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Relining the chimney: Safety or scam?

There was no crackling wood fire burning in my fireplace this snowy weekend. Candles are the most I've been willing to light since the chimney inspector came through. My $49 inspection turned into a proposal for an $8,780 repair job. It's a fire hazard and a carbon monoxide hazard, the inspector said. I'm not convinced it's dangerous--then again, I'm not convinced it's safe. Hence the candles. And I have deployed three different types of carbon-monoxide detectors because if there's anything that can keep me awake at night, it's worrying about dying in my sleep from an invisible, odorless, gas.

I'm trying to learn more about chimney repairs. Couldn't I take a wrecking ball to that brick chimney and rebuild it for less than $8,780? How do I know these guys--who had some impressive initials after their company's name--were telling me the truth? I'd love to hear your stories about chimney inspections and repairs--and they could help shape the story I'm writing. Drop me a line at razzie@washpost.com if you'd like to share.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  December 7, 2009; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Fortress Home , Home features , Remodeling and repair  
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Comments

Get a second opinion. We used High's Chimney service to reline our chimney. Didn't cost anywhere near $9K.

But wow -- was it loud!!!

Posted by: gettingdizzy1 | December 9, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

We used High's Chimney too, but the last time they came they were not very polite with one of my neighbors. Relining can be expensive. I believe it depends how far up they have to go to reline. In our condo building, the lower units had to pay a lot more than the upper floors.

Posted by: GuiS | December 10, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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