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Old 01-22-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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Trying Not to Break the Bank

Hello, all. I'm brand new to the forum. My wife and I are in the process of renovating the second floor of our home, which has no central A/C. Currently, there are only electric baseboard heaters and no ductwork whatsoever. We have a furnace and A/C unit for the first floor. So far we've only had one contractor come by, but I found his bid to be astronomically high - $ <Has nothing to do with DIY>This was for a 95% 45,000 BTU furnace, a 13 SEER 2-ton A/C, and a central trunk line along the ceiling. The furnace will be on the second floor so no ducts need to be run up through the walls from the basement. My question has to do with the building codes in Illinois. I've heard that a consumer is not allowed to purchase HVAC equipment online. I understand the concern about having homeowners install their own furnaces because of the dangers of working with natural gas. I would never attempt to do the install myself, but I have found the equipment online for under $2,000 and I'm wondering if I can purchase it there and have a contractor come out to install it. Has anyone else done this? I don't know if I'd be out of line asking a contractor to install equipment they did not provide. However, I can't help feeling that the contractor who bid on the project is gouging us. We of course plan to have more people come out and are seeking personal referrals from family and friends. Any advice would be appreciated.


Last edited by beenthere; 01-22-2010 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Removed price
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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What a contractor pays for the equipment is not relevant. There is a 500% markup in clothing stores etc. Just the facts of life how a contractor has to pay for his bills/insurance /business taxes/inventory/vehicle etc. We don't do pricing info here as it gets to be controversial as heck. I would get 3 more quotes and references. There is a lot more expense involved than the equipment itself (quality of workmanship/ proper duct sizing and insulation/sheet metal, running a gas line thru floors/permits etc that you don't know about). There are large differences in equipment quality also. Online Goodman stuff is usually builder grade low end quality. The Amana/Higher end Goodman line, Lennox, Carrier is worth looking into if noise is a concern. Most contractors won't install homeowners equipment and then you have no warranty on labor etc.

Good Luck


Last edited by yuri; 01-22-2010 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:55 PM   #3
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You get all the stuff, with permits, and I'll do it for 15,000.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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Get more estimates.
Check with your local code agency. what is and isn't allowed.
Many contractors WON'T install equipment you buy yourself.
Many side job guys will. But they may rush the job and do a bad install. And leave you with a system that doesn't work well.

Since this is a DIY site. Your question is not in line with this sites intent.
I removed your price and moved the thread to the Off Topic forum. Please don't ask if an install price is a good price. Thank you.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:43 PM   #5
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A friend buys equipment himself all the time thinking he is saving money. He eventually gets someone responsible to come out an install it and it sails through inspections.

Come winter or summer though and something goes wrong he has no loyalty established with any HVAC firm and still scratches his head as to why they slip him down the waiting list for service calls.
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