View Full Version : What to expect and what to ask for.
09-28-2005, 11:10 PM
I posted another thread before about a recommendation in Tucson, AZ (http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=85542).
I added two follow up questions that I believe could be useful to many of us (consumers), but I think maybe no body looked at them because the thread seemed to be too specific (recommendation in Tucson). So, I will paste the two follow up questions:
"Dave and James,
I thank you both for your recommendations. I have a couple follow up questions, which stem from reading a recent thread in this forum ("A comment about the trade" or something like that) that has generated quite a few responses and seems to have angered some contractors:
1. How many bids is appropriate/reasonable/normal to ask for?
2. What kind of work/evaluation should I expect the contractors to perform while at my house for the bid? Taking into account that it's their time they are investing.
09-28-2005, 11:44 PM
I guess there is no interest in answering what customers should expect and what they should ask for from contractors. I'll check back later.
09-29-2005, 07:14 AM
2 to 3 bids max, get recommendations from friends and neighbors, not the yellow pages. I normally did a heat gain/loss calc while there unless I knew the floorplan. I looked at the duct sizing, flue issues, electrical issues.
09-29-2005, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by mlbussert
I guess there is no interest in answering what customers should expect and what they should ask for from contractors. 34 minutes without a response and you think that indicates "no interest"?
09-29-2005, 07:54 AM
Keeping one thread on this topic would be best.
Use BaldLoonie 2 - 3 bid advice and make sure that you schedule their visit far enough apart that their paths don't cross. Consider the name brand equipment which is being quoted also.
09-29-2005, 12:30 PM
If you have expectations you should tell the contractor, not just expect them and complain when you dont see them realized.
09-29-2005, 12:56 PM
I thank you for your useful advice. I'm sorry about the impatience. [image]http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/images/icons/icon6.gif
Should all of them perform a Manual J calc, or is experience sometimes a good substitute? I mean, I understand that sometimes, having done so many jobs, they can probably asses pretty accurately what the customer needs are.
Finally, what are the appropriate questions to ask? I mean, I know to ask about installation, timing, bond and insurance, performance, parts and labor warranties, etc. Is there anything else that I should ask from them, like service after the fact, maintenance, or something like that, or is all this pretty standard for reputable contractors?
09-29-2005, 01:28 PM
I would start with any concerns you currently have with your exsisitng system such as addressing hot or cold spots in the house.
Have they carefully performed a manual J load calculation? There is no acceptable subsitute. If you are concerend, will the ductwork be metal, or flex?
What kind of duct leakage should you expect?
Is the system ARI rated and will the airflow be correct to allow you to get the efficiency you are asking for?
Will the contractor supply drop cloths for your carpeted areas or should you prepare it yourself before they get there.
Do they offer after hours service in the event of a problem on a weekend or in themiddle of the night?
What kind of response time do they normally keep for service calls.
Questions like these will let the contractor know upfront that you expect the installtion to be professional.
09-29-2005, 06:41 PM
Two to three bids, just realize that do not have us out to keep friends and family honest, to to figure out how to do the job so you can tell your buddy and try to do it.Tell the guy hey I want the BEST or if you give them a BALLPARK FIGURE.I have a ton of people who call about GEO Heat pumps,the cost on the LOOP alone is more than what people want to spend.If you look for a car you go to a car that fits your needs,we try to do the same. If your staying forever,I have SUPER stuff, if your moving next year I have stuff for that, I think if someone says Hey give me the best you got for 5k, I really try to do that.We even have scratch and dent stuff or newly new that we sell people.and please call me back,I have kids and i came to your home at night and I see an unlettered truck in your drive way and notice they did not line that chimney.I will not lie to you and I would never sell you something that I would not sell to my MOM!!!!Ask the salesman's backround or why he does this type of sales,you can tell who sells and who lives it.LOL
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