The Fireplace Guys
1205 Walnut St., Wenatchee
Owners Alan Bentley (installation) and Steve Pettit (sales)
They also install stoves and fire pits and sell accessories and barbecue grills.
WENATCHEE — Nobody may know more about fireplaces in the Wenatchee Valley than The Fireplace Guys, Alan Bentley and Steve Pettit.
Bentley and Pettit together bring more than 30 years of experience in installing and selling fireplaces.
Bentley said he took part in work such as roofing, framing and insulating houses before getting into fireplace installation with a friend in 2002. The skills and techniques acquired from working on houses would prove invaluable for installation projects. He later would start his own business, The Fireplace Guy, in August 2008.
Pettit spent more than 17 years within the industry as a salesman. He sold fireplaces and other items at Swim World in Wenatchee for many years. Eventually, the two decided to partner up. Bentley brought the installation expertise and Pettit specialized in selling.
They opened their store on Walnut Street — and the Fireplace Guy became The Fireplace Guys — in June 2016. “We balance out the company really well,” Pettit said. “We’re gangbusters.”
Beyond the basic purposes of warmth and aesthetics, there is more to a fireplace than customers realize, Pettit said. There are lots of choices to be made: the type of fireplace insert, the face, wood, electric, fans, ember lighting, the strength of the flame, remote-controlled tools to adjust the heat and so forth.
The Fireplace Guys walk customers through every step of the process. A fireplace project typically can be at least $2,000 or $3,000. Bentley said one particular fireplace The Fireplace Guys put together involved a $20,000 custom, see-through creation.
But regardless of how complex a given project is, The Fireplace Guys just want to make sure a customer is 100 percent happy with the result.
“It’s all about the customers,” Pettit said. “”We make sure we’re dotting our I’s and crossing our T’s.”
Bentley said every job is its own puzzle. The same fireplace box could require entirely different steps to install up to code in someone’s home. Venting, gas lines and installing around truss beams are just a few of many elements to consider.
“There are tricks and techniques to do it professionally,” Bentley said. “A (non-professional) could take at least four days to a week to finish the same thing that I could do in five hours.”
Pettit said it is not unusual for people to call in sheepishly, saying they are having difficulty installing the fireplace on their own and are afraid of something devastating occurring.
“Pick your battles. Let the professionals take care of it,” Pettit said. “We’ve been doing this for a long time. We make sure it’s safe. We take that very seriously.”
Mike Hendricks, president of FCS International, Inc. and a general contractor, speaks highly of The Fireplace Guys. Hendricks said they are responsive and efficient with the work they do. The Fireplace Guys have installed mostly fireplaces for some of Hendricks’ properties. “They’re always steering me in the right direction,” he said.
The Fireplace Guys often install fireplaces throughout every season, even when there’s snow. Pettit said it is not unusual for the store to be booked at least six weeks in advance.
Aside from fireplaces, The Fireplace Guys also offer other items and services, including installing stoves, fire pits, pellet, gas and charcoal barbecues as well as accessories.
In fact, one thing they both love to do is barbecue food, especially while using wood pellets, no matter the weather.
“We’re like big kids,” Bentley said. “We like playing with fire.”
Nhan Pham is a freelance editor and journalist living in Wenatchee.