Do You Tip the Chimney Sweep Guy - and How Much?

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

If you’ve got a fireplace and chimney, you probably hire a chimney sweep guy at least once a year. Chances are, you already have a system for your tipping. If you’re a new homeowner and are excited about your new fireplace, you might have no idea what the tipping ethic is for chimney sweep labor.

Tipping the chimney sweep is not particularly common, but it does happen. It is a personal decision. If you do decide to tip the chimney sweep based on the criteria in this article, on average, most customers include an additional $20 to $50.

Keep on reading to learn more about what to consider when deciding whether to tip your chimney sweeper.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary $ 20 - $ 50

In this article:

  1. Should You Tip Chimney Sweeper?
  2. When Not to Tip What Chimney Sweeper
  3. Other Client Considerations
  4. Tipping Beyond Money
  5. Final Thoughts

Should You Tip Chimney Sweeper?

Tipping the chimney sweep is not uncommon. But it is not nearly as routine as tipping a food delivery worker or a waiter working in the food-service industry.

The reason is that chimney sweeps charge a much higher hourly rate. They are skilled technicians, and their fees fully reflect the labor and inherent hazards involved in the service they will provide.

Their rates will also reflect their overall training and expertise in the vocation. As such, most chimney sweep guys, like other skilled tradesmen, probably will not expect a tip right away.

However, there are certain criteria for when you might include an extra tip for the chimney sweep guy. Depending on a few important things, you might consider tipping the chimney sweep anywhere between $20 and $50.

Tipping may not always be necessary. There are plenty of other reasons why you might consider keeping that $20 bill in your pocket.

When Not to Tip What Chimney Sweeper

Tipping your chimney sweep is often a sign of a job well done. You can show your appreciation via extra cash. Unfortunately, things do not always go to plan or reach our high level of expectation.

In the case of feeling dissatisfied with the service your chimney sweep has provided, then it’s perfectly fine not to tip.

This does not mean refrain from paying the guy completely. You will still need to pay for the service they provided, however less-than-satisfactory it turned out to be.

You might consider not tipping the chimney sweeper based on these criteria:

  • Timeliness: if they arrive late to their appointment time, it is considered unprofessional.
  • General demeanor: their interactions with you should be polite and comfortable, not rude.
  • Efficiency: if the job extends past the proposed duration, it could negatively impact your schedule for the remainder of the day.
  • Attention to detail: if the quality of the job once completed is mediocre, or they leave behind a messy workspace.
  • Miscellaneous: they do not complete the job in full, they cause extra damage to your home, or they criticize the condition of your fireplace or chimney.

For many of us, it’s a habit to want to show our appreciation by tipping extra. However, the reality is that not every service deserves a tip.

If you feel like a tip wasn’t properly earned with your most recent interaction with the chimney sweep, consider saving it for the next one.

Other Client Considerations

Once you’ve decided to tip or not to tip, there’s the obvious issue of how much gratuity to give if you choose to go that route. Up next, we’ll share a few other factors to consider when determining when and if to tip and how much.

What Do Chimney Sweepers Actually Make?

The salary for the chimney sweeper profession depends on:

  • Time of Year: chimney sweeping fluctuates between a busy and less busy part of the year. The busiest time of the year for most chimney sweepers is between September and January.
  • Geographic Location: how much a chimney sweep makes depends on the location where they work. Frequently, sweepers’ salaries are larger if they live and/or work in more expensive areas.
  • Personal work ethic & fees: because chimney sweeps are often self-employed, they are in charge of how much work they take on. Also, the fees that they charge can vary.

Estimating the salary of a chimney sweeper is difficult. However, according to Payscale.com, on average, energetic and active chimney sweepers charge just over $16 per hour and can make upwards of $50,000 per year.

On the other side of the spectrum, part-time chimney sweepers can make as little as $8,000 per year.

To deal with the fluctuations in business, chimney sweep business often become involved in other services as well, such as:

  • Inspections
  • Masonry
  • Selling, installing and repairing fireplaces

Some General Tips on Tipping

Tipping is often a personal decision. It is subjective in nature. It could depend on your mood at the moment, the quality of the job that was completed, or your interaction with the service provider. Even the time of year dictates if we tip or not!

Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to help make your decision:

  • How was your personal interaction with the service provider? If they were particularly pleasant or are a long-time friend, you might consider a tip.
  • Was the chimney sweeper guy timely? One of the first signs of how well a chimney service will be carried out is if they show up on time or not.
  • Did the chimney sweep do anything to go over and beyond? There is often a concise service that you are paying for, but sometimes, chimney sweeps exceed our expectations.
  • What time of year is it? The holiday season is normally when extra tips are included, especially around the holidays.
  • Can you show your appreciation in another way? If you’re short on cash, maybe offering a tip in the form of a refreshing beverage, baked goods, or snack can get your message across instead.
  • How is the overall quality of the job? If the overall experience was friendly, professional, affordable, and timely, a tip could make the chimney sweep’s day a lot better.

Tipping Beyond Money

There are plenty of other things you could do or give to show your chimney sweeper guy that the service they provided is much appreciated. These ideas could take the lace of a cash tip. Or, they could be added in addition to a cash tip to sweeten the pot even more!

  • Coupons or gift cards: if cold hard cash isn’t your style, maybe a coupon or gift card to a local restaurant or nearby store can make the difference.
  • Leave a review online: these days, most customers find their chimney sweepers online. Leaving a 5-star review online could help steer more customers to their business.
  • Recommend their business to friends: word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to share the quality job your chimney sweep guy performed for you.
  • Schedule them for next time: building a network of return customers is crucial for chimney sweepers. Scheduling them again and being excited to be their customer will make them happy.

Final Thoughts

Tipping the chimney sweeper is not required, nor is it as common as tipping a waiter in a restaurant or the barkeep at your local saloon. However, due to the nature of the job, you may consider including an additional tip as a sign of appreciation for their good work.

If the chimney sweeper met or exceeded your expectations for the service you hired them for, including an extra cash tip could really improve their day, heck, maybe even their whole work week.

On the other hand, if the service did not go well, then you are not obligated to tip whatsoever. The money you will pay for their service fees will be good enough.

If you don’t want to tip in cash, there are other ways to show your gratitude for a job well done.


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