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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright how many of you clean chimneys? We build a lot of chimneys through out the year and clean a handful. usually just friends and old customers. I have never been a big fan of doing them since its usually based around the worst time of year when I am already running around like a chicken with my head cut off. this year I did more then normal and did several chimneys that needed some big repairs. A few of them needed liners etc. I used to refer people to a chimney sweep in the area but I think I might start doing them.

My question is this. How many of you do them and do you carry the certification.
How often do you land the extras? liners, new caps, repointing.
Last but not least is it worth the headache?
 

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A couple hundred bucks to sweep a chimney with the chance of scamming someone for a liner .....hell no. Would have to do 5 a day minimum. Kiss my ass on that.

If you have a system it would work, but that system is tons of leads, dispatch, vans running from house to house, inventory, proper training ect. How do you sweep a chimney on a 12 pitch 35' in the air on an up and over? :no:
 

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A couple hundred bucks to sweep a chimney with the chance of scamming someone for a liner .....hell no. Would have to do 5 a day minimum. Kiss my ass on that.

If you have a system it would work, but that system is tons of leads, dispatch, vans running from house to house, inventory, proper training ect. How do you sweep a chimney on a 12 pitch 35' in the air on an up and over? :no:


From the bottom up if you'd like or proper ladders/scaffolding and fee schedule :thumbup:

I've been doing liners since 1983 and learned the trade under the direction of a certified sweep and manufacturer technical teams. It's been one of the most lucrative additions to my business plan and I actually enjoy doing them.

You definitely need to learn the technical aspects of working with the many forms of fuel fired appliances... gas, oil ,wood, etc..., proper sizing and material selections to provide safe, code approved installations. But, it's well worth the effort in the long run IMO

I always pull the permit and get the inspection when I do them...most times anyway:whistling (my own little self certification to the customer) And, a lot of the different guys who inspect for the small towns around here don't mind me calling for a final before i'm even done. Usually less then a half day of work so most will drive on by and wave. Sometimes they ask a few questions and occasionally peak in the basement or firebox or whatever i'm lining a take a look. I will say, I don't think I ever had one climb up and check out my top terminations. They're usually a little too overweight to try that that one on for size :laughing:

I say go for it...The spillover from the masonry trade is huge. Most of my liner jobs come from spin-offs and calls i'll get for masonry chimney work anyway. And, it ain't no scam when I show you fresh video scans and pictures of your chimney lining and related issues if in fact you have them. The jobs practically sell themselves and the profit margins are quite favorable from a industry standpoint.

They'll always be crooks in the trades like JBM alludes to, but we're all not crooks that's for sure ;)
 

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My wifes uncle works for a fireplace centre/sweep company. They have one guy (the owner I believe)go out a couple times a month and do as many as he can do in an area in a day, usually between 8 & 12, charge is $80-$200 depending. Little to no materials used and if he stays in one area he uses like $40 worth of fuel... I'd say it's lucrative enough
 

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My wifes uncle works for a fireplace centre/sweep company. They have one guy (the owner I believe)go out a couple times a month and do as many as he can do in an area in a day, usually between 8 & 12, charge is $80-$200 depending. Little to no materials used and if he stays in one area he uses like $40 worth of fuel... I'd say it's lucrative enough
For 1 day, but how do you get that many every day. And wouild you want to sweep 50 chimneys a week?
 

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He doesn't do it everyday, he does it a couple times a month spring summer fall. He has a fireplace shop (selling gas and electric units, woodstoves, accessories etc...) and does installs as well as selling them. But making $2000 for a day's work with nothing out but a 1/2 tank of gas is pretty decent if you ask me. He can also sell repairs at the same time which he then subs out.

It wouldn't make sense to dedicate yourself to it and nothing else but to add it to your repertoire might make sense, especially if you wanted to sell repairs as well
 

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I wish he were down here, I do the opposite. I refer out all the metal liners (about 5 a month) and sweeping-and do the repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, Yes there are plenty of crooks in this trade. I know a few of them. We have also had sweeps come in and try to scam our customers for repairs that are not needed. If I need to do a repair on a chimney the customer always gets pictures before anything happens. I do not want to sweep full time I want it to keep a steady flow of work all the time. trust me I would rather go do a sweep or 3 and make the same amount as a quick little rebuild. when was the last time any of you saw a good profit margin on a tear down rebuild?
 

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when was the last time any of you saw a good profit margin on a tear down rebuild?
Repair work is most times my most profitable. The duration is sometimes the problem though, 1, 2, 3 day jobs get me running around quite a bit.

If I could just rip peoples chimneys down every day and put up new ones I would be pretty happy.

Increase your leads and raise your prices.
 

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Alright how many of you clean chimneys? We build a lot of chimneys through out the year and clean a handful. usually just friends and old customers. I have never been a big fan of doing them since its usually based around the worst time of year when I am already running around like a chicken with my head cut off. this year I did more then normal and did several chimneys that needed some big repairs. A few of them needed liners etc. I used to refer people to a chimney sweep in the area but I think I might start doing them.

My question is this. How many of you do them and do you carry the certification.
How often do you land the extras? liners, new caps, repointing.
Last but not least is it worth the headache?




I get asked every once and a while to do cleaning. I always pass on it. The soot is quite carcinogenic and I have no interest to participate in that process. It can be ingested in several ways,through the air or direct skin contact. If you choose to do it,get all the special equipment and training.
 

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My dad took a deal that said $50 chimney sweep, this kid shows up and our roof was a 45 degree slope and sweeps one and puts bird netting around it in about 1 hr. The next chimney hasnt been lit in years from the size of the birds nest and dead birds that came out, he didnt finish it that day and came back the next morning with a 6m length of 90x45 framing timber and finally got the sucker out. So for 1 and a half days work he collected $140.00.
 

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We are considering adding chimney cleaning as well, I posted in the roofing section for any advice on how to start etc but no replies yet. If I receive any I will forward them to you.
I believe it could be profitable and being in the roofing business it gets us up on the roof and able to give the homeowners an assessment of the roof/chimney/flashings and gutters
Post your results and good luck
 

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The angle is a cheap chimney cleaning with an upsell of a metal liner. There isnt any money, I dont think, in cleaning chimneys for 150 bucks.
 

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The angle is a cheap chimney cleaning with an upsell of a metal liner. There isnt any money, I dont think, in cleaning chimneys for 150 bucks.
yes I agree 100 percent, in my business Im hoping to get flashing and roof repairs as well. These 200.00 repairs could add up and help with cash flow, maybe we will see!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think most are missing the point in this. low overhead. the camera and the vac are the most expensive tools. I already have brushes, ladders, trucks and time. I could easily see doing 700-900 a day in my area doing cleanings. plus repair work and liners. how many of your tear down rebuilds are coming direct from a homeowner? most of ours are from a sweep or a roofer telling them they need it done.
 
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