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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    So, who's to blame? Head Contractor or HVAC Subcontractor

    I've made few bones about that I like my Lennox/Armstrong straight A/C but the installation blew and swallowed.

    We hired the building of our house in the summer of 1993. Ultimately should the blame for the crappy install go to the sub or the head.

    My wife and I are certainly no experts when it comes to proper installs and sometimes bad things show up a few years later. I'm tempted to blame the Head Contractor, b/c there were some other...uh shortcuts.

    Opinions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Afton, VA / Khorat, Thailand
    Posts
    2,469
    Without seeing the problems and knowing why they might have occured it's hard to say. We've had jobs where we wanted to do things "the right way" but the Gen. said no you can't do that. I would say the HVAC sub should make his stuff right, but sometimes it isn't allowed to happen. Even HO's will get in the way sometimes, "well, grandma's picture goes on that wall, so can you put that over there"? Or, "No, I don't want to see that over there". "Will it still work OK"? Seems they never ask that at that point.
    Tough times don't last...Tough people do.

    Midnight Sun Astrophotography

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    RTP North Carolina
    Posts
    81
    So you directly hired the general contractor that constructed your house? And you're wondering who is ultimately to blame for a poor end product? Was this contractor the lowest of three estimates perhaps? Maybe he in turn hired the mechanical contractor with the lowest prices as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    33

    Blame Both

    First off it's the subcontractors fault for a bad installation, but secondly it is the head contractors fault before the sub contractor for hiring that person to do your job. So both of them are to blame to be completely honest. But by right you should give the subcontractor a chance to fix the problem. If they fail to do this right the second time around it should be the head contractors responsibiliy to hire someone who can

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    977
    Am I understanding this right...you're griping about an install...

    from 15 years ago??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    623
    If it was 15 years ago, they both will probably tell you to go fly a kite.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,946
    Was Armstrong a Lennox product in 1993?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    Ah, that shipped has sailed

    Quote Originally Posted by aintitfun View Post
    If it was 15 years ago, they both will probably tell you to go fly a kite.
    but he came back and serviced it for a number of years and failed to find his own mistakes. Took someone alot more competent to find them

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    Really have no idea

    Quote Originally Posted by RoBoTeq View Post
    Was Armstrong a Lennox product in 1993?
    but the sub and the general said it was an "offshoot of Lennox" So I'm guessin', yes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    54
    What after 15 years of service you want them to come back and fix something for free?I think the warranty is over.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    33

    15 years

    why didnt i catch that yeah the best warranties are only 10 years

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    A ducted system, properly designed and installed, should be good for 100-years. Anything less is either shoddy workmanship or bad design or both. After 15-years, you should be able to simply replace the equipment, maybe upgrade to a nice 2-stage system with variable speed blower and have a nice, comfortable system. But let's be realistic. Here's how it works.

    A. You hire a general contractor to build you a house. You rely on that GC to select all the subs and handle all the details because if you knew enough subs and were willing to put in a little time, you wouldln't need the GC.
    B. The GC has given you a price to build the home and resumably 'sharpened' his pencil so he stood a chance of getting the job. '
    C. Part of his price is his profit on the job. Since this is a quoted job, if you don't make any changes, any costs he can cut or are added to the job affect his profit.
    D. He hires all the lowest priced subs he can find.
    E. Those subs who work on a license, have a code book to follow and are subject to inspections, all deliver about the same basic service. That in most states includes the electrician, the plumber and in some states the GC himself and maybe the HVAC contractor.
    F. When it comes to upgrades, forget it. The GC won't tell you about them and the subs aren't allow to talk with you. The GC tells you all about the cabinets in the kitchen, the kitchen appliances, crown moldings and hard wood floors but nothing about 2-stage HVAC, variable speed, high efficiency equipment, zone controls or any of the other things that could make your home a whole lot more comfortable.
    G. You move in, discover to your dismay that the HVAC is significantly less than satisfactory and the dance begins. Once the 1-year warranty is up, it's your puppy!

    So there you have it. Repeated literally hundreds of thousands of times every year. GC's keep using the cheapest companies they can find to do their work. Those companies find all kinds of ways to cut costs. No worker's comp/pay under the table/no taxes/old trucks/insufficient or inferior tools/inexperienced employees/subs to the subs/no liability insurance/limited or no knowlege of the HVAC field. The list is almost endless. I feel your pain but it's as common as hiring a GC to do your job.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    54
    So what is it that you dont like about the unit or the install after 15 years.

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