Originally Posted by how
Telling us what brand and model may help us with whether to change it or not. In my neck of the woods 12 years is still young and would really need to be a lemon to justify tossing it. I doubt that you'll extend it's life with these changes but so what.
Ask him to break down the material and labour costs. Find out how long it will take him to do the whole job so youv'e got an idea of his hourly rate. Ask him to tell you what potential extras might be encountered. Get him to write all this stuff down on the contract for you when he's answering you.
Most contractors don't break down pricing.
Even if I broke down a bid, hiding labor cost is easy, since I can just make the equipment more expensive, and the labor less, or inflate the hours. So you have a misconception of my labor rate. But I don't break down my estimates. Since my price is a fixed price. My customers also don't pay extra for missing my guess on time, and if I get lucky and it goes in faster then thought, yep, I make a few extra bucks.
When having a contractor do work for you. The lower bids often don't have time "can't afford" to come back out quickly if a problem does arise.