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kevinnangel 10-29-2008 10:48 PM

where do we start??
My husband is certain that he can install a furnace and all the needed ductwork in our house. I am not so certain. I need to know what exactly needs to be done so I can talk through this thoroughly with him. I do not want to go without a furnace again this winter. Our house has no existing ductwork, no furnace-so everything is from scratch so to speak. We have a basement and the house is 1500 square feet with a second story. I really just need enough information to talk him out of doing this himself- he simply does not have the time but he'd rather give up time than money. However, he's a great hands on type of guy and has done lots of construction and remodeling so it is very difficult to talk him into hiring someone else.

I just want this done and a warm house-looking forward to hearing from you.

fireguy 10-29-2008 11:35 PM

You might look at

does your husband know how to figure heat loss, properly size the fuel supply, pipe sizes, pipe take outs, pipe supports, air flow, duct sizes, duct supports, cubic feet per miinute, electrical wiring? he can get some of this off the internet, but what if he makes a mistake? Leaking gas lines can make your house sneeze, improper combustion can produce too much CO and kill you, improper wire grounding can make holes in your gas pipe, electricity can kill you.

This is a situation for a licensed contractor who specializes in heating solutions. Get 3 estimates, compare each estimate and what each contractor will and will not do. Verify licensing, liability insurance, workers comp, training and certifications. GEt references, of those who were pleased with the work and at least one who was not pleased with the work.

And do not use the cheapest contractor.

Maybe your husband can do the clean-up at the end of the job, and save some money that way.

dac122 10-30-2008 12:30 PM

I applaud his enthusiasm and DIYer spirit, but I think you are right. Even worse, from a marriage perspective, if he does manage to pull it off, his sense of accomplishment will make him impossible to live with. So by all means you must discourage this! :) Just kidding.

Get him a copy of ACCA's Manual J and Manual D for sizing the furnace and duct-work design. That is what the pros use. You may be able to get an inter-library loan from your local library as they are expensive. Once he starts reading them he will hopefully decide this is a big job.

Explain when he gets an estimate for 4 days work for an a-z install, that's 40 hours times X number of people who've done this before. So he could be easily looking at several hundred hours of his own time.

Having said that he may be able to find a contractor he can work with to do some of the work himself to cut down on cost. Maybe a few branch ducts, a panned return, snake the tstat line, run the furnace power, etc. That might make him feel like he's not a 5th wheel and is saving money.

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