bird guards, and clean my dryer vent. The service was going to be $550 plus the cost of the bird guards (they weren’t sure how many I needed so they left the cost off until they would come out). I was required ½ down as a deposit, or $275. On the initial visit they showed up around 400 pm which was within their window of 1 to 5pm. They came in, spread tarps, cleaned, and sealed the cracks. He installed the fireback but it was too big and he had to “bend” one of the sides to get it to fit (something I realized later but more on this in a minute). The fire grate they brought was a little large and stuck out the front of the fireplace not allowing the screen to close. He asked if I was ok with it and I said I was not. He tried to “push” the grate and force it in but it wouldn’t go. He explained that he could order a smaller one and come back but would leave a smaller one in the meantime so that I could still burn a fire. I figured that was a fair trade and agreed. Then he came back with a smaller stainless steel fire grate and said he had this as an option as they did not have a cast iron one that would fit in my “smaller” fire place and this was the best option for me. He said he could give it to me for $140 less than the cast iron one. We negotiated the amount I still owed (since I put down the deposit), he packed up and started to leave. I asked about the bird guards and dryer vent cleaning and he said it was too late to do it and would have to come back. Then he sold me how the dryer vent was something I should do myself and not “waste” the money. While I appreciate his offer it is not something I wanted to do myself but rather have someone else complete for me. They left and I was upset that my fireplace was not “ready” to use so I called back and spoke to Alex who identified herself as the Operations Manager. I explained my frustrations and she assured me she would get this fixed. They were making a special trip to come out 2 days later (Friday the 15th) to fix it all. I was at work when they showed up and my children’s caregiver said they were on time and polite. I came home to find they cleaned the vent and I was told they installed the bird guards. I found a fire grate which was significantly smaller than the first one and was obviously used before as it had char marks on it. The grate, which had 4 small legs (which were too small to fit over the gas inlet on the bottom of the fireplace), was “balancing” on 4 pieces of masonry brick that he had broken into small pieces. As soon as you touched it or loaded it with wood the whole grate would teeter and wood would fall all over. I was upset and called back the cell number of the person that was at my house earlier. He informed me that he was told to put the bricks under the grate and was just following orders. He said he would have someone call me back to discuss it further as he was “busy” at the moment. It was after hours and surprisingly a guy named Jeff called me back. He identified himself as the Owner and apologized for my experienced multiple times. He explained that normally they would use firebricks, not masonry bricks, to prop up smaller grates to fit over the gas inlets on the bottom of the fireplace. I advised this is not what happened. I explained I had family coming over for the holidays the next day and my hope was to have a fire. He agreed to come the next day to fix it (which was Saturday the 16th). He showed up the next afternoon with a brand new fire grate and 4 fire bricks. He set it up and asked if that was sufficient. He offered to come back after the season and make some discounted repairs to fix things so that we could then find a better solution to the firegrate. I agreed as family was starting to pour in. The next day my family and I sat to watch some movies at night and I lit a fire. I opened the damper and lit the wood. Within 5 minutes my house was filled with smoke not to mention my kids were all screaming that they thought the house was burning down when the smoke detectors starting blaring. After dragging burning logs out of the fire and throwing them in a bucket outside I realized that the fireback was so big it was only allowing the damper to open about ½ inch as opposed to the full 90 degrees it should open up. I called the next day furious that I was going to have to have them come out again. I spoke to Alex again who was relaying everything to Jeff in the background. I could hear him explaining that everything worked fine when he was there so there should not have been a problem. This only made me more upset because there was NO WAY the damper opened when he was there with the fireback installed. He came back out again (the 5th visit) a few days later. He came in and saw that the fireback in deed was the wrong size and said he was just trying to maximize the size for me initially and apologized again. He gave me a smaller one and offered to do chimney cleaning for free the next couple of years to make up for my troubles. I told him to refund some of my money and explained how unhappy I was with all the service. I explained this was a simple, routine service and there is no way it should have been performed as poorly as it had been to this point. I did receive a check for $100 back from him a few days later but it did not help me feel that they cared about my business from the get go and just wanted to rush through to make some money. I will say that through all of this they continued to come out and were friendly and polite but I don’t understand why they tried to cut so many corners each time and why it took 5 visits over the course of 3 weeks to get my fireplace up and running. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. In the end they did get everything fixed and working but my confidence in their workmanship is not there.
    - Eric P.
  • The company worked with us to find a convenient time. The workers came out promptly and quickly cleaned the chimney, and offered us some suggestions for improvement without being pushy. They we're great.
    - David G.
  • Techs arrived on time, did a very quick review of the chimney and declared that we had stage 3 glaze and would require a $545 cleaning. We purchased the $99 deal, so this was a significant increase in what we had expected. The tech was very polite in letting me know that they could continue the work that day or I could get a second opinion. I had a feeling that I was getting a bait and switch so I opted to get a second opinion. The second opinion declared that there was very, very minimal glaze in the chimney and that the basic cleaning service would be sufficient. The techs were firemen who do chimney cleaning on the side so I felt very comfortable that they were cleaning my chimney to a safe level and would have informed me if the deeper clean was required for safety (which is why A1 told me I needed it). I ended up paying $169 to have the chimney cleaned vs the upcharge $545 that A1 attempted to charge me
    - John R.
  • They replace the flute and the damper. Also, at the top of the chimney the metal part they replaced that, the smoke cap. They were very professional. It was two guys. They were informative. This guy was really nice, he made sure we understand what was going on. He took pictures. He was pretty happy with his work at the ned and I was happy too.
    - John K.
  • Chimney cleaning and inspection went great, but A-1's estimate to repair the chimney cap and tuck point the brickwork was about four times what we eventually paid another contractor for excellent work.
    - Michael B.
  • It went really well. We recently moved into our house and needed the chimney cleaned before we used it. Turns out we had a leak in the gas line. So glad we called Soot Yourself. Al discovered the leak and showed me how to still have a wood burning fire without the gas starter. (We can't replace the gas line yet due to the wall). Once again, we were very happy with the service and really glad we called them before starting a fire.
    - Katharine S.
  • Very well. Again, they recommended that work be done. I've used them twice now. The first time they were here they recommended work that was not necessary at the time. This time they recommended work that did seem necessary. They completed the chimney sweep. They also repaired work on the uppermost part of the chimney. They were great!
    - KATHLEEN W.
  • Bill returned call within 1.5 days, showed up on time for estimate a few days later, ordered and delivered new brick as promised (perfect match). After a weather delay, he scheduled the job, showed up and did very nice work. Two day job (to let the bricks set overnight). His helper was friendly and efficient. They cleaned up the work site, took away the debris, and offered to stack the remaining few bricks wherever I wanted them. He did what he said he would do at the price we agreed. Note: If all contractors worked this way, we wouldn't need Angie's List!
    - CHRIS M.
  • After making an appointment for someone to come out to clean my 2 chimneys.. The day b4 she called to say they could not show up & would call me back to reschedule but never did call me back. I tried 3 times to call to reschedule left VM & she never responded back to me!! 😡
    - Nancy M.
  • They showed up on time, were quick, professional, and clean. They said the exterior top of the chimney and its cap needed work, tuckpointing and etc. We're getting other estimates for that since it's major $$$. But an outfit that gave a second opinion on the exterior work commented that the chimney interior was clean.
    - Aida N.
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Chimney Sweeps in Downers Grove

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