Have you hired a trusted contractor to complete work in your home without understanding how the work would be completed? We spoke to Bill Bassels, owner of The Chimney Company, which specializes in chimney building, brickwork and fireplaces, on educating clients about the project completion process.Bill has worked in the construction industry for over 35 years. A fellow colleague introduced him to the chimney business, and soon after opened his own.
20 years later, Bill is the sole owner of The Chimney Company, with his son Ryan working alongside him, and continues to provide clients with quality workmanship pertaining to chimney building, lining repairs and more.
Bill has certifications to back up the business
Bill’s business is important to him, which is why he consistently works to expand his knowledge and skills within the industry. He decided to obtain his W.E.T.T. Certificates for “Technician,” “Sweep” and “Inspector,” in an effort to expand his list of services and knowledge of wood burning systems. “They’re often required by insurance companies when issuing home insurance policies,” says Bill.
While these credentials are an opportunity for Bill and his team to showcase their dedication to training and education, he saw yet another educational opportunity arise. While meeting with clients and explaining to them – in detail – what the scope of work would entail per project, he found the complexities were difficult to explain and often misunderstood.
“It’s a lot of information all at once for [clients], trying to explain to them how we’re going to build chimneys, how a fireplace works or what the building codes and requirements are,” says Bill. “I wanted something that they could see and visualize on their own time, at their own pace.”
Bill On Fire
This led Bill to create Bill on Fire – a series of episodes that illustrate the basic concepts of the chimney industry, including installation and repair processes.
“The videos are there to show the customer how the job should be done – to code – as well as what went wrong in the first place,” says Bill. “Even if we don’t get the job, it sets my mind at ease knowing that the customer now knows what to look for.”
“People still call me to thank me all the time for the video series,” he says, adding customers are happy to have a visual that gives them an understanding of the scope of work.
See Bill in action! Take a look at this episode where Bill discusses why this chimney requires a complete rebuild.
This episode explains why this chimney cracked:
Want to see more of ‘Bill on Fire?’ Check out BillonFire.com for more educational videos.
But before you do that, take a look at Bill’s advice for hiring the right contractor for any home renovation project:
See if a contractor asks for a deposit
“We don’t think people should be doing that,” he says of clients handing over deposits to contractors. “A lot of time a client will say, ‘Do you need a deposit?'” The Chimney Company doesn’t ask for them. “Personally, I don’t believe that is necessary,” says Bill. “If people are requesting it, I would be a little skeptical.
If you’re looking to hire a contractor for an issue and they ask you to wait anywhere from four to six weeks, Bill says that’s because they’re busy. “There’s a reason for that,” he says. “Something I’d be concerned about as well is if they’re not as busy.”
Are you experiencing issues with your chimney? The Chimney Company is offering a $500 value pack for $199.99 and includes the following services:
- chimney clean;
- chimney crown seal;
- W.E.T.T. inspection;
- flashing repair;
- roof and eavestrough inspection;
- 50% off rain caps and screens.
Visit The Chimney Company for more information on the value pack and find out if its right for your home.