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Thread: Price Variation

  1. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Waco, Texas, USA
    This is not a pricing question rule violation because he is asking what justifies the difference.

    A higher bid may be because of permit pulling

    A higher bid may be because employees are sitting around the shop threatening to quit because of 25 hrs/week.

    A higher bid may be because of distance from the shop

    A higher bid may be because you (the customer) threw up a red flag to the salesperson as someone that may be hard as hell to please or you have asked for a specific brand of which they don't normally deal with.

    If you think one if the first two bidders is off the mark t hen get a third bid. I wouldn't let the BBB member thing influence your decision. In my area there are a lot of BBB members that are some of the shoddyist contractors around.

    [Edited by Steve Wiggins on 03-17-2005 at 08:19 AM]
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Concord, CA

    Re: Homework?

    Originally posted by maizenbluedoc
    One poster insinuated that I had not done my homework in attempting to decide which contractor/installer to select.
    That would be me. Let me insinuate it again.

    I wasn't referring to the normal sort of investigation of checking BBB status, license, insurance, referrals, etc. Lots of people do that. And as Steve alluded to above, the biggest crooks in town can pass all of those tests with flying colors. The homework I refer to is learning the technical aspects of a good installation and then asking lots of questions of your contractors along those lines. Not only might you find the answer to your price differential question, but you might find that only one or perhaps neither contractor is doing it by the book.

    A VERY small minority of contractors truly do things right from start to finish. However, customer knowledge of this trade is so woeful that few customers know it. When the house starts to become uncomfortable when it's over 100 degrees out customers just assume that that's how it has to be - even though it doesn't have to be. And what they could be saving on their utility bill that they're not - how would they even know? The same goes with horribly leaky ducts. It's sight unseen. Bad HVAC contractors get away with a LOT while simultaneously being thought of as "reputable".

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Suppy NC
    all sarcasam aside
    a co. may pay his men more a hour then the other and has higher insurance, offer his guys more benifits has more trucks on the road works out of an office or shop and the other is out of his house. there are a lot of reasons for a price difference any cost a co. infers is pasted off on the coustomer. also one co. may be working on a 15% profit because his over head can allow it and the other is at a 20% profit because his overhead wont allow for less
    indefense of both co. there are alot of things that the coustomer doesnt see. shop costs and stock for shop, stock for trucks, health ins, truck ins, retirement, repairs on trucks and shop, workmans comp, building ins, vacations, payrole, electric bills, gas bills, advertizeing, and so on.does one co. have old trucks and the other all new ones
    lot of reasons cant list to many
    hope this explains to some extent your question
    one may not realy be to high and the other may not be to low just where they need to be depending on a lot of factors

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Perth - Western Australia
    my only Question is why trane ?
    Very good equipment , however you wont recover your money from buying trane, there are nice brands that have copeland scroll compressors, TXV`s, & good controls for less. i would suggest looking at products made under lennox such as whirlpool they have a nice package unit with a comparable warranty
    look at or you can search for a dealer by zipcode. i think you will be very happy with the product offering & careful contractor selection
    as far as price skill is more important than brand name
    pay well for a good contractor & dont complain
    allso dont deal with anyone that doesnt do a load calculation, manual J & give you replacement options
    keep in mind i am not badmouthing trane ,its very good equipment ,but there are other brands just as good for less
    that will last you just as long & look great allso
    save your money, be happy, be comfortable

  5. #18

    Cool Why Trane

    Unit rated well. Additionally, the Whirlpool only manufactures a 10-12 SEER according to their website. That won't make the minimum government standard for 2006. Sometimes cheaper isn't always better (learned that from working for the U.S.government). I have decided to go with the lowest quote. I can afford the $4800 (lowest), but not the $8070 (highest). Thanks to all for the suggetions.

  6. #19
    Proves my point as posted in technical.

    Told you.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Thibodaux, LA
    Originally posted by frigeman
    Proves my point as posted in technical.

    Told you.
    Price will always win when the contractor fails to educate the HO.

    If he was properly educated by the contractor he would have never asked any questions on this forum.

    If you sell on price sooner or later it will catch up to you.

  8. #21
    Does any contractor properly educate the HO? I worked in sales many years ago, and the one thing I was taught, "You know the price and the customer doesn't". This is true with most items sold. If HVAC manufacturers published a price, similar to MSRP, the customer would at least have indication what to pay. I find a price variation of $4883 to over $8000 to be unrealistic. I realize this is a capitalistic society, but this is a bit much. In fact, the lowest proposal (I will reiterate for the x time)was the only contractor that had a typed, specific proposal for my perusal. It appears that a standard Trane warranty was in place. I found no difference in the sales pitch other than the price. All are well known companies that have been in business for decades (including the company contracted by Home Depot) Had I not solicited the 5 proposals, I could have been convinced by the $8000 price sticker that they were the one to select. My closing comment when selecting HVAC suppliers is caveat emptor.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Re: details make the difference

    Originally posted by jasond1011
    sit down and read the exact description of exactly what each is doing . we are always higher than old Vern but he doesn't pull a permit so if the house burns down his insurance won't pay cause it wasn't inspected. He doesn't change the uninsulated 25 year old copper lines under the slab, just what you can see. He takes about a week or more to do the job we do in a day. he reuses the old concrete pad or sits the new condenser on a brick or in the dirt. he reuses the old crushed polypipe drain in sted of new pvc drain. he doesnt add new returns in every room just uses the old one that has always been half as big as needed. he goes with the 1 inch crap filter instead of an annual micron filter so you never have mold dirty coil etc. he vents it to the old masonary chimmney in stead of a new one , double wall. ne reuses the old stat wire to the stat, its to hard to get to, and maybe the old stat. he doesn't really know how to program all that high tech stuff so just fire it up and wait a few years till it breaks ,that guy will know how to program it so you actually see a energy savings. oh and don't call him on the weekend nights or holiday cause he keeps no one on call stocks no parts and doesn't work when you need him and are willing to pay overtime. If they didn't write it in the proposal they are not going to do it.
    Good thing you don't have your profile filled out jasond,
    so we would know where your from. Only thing you left out is as an inspector he wouldn't have to pull a permit anyway since he knows the other inspectors, LMAO just couldn't resist. Be careful using names lol.
    Vern P: 2003 MBC,MRC,IFGC,IFC
    An HVAC-Talk Michigan Chapter Mechanical Inspector, Jurisdiction-Ann Arbor

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Niantic, Illinois
    There could be tons of reasons for the price difference. Maybe the cheaper guy isn't purging with nitrogen while brazing. Maybe he isn't going to take the time to leak search the joints with nitrogen after brazing them. Maybe he's not going to insulate the parts of his metal fab. that are in an uninsulated space (if indeed any of this job are in a garage or unfinished basement).Maybe he isn't going to seal the metal work around where he is installing.

    On the flipside maybe the other contractor has a slower installer and will have more hours labor (not necessarily a bad thing). Maybe he pays more overhead like trucks that aren't leaking oil and new up to date equipment. He could just plain pay his guys better to evoke better quality and loyalty. It could be that this contractor doesn't sell as many units and Trane doesn't cut him as good of a deal on the equipment.

    There is no such thing as apple to apples in hvac. No two companies have the same costs of doing bussiness. It's where the companies try to save money that makes for a good or bad install. If you have a vacuum pump that needs rplacing or repair but the boss won't or can't replace or repair it, the units that get impropery dehydrated will suffer. This is one example of many things.

    Prices vary from area to area, shop to shop. GOOD WORK ISN'T CHEAP AND CHEAP WORK ISN'T GOOD!

  11. #24
    Originally posted by phosgene
    "But professional members shouldn't be indulging homeowners like this. The idea that a national audience can comment intelligently on local pricing is ridiculous."

    ...Irascible hits the nail on the head. How can anyone not involved or knowledgeable in the quotes, area of install, options, quality assurance of job answer this question.
    Voila! How can I be knowledgeable in making my decision when I cannot obtain a credible explanation from the "secret HVAC society"? The one poster that stated his prices were lower because he wasn't "a good business person" was probably a very credible, honest individual. Unfortunately, one has no measure of assurance any installer/dealer is telling you the whole truth. C'est la vie.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2002


    In the kindest possible way let me state that one of the contributing costs to a proposal is the escalating number of sales leads versus closings that appear to be increasing exponentially.In recent times two or three quotes were deemed adequate,now in some situations we see clients with as many as ten.I personally went on a call where the H.O. only was collecting updated information for when his equipment finally failed.I am sure we all have been on quotes for information prior to sale of a residence.Some of my competitors are charging "engineering fee's" to be rebated if the sale concludes.Also Home Depot get's 7% of the gross sale.
    Ethics are as important as education.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Concord, CA
    Originally posted by maizenbluedoc
    Voila! How can I be knowledgeable in making my decision when I cannot obtain a credible explanation from the "secret HVAC society"?
    You got it. You either didn't see it, didn't understand it or chose to ignore it. As far as the secret society goes: Who told?! I'll kill the rat b@st@ard!!

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