Former state trooper celebrates 40 years as local contractor
- By Patrick Taylor -
Decades ago, Bernie Antkowiak served as a Maryland State Police trooper. And while he hung up his hat, he’s still dedicated to serving and protecting the people of Maryland - just in a different way.
ER Chimney began as a way for Antkowiak to make a little extra money while he was on the force. Making less than $10,000-per-year at the time, Antkowiak started his own business. For about nine years he worked both jobs, but eventually he had to move on from MSP.
“The need for contracting work was there,” said Antkowiak. “I took the need and demand and just went with it.”
Forty years later, Antkowiak still owns and operates ER chimney with help from his wife, his sister-in-law and his daughter-in-law.
“It’s a real family business,” said Antkowiak.
ER Chimney provides a wide array of services, including chimney repairs and relining, chimney pot sales and installation, flue stretcher cap sales and installation, sweeping, fireplace and fire pit installation, masonry, gutter and roof repairs and, as of just recently, grill work.
“There’s nobody doing the barbeque grills anywhere in this area. We’re the first in the area.”
Propane grill owners will tell you that owning a grill isn’t cheap. It’s not uncommon for lines to run upwards of a few thousand dollars. And when things go wrong with something that expensive, it can be incredibly frustrating. Luckily, ER Chimney has you covered.
“We’ll have access to replacement parts for all manufacturers,” said Antkowiak, one of the longest tenured contractors in the area. “If you can’t find it at Home Depot or Lowes, we can handle that for you.”
ER Chimney isn’t a stranger to working with propane and gas, as they already offered an array of stoves. And with things warming up outside, the addition of a new service just made sense.
“It’s been about five years since adding new services - which was roof cleaning. I’m excited about this, though. This is a new adventure. It’s like the birth of a child,” said Antkowiak excitedly.
While ER Chimney is now offering grill services, now would also be the perfect time to get a head start and tackle any issues you may have had over the winter with your chimney or really any type of contracting work.
“It’s the prime time to do any masonry or chimney repairs. When it’s cold out you can’t use a lot of the chemicals and sealers that we use. So we try to help people get it done in the spring and summer,” said Antkowiak
To celebrate 40 years in business, as well as the introduction of new grill services, ER Chimney is offering major discounts for the month of May. If you combine grill and chimney services, you’re looking at a 20 percent discount. However, if you live in Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Middle River, Rosedale or White Marsh, you are looking at a 50 percent discount on chimney work with 20 percent off other services, including gutter repairs, roof cleaning and basically anything else they offer. They are also offering 10 percent off barbeque grills, accessories and hearth products.
“From one season into another, you’re finishing heating but now you’re coming into the season when you use your grill,” said Antkowiak. “We can help you get everything set to make sure you enjoy the summer months.”
ER Chimney is a full service, licensed home improvement contractor. They are a full service, licensed home improvement contractor who can handle any request.
ER Chimney is located at 4031 North Point Road in Dundalk. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, with Saturday appointments available. Additional information about their services can be found online at www.erchimneyservices.com or by calling 410-388-0076.