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ratflinger 02-18-2013 05:53 PM

Question for beenthere and other professionals
 
I understand why contractors prefer to to do the whole install, it is afterall their livelihood. However, if one has a system and duct design provided by a HVAC engineer what is really wrong with the homeowner doing the physical labor himself and then calling for a professional to do the actual line hookups, testing and startup? This assumes there are no codes in the way of the HO actually performing said work. The grunt work is usually done by apprentices anyway right, and the usual HO should care more about a quality install than thew average apprentice.

Not putting anyone down, just looking for intelligent discussion.

TarheelTerp 02-18-2013 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ratflinger (Post 1119968)
However, if...
This assumes...
The grunt work is usually...

...just looking for intelligent discussion.

Turn the Q around: What do YOU do for a living?
How would your customers prefer to split up that job?
What sort of problems/conflicts can you anticipate showing up?

beenthere 02-18-2013 06:44 PM

How about providing those apprentices with work. So they keep coming to work. So they can become journeymen.

Next, meeting schedule. not just for your home, but to get to other jobs. if you end up taking a week longer, it throws off our schedules. If we come there and find something not done as it was suppose to be done, then we either still have to redo it. Or wait until you correct it.

If you want to DIY some stuff, have at it. But have everything ready and right when you call a contractor in.

yuri 02-18-2013 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ratflinger (Post 1119968)
I understand why contractors prefer to to do the whole install, it is afterall their livelihood. However, if one has a system and duct design provided by a HVAC engineer what is really wrong with the homeowner doing the physical labor himself and then calling for a professional to do the actual line hookups, testing and startup? This assumes there are no codes in the way of the HO actually performing said work. The grunt work is usually done by apprentices anyway right, and the usual HO should care more about a quality install than thew average apprentice. the average apprentice nowadays has to be skilled or we don't keep em long. they do the wiring and venting and the lead guy does the tin work so there are no unskilled grunts unless you call Joes heatem and cheatem. you really do get what you pay for unfortunately most people are so in denial they don't understand that. within 1 -2 yrs our apprentices get their gas license and within another they can become a lead guy.

Not putting anyone down, just looking for intelligent discussion.

also you got no warranty if you DIY other than a heck of a hard time getting parts and you will pay top dollar to get any reputable tech to handle any warranty issues.


.....

Marty S. 02-18-2013 07:04 PM

Nothing wrong with it so long as the customer knows what to do and that when they do the work they also assume the responsibility for any problems/warranty. Air flow has to be right for the system to work correctly.

Around here an apprentice is paired with a journeyman for 3 years after trade school,4 years without trade school. They can't work a job without a J-man there and can't take the test for the above amount of time.

ben's plumbing 02-18-2013 08:09 PM

I know you said no disrespect to anyone...but...listen to your question and read your own post....now look at the comments from a few professionals... yes our apprentices are very qualified to run a job after 1-2 yrs and they earn that respect for doing such so you are kinda disrespecting them.. i know that is not your intent.. but imo I would never share my work with the average ho because ...1- it takes food off the table of my hard working men..2- there is just a ton of problems ..that WILL come up ...no disrespect to you though...ben sr

REP 02-18-2013 10:18 PM

Here is something to think about.That install will be yours for 20 years.Durning all that time you will be paying for it to run effiently so you don't go broke.It also has nto make you comfortable for 20 years.Do you think you can do that?

ratflinger 02-18-2013 10:31 PM

Your points are well made and I am glad to see you gentlemen are using apprentices properly. Maybe I am jaded by the work in my current house and painting with too large a brush. We built in 99 using a GC & therefore had little control over the subs. My duct work looks like little skill was used (all flex), one condensate line was left unglued & resulted in damage sheetrock a couple of years later, and the tubing and wiring for both units was shoved down the same gap in the 2x4 frame resulting in a big bow in the sheetrock of the room. It left me thinking 'My goodness, even I could do better than this'. So here I am 14 years later planning another house, except this time I am the GC and I'm thinking 'why not'. Your points are well taken, so how do I find a good contractor? I've run a prelim Manual J using the HVAC Calc sw, I have my window & door spec, the wall specs, roof, etc., so I'm probably in the ballpark somewhere, but I'm having a real hard time getting any HVAC people to talk to me about a bid. I'd be happy for a reasonable answer within $5k just so I'd have an idea, but all I get is a pat on the back, thanks for stopping in & call us when the house is built and we'll come out to tell you what you need. Needless to say I'm kinda pissed off with the industry right now. Do I just keep calling contractors or what?

ratflinger 02-18-2013 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by REP (Post 1120142)
Here is something to think about.That install will be yours for 20 years.Durning all that time you will be paying for it to run effiently so you don't go broke.It also has nto make you comfortable for 20 years.Do you think you can do that?


Maybe not to your standards, but compared to my current install yeah. However your points are valid and I respect them.

yuri 02-18-2013 10:42 PM

most contractors do replacement work so to quote they need to see a completed house. new home builders do 99% piece work jobs with subs who generally stab each other in the back and low ball each other until nobody is REALLY making any money. nobody wants to waste their time speculating on what your house may look like and be when done and there are so many tire kickers out there why would they. a top salesman only closes about 25% of his leads so they are not intersted in tire kickers or people wanting rough quotes, to survive they have to make the sale now and they have quotas to meet or they get fired. c'est la vie.

ratflinger 02-18-2013 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yuri (Post 1120152)
most contractors do replacement work so to quote they need to see a completed house. new home builders do 99% piece work jobs with subs who generally stab each other in the back and low ball each other until nobody is REALLY making any money. nobody wants to waste their time speculating on what your house may look like and be when done and there are so many tire kickers out there why would they. a top salesman only closes about 25% of his leads so they are not intersted in tire kickers or people wanting rough quotes, to survive they have to make the sale now and they have quotas to meet or they get fired. c'est la vie.


I suppose so, but every other sub has given me a bid. I'm paying cash for the build, so I'm on more of a budget than someone who's getting a mortgage. I'm really uncomfortable going in to this not knowing if the AC will be $10k or $20k (example). If I budget $15k now & when the house is built the low bid is $25k then I guess I don't have AC or heat. An idea now allows me to work my budget. I'm not expecting a firm bid now, but I don't feel it's too much to ask to get a bid. I mean is business really that goods right now?

ratflinger 02-18-2013 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yuri (Post 1120152)
most contractors do replacement work so to quote they need to see a completed house. new home builders do 99% piece work jobs with subs who generally stab each other in the back and low ball each other until nobody is REALLY making any money. nobody wants to waste their time speculating on what your house may look like and be when done and there are so many tire kickers out there why would they. a top salesman only closes about 25% of his leads so they are not intersted in tire kickers or people wanting rough quotes, to survive they have to make the sale now and they have quotas to meet or they get fired. c'est la vie.


However this would explain the crappy work done in a new build vs a higher quality replacement. Which also unfortunately supports my points about why can't a DYIer do it better? Or at least some of it?

hvac benny 02-19-2013 12:00 AM

The common saying in the mechanical trades is "you touch it, you own it". It doesn't matter if the contractor caused the problem, if there is one they will be held responsible, or at least blamed and suffer a bad review because of it.

The problem here seems to be that you're expecting a custom install on spec prices. Not going to happen. The budget minded builder is exactly the reason I got out of this game: they expect rock bottom prices, and there are hacks out there that will give it to them, all to the detriment of the industry. You get what you pay for. There is no such thing as a getting a deal.

An economy that is in the tank, or in recovery, doesn't mean that you'll get a quality installer to do your job for peanuts: they'd rather stay home than cheapen their product.

As for an HO GCing his or her own build, I would run away from that project so fast an ACME anvil may narrowly miss hitting me. No offense to you, but dealing with experienced GCs can be bad enough.

beenthere 02-19-2013 04:56 AM

New construction(cookie cutter) is a cut throat business. Throw the lowest price at it they can and cut every corner possible to make a dollar.

Most of the existing construction contractors in your area may only size by sq ft, and not believe in Manual J. So you may have to make a lot of phone calls to find a good contractor. And it won't matter what our opinion is about you doing some of the work yourself is. Its what their opinion is that will count.

ratflinger 02-19-2013 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hvac benny (Post 1120178)
The common saying in the mechanical trades is "you touch it, you own it". It doesn't matter if the contractor caused the problem, if there is one they will be held responsible, or at least blamed and suffer a bad review because of it.

The problem here seems to be that you're expecting a custom install on spec prices. Not going to happen. The budget minded builder is exactly the reason I got out of this game: they expect rock bottom prices, and there are hacks out there that will give it to them, all to the detriment of the industry. You get what you pay for. There is no such thing as a getting a deal.

An economy that is in the tank, or in recovery, doesn't mean that you'll get a quality installer to do your job for peanuts: they'd rather stay home than cheapen their product.

As for an HO GCing his or her own build, I would run away from that project so fast an ACME anvil may narrowly miss hitting me. No offense to you, but dealing with experienced GCs can be bad enough.


No sir - never said I wanted a budget install, I said I had a budget and wanted to know prices of installs so I could budget. Every GC started somewhere and a lot of them don't seem any more qualified than I am. Why would a HO GC be anymore difficult than dealing with a HO that needed a total replacement is beyond me.


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