Just recently found the group and thought I'd ask you guys about
this. I own a heating and air business in GA and have for around 11
years now. Today I failed an inspection on a new house for having
flexible duct in a basement garage. The air handler is in the garage
with a metal trunk and flex take offs. We have done this on these
types of houses for 11 years now and have never heard this. This is a
new inspector and seems to really have a chip on his shoulders and he
says no flex duct is allowed in the garage at all, that it has to all
be metal. Have any of you ever heard of this? I never purchased the
2006 IMC which is what they use. It's not in my older code book but
maybe it is in the new one. I now plan on buying the new code book
but do you guys know if this is true or if he's mistaken?
Thanks for the help,
real simple... make the inspector *SHOW* you the site in the code book. If
he wants it, he needs to be able to show you the exact site, and the P&I
office needs to be able to show you the site also. If its a "local"
requirement, then they need to be able to provide you with a copy.
There is also a damned good reason to know the codes and legal
alternates. If a new inspector or one that wants to mess with you
can cite you on a given code..then it behooves you to know if there are
acceptable alternates that you have or may use. Having held several
licenses for years including a General contractors license, it pays to
know the codes and processes better or equal to the subcontractors and
the inspection folks. It pays to send your Job leaders to all classes
put on by the the building officials. That means plumbing, electrical,
HVAC and General contracting code schools. It also means you have to pay
your guys a good wage or they will take that knowledge and become your
competition. Nothing upsets a customer more then some damned code
dispute that tarnishes your excellent workmanship. Education and
advertising don't cost..They pay!
We are located in a rural county and are on kind of a 'good ol boy'
system. If you push an inspector around here too much he'll make your
like miserable for months maybe years to come. So it's hard to
require them to do anything because there are only a couple of them
and they care more about each other than you. If you stay on their
good side he can make things easier on you by telling you 'such and
such needs to be done but I'll go ahead and pass the rough inspection'
rather than make you pay a reinspection fee. This particular part of
the county uses the same inspector for all the houses unless he's out
sick or something and the other part of the county uses the other.
They also don't fill out any elaborate forms that give the code title
chapter etc. They just right in the margin "no flex in garage". It
sucks and it's not fair but that's the way it is and unfortunately if
you try too hard to change it they will pick apart every job you do.
What I've had to do in the past is call and ask what he's talking
about and sometimes he's wrong and sometimes I'm wrong. Today I did
call and we ended up arguing over it and he angrily told me he would
look it up for me and show me. I thought I would ask you guys what
you thought before I went and met with him. Of course I didn't
realize I was the only one in the country with out the most current
code book. I expected to be flamed a little but not attacked. The
inspector said you haven't been able to put flex in a garage since the
early 90's. Now I do have a code book that is newer than that and
couldn't find that code. Just thought maybe someone else had heard it
or had to deal with it before. Now back to running my half ass
I recon its time to do the educated thing.. Buy those lads a cup of
coffee and some pie from time to time and spend a bit of fishing,
hunting and ballgame time with those boys. Above all do a good and safe job.
Having read the last couple posts, things are more clear. It is
unfortunate that you and the inspector ended up yelling at each other.
Coming to the news group to get more ammo for your war doesn't sound like
you'll be helping your case. Just irritate the guy some more. and you're the
one who said what kind of vengeance they extract.
Please consider the book "How to win friends and influence people" by
Dale Carnegie. Very good reading, and highly relevant.
Gotta love the lowest bidder syndrome...
Then the customer EXPECTS you to straighten it out for what it cost them
originally. They don't understand that you have to rip out what was done and
then do it correctly. This is AFTER everything is drywalled and completed.
Like that's the time to redo everything!!!! :-(
If I've heard the words: "I should have let you do the job" once I've
heard them a thousand times. I try to explain to people that we are
not the cheapest because we don't cut the corners that some others
cut. Some people can understand that and others just care about the
cost. Point in case yesterday we condemned a compressor on a unit
serving the kitchen of a restaurant that was installed 2 years ago by
the lowest bidder. He installed Haier equipment which is a company
out of China as most of you know. The compressor is under warranty
but I can't find anyone around Atlanta that handles it. A search of
their website brings up an appliance company. So I called them and
they said they don't deal with the HVAC side of Haier. This guy
bought a POS unit and now parts are almost impossible to get for it,
and he's wanting to replace 2 year old equipment because the kitchen
is so hot and they can't stand it. Haier tech support is supposed to
call me back Monday and help me locate a compressor but so far every
number I've called for Haier has resulted in a dead end or just being
shuffled around. I take that back, I did talk to a lady that I could
barely hear and spoke poor english who informed me that there were 3
different compressors listed for that unit and she didn't know which
one I needed, hence the call from tech support. My tech didn't get
the model# off the compressor so I'll get it this weekend but I still
feel they are going to give me a hard time about just giving me a
compressor. She had a 626 area code I'm not sure where that is but
I'm assuming she is a good ways from me. Who's going to pay the
freight, how do I get the old compressor back and who pays the freight
on that? Before it's over with, this guys going to end up spending
hundreds of dollars replacing a warranty compressor because he went
with the lowest bidder without doing any homework on what name brand
he was getting. As far as I know everyone that was handling Haier in
GA has stopped and went to another name brand. Gave him the news this
afternoon and guess what he said? "I GUESS I SHOULD HAVE LET YOU DO
Sorry for the long post. I got carried away. I'll climb down off my
soap box now before I fall.
Who's paying shipping? The client!
Why? Cause it isn't your shit or installation!
Why is it your problem to cover equipment sold by your competitor? It's not!
Why can your competition do jobs cheaper then you? Cause your fixing all
their shit for them, UNDER WARRANTY!!!!!
Shame on you!!!!!
Now then, starting right now, only do warranty work on equipment that you
sold and installed. Problem solved!
That is good advice ... But only up to the point that you are *NOT*
trying to add to your customer base. I have added a lot of good folks to
mine that have taken it in the shorts from outfits that are not good
enough to be my competitor. Wade into the shit and produce gold. I make
it a point to only point out what I can do. Never diss your competition
to a customer. One of the Boys used to call the competition and point
out their fuck ups. I stopped that as I see no reason to educate the
competition. Its ok to do Ball Games, fish, Hunt with those guys..But
not a good idea to upgrade your competition.. Upgrade your own business.
You have a good point. We have been trying to add to our customer
base and we do this stuff but are well compensated for it. We may
warranty the part but we charge a handling fee and are sure to make a
good profit. We've developed a pretty good relationship with all the
major namebrand suppliers so that when we order a warranty part that
we don't have to normally send back the old one, but just hang on to
it 30 days or so until the warranty credit is approved. So we usually
only have freight one way which the customer has to pay. Is this
right or wrong? Not sure to be honest. We have gotten a lot of
customers and kept them this way. This guy I'm talking about with the
restaurant is one of my customers and has been for years, but he went
and let someone else do this job because they would do it cheaper. Of
course I'm called to clean up the mess. Now I can do one of 2 things:
either fire him as customer or fix it and charge the mess out of him
for doing it. Again not sure what the right thing to do is but if I'm
going to clean up the mess at least I can make a good profit for doing
it. Although we've weathered the economy situation pretty well, I hate
to turn away the work and loose this customer. Believe it or not he
recommended me to another restaurant yesterday and we got another
compressor changeout out of the deal (not in warranty). So if you
figure that in we'll make pretty good for taking a few hours to clean
up this guys mess. Again although I've been in business for 11 years
now I'm still learning as I go and 'm not sure what the text "book
way" to handle this type situation would be.
What happens when you have to send a part back and you've already billed the
client? You lose money for the return shipping!
It's to your advantage to have a good working relationship with your
distributors, not always does this travel to your clients!
Think of it this way... if you get a bonus, discount, free merchandise
(shirts, hats, mugs, etc) do you ALWAYS turn right around and hand this
stuff to your clients? I bet you don't, the returned warranty items
"relationship" is no different. Except, you may have to pay for some
shipping out of your pocket *if* you have to return a particular item after
you already billed your client!
As Noonie always says... the client pays for everything!
Good point. Point also noted. I am sometimes too nice for my own
good. You are right, we'll have to start charging freight both ways
whether we use it or not. Thanks!
If your not yet using flat rate pricing, then you need to get on board that
particular train and start not just turning money, but actually making a
decent *profit*. Thats all about the business of running a business.
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