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Thread: hvac 4.0

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Scottsburg, Indiana
    Posts
    356
    hey guys. i like to give my estimates on the spot, i dont have the time to drive out again, and dont want to put it in the mail. i like to sell the job face to face. i am saving up for 4.0, for know i use a generic program, but want to do it 100% right. i know i would be the only one in the area who does. anyway what i am asking is, how long does it take to lay out 1 home. i think the ultimate selling tool, would be to get a lab-top, and do 4.0 right at there dinner table, would this work? has anyone ever done that?? i get to many new construction jobs that need say a 2 ton, and the builder demands a 3 ton. i say no, they still insist, so it gets a 3. its rediculous. or do you guys call later with the estimte? do you think the lab-top idea would be a good one?
    p.s. i know there are some people that just dont care, and want you in and out. and then some people will see you did the calculation, and tell the next company your results, but for the most part do you think it would be a plus?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Urbandale IA. USA
    Posts
    4,939
    I used to use a spread sheet, and it worked quite well.
    I now have HVAC-Calc 4.0 on a laptop and I do just as you stated.
    I leave a proposal on the table at the time of inspection.
    I know what my equipment costs and can bid close to a final right on the spot.
    If I am unsure about some of the ductwork or other items, I leave a quote with a range.
    (ie $1,400-1,600)

    It works well, you still won't get them all.

    Those who dance, appear insane to those who do not hear the music.
    Those who believe, appear ignorant to those who do not know God.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,241
    Had my own construciton co. for a while.

    Now with construction, writing a bid is more complicated than it is for installing ac and heat. So about half of my bids were big enough that I had to go away to figure out a price and either call, stop back, or mail my price.

    But for small projects such as decks, roofing, siding, windows, etc. I had some rules of thumb in my "price book" and could write a proposal on the spot.

    I found that if I go away and make up some numbers, they seem made up. If they come out of an official price book (whick I made up), they are immediately accepted as the CORRECT price.

    To tell you the truth. Home owners don't know they need a load calc. done. And the wholesale price difference between a 3 ton and 3-1/2 ton isn't that big.

    I'd have a square foot price figured out for each unit available (one economy, one consumer grade, one delux...or whatever you call it). A price for lineset by the foot, a flat fee for disposal of the old unit, etc. etc. The more items included, the less shocking the price is.

    And then write the proposal on the spot, get an committment on the first visit too. Either a yes or no. But get an answer.

    Estimating equipment by sq foot is going to be pretty close and you can do a real load calc back at the shop. Make your proposal read "a/c capacity to be calculated according to blah blah blah standards as found in blah blah, article blah. Price high enough so that if you estimated a 3 ton and have to put in a 4, you still make a profit.

    Just my humble opinion.
    Ryan
    Maintenance Guy
    -----------------
    naysayer, skeptic, conspiracy theorist

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Magnolia, Texas
    Posts
    262
    I like the idea and want to do exactly that. I think with a little practice it can be done rather quickly. I've just been waiting on the money to spend for a good lap top and program. I think it would be a great selling tool, allowing the customer to follow along and actually see the calculations. The more informed the customer the more comfortable they are to make that expensive purchase,and if you're comforting them, then why shouldn't they purchase it from you.

    [Edited by Purdan on 11-08-2003 at 09:19 PM]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    3,182
    many would just use the heat/cool loads you give them to get other prices. I make it a practice to give the customer the calculations only once I have gotten the job. Why help the guesstimators out there.
    A load calculation using hvac calc takes no more than 10 minutes once you get the hang of it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Magnolia, Texas
    Posts
    262
    yea well, just be sure to get paid for your time & presentation, and no loss. You were going to give them a price on a certain system anyway. If they are comfortable with your service and you sell yourself (& company), the majority of the time you'll get the customer.More times than not, and if not, then you got paid for the presentation and you sharpened your skills.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, SC
    Posts
    2,821
    I get the customer involved helping me measure windows and walls, a 2 story about 2500 sq ft with chatting with the customer takes 1.5 to 2 hrs. It is amazing how much you get to know the owner during that time, they get to realize how important the calc is. I have times I don't do it, you should be able to read your customer enough to know. Of the calcs I run in the home we have a 78% closing rate, thats not cause of low prices either. Have an inverter in the truck with a printer and due the bid.

    PS> My changeout pricing includes time for a calc.

    On new construction your looking at 20 to 30 minutes with hvac calc.

    [Edited by hvac45 on 11-09-2003 at 05:55 AM]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    tip of the mitt
    Posts
    1,974
    Anybody try one of those infared measuring devise. Hold it to the wall and press a button, it shoots a beam and dispays a measurement. It looks like this could be a time saver and a little easier for one guy to use. It's range is 50 feet. I just picked one up to try. Could be handy for measuring those cathedral ceiling hieghts.
    I have my own little world. But it's OK...they know me here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, SC
    Posts
    2,821
    Tinman let me know how it works.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    tip of the mitt
    Posts
    1,974
    So far I've used it around the house piddling around. It's been accurate so far. It cost less than fifty bucks so if it ends up being a flop I'm not out much. As long as it don't screw up a calculation.
    I have my own little world. But it's OK...they know me here.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    27
    Tinman,
    I recently picked up a Straight-Line "Laser Tape" and have found it to produce many false readings. It is going back to The Depot. I will take the extra time to measure the old fashioned way. I have just started using HVAC Calc 4.0 and we are 3 for 3 so far. Let me know what brand laser you got and if your results are better.
    Goodluck

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Ottawa, Ont. Canada
    Posts
    1,729
    Originally posted by angel air
    I have just started using HVAC Calc 4.0 and we are 3 for 3 so far. Goodluck
    Congratulations, angel air. I love to hear success stories like that, and I do hear a lot of them. Just a word to the wise, after a while, it is easy to slip back to your old habits of just winging it, and your sales success ratio will drop. You need to guard against that, laziness is human nature.

    I would much rather take a little longer on a sales call and walk out with a sale, than do 3 quick sales calls and maybe get one due to low price. Never ever "bid" a job. Always do a sales presentation and you will be on your way to more profitability, better customers to deal with, and thus your business will be more enjoyable, which is the most important bottom line, in my opinion.

    don
    don sleeth - HVAC-Talk Founder
    HVAC Computer Systems
    Heat Load Calculation Software

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, SC
    Posts
    2,821
    Don, you are so right on thay one.

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