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Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building and Living with a Piece of the Sun.
By Ken Matesz
Tulikivi, based in Finland, is the world's largest manufacturer of heat retaining fireplaces. Fountainhead Natural Homes is proud to be an authorized Tulikivi dealer.
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Masonry Heater Store, LLC
Masonry Heater Store, LLC is a small family run business located in northwest Ohio, but servicing all of the Ohio Valley region and beyond. Founded by its principle member, Ken Matesz, Masonry Heater Store, LLC is the only store of its kind in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Masonry Heaters are our only business. This distinguishes us from most hearth retailers in the United States and means we have the most specialized knowledge in the Midwest.

Masonry Heater Store, LLC grew out of a timber frame house building company, Fountainhead Natural Homes, LLC, which was founded in 1990. Fountainhead Natural Homes began installing masonry heaters in 1995. Masonry Heater Store, LLC has been exclusively providing masonry heaters, bakeovens and cookstoves since 2001. We strongly believe the masonry stove is the single most significant contribution we can make to a home, a family, and the environment all in one construction. No other aspect of any home will have the same impact. We have been so impressed by the value, beauty, comfort, convenience, healthfulness, and safety of masonry heaters that we now devote all of our efforts to promoting, selling, and installing these wonderful appliances.

Ken Matesz

Ken Matesz (last name pronounced maw'tes) started the Masonry Heater Store, LLC in a spirit of energy efficiency, unusual comfort, healthy living, and environmental care. His intention is to introduce more people to a high-quality, finely crafted product that can change lives for the better in sometimes unexpected ways. A true craftsman, Ken puts his mind firmly on each task, always seeking to better each one. If he is to cut a brick, it is cut as exactly as possible. If something is to be level, he works until it is. In a world of "hurry up and get it done", Ken paces himself, enjoys the moment, and seeks that illusive perfection.

Detail oriented and conscientious to a fault, our clients routinely notice a difference in the way Ken works in their homes. Perhaps most obvious is the quiet, methodical approach he takes to each job. Never will you find a blaring radio in his work area. No cuss words. No crude jokes. No smoking. Just quiet concentration. For, to Ken, it is not about making the day's work bearable so he can get paid and go home, it is about doing the job right, it's about right diligence. Some say, "Don't sweat the small stuff." But Ken realizes that the small stuff, all done right, makes the big stuff the best it can be.

Another difference one notices is his cleanliness and sense of order. Ken considers this a matter of respect: Respect for his craft and teachers, respect for his clients and their home, and respect for the magical fire destined to burn on the hearths he builds. So with that respect, he sponges the firebrick, cleans his tools, and straightens and sweeps the work area. When his tools are clean and his work is neat and organized, he honors his craft. When he sweeps the work area, he honors his hosts. And when the flue channels are clean, he honors the spirit of the fire. The result of such respect is yet another kind of warmth.

Ken is a man of commitment and action. Thoughtful and resourceful, he listens to his clients with incredible patience. Then he digs into his experience and imagination to suggest new ways of meeting his customer's needs. Contentment only arrives when, again, the details are in place and the client is ready to forge ahead. Ken takes his commitments very seriously and takes serious action to fulfill his end of the promise. Clients notice that he always returns calls and e-mails, always shows up when he says he will, calls if he can't, and always works until the job is done.

Commitment, respect, right action, right diligence, and a quiet striving to make his work the best it can be. These are the marks of a true craftsman and these are the qualities you will find in Ken Matesz. He has been a heater mason since 1995, a certified heater mason with the Masonry Heater Association of North America since 2001, a timber framer since 1987, and a certified Bau-biologist since 1991. Ken lives with his wife Nancy and their two homeschooled children, Sarah and Aaron, in a rural area of northwest Ohio.

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