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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Fair to charge a friend?

    Alright, I have bought a 2 year old unit, it's a 92% effieciency furnace 75,000 Btu, and a 2 1/2 ton 14 seer condenser. This house was rebuilt after a flood and had to have new equipment installed. Now the city is buying it out and since I work in the HVAC field I bought this equipment. Is it fair to charge a friend for taking pumping this unit down, removing it , hauling it 60 miles and re installing it in his place as he has probably an 8 seer air conditioner. His furnace is already a 92% with a 2 1/2 ton A/C. I just figured it would easier to change out the furnace with this other furnace because they are both downflows and I'm going to have to remove the furnace he has to put the new A-coil in. That's the backround.

    Question is. Is it fair to charge a friend to do this, I have always helped friends for free if they covered the materials. Maybe I'm getting stingy, but anymore it's getting old. My wife and I just had a kid, and it will be a good day project or so by the time I run a new line set. I just feel really guilty about charging ppl. Obviously that would have to change if I was ever in business for myself. My boss doesn't care if I do it, so that's not why I feel guilty. I have to pay for my licenses every 2 years, take ceu's, on and on. It's isn't free to be in this field is what I feel like. Now if I ever needed concrete work done, this friend could help. Just looking for some input, that's all.

    Last edited by Stamas; 09-28-2010 at 06:15 AM. Reason: Removed Pricing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Urbandale IA. USA
    I was at a house, working on a gentleman's furnace, and he told me that he was a painter by trade.
    He said he would help anybody do anything (for free) EXCEPT paint something for them.
    He said he had helped a neighbor change an engine in a car all in one afternoon (FOR FREE), but do not ask to do something for free that normaly put bread and butter on HIS table, for free.

    You can do what you want, give a discount, do it for free, charge full price.
    He is your friend, but would you do the same for someone who NEEDS a helping hand greater than your friend FOR FREE?

    Just my 2 cents.

    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
    May 2007
    Personally, I would be thinking of charging a bit more than that. By the time you add in back and forth gas (If your using the company truck, you should fuel it), changing some of the old stuff on your friends install like the whip and disconnect, buying the new lineset and any needed ACR fitting$, putting in a LL drier, whatever is needed to install the furnace like wiring, pvc pipe and fittings for drains, venting, any refer needed when recharging, CU pad or blocks, screws, clamps, etc, etc....All that stuff costs money.

    I figure you'll have 4 bills tied up to complete that install, perhaps more. Replace ANYTHING you use off your truck by keeping an exact list.

    You said something about him being a concrete guy, great. If you don't have any trade off work you need from him right now, (not in the future), then your going to have to charge him enough to make you happy about the install, which you are going to be married to btw, and still give him a hookup deal. Down the road, if you need concrete work done, then you already know someone and he owes you a discount because you gave him one.

    I'd say $$$$ is more than fair. Thats one forth of what the job is worth with new gear.

    On a side note, don't make yourself buggy over charging people for your performing your trade. After 18yr's in the trade with 14 them of as an owner, I can tell you it's a tremendous expense and a huge pain in the ass to be in this biz, but I love my work and wouldn't have it any other way. I would love to hook everyone up, but when that $25,000 insurance bill lands on my desk, it's all business.
    Last edited by Stamas; 09-28-2010 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Removed pricing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Friends come in many colors, some I will stop at nothing to help, and they reciprocate.
    Some others are just plain pitifull.
    This situation seems to call for barbecue, beer, "my favorite work solvent" and slave for the day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Western, MO
    Quote Originally Posted by sweat hog View Post
    Friends come in many colors, some I will stop at nothing to help, and they reciprocate.
    Some others are just plain pitifull.
    This situation seems to call for barbecue, beer, "my favorite work solvent" and slave for the day.
    I have friends I would do it for cost or less for.

    I have friends that it would cost them more then calling out another company.

    You know who your friends are. And he should too.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Episodes like this helped me determine who my friends really were.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Milwaukee Wisconsin
    Got that right mid!

    I'd charge them something!

    That's a lot of work. Simple maintenance or repair is one thing ................

    I too am tired of being a buggy whip.

    I just gave up 2 fridays to work on a 40' yaught (3 water cooled ACs)
    1 leak repair / & charge
    1 run cap.
    1 LRA (still haven' broken it loose yet)

    Darn straight he's gonna get a bill! If he can afford that boat, he can afford me!
    I still hurt from working in a 4' high stinky (rocking) bilge!

  8. #8
    If he really is a friend he will offer to pay you something.
    Hey cockroach, don't bug me!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Ocean Pines, MD
    A friend in need is a friend in deed. Was that Warren Buffett that said that?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Nashville tn
    Had an old man tell me one time you have to make money off your friends because you want make any off your enemies

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