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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Resources to use when looking for contractors:

    1. http://www.acca.org/
    2. Call the MFG of equipment and ask for a list of licensed contractors in your area...i.e.....Carrier....Goodman.....(_insert your favorite color unit here_)
    3. The BBB
    4. You could ask in here for a local contractor or if anyone can recommend someone I have seen a few threads where someone was able to help someone find a competent contractor in their area.
    5.http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cac.pr_central_ac
    6. ARI website: http://www.ahridirectory.org/ahriDirectory/pages/selectSearch.aspx
    (Use this site for research once you have found a contractor that has proposed a system)


    Don't limit yourself to the phone book when you have a computer that can be very helpful to you.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    45
    I wouldn't be so sure about the argument of relying on the warranty. The company that installed the new system in my office building last year was in business for 15 years. They filed bankruptcy early this year and the owner is paying for repairs out of pocket (attempting to increase all rent as a result). Most businesses are going through hard times now.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,260
    FYI the BBB is NOT a government agency, and is more of a advertising agency at this point They called me and want me to pay them to be listed with them

    I, like most assumed that they were a government run agency that protected consumers. After some research and talking to some savy business guys here, I will not bother with them.

    Keep looking though, you will find a good contractor.
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    18951
    Posts
    1,593
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbaron View Post
    FYI the BBB is NOT a government agency, and is more of a advertising agency at this point They called me and want me to pay them to be listed with them.
    The BBB is a profit making company. They play on people's emotions, and get companies to sign up on false claims. If xyz company pays them enough, they'll find a way to say that they believe xyz company tried to resolve the complaint, and they aren't going to put a black mark on their record.

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    18951
    Posts
    1,593
    Quote Originally Posted by ampulman View Post
    Jrongo wrote, in part:

    I am not looking to take the food off of anyone’s table but if I can save money and the techs I am speaking to are not going to crunch the real numbers, what’s the point?

    What is the point of your post?
    Are you planning on having everything there for the installer. Things like refrigerant lines, insulation, outside unit pad, sealers, refrigerant if needed, zip screws, disconnect, electric wiring, thermostat, etc. If so, and the installer needs something, are you going to pay him to sit around and wait for you to get it and come back with it? Are you willing to pay him travel time to and from his place if he has to come back another day because you didn't have everything? Are you willing to pay him travel to go get what you missed?

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbaron View Post
    FYI the BBB is NOT a government agency, and is more of a advertising agency at this point They called me and want me to pay them to be listed with them

    I, like most assumed that they were a government run agency that protected consumers. After some research and talking to some savy business guys here, I will not bother with them.

    Keep looking though, you will find a good contractor.

    Don't use it as the sole reference. Use it as a tool in finding someone by seeing how many previous complaints they have.....if the co. has been around 30 years and has 10 complaints......don't worry about something like that.....if they have been around 5 and have over 100...move on.....using that in conjunction with other sources can be very useful....even things like ripoffreport.com can be useful....but don't use it as your sole means of choosing someone. Just remember those are peoples opinions.....and we all know how those go.....but as a consumer you need to use everything possible. Well at least that's my take on it.

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,316
    Quote Originally Posted by jrongo View Post
    I know what kind of reaction I am going to get but I will ask the question anyway…

    I have done the math a few times and if I buy a heat pump, coil and TXV online from a bulk supplier and have it delivered to my home and then pay a HVAC professional a 1 day “labor” fee to hook it all up and test it, I save money.

    The math is in my area is tough to argue against. I would put the math on the post but I know the no price policy.

    Is buying from an online supplier similar to jumping from a plane with only the pull shoot? They seem to claim the same manufacture warranties, can they make that claim?
    EBay has some rather wonderful prices as do others.

    As for a system “match ups” I hope to have a very good idea of what will work, from the many quotes I will be getting over the next 2 months”

    FYI: So far the people I have spoken to are willing to install new equipment “right away” – NO ONE has said, “look if you want to do this right we need to do a manual J calc.” Or “Why do you want to go with a set up like that…? we need to calculate heat load and check out other variables 1st” – you get the basic idea

    I did have one guy say, you won’t get the true seer out of a unit over 15 SEER without a VS blower, but that was the insightful comment I have heard.

    I am not looking to take the food off of anyone’s table but if I can save money and the techs I am speaking to are not going to crunch the real numbers, what’s the point?
    You sir, are part of the problem.

    Smart contractors will not reveal any sizing info until there is a deposit.

    Smart contractors can make a reasonable educated guess regarding equipment sizing to provide those "many quotes" you will be getting in the coming months. Truthfully, there isn't much of a price difference +/- 1/2 ton of cooling or +/- 20k btu's.... unless the size change alters linesets, flues, etc.

    It doesn't take much time to measure a "typical" residence and gather the info needed for a load calculation, and save that info if the bid turns into a paying job.

    If you need a load calculation before making a decision, then pay for a pro to do it, or do your own (click on "HVAC Calc" above, top right). Why should a professional provide valuable information for free?

    You are the reason why contractors provide bids consisting of just a price, brand names and general specifications.... and people wonder why there is no information on the bids.

    How do you determine a fair price for a day's labor?

    A laborer moves a pile of dirt from the driveway to the yard. Some people make pretty good money at that when the title changes to "landscaper".

    You must call a professional with the right tools and knowledge to install and start up your mail order HVAC system. There are plenty of hacks out there, so choose wisely. Will you have all the additional parts required for installation, or will your technician have to provide those items?

    I guess you can check eBay for a human heart, order it and schedule a "doctor" for a "day's labor" to install it.

    Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too little.
    When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you may lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

    John Ruskin


  8. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    ga.
    Posts
    85
    I'm glad our company won't install costumer installed equipment. As to the customer who trying to raise the rent. Equipment can be warrantied by other contractors. And as far as buying equipment online and having it installed. I love it!!! Then we go back and fix it for twice the normal price. Just joking about the price. But have seen that a lot. In the end the customer could have upgraded what he got for less money by our company. Jack leg heat an air, keeps me busy cleaning up their mess.

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    451
    Quote Originally Posted by Pegsmi98 View Post
    Now with that said, if I was one of these educated experienced techs, or knew 100% what I was doing with an install I may CONSIDER an ebay system.
    No you wouldn't! If you were an experienced tech you would have nothing to do with an ebay system.

    JRONGO

    Bottom line is you are cheap. A company marks up the cost of the equipment just the same as any internet company would, maybe even less. You are not saving any money with the equipment. As for the "parts changers" you speak of. They are probably the hacks you attract. I'm sure you are too cheap to pay for somebody to do the job right!
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes...that way you are a mile from them and have their shoes

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    125

    Is Internet really cheaper???

    I once look at an internet dealer's pricing on Goodman. It was list or "customer" colum. Just for fun I called them. They claimed yes it's the contratctors price. I asked why Johnstone was 20% cheaper. Long silence then "but you can't buy from Johnstone". Well I can and that's not the point. Don't advertise contractor pricing while quoting list.

    No, Internet is no bargin. Now you can buy directly from Grainger and Johnstone if you know a few tricks to get around the "no retail sales policy". But I would get in trouble here if I disclosed how!

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35
    Quote Originally Posted by Pegs View Post
    JRongo, I went through the same loops when I was considering our new system.

    Heck I found a used system on a webisite similar to ebay for $500 bucks, I wont say what brand or any specs so should be ok with the rules....

    This system was like 7 years old....

    I did have 5 different contractors come through and only 2 actually did a calc test. I went with the one who carried the system, did a calc and was actually lower than anyone else.

    For warranty, service, being able to call the guy that put it in and raise hell, ask questions etc.... I am happy with my decision for hiring it done right.

    Now with that said, if I was one of these educated experienced techs, or knew 100% what I was doing with an install I may CONSIDER an ebay system.

    Later


    note I'm not here to start a flame tread but last week we install a bosh tank less water heater and guess ? it was bought on ebay.

    this is how we end up knowing since the unit was not firring on demmand...


    call technical support prove we where not home owner hack...


    after a long time period we got true the tech.

    i was ready and made all my test. pressure and all....then it came to this portion of the quiz where was the unit purchased ? customer not here at this moment cant answer....


    at the end of the conversation the tech. says to me and my dad return the unit it make take more then a week... this is without knowing where the unit was bout from we add the invoice but could read the name since it was and writhing...

    later...
    over the phone with the customer.



    you need to call the Bosch co. and tell the claim number such


    and the next day the customer call us no luck it was purchased on ebay not true a dealer and it hand up to be more costly to him and hi could ave this customer post I'm 99.9% sure i will....


    i will never warranty performance on appliance i dint sale and it dose happen

    so its your call... even direct buy or are dealer ave appliance not right but at least if we supplied we take the rap for it... just to let you no go cheaper is all about do you feel lucky or are you........

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    99
    Did any of you read my 2nd post in this thread before you commented on the original? Clearly, many did not. Also, I asked if the idea was reasonable or to risky. Clearly, the voiding of the warranty turns out to be enough to kill off the whole concept. I figured 100 an hour was a fair labor rate if I were going to pay someone to put in a system for me (and we would touch base about what he would need to do the install before hand, common sense, planning...) As for the guy who called me cheap...please, that kind of talk is simply silly, you do not know a thing about me other than what I have typed on some website. Do you feel better that you typed with a sharp nails. I have a quote for you: "before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes...that way you are a mile from them and have their shoes"
    And as for getting only hacks to come my way that is somehow my fault, my goodness...
    I am choosing who update / change my system based 100% on the information I have read on this very site. So you might want to reconsider why I have been getting 2nd rate installers coming my way. A 2nd thank you to those who convinced me is a reasonable manner that the internet idea was not worth the risk.

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,275
    Warranty limitations are not always legal depending on what state/country you live in. Before accepting that the warranty is void if the equipment is purchased over the internet, investigate to see if the manufactorer has the right to that limitation within your given jurisdiction.

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