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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Independence company is celebrating 35 years in business this month

HearthMasters, a specialty chimney and fireplace contracting company serving the greater Kansas City area, is celebrating 35 years in business. HearthMasters is the largest company of its type in the Midwest region.

Independence, Missouri, September 22, 2017

Gene Padgitt started Midwest Chimney Sweep in September of 1982 as a one-man chimney sweeping
Gene finishing up a Queen Anne Victorian Project
 to rebuild five chimneys in NE Kansas City
operation at a time when there were no chimney sweeps in Independence and only two others in the greater Kansas City area.  The company has since grown to 16 employees with multiple trucks in operation, and specializes in historic masonry chimney restoration, custom fireplace and chimney work, masonry heaters, and brick oven design and construction.

HearthMasters also offers chimney sweeping and inspections, leak repairs, dryer vent cleaning, diagnosis of performance problems, whole house ventilators, and consultations with builders and architects.
Gene Padgitt, the company V.P. and senior technician, has a degree in HVACR Technology, is a Certified Heater Mason, NFI Certified Gas Specialist, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, State Certified Private Fire Investigator, and Licensed Mechanical Contractor in all cities in the Kansas City area. Gene serves as an expert witness for fire investigations involving chimneys and heating appliances. He has won 13 national and local awards for his masonry skills. 

Marge Padgitt, President and CEO is a, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and NFI Certified Wood-burning Specialist.

The Padgitts have served on regional and national boards for industry related association. Currently, Marge is the president of the Midwest Chimney Safety Council, and Gene is the Secretary. Marge and Gene have taught industry classes to professionals for over 20 years, and recently started HearthMasters Masonry School, in order to meet the demand for masonry skills training for chimney sweeps and masons.

Marge is the author of The Chimney and Hearth Pro’s Resource Book, The Homeowner’s Guide to Chimneys, Fireplaces, and Alternative Heating Appliances, and a new book coming out in 2018 which is called Investigating Structural Fires Related to Chimneys and Heating Appliances. She also publishes Wood-Fired Magazine.

Marge offers classes on chimney and fireplace safety and heating options to neighborhood groups or associations.

For more information visit,,, and www. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cut utility bills by using wood-heating appliances

A good way to cut utility bills during cold weather is to use a wood-fired heating appliance such as a masonry heater, wood-burning stove, or wood-burning fireplace insert. Now is the time to have such an appliance installed before the busy fall season hits hearth stores and chimney sweeps. Some stove manufacturers such as Regency offer summer purchase incentives and rebates.  

Today’s modern wood-burning heating appliances are very efficient and clean-burning, unlike their older predecessors. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates wood stove emissions and has strict requirements that stove manufacturers must follow. This is why replacing an older, dirty burning wood stove is good not only for the environment, but good for the pocket book because less wood is needed to produce the same amount of heat as older stoves.

Fuel costs can be significantly less than oil, gas, or electric heating appliances, especially if there is a nearby supply of inexpensive cordwood. For homeowners with their own land and trees, the concept of no cost for fuel other than physical exertion is very attractive. For those wanting to live off-grid, have an emergency heating alternative, or just lower fuel costs, the addition of a wood-burning appliance is a good solution.

Masonry Heater by HearthMasters
Masonry heaters are arguably the best type of wood-burning appliance. They use old-world technology which is a series of channels installed inside the appliance that trap heat, then transfer the heat slowly through the mass of masonry. Masonry heaters are large and need to be centrally located for maximum benefit. The Masonry Heater Association of North America recommends that a Certified Heater Mason build a masonry heater since he/she has taken specialized training on this unique appliance. The MHA has more information on these efficient site-built appliances on their website at  

Fireplace insert by Regency
Fireplace inserts are appliances that are installed inside an existing masonry fireplace. They use a small stainless steel flue liner and can be used either with or without a blower. By installing a new EPA approved efficient wood-burning fireplace insert the fireplace efficiency will be increased by approximately 75%.

Freestanding wood-burning stoves are also very efficient and clean–burning. They work by emitting radiant and convective heat, and are best situated in a central location in the home. A stove can be installed in any room with the proper floor and wall protection. A wood stove installed in a basement can provided needed warmth in a cold area, and since heat rises - the floors above will be heated as well.

As far as chimneys go, a Class A stainless steel chimney can be used to vent gasses, or an existing masonry chimney may be used with a stainless steel liner installed.  A professional installer will know which type of flue liner or chimney to use with a particular appliance.

The Midwest Chimney Safety Council suggests hiring a professional to do any type of wood-fueled appliance installation. In some areas, such as the greater Kansas City area, it is a code requirement to have a licensed professional install a wood-burning appliance.            

For more information on fuel cost calculators visit

Marge Padgitt is the CEO of HearthMasters, Inc. in Independence, MO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Top Five Wood-Fired Restaurants in Kansas City

To the wood-fired connoisseur, there is nothing that can compare to food – any food -- cooked in a wood-fired oven. This is because the taste imparted to the food from the wood is something that can’t be obtained from gas or electric ovens.

A team of taste testers was sent to each of these restaurants on multiple occasions over the past year in order to sample some of their wonderful dishes. The results were unanimous: Eat wood-fired whenever possible!

We know this is true, because we build brick ovens and install pre-cast ovens from Italy in restaurants, and as builders we have to sample the food so we can tell clients how great it is. 

Pizza Bella: 18th & Baltimore, Kansas City, Missouri offers a menu which features gourmet pizza designed by the owner/chef. Pizzas featured are Margherita, prosciutto, mushroom, leek, potato, egg, and others that are not found in standard pizza joint. The appetizers and desserts feature brussels sprouts, olives and olive oils, mussels, and a charcuteirie plate with assorted cheeses, mustards, and baguette. All of the breads and doughs are made on site. A true gourmet food experience can be found here. Ask the bartender to suggest a wine or beer with your meal.

Blue Grotto: Brookside Plaza at 63rd & Wornall, Kansas City , Missouri serves antipasta, soups, salads, entrees, and wood-fired pizza featuring Funghi and Salsiccia, and a Quattro Stagnioni pizza with artichokes, criminis, olives, peppers, and fontina cheese. The cast iron apple cobbler is a fitting finish to a delicious meal. The Blue Grotto has more good reviews online than most restaurants in town so it is worth the trip.

Red Door Woodfired Grill: 6324 Brookside Plaza, Brookside, Kansas City, MO opened in January of 2017 with a newly remodeled restaurant. The burgers feature a blend of short rib, ternderloin and beef brisket from McGonigle's Market. The menu matches that of Red Door Leawood, for which award-winning chef Debbie Gold consulted. A variety of appetizers, flatbread pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees fill the menu. The flatbread pizzas cooked in the stone oven are the feature that foodies love.

Providence Pizza, Hwy 71 and Main Street, Grandview, Missouri specializes in pizza but also serves great calzones, sandwiches, appetizers, salads, and desserts. The restaurant offers the customer a choice of thin or thick crust, and an extensive list of toppings, cheeses, and sauces. Pizza is cooked in their large copper-clad wood-fired oven at the front of the restaurant.

The oven at Rock & Run Brewery and Pub
Rock & Run Brewery and Pub: 110 E Kansas St., Liberty, Missouri offers an exotic brew pub menu which includes appetizers such as deviled eggs, mini bruschetta, and house-made meatballs, salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas, and of course, pizza. Rock & Run’s specialty pizzas include a white pizza with chicken, bacon, white garlic sauce, and mozzarella & provolone cheeses, a pulled pork pizza, Reuben pizza, and a super-hot diablo pizza.  Of course, Rock & Run offers an extensive wine and beer list since the restaurant brews their own beer on site.  A must for any visit is to top the meal off with campfire s’mores cooked in the wood-fired oven which are to die for.
Marge Padgitt is the publisher of Wood-Fired Magazine and CEO of HearthMasters, Inc. HearthMasters builds and installs wood-fired ovens and installed ovens at three of the above locations. See more info at  

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

MCSC Conference June 21-24, 2017

Take this opportunity to get education and lots of CEU credits for yourself and your employees close to home! 


Chuck Hall, CSIA President
Tom Urban, Estoban Corp
Victor Imgarten, Past NCSG President
Gary Hart, Certified Heater Mason
Gene Padgitt, Licensed Mechanical Contractor
Marge Padgitt, President MCSC
Gregg Boss, BOD for NCSG
Michael Matthews, BOD for MCSC
David Steward, Chimney Contractor
Janie Rickord, BOD for MCSC
Jake Cromwell: Chimney Contractor

A Fantastic Class and Workshop Lineup!
The Labor Problem, Recruiting and Retaining Great People 1.5 CEUS
Creating an Thorough Inspection Program 1.5 CEUs +
Introduction to Masonry Heaters and Maintenance 1.5 CEUs
If you're not Selling,You're Being Outsold 2.5 CEUs
Lessons Learned from Fire Investigations 1.5 CEUs
Over the Top Service Equals Sales 2 CEUs
Hands-on Workshops:
    Chimney Sweeping & Inspection Methods and Equipment 1.5 CEUs
How to Build Chase Tops  
How to Apply Exterior Stucco and Interior Plaster 4 CEU's
How to Build a Chimney Cricket 

More CEUs TBA 
See class details at

Join us for Barbecue on day 1 at Fleming Park! Sponsored by HearthMasters Masonry School


Join us for Bowling and Billiards on day 3! 
Sponsored by: National Chimney Supply


Join us for Pizza Party, Beer, and Auction night on day 4!
Sponsored by Olympia Chimney Supply 

To See the Complete Schedule and Register or join the MCSC 
o to 
    and download the PDF registration form
    Fill out the form and mail it with your check to the MCSC or pay online. 
      Early Bird registration ends May 21, but register early because we are limited to 60 people!

                                     SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE! 
oad a sponsor packet!
Marge Padgitt
President, Midwest Chimney Safety Council
PO Box 1166, Independence, MO 64051

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Call for Articles for Wood-Fired Magazine

Call for articles for the future issues of Wood-Fired Magazine:

We are looking for articles about wood-burning appliances, cooking, baking, building, maintenance, restoration, chimneys, fireplaces, brick ovens, masonry heaters, cook stoves, smokers, rocket stoves, barrel ovens, barbecues, etc . Anything that involves wood-fired heating or cooking is welcome.

Hand-built or manufactured appliance information is welcome. We love recipes, too!

Photos or plans of projects such as grills, smokers, ovens, fireplaces, chimneys, and firepits are always welcome. 

If the story is about yourself or your business, write it in the third person. 

See www.woodfiredmag for article guidelines and more information. Articles should be spell-checked and ready for print. 

Write to the editor at if you have questions. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How to Build an Outdoor Brick Oven Workshop June 15-20, 2017

earthMasters, Inc. is presenting an outdoor brick oven workshop the week prior to the MCSC conference at the same location at 1134 S Pearl Street in Independence, MO. Gene Padgitt, an award-winning master mason, will be heading up the workshop.

Participants will learn everything about an outdoor brick oven from the footing, to the base, oven, insulation, chimney, and finishing work. There is an art and science to building a good oven, and it is not something most people can tackle on their own with out taking at least one class first.This class is for all skill levels. 

A certificate of completion will be issued to participants who successfully complete the course. A maximum of 8 attendees will be accepted. The cost is normally $1,200 per person but we have a special first-time attendee rate of  $850 per person for this workshop. The price  includes all lunches, handouts, and a film or photos of the project after it is completed. The CSIA has awarded 16 CEU credits for the class.  

For newbies: Take this class and learn the basics of masonry and get experience working with block, brick, firebrick,and mortar. So take this class to get hands-on masonry experience!

Gene Padgitt has 34 years of industry experience. He is a State Certified Private Fire Investigator, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, NFI Certified Gas Specialist, Licensed Mechanical Contractor, and holds a degree in HVACR Technology. Padgitt has been an instructor for 20 years and he and his wife, Marge, decided to open a training center in answer to requests from industry professionals.
Future courses will include Introduction to masonry, masonry heaters, and fireplaces.

For more information and to register visit or call 816-461-3665.

Outdoor Wood-fired Ovens More Popular than Ever

By Sheryl Isenhour

If you have never eaten a pizza that was baked in a wood-fired oven before, you are missing out! Many pizzerias use these types of ovens, and the popularity of these cooking appliances has grown so much that people are installing a wood-fire oven in their outdoor kitchens. Wood-fired ovens are the oldest way of taking the kitchen outside. Many different cultures have used wood fired ovens since ancient times, but the most famous ovens are the ones that were designed by the ancient Romans. Still found in homes across Italy, these wood fired ovens resemble a large round chamber with an opening in the front for venting. These ovens are constructed from stone or terra cotta brick.
You never have to worry about it being too cold to use a wood-fire oven because of its design. These ovens resemble a large round chamber, and the wood is burned inside the chamber. The fire produces very high temperatures with a range between 500 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit. If you and your family love to eat pizza, you can already imagine the benefits of having an outdoor wood-fired oven, but we would like to tell you more about the advantages of these ovens.
Whether you are preparing a pre-made, homemade, or frozen pizza, your oven cannot get any hotter than 500 degrees, so it can take up to 45 minutes (including time to preheat the oven) for the pizza to be ready. Depending on the thickness of the dough, you can cook a pizza in a wood-fired oven in just two to five minutes. You can cook more than just pizza in a wood-fired oven. Good foods to try include breads, roasts of any type of meat and vegetables, and casseroles.
Lots of folks think wood fired ovens are specifically for pizza. That’s partially true — you can make some amazing pizza in your oven, since the best pizza crust really needs to be cooked up crisp quickly and at super high heat, which a wood fired oven does exceptionally well. But your cooking options certainly don’t stop at pizza. Bake bread, roast vegetables and meats, make salmon steaks that’ll wow dinner guests, stews, sandwiches, desserts… Just about anything you might make in your regular oven can be made in your wood fired oven, and we might be biased, but we think everything comes out even better. Plus, when you’re entertaining, you don’t end up running in and out while everyone’s enjoying each other’s company in your outdoor room.
When you cook fruits and vegetables over an open flame in a wood-fired oven, they cook very quickly, which helps them retain certain nutrients and antioxidants. Studies have shown that longer cooking times deplete the nutritional value of food.
Other than giving food an enhanced flavor, wood fired ovens give you versatility, ambiance, and reliability. Your friends and family will enjoy the complete sensory experience of sitting by the stove while your food is cooking.
Whenever we meet a food-loving client who’s interested in creating or updating their outdoor room, our first thought is a wood-fired oven. If you’re really into cooking — or eating — a wood fired oven not only gives you a whole new world of culinary options, it makes your outdoor living space that much more beautiful and functional, too.
You do not need any electricity or gas to use a wood-fired oven, and for the environmentally conscious, this is quite a plus. If you are looking for a way to reduce your energy consumption, cooking in a wood-fired oven is a good choice.
Also — you don’t have to cook in it to enjoy it. You can still circle around and enjoy the warmth and ambience, maybe make some s’mores if you felt moved to. A wood fired oven is kind of like having the best of both worlds — a fireplace when you want it, an oven to cook in when you want that too.
Your wood fired oven can be the centerpiece of a complete outdoor kitchen.
Sheryl Isenhour
IBD Outdoor Rooms
IBD Outdoor Rooms is located in Concord, NC. We manufacture outdoor living comonents which include grill islands, fireplacs, fire pits, wood-fired ovens, Kamodo Kaddies, and other modular units. Units made to your specs and then shipped to you for onside finishes. Our website is and facebook