How much is to much?

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-17-11, 10:08 AM
Trying2Help's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 715
Question How much is to much?

Have an elderly lady who recently had her Heat Pump, packaged unit replaced and just wondering if the price was reasonable. This may be long, but I will give as much needed detail to allow you to form an opinon.

This is in the state of California, as that may make a difference in the pricing. Old unit was a Trane (I think), over and under 5 ton, about 25 years old but still working well. She had no real problems, just minor ones, but husband passed and she wanted to ensure unit would be good until it was her time to go.

She saw a flyer at CostCo and contracted to have unit replaced ($12,437). This included a $1000.00 back for using the CostCo card and MAYBE an additional $1250.00 from the electric company (if system passed the duct test).

Company comes out and looks things over to determine what they will need to install and plan installation. She is about 60 miles away from where they are based.

Company show up to replace the unit. It is mounted on the ground, pad is in good condition, ducting is approximately 30" from wall to unit. They replace old unit (5 ton, over/under) with a 4 ton, side by side. Took about a day to make the change.

Unit had several promblems, in the next several months. The main one, was it wasn't cooling the house. Company came out several times, made adjustments, replaced parts, etc... Still was not getting the airflow needed to cool house. Homeowner was gone for a couple of months, so I went out to house on several days to see how the unit would perform without anyone home, nothing on except the cooler. Ran the cooler from 1100 to 1630 and the temp in the house went from 95 degrees to 91 degrees!

Company also ran the duct pressure test to determine if homeowner qualified for the other rebate. After several attempts, and finally getting all the ducts sealed off. It was determined the ducting was close but not close enough. I am thinking the problem is in the return duct, as it sits on the ground under the house. All supply ducting is hung from floor joists and look to be in excellent condition. I think the return may have pin holes in the bottom side, which prevents it from holding pressure. (this is a different issue)

Determined the problem was the ducting from unit to house. Seems you can't go from side by side to over/under without causing some back pressure and restrict the air flow. I would have thought they would have know this, but they determine it would be better to replace the unit with an over/under unit.

Show back up and remove the Lennox 4 ton (15CHPXA-48-230-1A) unit with a Trane 5 ton unit (4WHC3060A1000AA). Replaced the ducting from unit to wall. Again the process took a day (0900-1630).

So far this seems to have taken care of the air flow problem and the system seems to be cooling the house.

My questions are:
1. Is $11,500 a fair price for remove and replacement of a packaged unit and 30" of ducting?
2. How much did the Trane unit cost?
3. Can a homeowner buy and install their own unit?

I do understand there are cost factors the installer has to deal with and they need to make a profit, not a problem. However, for what they actually had to do, if it would have been done correctly the first time, just doesn't seem to be that much.

Thanks for any information.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-17-11, 10:27 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,789
I'm no Pro...but I find it hard to believe it took them a full day to do the swap. I've seen them do them out here on roof mounted units (crane required) and it was less than 5 hrs or so, and that included a new angled base in a couple of cases.

I'd have to say that sounds high to me (again..no Pro)....I would imagine the equipment cost was probably around $5000? Maybe $6000? I know I got a verbal quote last year, from a guy doing one on my street (regular 3 1/2T A/C and 80K btu furnace...not HP) and it was about $3500-4000 installed for a lower (14?) seer unit.
 
  #3  
Old 09-17-11, 11:01 AM
hvactechfw's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,245
WOW that was cheap gunguy!

However, I don't believe this is the forum for this discussion. It's not about price. If there is a price question get more quotes. This is a DIY forum and to answer your question of could a homeowner buy and put their own in, sure, might not be legal in all areas. I know it wouldn't be legal in my area. One would have to check all local and state laws and or codes.
 
  #4  
Old 09-17-11, 11:12 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 11,887
I agree with HVACtech as far as the price. At this point it is pretty much a non-factor. Remember, you are not just paying for the unit and the guys wage. There is insurance, bond, shop, trucks, gas, work not done at the house, and I could go on and on about all the other things that go into the cost for this type of work. IMO these guys that did the install are standing by their work on the new unit AND replacing it with a different one at ZERO cost to you/her. I bet if you crunched the numbers on how many 60 mile trips, and how long they were there, they didn't make money on that one. Does that make you feel better about the price?
 
  #5  
Old 09-17-11, 12:07 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,789
To the Pros...I meant to put the disclaimer about travel, taxes, different areas labor costs, more than one quote, etc.....but neighbor needed a hand and I forgot.

I wasn't quoting prices..just guessing. I mean..come on..these are package units were talking about and no mention of interior ductwork. Heck..the OP even had an HP...so no gas line involved. A few electrical connections...some exterior duct work and it's done. They are standing by the work...as they should...since no actual mention of a Manual J and they used a smaller unit in a different configuration initially, which didn't cool the house.

Sorry...I just can't see almost $12K. I know I sure wouldn't pay 1/2 that for my replacement. Even if the equipment was $7K...does that justify almost $5K above that?

Of course you are both absolutely correct about multiple quotes....but a little late for that now. If the contract was signed and the house is now cool...pay the bill.
 
  #6  
Old 09-18-11, 04:58 PM
Trying2Help's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 715
Okay, didn't mean to step on toes here. I understand there has to be a profit margin. I too found it hard to believe it took all day to R/R the unit, but that is what it took. Still a $6000 to $8000 profit/per day is pretty good, if you can get away with it.
Maybe I shouldn't post this here, because it is a DIY forum and this isn't about making a repair, but more about how to run a business. In my case, honesty seems to have worked for me over the years. If I quote a price and come in WAY under bid, I pass that onto the customer. I have yet to have someone complain that I quoted $1000 and charged $800! I have had some pay the $1000 just because that is what was quoted and they appreciated my honesty.

I realize there isn't much that can be done about the contract as she accepted the offer and signed the papers. However, it just ticks me off if someone is going to prey on the elderly, because they know they can.

I really don't have a problem with someone making an honest dollar for an honest days labor.

Thanks for the replys. I will continue to look into this, as in my opinion she was taken advantage of.
 
  #7  
Old 09-18-11, 05:56 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,789
If anything, it was I who stepped on toes....no worries.

The only way to know for sure is to call/visit a few places and ask for a quote based on equivalent equipment.

btw....when I worked for a Big Box....our cut of a $100 door install was about 20% as I remember. And we didn't have the expenses associated with running the installers business.
 
  #8  
Old 09-18-11, 10:16 PM
Trying2Help's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 715
I have called around, but to get someone to give you a bid without looking at the actual job site is tough. Like I said, we are about 60 miles from the installers and really don't want someone to come up there on a witch hunt.
Of the two I got to give me a quote; 1 said it would be 1500 to 3000 per ton unit, or 7500 to 15000. Not to clear on what the difference would be, don't think the units have that wide of a price range.
The other one, gave me a price of 5900. Which sounded about right to me. This was quoted off of the same type of unit that was installed.
With these two quotes it still doesn't clear anything up. Is one over pricing and the other under pricing???? Going to try to get some others, but again, it is hard to get a actual quote without a actual job to be done.

Thanks again.
 
  #9  
Old 09-18-11, 10:37 PM
hvactechfw's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,245
Moved to off topic forum.
 
  #10  
Old 09-19-11, 09:47 AM
Trying2Help's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 715
Just got another quote for$5600.00.

I know this all should have been done prior to the contract being signed, but it still isn't right!!!
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:17 AM.