How Do I Locate A Qualified Installation Service?
Reputation is key
When trying to find an installer for your new woodstove or fireplace, the most important step is to ensure that you are comfortable with their reputation. You can check the Yellow Pages or your local telephone directory, you can search online, or you can ask your local department or "big box" store for help finding a qualified contractor. But whatever you do, ask for copies of pertinent licenses and check references. If the contractor claims to be certified by any organization, ask for proof of the certification. If at any point you are uncomfortable with a contractor, then this installer is probably not the right one for the job. When having someone do major work on your home, it is absolutely vital that you have a good working relationship.
Ask any prospective installers for references. If they have a long and successful history, they will be more than happy to provide you with contact information for satisfied customers. Go on to actually call these people and ask them about their experiences with the contractor. People will generally be honest, given that the contractor is not present – thus, you can usually trust their statements, whether positive or negative.
If you know anyone with a fireplace or woodstove, you can simply ask them about the contractor who installed their fixture. If theirs was a good experience, they will be very happy to provide you with contact information for the dealer/installer, which is probably the best way to locate someone, as you will have had the opportunity to see their work prior to actually hiring them.
Another great way to find a qualified contractor is by contacting professional associations or guilds such as the Masonry Heater Association or the National Chimney Sweep Guild. In the case of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, they include links to various state guilds which may help you find a qualified woodstove or fireplace installer in your area.
First and foremost, make sure that you personally trust your fireplace installer – more than anything else, this will help you to ensure that your fireplace is installed properly and in a way that complements the look of your home and will continue to bring you warmth and happiness for many heating seasons.