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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    4

    Frown Need Help Getting Quotes

    I'm in the process of getting quotes from local(Spartanburg, SC) contractors for replacing my home HVAC and I have had a very difficult time getting the info that I want in a quote. What I have asked for are Manual J calculations, part numbers so that I know what is being quoted, and to have the quote typed in a professional manner. I have spoken to 4 of the larger companies here and none have given me what I have asked for. All down played the validity of the load calculation and they want to give me hand written figures on the back of a piece of paper with no details. Is this common in the industry or just in my area?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635
    more common than it should be, my suggestion....keep looking

    a legitimate quote should contain: at a minimum:
    model of equipment
    scope of work to be performed
    cost
    options, if any extended
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    279
    I do not give up manual J calculations without receiving a downpayment for the job. You could give my calculations to someone else to bid the job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    4
    rglasgow:
    how do you do a quote without doing the calculations? In my case, I have been quoted anywhere from a 2.5 ton to a 4.5 ton AC. Obviously something is not equal. I would like to see the calcualations in order to determine the reason for the differences.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,845
    Quote Originally Posted by satterda View Post
    rglasgow:
    how do you do a quote without doing the calculations? In my case, I have been quoted anywhere from a 2.5 ton to a 4.5 ton AC. Obviously something is not equal. I would like to see the calcualations in order to determine the reason for the differences.
    At my company, with a signed contract you can have the calculations or you may purchase them. It is a significant expense on the contractor's part to perform them and some companies don't or can't do them. We are not going to give our expertise away for free, so some other company gets the benefit from it.

    To quote a job, we typically do the calculation whole house or room by room depending on the site survey. In rare cases, we don't do the calculation during the site survey if there is a strong feeling the homeowner is looking strictly for price over quality, and we will then do the calculation if we get the job. The equipment price between different successive sizes isn't that significant.
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    4
    I can fully appreciate not wanting to give your expertise away for free. In fact I have the same discussion with the salesmen at the company I work for. However, as a consumer, who contacts 4 companies who all claim to be experts; how are you supposed to know which "expert" is correct? # is a significant expense. The last thing I want to do is just go on faith and possibly install an incorrectly sized system and either not be comfortable or have higher utility bills than I should. If all of the quotes had been for the same size equipment, it wouldn't be an issue.
    Last edited by beenthere; 04-06-2012 at 11:29 AM. Reason: price

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,845
    Quote Originally Posted by satterda View Post
    If all of the quotes had been for the same size equipment, it wouldn't be an issue.
    It quite possibly would still be an issue, if the companies coming out guessed the same because of square footage or what was there.

    Keep looking for the right company. Check the contractor locator here. Ask friends and neighbors. We are not a "large company" and are primarily referral based so you won't find us thru some big yellow page add or hear about us on the radio.
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for your help and insight into AC companies. I think my biggest problem is that I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession. I don't work in the HVAC field, but I can understand the concepts and calculations. I guess that's why I am so high on seeing the numbers.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,845
    Quote Originally Posted by satterda View Post
    Thanks for your help and insight into AC companies. I think my biggest problem is that I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession. I don't work in the HVAC field, but I can understand the concepts and calculations. I guess that's why I am so high on seeing the numbers.

    Thanks
    So am I, that's why we always do the calcs.
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

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