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Old 12-30-2008, 11:23 AM   #1
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Need help evaluating estimate- labor component


My tankless hot water heater is on its last legs and the boiler is over 30 years old, so I am getting quotes to replace the system. The old boiler is a Burnham RS 112. The proposed replacement boiler is a Buderus G 115 with an indirect fired hot water heater.

What concerns me about the estimate is 30 hours of labor, which seems high. Two men at 15 hours each for a total labor cost of $2,175. My home is 1,500 sf, 2 stories with 3 heating zones, one of which is radiant heat. The other 2 zones are forced hot water heat.

Does this seem like a reasonable estimate for labor? Would a different replacement boiler bring down the labor component?


Last edited by ajm_ct; 12-30-2008 at 11:40 AM. Reason: add more info
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:50 PM   #2
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Need help evaluating estimate- labor component


Why don't you just get more estimates to compare?

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Old 12-30-2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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I am waiting to receive other estimates, however the breakdown may not be as detailed as this estimate.

I checked with someone who recently had similar work done and the quotes/estimates obtained did not provide a detailed breakdown, just a set price. I was told the bulk of the work was done the first day, with the job finished the next day.

If it is indeed a two day job, that means we will have to vacate the house, because we can't be here in New England during winter without heat or hot water!
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:10 PM   #4
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Need help evaluating estimate- labor component


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Originally Posted by ajm_ct View Post
My tankless hot water heater is on its last legs and the boiler is over 30 years old, so I am getting quotes to replace the system. The old boiler is a Burnham RS 112. The proposed replacement boiler is a Buderus G 115 with an indirect fired hot water heater.

What concerns me about the estimate is 30 hours of labor, which seems high. Two men at 15 hours each for a total labor cost of $2,175. My home is 1,500 sf, 2 stories with 3 heating zones, one of which is radiant heat. The other 2 zones are forced hot water heat.

Does this seem like a reasonable estimate for labor? Would a different replacement boiler bring down the labor component?

A word to the wise: Good is not cheap just as cheap is not good.

I would first ask if this company was referred to you or are they regular heating services. If so then you should trust in what they say and if the service has been good then I think it behooves you to reward them for the service quality that has gained your trust.

if they are some co you dredged up from the phone book and you are not comfortable with them or they show a lack of professionalism then look else where
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Last edited by hvaclover; 12-30-2008 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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Need help evaluating estimate- labor component


3 heating zones plus an indirect.

30 hours is moving pretty quick.

Don't for get about the control wiring.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:28 PM   #6
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Need help evaluating estimate- labor component


Beenthere, you confirmed one of my concerns. I was referred to this company by a neighbor who works for a municipality, and this company does a lot of their plumbing work. They recently installed a new bath/shower cartridge and fittings, with an estimate of 4 hours which turned out to be 6 hours.

Because this is an estimate and not a quote, there is the potential for hours to exceed the estimate with me paying more. The other line items on the quote seem reasonable. As I said before, I really don't want to be out of the house for days, especially with issues of having to find places for pets.

I agree with good is not cheap, and cheap is not good. My parents always made the distinction between inexpensive and cheap. One refers to price and the other refers to quality. It's always important to check out one's contractors first before making a commitment.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:41 PM   #7
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Most of us use the term estimate, inplace of the word bid.

The same as an body shop, uses the word estimate, instead of bid.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:42 PM   #8
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Most of us use the term estimate, inplace of the word bid.

The same as an body shop, uses the word estimate, instead of bid.

Yep. When an HO calls for a new system he asks for an estimate even though we both know the HO really means a firm price.

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