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Old 11-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #16
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As a homeowner and a car owner I have to say the numbers associated with getting work done can be breathtaking. It is hard to understand why parts need to be marked up so high when the car dealer is already charging $100 or more per hour for labor. HVAC field seems to follow a similar method.

Not to say that the total charged isn't often right or fair. Just seems like a lot. I think that the markup on parts is done so that the labor part of the bill doesn't have to seem so outrageous and the business gets the total $ they needs to make for a job. Maybe there are also some tax advantages to playing with this breakdown between parts and labor? I dunno. I am an engineer, not a CPA.

But as the userID of one of the forum members here says, DIYorpay. That's why I haven't had a car to a mechanic more than once ot twice in the past 20 years. Getting more into HVAC DIY, too. And yes Yuri, I have even been making my own pizza for as long as I can remember!


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Old 11-16-2011, 08:24 PM   #17
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sorry no comment

Last edited by ben's plumbing; 11-16-2011 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:49 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by newtech View Post
Didn't you just get ----- in the Elec. Forums??
If I did I hope they were smiling while they did it!
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:19 AM   #19
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typically, the plumber and hvac guy are THE most expensive service calls. you can compare it to taking your car into the dealer. toyota charges about $400 for a 4 wheel brake pad change that i can do for less that $50 in pads at autozone and a little over an hour in labor. the second time, the pads are free so it costs me nothing.

it doesn't take a genius to understand a business. you are not just paying for the measly salary of the guy doing the work, you are paying the LOADED rate to cover everything related to the cost and profit of doing business. the differences are which companies have lower overhead, lower profit margin and pay their guys more. this means you get a lower bill and you get a guy who's getting paid more and hopefully that higher pay equates to a better job. problem is, it is virtually impossible to know which companies are best. unless you know people who know people, you are just throwing darts at a dartboard with a blindfold on.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:07 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by biggles View Post
it's not brain surgery if you put the effort into the problem and search and ask questions...you save a ton and feel great you kept that service truck out of your driveway..if you stand back and throw your hand up saying forget it i'm not touching this thing you deserve to get raked..putting it lightly and always realize as a home owner the techs in the field have to learn someplace and a home owners basement floor is the best place cause they have no idea what i'm doing ....and neither do I
It also depends on the temperature outside and one's employment status. i.e. how much time one can spare to become an expert at one more of these nuisance things in life. Autos, computers, home entertainment systems, household appliances, furnaces, electrics, money management, accounting, physiology... :-(
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:12 AM   #21
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you must make the economic decision yourself as to whether your time or your cash are in shorter supply each time you decide whether to call someone in.
When something breaks in my home, before I start tearing into it, I assign a dollar value to my time away from other pursuits (such as a vacation day from work) and then compare the cost of a pro doing the work.
I also must value the cost of new tools that may be needed for a job I haven't done before.
The final item that must be calculated into such a decision is domestic bliss - how much is it worth to you to listen to your spouse grumble about the pros work instead of yours.

Once you know these values, Then you either pick up the phone or you don't.


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