Yes, we bought yet another house with a fireplace that didn’t work. I immediately put it on the back, back burner and promptly forgot about it. Then, it got cold and my wife started wondering (pestering?) why it didn’t work and what it would take to get it working.
I went and got quotes, which for anyone that has a house knows what a chore that is for small jobs.
Contractor: “What, you need a mason to rebuild a firebox?”
Contractor: “And you want it done this week?”
Contractor: “Sure, I’ll call you back…”
Me: “OK” (another contractor scratched off the list)
They never laugh in your face. And they never tell you no directly. But if you know the code, you figure out quickly who will actually get things done.
Well, we found a nice local contractor that promised us immediate service and then had his mason get sick. He scrambled and found someone else do it, so $700 later, we now have an operational fireplace (well, for a gas fire). We celebrated by making s’mores on the first burn. Using what we had (mini-marshmallows, Ghiradelli chocolate (thanks Grandma!), and salty Town crackers, we enjoyed our expensive new treat.