“What do you charge? Thanks, I’ll get back to you.”
Perhaps that’s the sort thing you might say if you phone a tradesman to ask for some work in your home. We can have an idea that a workman is out to fiddle us and be uncertain when quoted a price. It’s also possible that we have unrealistic notions about how much something should cost – forgetting that tradesmen run their own self-employed businesses with various costs involved.
Let’s be honest – there will always be someone who can offer a service for a cheaper price. When it comes to sweeping your chimney, anyone can (legally) pick up some rods and a brush and offer to do it for less. Given the issues of fire safety and safe passage of combustion gasses it’s very important to get the right person.
John Stone, Scotland director for The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, says: “A professional sweep will be keen to give additional advice and guidance on your fire and fuel. This advice can easily save you the entire cost of their visit in fuel savings and reduced maintenance. A cheap sweep is less likely to spend their own time and money on proper training and ongoing education.”
He added: “They may not even have the knowledge to do the job correctly or know what advice will help save you money. Will they bother to take the extra time if they are not being paid properly?”
It makes sense to pay more for a professional chimney sweep! If the work is not done properly, it may cost you a lot more in the future and you could be missing out on some great tips.
Lawson Wight, chairman of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, says: “Guild chimney sweeps offer high quality services at a fair price Most don’t pretend to be the cheapest. However, even if they do cost more, they are likely to be very good value for your money.”
Fact check – The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps is the first and currently the only UK trade association that requires it’s members to undertake mandatory refresher training every five years.