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Not in the trades, but
I could do a job in "x" hours
Training a newbie it was usually "2x" depending upon the abilities

So in this HVAC case I think any $$ saved on equipment would be chewed up in how long it would take to train the guy
Good point. I still think the best solution is for the HO to do those things that they are capable and to pay prevailing wage for final install and start up to contractors who are willing to work for T&M. The HO still saves and has a DIY hand in the process. Just my $.02
 

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If your normal labor rate is $80.00 an hour.

Then you would need $100.00 to $125.00 an hour consulting to make the same money as providing the equipment and installing the job.
 

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If your normal labor rate is $80.00 an hour.

Then you would need $100.00 to $125.00 an hour consulting to make the same money as providing the equipment and installing the job.

Ok, I understand that, but I think the point is being missed here. Let me try again.

Your response assumes that all you do, 8 hours a day 5 days a week is install new equipment. I hope that is your case. If it is, it is rare.

I am not talking about taking time away from your install of product you sold. I am trying to compare the income of consult or installation and start-up of private purchase equipment and time spent in comparison to running service calls. Again, parts mark up excluded.

Thanks Beenthere for your input. I always appreciate your solid insight.
 

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I think I understand what your asking.

What you may be missing though.
That while on a paid consult.
Your also not promoting a sale of equipment and installation to the neighbors of the customer your consulting for.

Your first thought, is that another consult job may come from it.
Which if it does. Fine, another low profit job.
While some profit is better then no profit.
Next thing to consider. Is the consulting losing you profit. By encouraging more DIY installs. Requiring you to increase your consulting charge. And then losing consuting jobs.

Will the customer that you were the consultant for. Now decide that he can do his neighbors install without the neighbor needing to pay you for consultation.
Which of course loses consulting jobs for you.

Its a very sharp double edge sword.
 

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HVAC / Plumbing
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Well,I also am a certified plumber.therefore I do plumbing as well as hvac. I had a cust once that asked for a install price of a water heater installation( me supplying everything) he then calls back for me to quote just install price as he bought the wh.I gave him a price installed his purchased wh.when I complete the job. The wh doesn't fire.he didn't want to pay because the wh didn't work.found out he had purchased the wh from a company that buys from everywhere. The wh had been in a warehouse that had flooded & was no good..this is the type stuff you get into when you install something the ho purchases. When the equip. They bought don't work they want you to either make it work of take it out & install another 1 for the original paid price.to each his own.. I learned my lesson from this cust & just will never do it again
 

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All good points. Thanks.

I am a fence walker on this issue, because I am a retailer of equipment, but also have the background to see the contractors POV as well.

Here is an example:

Last week I was contacted by a local business. They had a bad AC unit, as diagnosed by a local contractor who gave a bid of $4,500 to replace the unit and indoor coil to match with a 13 SEER 2.5 ton. This is where I came in. This business is struggling and asked if I could help. I could have sold the equipment and gotten a local contractor to install. Instead, I was suspicious of the diagnosis. I contacted one of my local contractors to give a 2nd opinion, and I have located a compressor as an alternative to replacement.

I know, I am taking a long time to tell the story, but I am coming to an end. My contractor found a burned brittle hot wire to the compressor and a burned run cap. An hour of labor, a new lead and run cap and a good cleaning and this unit was purring like a kitten. I got nothing out of this, other then being a hero (and free hair cuts for a while:yes:. The interesting thing that happened that I think many HO never take into consideration was that when my contractor charged them $150 for the above, they immediately went on the defensive and asked how much the labor was and complained that it was high. I was stunned. I told the husband of business owner to come with me. I led him out to my contractors truck and opened the doors, and asked him how much inventory he thought was in the truck. He threw out $1,000. I corrected him and told him more like $7,500 and that did not even take tools and equipment into account.

I usually don't take this stand, but I could see the contractor's face turn red and I felt the need to come to his defense. There is a reason for the pros to charge their rates and profits. I think the black eye comes when a small population of pros try to make the same profit on one sale and install that a good conscientious contractor would make in two of the same. you guys work hard and deserve your income.
 

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GC/Master Plumber/Mech
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There are two types of warranty's we can issue the DIYER.

1. The egg timer warranty.

2. The break in half warranty, if it breaks in half he gets to keep both half's.

:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

That's a good one I'll use that
 

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Heres my two cents.

Home air sounds good on surface(training a home owner). I don't think a HO can take responably They are untrained and the pro is the pro. Something goes wrong a judge will look at the pro and say you are the pro not the HO. Maybe not but I think so. Also will the pros insurance still cover the job?

Pros have a liscense for a reason.

Some people can do just about anything they put there mind to, others seen to be able untill they start. The ones that seem to be able are going to be the real trouble with on the job training.

:thumbup::thumbup:

Just my $0.02
 

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Just my $0.02
Wow Tex! That was $.04 worth. Thanks

I only used the consult theory because it was brought up in the thread. I really am more concerned about and am questioning the time spent doing T&M only installs or start-ups compared to chasing the service calls. What is the difference? Is it the liability? If you supply the equipment and there are start up failures the monkey is certainly on your back. If the HO provides equipment, are you so sure and are saying that a start-up failure will be seen by the HO as your baby too? This is an easy question to answer that has variable answers depending on which side of the fence your answering from.

Most DIY homeowners would not pay a nickle to see an ant eat a bail of hay, so I doubt the majority would pay prevailing wage for coaching.
 

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Yes. They would expect you to change their defective part for free.
Atleast many of them do.

Customers that provide their own equipment/parts.
Don't expect to pay for it to be replaced if its defective the day you install it. Or 6 months later.
They now expect the same warranty as though you sold them the part.

Consulting is the same.

You tell them it needs to be this way. Later they call and say it isn't working. You find they did it another way. Because it was easier, or saved them some space.
And it can't work that way.
But its your fault.
Because you only told them 6 times it has to be a certain way.

Even if you write and draw up everything for them, and keep a copy for yourself to prove what you said and showed.
They still can say they didn't understand(because they dont have any training on how and why it works).So they think its still your fault. So you should either fix it for free. Or pay them for their wasted materials.
 

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The pros here are great. Thanks for the responses. This is a debate that has no end, I do greatly appreciate the input though.

To the original poster, sorry for the hijack. Hope your question was answered.
 

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Wow Tex! That was $.04 worth. Thanks

If the HO provides equipment, are you so sure and are saying that a start-up failure will be seen by the HO as your baby too?



Exactly the point I was making when I posted about a ho purchased wh I installed. As far as I'm concerned... You can have all those jobs you want . If I don't supply , I don't install.. Same with parts.. Ho parts I won't install them
 

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As far as training your client your trade so he can do ONE system ? No savings, as another mentioned, takes 2X+ to explain what to do, than to do it.

Also, if someone is doing themselves, not because they are highly skilled type persons, with a good connection between the brain and the hands; but because they can not AFFORD to pay for a proper job; this can be devastating to them. If they are unable to AFFORD the downside if they screw it up, and have to pay to have the work corrected, both in wasted material and labor; they ought not take on the task on the first place.

If client has the money to toss around, but LIKES to learn new skills, and can live with the losses, should he screw up; and he/she has the mindset of The Essential Craftsman.. that person would qualify to do this sort of thing themselves; but such people are rare ducks! Even TEC brings in experts, because they have the correct equipment and staff on hand, no rentals needed. Time saved is of value.

As a locksmith, I work with DIYers all the time. I do the benchwork, they do the carpentry. or the R&R on their car. There are so many areas where there is low risk or downside. THESE are the places to DIY, for those that are reasonably handy with tools.
 

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retired framer
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As far as training your client your trade so he can do ONE system ? No savings, as another mentioned, takes 2X+ to explain what to do, than to do it.

Also, if someone is doing themselves, not because they are highly skilled type persons, with a good connection between the brain and the hands; but because they can not AFFORD to pay for a proper job; this can be devastating to them. If they are unable to AFFORD the downside if they screw it up, and have to pay to have the work corrected, both in wasted material and labor; they ought not take on the task on the first place.

If client has the money to toss around, but LIKES to learn new skills, and can live with the losses, should he screw up; and he/she has the mindset of The Essential Craftsman.. that person would qualify to do this sort of thing themselves; but such people are rare ducks! Even TEC brings in experts, because they have the correct equipment and staff on hand, no rentals needed. Time saved is of value.

As a locksmith, I work with DIYers all the time. I do the benchwork, they do the carpentry. or the R&R on their car. There are so many areas where there is low risk or downside. THESE are the places to DIY, for those that are reasonably handy with tools.
May 23, 2009
 

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Why would I ever want to higher an HVAC guy to teach me about my system. What is he going to save me? I will likely forget about it before anything breaks and be stuck with equipment that I will never use for anything else. However, if I am planning on passing myself off as an HVAC technician after this guy "trains" me, would I really be naive enough to believe that a guy in business would include the important stuff? Cant fake experience or gain it quickly. As an IT consultant (former HVAC controls guy), I would always be happy to give advice, or consult on the little stuff. I am never training my competion, nor someone that can say that I trained them. I worked to hard for my name. Having worked in HVAC at a commercial level, I can honestly say, your are not paying someone to drop pink insulation in your attic. These people make a good living for a reason. Let them. You will save more money doing research on reputable vendors and developing a relationship.
 

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HVAC can be DIY but it requires a lot of dedication. I’ve successfully installed two mini-splits, and 4 conventional split dual-fuel heat pumps (partial DIY/friends) but in doing so I’ve spent countless hours learning tricks of the trade from folks like beenthere. I’ve collected a manifold gauge, vacuum pump, vacuum micrometer gauge, lots of low-loss hose fittings and adapters, flare tool, thread lube, flare nut torque wrench kit, debur tool, pipe cutters, pipe benders, R410a, weigh scale, sheet metal hand bender, tin snips, rivet tool, metal duct tape, duct hole cutter, leak detection spray, volt meters, current clamp meters, digital pressure manometer, temperature thermocouple meters, IR thermometer, bluetooth temperature loggers, and wire strippers.. A lot of these tools have no other purpose for me than my DIY HVAC hobby. I’ve enjoyed the journey, but you need to really want to spend the time doing your research if you want it done right.
 
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