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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Coldbud

    That's in line with my position as a HO. I am now glad about the three estimates I got. I felt crummy about talking to the first "high" bidder this morning to cancel everything. I regret he "wasted" his time. I also think he rushed (because I have no heat and it's cold outside) and he did not treat me like I had a lot of intelligence but that I did have a lot of money (communication). He did not understand my current HVAC that well. He did not present me with with very many options or decisions to make.
    The second estimate was $5,400 vs his of $8,600. If I had only had those two choices, I would have gone with $8,600.
    But the third estimate was superior to me. The technician was extremely knowledgeable, especially about my system, patient, and respectful. He knew from his service records more about my system than the others could figure out because the labels have worn off. He said my AC unit is a 3 ton, so it makes sense to replace it with a 3 ton, Vs a 3.5 ton that was guessed (?) by others. Oddly, my blower is a 5 ton.

  2. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    feeling comfortable

    One other response to this thread is shoes. My carpets are clean and my family does not walk on them with shoes on. The first estimator (the "high" one who promised superior service) did not offer to remove his shoes and walked all over my carpets with dirty boots. This did not leave a comfortable impression with me. The other two estimators removed their shoes. I'm sure all your customers are different, but this is my perspective.

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304

    Sizing by seat of pants, aka "experience"

    >>He said my AC unit is a 3 ton, so it makes sense to replace it with a 3 ton, Vs a 3.5 ton that was guessed (?) by others.

    Upsizing without thinking through the consequences is a really bad idea. It could cause your duct system to become inadequate when it was Ok before. I experienced that with a furnace replacement, the HVAC guy wanted to put in "5 ton" air handler with 80K BTUH heat output (AC is 3.5 ton). Since my Manual J told me the whole house needed 85K heating load on two furnaces, I pushed him toward a "4 ton" air handler with 64K heat. Even that smaller unit on default settings made ducts noisy when they weren't before. I didn't see that coming, he didn't see that coming, but which one of us is supposed to have expertise here?

    I believe the guy never gave a moment's thought to the duct system, evidently he was going by seat of the pants on the air handler sizing. Tell me again how Manual J and Manual D are "worthless". Yeah right.

    Regards -- P.Student

    [Edited by perpetual_student on 02-15-2005 at 11:57 AM]

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Smile Previous Upsizing, now downsizing

    My home was built all electric in 1974 w/Lennox HVAC, 3 ton AC. In 1988 the owner must have been unhappy with the "small" heater so they converted to gas and put in a high efficiency one pipe Magic Chef furnace that apparently is good to heat a house twice the size of mine with a 5 ton blower. We are planning to get an all-new Carrier variable speed, 3 ton 12 SEER, (up to 96% AFUE) two pipe system with humidity controller put in Friday. I think we will be happy with it.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    44
    kampeh

    that's good to hear. the important thing is, now you are somewhat informed about your choice in the product and the contractor. I think this is a good site for helpful information, especially when the contractors realize no one is trying to take advantage of them and vice versa. I think we all understand everybody has to make a living. communication, communication is one of the keys to everybody being happy. If not happy at least comfortable with the outcome. kampeh I'm not a salesman but I have done some reading and you might want to consider a 13 or 14 SEER in the long run. I realize it will cost a little more upfront, but the government is going to a 13 standard early next year and the higher SEER will save you a little more money and give a little more comfort in the long run, I think. Check out this web page, http://www.dulley.com I hope I can give out a web page on here with offending anyone.
    good luck

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Thanks coldbud

    I'm going to ask my contractor about some higher SEER. I don't mind some more money if I know it's something better. I'm pretty sure my contractor wouldn't mind some changes at this point assuming they can handle it allright and I pay the difference of course.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    154

    Interesting stuff going on here...

    Hmmmm... An HO trying to understand how to close a deal for new HVAC smack dab in the middle of a discussion on how could professionals benefit from HO feedback to better their business opportunities. I think the HO needs their own thread, and since it involves pricing, does it even belong here?? ;-)

    My feedback to professionals echos a lot of what has been said here. Let me take if further because being an Internet knowledge junkie I have learned a lot of what to ask and what not to expect when trying to complete the HVAC for our new home.

    It goes to what you say to your local customers, and it goes to what you say here. Why both places? Because I would venture that what you say when giving advice here is exactly the way you give advice to customers!

    1) Ask me questions about why I am doing something and answer "you don't know" if I ask something you don't. Tell me you'll get me an answer or tell me where to look. Example, don't just say flex duct is lousy when it can be perfectly acceptable if installed using A, B and C. Tell me A, B & C.

    2) Understand the practical eveyday living differences of 80% and 90+% efficiency units in zones where cooling is the biggy and not heating. Or vice versa w/ SEER and A/C if heating is the biggy and not cooling.

    3) Treat my home with respect. If I see that you are not careful walking around it, you won't get the job.

    4) Give me the calcs and explain them. Ask if I understand. Let me learn.

    5) Price it fairly and explain why it's priced this way. Have a list of references ready to give me with your quote. Don't make me ask. I told the guy doing our new home that I wanted to be a poster child for his work -- it's his first ICF home. Guess what -- he's ecstatic! He's fixing errors done by the "grunt duct workers" and he's telling me everything along the way. He wants to do just as good a job as I need and he understands what I need. Because we talk.

    6) Tell why a variable speed blower is better than a multi-fixed speed blower because of a, b, and c. Relate it to my comfort, my bills and what I gain by it when it's only 78F outside but 98% humidity because of fog/rain for 4 days straight. I can really appreciate it that way!

    7) Don't price a Goodman for a $400,000 house, or for a house in a neighborhood where the house start at 300,000 without explaining why. Tell them Goodman was just sold 2 months ago to a financial firm w/ no HVAC history. Let the HO decide if they want into that -- I don't! If they ask about Carrier, but still want to save money, tell them about Bryant.

    8) Read and research, because there are more of us like me out there every month. Tell the HO about this site so they can get feedback on your recommendations. If you feel good enough to advise others here, then you should back up your quotes by sending them here too!

    9) Listen to what we say and politely explain why your experience may negate what we want.

    10) Finally, don't ever say "that's just how it's done" and expect to hang around for another chance.

    I've learned a lot here, so hope that helps you pros too.

    Cheers!

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965

    Re: Interesting stuff going on here...

    Originally posted by dallasbill

    4) Give me the calcs and explain them. Ask if I understand. Let me learn.

    I will show them to you, but if you want them before accepting my proposal, you will have to buy them from me.
    My load calcs are very detailed including drawings.
    I have been burnt too many times to lose the job and find some hack in the supply house holding MY drawings.
    The software is expensive and I take alot of time designing your system.
    I actually had some hack call me a couple of months ago on my cell # that a homeowner i bid on gave him.
    He said the homeowner hired him through a "friend" and he needed to know what size equipment I came up with for his house!
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    44
    dallasbill,

    WOW.... Good Stuff... I'm with ya all the way. Maybe we do need our own thread. Can you imagine how the two can work together and not against each other. Good Stuff

    Bolton,

    Don't give up your load calcs without getting the job. Just explain its one of your tools you use to help YOUR customer select you for the job because you are a professional, not a rip off artist. I bet you like to know what your money is buying when you spend, so do the consumers. We are all consumers at some point in life.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    154

    Post Slooooooow down a minute...

    BoltonNC... did I say anywhere I wanted printed, hard-copy calcs for free? No.
    So, don't assume like that -- it looks bad to me as a consumer who you are trying to acquire as a customer.

    Did I say that I want to see what you, as a pro, are going to do for my money before I contract you? Yes!
    So, showing -- not giving -- them to me so I can learn why you are the one I should hire is the only way you are going to get my business. I am sorry that you were burned, but leave that out of your future dealings with future customers, or I/they will sense that mistrust a 1000 miles a-coming.

    I thought the purpose of this thread was to provide HO feedback on how you pro's can win better business?! I would suggest that jumping up and down with a post about hacks stealing your work and how I ain't going to see anything unless I pay is not the tone I would want to hear.

    Let me re-post this part from my OP:
    It goes to what you say to your local customers, and it goes to what you say here. Why both places? Because I would venture that what you say when giving advice here is exactly the way you give advice to customers!

    Please consider the above the next time you want to build your business.

    And, consider putting "This work is fully owned by XXX and shall not be shared, in whole or in part, but any means whatsoever, without explicit wrriten permission of XXX" on all your work. Then, you have some recourse.

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31

    Dallasbill

    Anybody can start a new thread, but I thought this one was good and helpful. I admit I didn't read all the site rules and ethics stuff, but I think real cases and facts are relevant to the topic, including prices. What you see in this thread is real-world. Contractors sometimes get burned and sometimes take it out on the next customer. Different HOs are different and so are different contractors. I appreciate contractors who want to try to understand customers better so they can improve their business, that's why I like this thread. Contractors should not make assumptions that all HOs are alike. I know HO friends and neighbors who have completely different attitudes about contractors than I do, and I think they must be very unpleasant to work for, but I'm not like that and I don't like you to come to my home and assume I am. I can't "negotiate" with a contractor because I want to assume they have provided an offer with integrity, so if I ask them to lower the price, they have to lower the service, and I don't want less service.

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    154

    Smile

    Kampeh... I made a comment. I am not a moderator.

    However -- and everyone forgive my going OT here -- here are some Internet forum tips for you since you appear to be new at this.
    It will help you in future for all forums of any topic where you seek help.

    1) Changing topics in existing threads is commonly called "hijacking a thread." It introduces new things that have nothing to do with the OP -- original poster's -- question.
    2) By doing #1, you deprive yourself of the potential of all eyes to see your topic/concern and give you the advice you seek. The only people that see your post are those that came here for another topic. You also deprive the OP and his responders of a continous thread for his topic that he started -- everyone has to jump around your questions now.
    3) Other people who may have the same concern as you will never see your advice either, because of #2. Therefore, the value of education of the forum is diminished.

    I am sure that you can see how that helps you, and is not meant as a criticism.

    Now, to stop my own hijacking of this thread with a "Forums 101" lesson, I will turn it back to the original topic.

    Cheers! ;-)

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    31
    Bill
    If I was the moderator, I would delete your last post, as it had nothing to do with the thread and none of us who came to the thread are helped by your "101".

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