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Things are moving slowly in the living room…

(Here’s Jed fitting a nearly 18” wide floorboard to cover part of the flat brick hearth that extended into the room. We’re reducing the size of this brick area and planning on building a raised hearth about 8” off the ground.)

In all truth, not much has changed since the fireplace was torn out over a month ago, when our chimney guy started demo to make room for a new wood pellet insert. We sought him out back in August to get work on this project so we’d have a strong supplemental heat source for the winter, and here it is, nearly November with the work undone.

Here’s the long & short of it – we started with this company for a chimney inspection ($199, applied to future work done, so we’ve not paid a cent), and he suggested the Pellet stove, which we agreed to. He gave us a verbal quote for the entire job – pellet stove, demo, everything – for around $5 – 6,000 (expensive, but worth it in the long-run given the price of heating with oil). Then he started demo, which involved taking down the crumbling chimney on the roof, removing the iron grate and getting down to the actual brick of the fireplace. He left after a half-day’s work over a month ago, promising us a written quote firming up the entire job. That quote came via Email after a bit of pestering from us and was hovering close to the $8,000 mark, not including actually putting a facing on the chimney (brick, stone, etc.)

After the initial shock of it, we emailed back asking for an itemized bill (the cost of the stove, parts, labor done so far, etc. so we could parse out what we might be able to DIY.) We exchanged one more email about a month ago email after that asking for clarification on a specific piece and since then … crickets chirping. Nada. We were the last ones to email, we’ve called twice, and still… nothing.

Plus side? We’ve paid this guy NOTHING for his work so far (who knows how much it even costs?…) We asked for the sum of work completed to-date, and never received it. So on Sunday we decided to ‘fire’ him (pardon the pun … ie, not pursue him anymore), and find someone else. Bad part? We feel like our bill is ‘unsettled’ – and we should pay him for what he’s done, but we have no idea what that is, nor was it ever provided to us in a quote, like we asked.

So… we’re plodding along with someone else who should be calling us shortly to line up a visit. I really didn’t want to be starting at nearly Square 1 at the end of October, but it could be worse, I suppose.

Lesson Learned: Get it in writing, always.