ST. ALBANS –– Luke Reilly capitalized on the warm weather of Feb. 24 to tackle projects in Stowe and Swanton. The next day, he was in Hardwick.
“Lately, we’re all over the place,” Luke said during a lunch break at Cosmic Bakery & Café, in St. Albans.
Luke has been busy ever since he opened Hearth & Stone Restoration in the fall of 2012. The 26-year-old Georgia resident, who runs Hearth & Stone from his home, started his business alone. Now, he relies on anywhere from two to five employees, depending on the work season (slow during winter, busy in warmer months).
Hearth & Stone is a masonry company that builds, maintains and provides cleaning services for chimneys. They also repair, rebuild and reface fireplaces, turning an old fireplace into an updated focal point of the home.
“We try to set ourselves apart by providing exceptional, personalized service,” Luke said. “We provide complete cleaning and inspection – which includes all connections and pipes, in addition to the chimney – to ensure complete safety.”
Hearth & Stone also promises attention to detail, and they will leave your home clean. “You won’t even know we’ve been there,” Luke said.
On the commercial side, Hearth & Stone specializes in masonry restoration. Luke and his staff have a diverse skill set; their projects have ranged from $105 chimney cleanings to jobs that cost tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, they build commercial and residential stone pizza ovens and work with lots of general contractors.
Hearth & Stone’s work radius is all of northern Vermont and along Interstate 89, within the state. As the company grows, it will expand farther.
“The business side is the challenging part,” Luke said. “The physical work is the part I love.”
In the winter, Hearth & Stone focuses on wood stoves and systems, and rebuilding chimneys from unfortunate fires. Luke and his staff also repair damage to chimneys, caused by winter conditions.
Spring is the time for residential repairs and preparation for larger summer jobs.
“We were extremely busy last summer,” Luke said. The cycle begins again in the fall with chimney cleanings, inspections and winter readiness.
Luke grew up in Georgia and graduated from Essex High School in 2006. His father worked in trades, but Luke did not know what he wanted to do after high school. He took some college courses but grew tired of classrooms.
“I always liked physical work and using my hands,” he said.
Luke worked for his father’s employer initially and then, in 2007, started teaching himself masonry, while working for other companies until 2012, when he decided to open his own business. He continues to educate himself on masonry.
Luke is certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America and is a member of the Northeast Association of Chimney & Hearth Professionals.
Luke also spends his winters as a downhill ski race coach at Bolton Valley. Luke has skied for most of his life, but he finds less time for it as his business continues to grow. Odds are high he won’t be on the slopes this weekend, either; Hearth & Stone will be at the Franklin County Rotary Home Show & Expo in St. Albans, today through Sunday, at the Collins-Perley Sports Complex.
“That’s how busy we’ve been,” Luke said. “I haven’t even had time to ski.”