This review is long overdue and should have been written in 2010, when The Fireplace Shop originally installed this fireplace. We recently had to have the fireplace repaired (not by The Fireplace Shop) and, after looking at other recent reviews on Homestars, it seemed to me that things had not changed at the company so my review would be relevant.
I was one of two people looking after a fairly lengthy renovation in 2010. We chose the Fireplace Shop to install a direct vent gas fireplace because, at the time, they were one of the only companies in the area that sold Heat and Glo fireplaces for a two sided fireplace.
The first issue became quite complicated - trying to pin down which model could be installed in the existing opening. The company seemed to have a difficult time figuring out what needed to be done in order to install a particular model. We ended up having to rebuild the entire firebox, which was fine, but there was a lot of confusion around whether or not they would be able to install ANY fireplace in the existing spot. It was extremely confusing and the number of phone calls I had to make to pin them down to a definitive answer should have been our first warning. Eventually, after a few visits by various consultants/technicians, with sometimes opposing opinions, there was a consensus arrived at and the correct fireplace was ordered. Dealing with the adminstrative staff at the store on Eglinton Ave. was not pleasant at all. There were a couple of people who tried to be helpful but in general I found the atmosphere to be fairly apathetic. I wasn't comfortable choosing the face material of the unit from a pamphlet and the salespeople were not happy that I wanted to see an actual floor model of what I would be paying for. At first they told me that this wasn't possible but, after I politely insisted there must be some physical example available somewhere, they located a unit in the basement that I could view. When I commented that the corresponding pamphlet colour chips did not even match the actual material, I was shocked at the arrogance and rudeness of the response of one of the salesmen.
Installation day was a nightmare. A subcontractor was sent to install the liner. He arrived at the job without a ladder long enough to reach the roof of the house. When he decided to use a smaller ladder to get to the lower roof and then another ladder to reach the main roof, the owners' general contractor alerted him to the fact that the roof and the eaves troughs were brand new and he should be careful. He barely acknowledged these instructions and completely disregarded them. He leaned his ladder on the new eavestroughs and dented them, as well as placing the feet of the ladder on the roof vent of the new, lower roof, which he also damaged. When confronted with the damage he said he hadn't done it. We had pictures of his ladder against the damaged areas so The Fireplace Shop had no choice but to pay for the repairs. He also had not brought drop sheets and spread his tools over the brand new hardwood floors until the owners' contractor provided his own drop sheets. As it was, he was not successful getting the liner in and The Fireplace Shop had to be called to send someone else out to get the job completed. The new crew eventually completed the liner but after attempting to get the fireplace in, they could not get it to run properly. They discovered that they needed another part, which had to be ordered and took two weeks to arrive.
Dealing with The Fireplace Shop was the most unpleasant experience of this extensive renovation. Not only were they difficult to deal with, the installers did not inspire any confidence that they knew what they were doing - very unnerving when you are dealing with natural gas. I have not and would never recommend The Fireplace Shop to anyone.