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Discussion Starter #1
(the subject line should have read "contract price")

I should be meeting with my contractor possibly later today to go over the final invoice and discuss a couple things left to do.
One of the things that are on the original signed contract is: "Crane up HVAC unit to roof under properly".
It doesn't have a line item price it's just together with a lump sum bid.
They were able to do the roofing around the HVAC unit without using a crane. I don't know how much of a cost it normally is to a contractor to use a crane for something like that but it can't be cheap.
So that leads to my question: Am I entitled to a break in the contract price if he didn't use a crane but his contract price was based on using a crane?

Thanks, and I appreciate all the expertise and experience on this board!

-Bob
 

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It should have been clearer in the agreement.

But, he may have still had to jack up and possibly disconnect the unit from the curb to get the flashings under the top steel flange, which would take several men a few hours each, especially if he had to move it away from the curb on some sort of HVAC rollers.

Also, crane fees vary widely, depending on how long and what weight and size boom and jib is required.

I can have a company do that for as little as $75.00 for a one hour time fee, or it can cost nearly $1,000.00 for an entire day of sitting and waiting for the 1-2 times a lift was required.

Talk to the salesman and see what they say.

Ed
 

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The cost to rent a crane varies depending on the location, size of crane, and time the crane will be needed for. You are probably not talking about a huge sum for what was described.

As to whether or not you are entitled to a break in the contract price that depends on the type of contract really. If it was a lump sum fixed rate contract then probably not. Usually the way those work is if the contractor can perform the job to the specifications of the contract for a lesser amount than described, then they are entitled to pocket the savings. The reverse is also true in that if it costs the contractor more to complete the job to the specifications then you pocket the savings. This assumes there is no hidden conditions that could not be reasonably accounted for.

If you have a time and materials contract then you should be entitled to a refund for the crane rental. Most contracts are usually fixed cost and from what you briefly described I would have to assume that is what you have.

That said, if they didn't lift the HVAC unit somehow and roof under it then they did not perform the contract to the specifications listed in the contract so you may have an argument. A contract lawyer would be able to tell you for sure. I do have to say though, it will probably cost you close to what the crane rental would have been to discuss it with a lawyer.
 

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I have an extreme example of lump sum contracts and the contractor saving himself some money.

One of my competitors took a job a few years ago, a large lump sum job for supplying and installing a large quantity of large bore stainless steel tubing. Several hundred thousand dollars. The job was bid competitively and they won the bid on price (I didn't bid on this job). In the course of the project, they purchased a tube bender for $5000. That tube bender enabled them to avoid the cost of a large quantity of 45 degree elbows, and the cost of welding up offsets in the piping, making the overall installation easier. Overall, the contractor saved $50,000 in labor and material, which went directly to the bottom line of the project as profit.

In this case, the client and contractor signed a lump sum contract. The customer was not entitled to the savings that resulted from the contractor's ability to deploy his means and methods in an efficient manner.
 
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