• Beware of Fireplace Replacement Rip-Offs

    For many, the fireplace is the heart of your home. It is usually located within your favorite room and is the place where friends and family gather. You strive to create a cozy retreat in which to make where memories. When it is time to for a fireplace replacement or repairs you want to be confident that your renovation investment is in qualified hands. Therefore, it is vital you dive into a little research, conduct interviews, and educate yourself about the process. Unfortunately, as in any industry, unscrupulous contractors exist. Beware of fireplace replacement rip-offs and be leery of the following three signs.

    1. The Price Seems Too Good to be True

    We all want to save money, right? Nothing could be more accurate when working within a specific budget. We are naturally attracted to low advertised prices and sales. This scenario is far too common: claims of free installation, clearance sales, or package deals. More often than not, companies use these tactics to lure potential customers to call. Then they offer a quote over the phone, the first suspicious sign. There is no way a contractor can quote a job without first performing a physical evaluation. The biggest complaint we hear from clients is that a company offers a quote, comes out and rips out the fireplace, discovers a significant issue, and the price suddenly doubles or triples, and you are stuck. We always caution folks about deals that seem too good to be true, because they usually are. Reputable fireplace replacement contractors understand value-based work, and will NEVER shortchange a client to save a dollar. Our process is professional and honest from the moment we arrive for the initial quote until the last bit of dust is swept away.

    2. The Old Bait & Switch Advertisements

    While this unscrupulous practice has been going on since the dawn of human trade, the phrase was termed in the 1920’s. It all starts with a deceptive ad denoting a product at a rock-bottom price, aimed at luring a customer in. Then, once the customer is interested, the salesman informs them that either that the advertised bargain item is out of stock, or it is totally inferior to another higher-priced item that is available. Or, they start you at a base model and upsell you with a host of extras that rack up the price. Lastly, you may hire the contractor, and once they start construction, they discover that the base model you purchased will not work, and therefore to finish the job you must upgrade. In many cases, these types of unprofessional contractors will never guarantee their work. So, should something go wrong in six months you are out of luck.

    3. Hidden Charges or Fees

    Once the contractor gives you a quote, you expect that to be the price for the completed the job, correct? However, so many times when a customer is handed the invoice there is quite a different number on the bottom line. Suddenly there are charges for undisclosed fees such as environmental clean-up, service fees, garbage removal, overtime, etc., none of which were initially discussed. A trustworthy contractor would never but his reputation on the line. He is open and honest about all of his fees.

    An educated customer is the best customer. It encourages an open line of communication throughout the whole process which makes for a happy homeowner and crew. Beware of fireplace replacement rip-offs and contact Day or Night/Home and Hearth. We offer a no-pressure in-home consultation where both your family and your home’s needs are assessed. We provide you with a custom solution. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Let us help you enjoy your new fireplace this winter and for years to come!

  • Top 5 Fireplace Replacement Misconceptions

    Has your fireplace seen better days? Every winter do you wish it was in better shape so that you can use it to create a mood or warm up the room? Are you tired of lugging heavy, dirty logs inside during blustery days? Perhaps it is time to consider replacing your fireplace. Maybe you thought it would be too expensive. Or heard it is too messy. Or maybe, you thought the location was all wrong. Here are the top 5 fireplace replacement misconceptions.

    Misconception #1 You should wait as long as possible to replace your fireplace.

    Fireplaces have significant air gaps. They can send up to 8 percent of valuable furnace-heated air flying out of the chimney, making them inefficient even when not in use. Transforming your firebox into an efficient room heater by adding an insert is easy! Plus, it will pay for itself by slashing monthly heating costs. So, therefore you should replace it the sooner, the better!

    Misconception #2 The only reason to replace your fireplace is energy efficiency.

    If your home has an older masonry fireplace, you may find that it has started to deteriorate and costly repairs are needed, therefore has become unsafe to use. Installing a fireplace insert is an easy fix. Additionally, you may find that your old, open-air fireplace is a safety concern for your family, especially if you have small children or pets. Even when equipped with a mesh screen, logs can fall and roll out of the fireplace or expels embers. A fireplace insert gives you the beauty and ambiance of a crackling fire without the safety concerns.

    Misconception #3 Putting a fireplace in a home after it has been completed is impossible.

    Masonry fireplaces must be installed when the house is built, but a direct-vent gas fireplace can be installed in any home, at any time, with minor renovations. You can create a warm, inviting showpiece in the center of your home, no matter the age of your house.

    Misconception #4 The construction will be disruptive and take weeks to complete.

    While each installation presents unique challenges to your specific home, therefore it is difficult to give an exact estimate of installation time. However, we can tell you that you can expect the installation of a vented gas fireplace insert to take two days, while simpler vent-free units will take less time!

    Misconception #5 Any honest renovation company should be able to provide an exact price over the phone.

    It is impossible to give an accurate quote without seeing your actual home. We would never presume to offer only a well-educated guess. Sometimes there are unforeseen situations that can also affect the final price. For example, asbestos or other environmental factors may be present. An honest, reputable renovation company will walk you through every possibility while clearly explain pricing in such instances.

    Do not let these common fireplace replacement misconceptions stop you from enjoying a cozy fire this winter. Day or Night Plumbing and home and Hearth Services offers a no-pressure in-home consultation where both your family and your home’s needs are assessed. We provide you with a custom solution. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Enjoy your new fireplace this winter and for years to come!

  • Not your Average Fire Pit Why Go Custom Gas

    The weather in the Chesapeake region offers an interesting mix. We may experience balmy days in the middle of January or a hard frost in April. Because winters are generally mild, it is the ideal climate for enjoying the outdoors all year long. Therefore, any time is the perfect time to enjoy a lovely evening at home under the stars. Whether surrounded by friends and family, or a romantic tryst for two, a fire pit is an excellent addition to a relaxing evening. It is a wonderful place to gather and engage in good conversation and escape from technology. But, why mess around with trying to start a fire, when with the click of your remote, you switch on your clean-burning energy efficient gas fire pit. We have some useful tips to enhance your outdoor living space with a custom designed gas fire pit.

    Gas Vs. Wood

    • Gas fire pits offer an ultimate no-hassle operation, can burn at full capacity in less than 5 seconds, plus be turned off whenever you want. Additionally, the flames are completely adjustable.
    • You are almost limitless in the design choices. They are available in different heights and styles. And, they are fully customizable giving you a unique product.
    • With gas fire pits, there are no sparks or hot embers to get caught in the wind. So, there is no mess involved. Plus, they are safer for your family and pets, and will not damage outdoor furniture.
    • Gas fire pits are versatile and can act as a table when covered up and not in use.
    • City and county regulations are different for gas fire pits. They may be used in city limits and next to houses where other fuel type fire pits may not be allowed.

    Location, Location, Location

    Mapping out your perfect yard takes thought and planning, especially when installing a custom designed gas fire pit. Consider the ultimate yard layout is a natural and seamless combination of nature, form, and function. You want to maximize your property, make it inviting, but also easy to maintain. Furthermore, if you have a small yard, gas fire pits may be able to be installed on your deck. Remember, though, before installing the fire pit, check your city and county regulations.

    Set The Mood

    To maximize the ambiance, the last element for consideration of your custom designed gas fire pit is seating. Create a cozy built-in area or a sunken U-shaped bench nestled around the designated fire area. Or perhaps locate the area near the pool and use chaise lounges. Whichever you choose, the result is a relaxing outdoor amenity you will want to use all year long!

    Start Making Memories

    Wondering why you need a custom designed gas fire pit? Because it’s not your average fire pit! Create the ideal cozy outdoor area, whether in your back or front yard, on your deck, or by your pool. Contact the experts at Day or Night Home and Hearth. Together we can build the perfect fire pit, and you can create the perfect memories to last a lifetime! Let’s get started today and depending upon your design, in about a week’s time, you could be out enjoying your custom creation!

  • Get Grilling with a Custom Configured Outdoor Kitchen

    We are fortunate here in the Delmarva area in that the weather allows us to enjoy being out in our yards virtually all year long. Therefore, any time is the perfect time for outdoor entertaining. And, if you enjoy cooking for your friends and family, you should consider taking it to the next level with a custom-designed outdoor kitchen.

    Today’s outdoor kitchen and grill islands do not require as much demolition and construction of those in the past. Configuring, ordering, and having your kitchen or grill island installed is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

    1. Select and configure your features and options.
    2. Buy an in-stock grill or order your new grill to be delivered within two weeks.
    3. Have Day or Night easily and seamlessly install your new outdoor kitchen and enjoy.

    Here are some great reasons to create a custom-designed outdoor kitchen this season.

    • Adds Value to Your Home: Increase your home’s overall worth, investing in a custom-designed outdoor kitchen improves your real estate value.
    • Adds room space: Many people enjoy hanging out around the grill. And, an outdoor kitchen allows for an extra gathering area with seats, a place to serve beverages and food Add a covered pergola, and you can use it year round regardless of the weather!
    • Wow Your Guests: Impress your friends and family, provide them the ultimate in comfort plus a delicious meal for everyone!
    • Makes Outdoor Cooking Easier: What could be more convenient than having everything you need right at your fingertips?
    • Increase Your Living Space: An outdoor kitchen and sitting area will offer more room for your friends and family, and expand your living and entertaining abilities.
    • Makes Memories That Last a Lifetime: Do you remember how much fun you had at backyard cookouts growing up? Now you can make your new memories that last a lifetime!
    • Healthy Cooking: Grilling and smoking meats and vegetables provide healthy and tasty meals for your family and guests.

    How to Create Your Perfect Design

    When starting your custom-designed outdoor kitchen, it can seem overwhelming. First, begin by making a list of must-have components. For example, things such as a pizza oven, a smoker, a sink, gas cooktop, dining space, bar, or even a countertop fire pit.

    Hire an Expert

    Allow an expert contractor like Day or Night to assist you in every stage, from conception to completion. First, our team will work with you to create your ideal design. Then, we help you figure out the best location in your yard for optimal placement. Finally, we configure an outdoor kitchen that features all the components you desire most. Our staff can work within your budget to design the best options for your new outdoor kitchen. We provide CAD drawings, 3D, and 2D drawings, so you know exactly how it will look when complete!

    Contact the experts at Day or Night Hearth and Home. Together we can install the perfect custom-designed outdoor kitchen so that you can create the perfect memories to last a lifetime! We offer Big Green Eggs, Green Mountain, and Memphis Pellet Smokers as well as the Black Olive brand. Furthermore, our in-stock grill islands can be installed in about a week. And, any non-stock items can be received within two weeks. Let’s get started today!

  • Fireplace or Fireplace Inserts, Which is Best?

    Typically, when you define a fireplace in its purest form, it is an opening in the wall, connected to a chimney, in which you burn fuel. A fireplace can be created in one of two ways: either masonry built-in or factory produced and inserted. Furthermore, there are many classifications of fireplaces. Fireplace or fireplace insert, which is best for your home? There are several options you must consider. Here is the 411 on all types and categories to help you make the most informed choice.

    Masonry Built Fireplace or Factory Produced Insert?

    The first item for consideration is whether you want a custom built-in fireplace or a factory produced insert. A masonry fireplace is constructed by builders made of brick, stone, or tile. The fireplace connects to the flue and chimney seamlessly. Factory built models are a metal box, which are framed into a house without masonry. They are usually installed in framed walls and encased in non-combustible materials and can burn either wood or gas. Additionally, they are available for new construction or retrofitting in an existing home.

    Types of Factory Produced Fireplaces

    Wood Pellet Stoves & Inserts

    These units burn wood pellets at a high temperature, which increases energy efficiency while eliminating soot and creosote. You can choose between a standalone stove (made of heavy-duty steel or cast iron) or a fireplace insert, which fits in your existing fireplace. Pellet stoves and inserts both require electricity to run; the power turns an auger that feeds the pellets into a burn pot. The units all have a microprocessor similar to your computer. It monitors the pellets to maintain safe and efficient operation and thermostatic control to keep a most accurate room temperature. Pellet stoves burn up to 89 percent energy efficient and are relatively inexpensive to run. Furthermore, a singleton of pellets can last from one to three months, depending on your heating requirements. We recommend stocking up on pellets in the summertime for the best deal!

    Vent-Free Gas Logs

    Vent-Free Gas Log gas log sets have a closed flue and exhausts into the room. These types of log sets offer many benefits. They are up to 99 percent efficient! Meaning, they return almost all of the heat into your room for ultimate comfort. Furthermore, they burn cleanly and produce minimal amounts of Carbon Monoxide, but can generate a lot of water. Vent-Free units are well suited for basement installation. They are ideal for areas where running ventilation would be difficult and costly. All that is required is the combination of a pre-fabricated firebox and a vent free log set. Plus, you can adjust the flame with remote control. Vent Free gas logs do emit an odor when burned so anyone with Asthma, emphysema or who gets sick from strong perfumes or fragrances should avoid having one.

    Vented Gas Logs

    Vented log sets are renowned for their fantastic realism, all without the hassle of lugging wood around. Until recently, vented log sets did not produce much heat and used a tremendous amount of gas. These units require the damper be left open all year round. So, selecting tight-sealing fireplace doors is a must. As previously stated, vented log sets are not as efficient as vent free log sets, averaging only 20–30 percent efficiency. However, it is still significantly more efficient than a wood burning fireplace, which is, at best, 7 percent efficient. And, further, often negatively productive. Meaning, the fireplace is sucking the room’s heat up the chimney! Also, they may emit a higher level of Carbon Monoxide and soot, so your fireplace must be well vented. Many people are attracted to their beautiful lazy yellow flickering flames that appear very realistic. And, some units even have glowing embers! DAY or NIGHT offers a high-efficiency gas log set that uses the same amount of gas as standard logs. It is about 35% efficient.

    Direct-Vent Fireplaces

    Direct-vent fireplaces do not go into existing fireplaces. They are a premiere factory built pre-fabricated fireplace that is perfect for remodeling or new home construction. These units require venting to the outside, but, the piping is very flexible. Therefore they may be vented from just about anywhere! Direct Vent fireplaces are the safest for your home. They pull air from the outside for the combustion, then it expels the fumes and Carbon Monoxide directly back outside. The fireplace is manufactured with glass and an airtight heat resistant seal. Additionally, they are available in many styles. Furthermore, these fireplaces are 71–86 percent efficient, making them an economical and beautiful choice to heat your home!

    Gas Direct-Vent Fireplace Inserts

    This is a highly efficient fireplace that is retrofitted into your masonry fireplace where you would typically burn wood. A surround is placed around the box to form a tight fit between the insert and the edges of your existing fireplace. Therefore, eliminating most drafts. Most installations will have a new metal chimney threaded through your existing vent for ventilation purposes. These inserts have many advantages over a log set. The most significant benefit is HEAT! High-quality models offer a variable speed fan that pulls cold air into the box from the room, circulates it without coming into contact with the fire and expels clean, hot air into your room. Most units now come with remotes to control the flame. Additionally, they are equipped with fan lighting and a programmable thermostat. Inserts are more decorative than a log set, and since they feature a glass front, they provide clean burning. So, there is no soot or Carbon Monoxide expelled into the room.

    Log Set, Pellet Unit or Fireplace or fireplace Inserts, which is best for your home? If you are considering buying a new fireplace or building a house that includes a fireplace feature, educate yourself and make an informed decision. Trust your fireplace replacement or installation to a qualified renovation partner. Day or Night Hearth and Home has years of experience and the largest Hearth Showroom in Maryland. Our skilled team will ensure you make the best decision for your home and family. Call or visit our Showroom today!

  • How to Create a Perfect Outdoor Living Space

    Did you know that studies have shown that spending time outdoors has health benefits? All across the country, people understand the value of spending time outside. Create an oasis right in your backyard! Enjoy the great outdoors by simply bringing all the comforts of your home to your patio, deck, or yard. What’s more, having an outdoor living space makes your home feel bigger without significant construction and increases your home’s value. Wondering how to create a perfect outdoor living space? We have some great tips on how to incorporate things like furniture, appliances, grills, lighting and other components all designed for alfresco entertaining and relaxing.

    Furniture

    Today’s outdoor furniture is much more durable and resistant to the elements than in the past. Choose from deep-seated wicker, wood, or metal styles with comfy cushions made of sun-resistant fabrics. People are also getting creative with hanging style chairs, benches, and swings. Explore the wide variety of modern updates on the classic hammock. There is also a trend toward plush conversational furniture sets, like sectionals and sofas. Don’t forget to add accessories like rugs, pillows, throws, and lanterns to round out that living-room feel.

    Location is Everything

    As the old saying goes, “Location, location, location.” That adage could not be more accurate than when staging the perfect outdoor living space. Most experts agree the ideal spot is closer to the house, right outside the back door. Therefore food and beverages do not have to travel that far, and there is easy access to the bathroom. It also maximizes fluidity between the indoor and outdoor spaces. However, that does not discount the benefit of a secluded pavilion as a relaxing retreat.

    Shady Comfort

    What good is comfy seating if it is in the middle of the mid-day blazing sun? It is hard to enjoy entertaining and relaxing outside with extreme temps. Consider a retractable awning or large umbrella. That way, you will benefit from daytime sun protection, but also be able to enjoy the nighttime starry sky. This coverage also doubles as protection from a light passing shower.

    Get Cozy by the Fire

    Add homey touches like a fireplace, a fire pit or bowl, or a fire table. These components add a cozy atmosphere all year long, thus serve to enhance the outdoor living experience further. Create memorable evenings spending time laughing and reminiscing with family and friends over a crackling fire.
    Choose from wood burning, propane, or natural gas-fueled fire pits and tables. You might never want to head back inside!

    Get Grilling

    An essential element to the perfect outdoor living space is a great kitchen/grill/bar set up. Choose from the many pre-fabricated kits to quickly set up your kitchen area in a matter of days. Consider adding equipment such as a grill, burners, refrigerator, and a bar. Install electrical outlets or run power from inside and you will be grilling and mixing margaritas all season long!

    Light it Up

    Quality outdoor lighting is a must for enjoying evenings outside. There is a delicate balance between having it too bright or too dim. Aim for that ideal glowing cozy atmosphere. Use decorative LED string lights or hanging lanterns or strategically placed up-lighting.

    Nice and Breezy

    If you are creating your space under a deck or covered patio this set up may restrict the breeze. Consider installing an outdoor fan on the ceiling or railing. It promotes airflow and can help control insects.

    Are you looking to create a perfect outdoor living space? Contact Day or Night Hearth and Home. We can help you design the ideal set up including firepits, grills, and fireplaces . Choose from our extensive catalog of products. The best part? Never worry about installation or construction delays. We can install your pre-fabricated kit components in less than a couple of weeks! Schedule your consultation today.