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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I need to have a new system installed. I have learned from this and other similar fora populated by HVAC professionals who express a desire to perform quality work that it's the installation - not the brand - that ensures the quality of the installation. Im am in the Houston area, specifically Deer Park. If the forum allows it, can someone recommend a contractor they would be comfortable with installing a system in their own would be much appreciated.
    I plead for that information because I am scared to death of getting into a "butchered job" situation and nobody wins in that scenario.

    I am anything but a experienced AC person but when the original system failed after only 6 years of service (new home) I decided to install the new system myself - in those days one could purchase freon and hardware withoutout being a contractor - because there was no way I could do a worse job. I got a air conditioning manual and struck out on a new adventure. I wound up ripping every single component from the thermostat wires and ducts to the outside unit and the pad it sat on. I learned a lot in the process and the system is still running after 22 years so I couldn't have been too far off the mark. I said all that to say this...the knowledge and experience I gained is more than enough to make me "dangerous" but not nearly enough to make me an "expert". I'm afraid I will antagonize the contractor with questions and observation of their work in progress.

    What do you pro's recommend..would you be offended if a customer was overly interested in the installation workmanship, up to and including questioning something that appeared quality deficient? Or, should I bite my tongue and stay totally out of the way.

    All you need to do is to look at some of those (unbelievable) pictures of botched work in that other forum and you can see why I am asking about this. What can I reasonably do without being a pest to ensure my installation wouldn't be a candidate for your hall of shame?

    If you don't think I'm completely out in left field, I'd much appreciate any feedback and especially the name of someone you would trust with your work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Eastern PA
    I always answered as many questions my customers asked as I could reasonably answer during the sales and orientation process of doing a job. However, when it came to my actually working, I told my customers that I charged 50% more if they helped and 100% more if I had to teach them everything I was doing as I was doing it. After all, you would pay to go to school to learn wouldn't you?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL

    Express your concerns and sho thm the pictures from the wall of shame,get a detailed quote.Some will walk away but not all.

    Don't wait until they are doing the job to nit pick ,I mean express your concerns, about quality.

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I agree with these guys. During the sales meeting, express all your concerns & ask all your questions. You should be blunt about what you expect. The salesman wont be offended. If a homeowner has a concern or a question, I want to know. After your satisfied with his answers & you decide to go with the right company, then stay out of the way on installation day. You might wanna sneak in there when they break for lunch & see their progress.
    Life is like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I agree also. Wait until the job is completed too.A good install crew will go over their work as a final walk through to catch anything they might have missed. After that, before you write your check address concerns that you have. Be non demeaning. I believe that anyone has something that they can learn from any other. They may see something that they have overlooked for a long time and correct it on future jobs. That is why guys who think that the customer is stupid never learn anything.

  6. #6
    I like for customers to watch and ask questions, most of the time I'll put them to work picking up the trash, this way they know what they are getting. Saves me time too when I get ready to go.

    “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I'm appreciative of the feedback.

    Any contractor recommendations?

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