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Old 01-23-2012, 08:32 AM   #16
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


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Originally Posted by hvac5646 View Post
Posts like these are annoying to me, no disrespect to the OP ..they just bother the dickens out of me.


If i wanted to work for an hourly rate I would find a job.

But the Pros here are in business to make a PROFIT, not a an hourly wage.

We take all the risk of opening a business, we have to invest in ongoing training to keep up with technology. We warranty the part that we have to stock or run to get...ect

Yeh..five hundred bucks is cheap for an inducer.

An engineering manager I previously worked for whom I have tremendous amounts of respect once said there is a quote from the Godfather for everything, and in this case it would be "It's not personal, Sonny, it's strictly business."

When you look at this from a customer perspective, I see it as a part I can get myself for $100, and what do I get for the remaining $400? I've already paid an additional $85 for the service call, which I assume is the line item intended to pay for the professional's time driving to my house.

While I recognize the list of expenses the professional has, the warranty is the only one that adds value for me. And if I have to replace this inducer twice within a year I still would have spent less.

If I wasn't capable of replacing an inducer myself or if I needed to not have the inconvenience of waiting for my part to ship, then I wouldn't have the option of choosing the $100 part, and the $500 pro installation is my cheapest option.

I didn't come here asking a question because I'm under the presumption that $500 for an inducer is a rip-off. I came here knowing there will be work to be done on my house where I won't consider doing it myself, so using this as an example I want to get a better understanding of how the value a pro brings to a job gets priced out.

HVAC5646, I'd point out that we both live in the metro Detroit area, and there's a chance that I might be calling your business when I quote the installation of a new HVAC system on my house. When I do so, I will be getting more than one quote and if you provide a quote you might not be my first choice. Even if you were my first choice, there is a chance I might not get financing and I would need to postpone the start of the job.

These are business realities, not personal attacks. And as sympathetic as I am to the need of pros to pay their business expenses and support their families, I'm being asked to pay out more than I pay in a month for several of my top expenses like house payments or car payments, I'm being asked to pay for less than an hour's work with half a week of my own work as an engineer. And when I call for a technician and hear that I'm the 7th job they're doing in a shift, it sounds like there isn't a shortage of work without my repair.

On the list of things to do on my house, HVAC is one I don't plan on doing myself. If money wasn't an object that would have also gone for all the plumbing, electrical and roofing work I've already done along with the post and beam project I'm doing in my crawlspace... For that matter, if money wasn't an object I'd probably have a GC demo the whole house and build a new one, and it'd probably be done by now.

I hope that the pros here can recognize that I appreciate their expertise, and when I hire a pro, the question I am posing here is a matter of becoming better informed so I can budget ahead of time and plan for a successfully financed project that will support a well-built HVAC system. And when I hire an HVAC pro, I intend to do so as part of a whole house project which I intend to accommodate all of the sub-projects as if they were planned for instead of being added as an afterthought where system quality is compromised because the ideal path for a duct is blocked by structure or other similar obstacles to the construction of an ideal system.

And I also want to add that I've read the kind of general advice that it's best to get at least 3 bids and usually throwing out the lowest and highest bids is warranted, along with other such advice... I don't take an approach that is as simple because I want to understand why bids are high or low, because I recognize that a low bid shouldn't be rejected because it's low but rather because it likely reflects an incomplete comprehension of the project, so I am not looking at the price but whether a pro fully understands what they are pricing - and that can go for the high bid as well.

So thanks to everyone for their input - even those who may have felt the need to list the overhead expenses I may have already been aware of, but which I know maybe need to be laid out for others who might contemplate the information discussed here.

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:40 AM   #17
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


I think Been is right. This is a subject that cannot or should not be broached in this setting.
I only read a small pert of your post for this reason.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:42 AM   #18
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


Unless I'm missing something and I can gaurantee I am not, this is a DIY forum where collectively us hvac techs have helped thousands upon thousands of individuals self diagnose, find parts and then assist with the installation of their hvac equipment.

If that is the case and it is, then no one has the right to complain. At least the OP was earnest enough to talk about it. The others we have helped the situation is and was and continually will be EXACTLY the same.

I can also gauarantee that life itself is a business, not just hvac, and we're all in it to save money.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #19
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


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Unless I'm missing something and I can gaurantee I am not, this is a DIY forum where collectively us hvac techs have helped thousands upon thousands of individuals self diagnose, find parts and then assist with the installation of their hvac equipment.

If that is the case and it is, then no one has the right to complain. At least the OP was earnest enough to talk about it. The others we have helped the situation is and was and continually will be EXACTLY the same.

I can also gauarantee that life itself is a business, not just hvac, and we're all in it to save money.
Doc, Ive been at it a long long time.....and i have learned many lessons, the one I am reminded of almost daily is this........You will never make them all happy, so i just strive for 99%......
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #20
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


ever looked at what a dealer charges to replace all 4 brakes? probably $400+, something i can do in about an hour and a half and $50 in parts.

knowledge is power and an eye opener. it's all about perspective, but 500 - 1000% mark-ups are not unreasonable in many professions over cost to DIY (since your labor is "free").
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:05 PM   #21
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


If it wasn't for the internet less than 10% of the population would ever know what the cost of hvac parts is, could not access them online and the local hvac houses don't sell to the public where I am. then we would not have all this fun. I don't begrudge DIYers as I am one myself unless they have a snarky attitude.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #22
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


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If it wasn't for the internet less than 10% of the population would ever know what the cost of hvac parts is, could not access them online and the local hvac houses don't sell to the public where I am. then we would not have all this fun. I don't begrudge DIYers as I am one myself unless they have a snarky attitude.
Free market is a fantastic thing if/when it works right.

I do everything that I can do by myself. I like doing it, plus it has saved me tens of thousands of dollars over the last 30 years.

But sometimes it's work I cannot do. I had to have the transmission in my old Volvo rebuilt some time ago. Dang, it hurt to pay $2300 for that! But I couldn't do the work, they could, and they did the job right. I got what I paid for.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:31 PM   #23
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


Exactly. I will do tune-ups, brakes, alternators, starters and all the minute simple stuff I can on my own vehicles but it is out of my league to rebuild a motor or transmission. That's when I hire an auto mechanic.

Not too long ago I took my truck to an auto shop to have it fitted with new shocks all the way around. After the fact my nephew's truck needed shocks all the way around and I called the same mechanic. This time, however, I asked him if my nephew bought the shocks from the auto parts store and brought them in if he'd put them in, just charge labor.

No problems and he did the job but that's when I found out how much he marked up the price on the job he did for me, double the cost of the exact same shock, same trucks. Plus labor.

I felt like an idiot, my ignorance, but he had every right to do that and I understand.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #24
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


I don't mind paying for work as long as it is done right/correctly. When my house needs shingles I am not going to bust my azz and do the work myself and have to feed and supply beer to my relatives as helpers. I would rather work a couple days on the weekend at what I do and get paid overtime rate and then pay the roofers instead. Of course I know the price of shingles and am not going to be arrogant and say to them what I "think" they should chg or I will get a lousy job done. Everyone needs to make a decent living and it is arrogant for people to think they should decide what a fair profit for us is. Hence the fact the internet is causing these problems. Cest la Vie.

Actually it is not a problem for me, I let the service manager deal with all that cra*pp.
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Last edited by yuri; 01-23-2012 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:26 PM   #25
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


Yep that's the way it is. DIY saves a ton of cash as does a garden and a few fruit trees. Throw in some doe tags and a family can easily save 5K a year just in food. In the past few years I built a garage and saved nearly $6K on that project,new windows-saved 3K,bathroom remodel-saved 6K,new flooring-saved 2K. Won't count the new furnace and heat pump because I do that for a living and had all the specialty tools. Now if there was a DIY doctoring/surgery forum I could save a whole lot practicing on the Mrs,last 3 years in a row she spent $5,000 by the second week in Jan.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:30 PM   #26
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


DIY supports my beer problem
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:30 PM   #27
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


Plus if I get the relatives loaded with beer the shingles end up all crooked or upside down.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:34 PM   #28
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


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Yep that's the way it is. DIY saves a ton of cash as does a garden and a few fruit trees. Throw in some doe tags and a family can easily save 5K a year just in food. In the past few years I built a garage and saved nearly $6K on that project,new windows-saved 3K,bathroom remodel-saved 6K,new flooring-saved 2K. Won't count the new furnace and heat pump because I do that for a living and had all the specialty tools. Now if there was a DIY doctoring/surgery forum I could save a whole lot practicing on the Mrs,last 3 years in a row she spent $5,000 by the second week in Jan.

trade er in on a new model.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #29
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty S. View Post
Yep that's the way it is. DIY saves a ton of cash as does a garden and a few fruit trees. Throw in some doe tags and a family can easily save 5K a year just in food. In the past few years I built a garage and saved nearly $6K on that project,new windows-saved 3K,bathroom remodel-saved 6K,new flooring-saved 2K. Won't count the new furnace and heat pump because I do that for a living and had all the specialty tools. Now if there was a DIY doctoring/surgery forum I could save a whole lot practicing on the Mrs,last 3 years in a row she spent $5,000 by the second week in Jan.

Us hvac guys can pretty much do anything. God knows the amount of tools we all have. That and a God given natural born talent we possess to use them.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #30
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Replacing draft inducer cost of DIY vs pro


Seroiusly, there is not one trade that we do not encompass being in the hvac industry. Carpentry, framing, electrical, plumbing, you name it and we know it. Or we'll find out.

I have gc's for friends, electricians, and plumbers, all of which I literally have experience with in each specific trade. I wouldn't hire an electrician for a panel upgrade at my own place. I have four years as an electrician under my belt, from the ground up commerical and residential new construction and retrofit. I probably have 100 panel upgrades under my belt, up to and including complete re-wiring of buildings and homes.

Water heaters? Dozens.

I've even done roofing before but hate it. Metal, commercial roofing.

Life is good.

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