HVAC WTF

Page 1 of 4  
We are enclosing a garage, and making it into a guest room. I need to add a two ton air handler heat pump. We have called several HVAC companies. They are coming in at "around" $5,000, and are vague because they "have to see how it goes, or the length of the runs, or various other lame sounding things." Shoot, it is a 22' x 22' enclosed space. It is probably one of the simplest HVAC jobs a guy could do. Ronnie Millsap could get in there and do the measurements.
What is it with HVAC people that makes them so vague? So arrogant that they don't think you can even do the math. A company was advertising systems for $2400, yet when we got them out here, with all the "different" things, it shot up to "around" $5k. What's up with that? I told him if he couldn't give me a more exact price than "around", I didn't want him working on my stuff. He left. All the guy had to do was give me a firm decent price on a written proposal and he would have got the job. I know it ain't a big project, or ten houses, but it IS business.
Does anyone here have the the experience to tell me what a 2 ton air handler heat pump should cost (within $500). Power is less than 10' from the unit, no restricted access, nothing unusual about the site to add costs.
And what brand would you suggest, and what SEER?
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, whatever you do, don't----I REPEAT DON'T----listen to any advice rendered by one Dave (known HVAC hack and all around fundy moron) on your situation. He may suggest you buy a new freezer and just leave the door open to cool the room
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I dont know Hvac or cost but have a question, you have apx 500sq ft . Who told you you need 2 ton of AC , was a proper load calculation in writing done by a HVAC Pro? And you have a copy of it ? I ask because my house 1800 sq is super insulated and tight and 2 ton is oversized for me. Im in total shade also and go to 90f
If you oversize it you will be humid and unhappy.
All I can say is keep calling different companys.
Consumer reports just rated 7 yrs of repairs on 12 brands all I can say is Goodman was last, that everyone expected.
Seer , well if you live where you will run it alot of the year the higher the better, you have to run the numbers on payback.
Maybe in your area they are to busy trying to do heat instals now and soon things will quiet down and get competitive again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SteveB wrote:

You've discarded the idea of a window AC and space heater?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve , If you didnt get a heat load calculation that " overkill" idea of yours on 2 ton could be a big mistake you will regret. If you oversize it you will cool but be left humid and clamy. I superinsulated and made 1800 sq a bit tight I have 2 ton and need 2 dehumidifiers to remove the humidity the AC cant. In winter if you oversize you will short cycle and get blasts of heat, not comfortable even heat. So where did 2 ton come from. Unless you are not insulating well 2 ton sounds way high. Get a pro to calculate it in writing
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've never installed heat pump -- they are not common in NY cause the winters are so cold, and natural gas (or propane or fuel oil) are used.
Got me, though. Wonder why you're getting the uncertain estimates?
Like the other fine poster mentioned, for five grand you can get a space heater, and a window AC.
Do you have propane or natural gas available? Where do you live? What city/state?
--

Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Seriously:
It depends on what all is involved!!!
First off, did any of the "several HVAC companies" actually come out and look at the job? Or just that one guy? I would NEVER give a customer a price quote on a job based on what the customer told me over the phone. Get at least 3 of them to come out and LOOK at the job and then give you a QUOTE (not an estimate).
Second, how do you know you need a "two ton air handler heat pump"? I have a 2300 sq ft house and I have a 2 1/2 ton system that does the entire place. There IS such a thing as overkill. If not properly sized, you are asking for trouble.
Third, you mentioned the advertisement of "systems for $2400". A LOT companies do that to "get there foot in the door". I would NEVER buy from a company that advertises like that. $2400???!! O.K., that is probably what the equipment costs! Not including the labor, ductwork, etc. How can a company give a price on something that they have not looked at???
The equipment is one thing. Then (depending on your area) there is the ductwork (sheet metal prices have skyrocketed), the cost of pulling the permit(s), the cost of getting an electrician (yes. An electrician. I know jow to run wire and hook it up properly, but it will not pass inspection unless someone that has a license "blesses" it), the cost of a helper, etc.
I understand your frustration. It just sounds like you need to call some more companies and tell them what you one. Don't be abrasive with them and get demanding. But tell them what you want and tell them to give you a QUOTE. It's not as easy a job as you think. If it was, you would be doing it yourself.
And besides, I don't think Ronnie Millsap even has his apprentice's license......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Got two today.

We need an air handler. That is, a separate compressor, and a separate blower. The smallest they make them is two ton.

This will be over kill, but it won't have to run as much as a window unit, or a smaller roof unit.

Not sure, but we have turned them into the Governor's Council for Consumer Affairs for bait and switch.

We have a licensed electrician in the family.
I know

I don't fool with ACs, automatic transmissions, carburetors, or brakes.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

Good!
I just installed a 1 1/2 ton today.

or lion taming.....
;-]

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Then you havent looked hard enough, Einstein. They have 1-1/2 ton units and 1 ton units. Bubba

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

SEVERAL companies? If SEVERAL companies have come in at the same 'around' price I think the person who has the problem is the one who doesn't like the prices! Do you think that all of them are getting together for your little job and decided like a bunch of gangsters that they will all come in AROUND $5000? There is much you are not telling us here except your condemnation of everyone who works for a living and has to make a profit.
Did you get a permit for converting your garage over to living area? Many places forbid this and if your doing behind the scenes it may cause problems when you sell your home.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Geoman wrote:

Anyone who would accept a contract quoting "around" is a bleeping idiot. If they won't give me a firm quote the door is over that way.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Harry K"

Fixed prices are always buffered to cover the contractor. In a case where the job is messy, the customer is messy, the jobsite is messy - the price will be higher. Nobody can see through a painted wall. He'll get the best price by paying T&M to someone other than a R&R clown, however he clearly doesn't have the experience nor emotions for that. Neither do you, it seems. So he'll overpay and likely bitch about how much is cost him...same old.
- Nate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Once again, you don't KNOW this poster. He could be telling the guys, or making statements every two minutes like "What if we do it this way, or that way, or how about this way?" In those cases I'm only going to give him an ESTIMATE and not a quote, people like the one I'm describing can not be trusted to stay within boundaries of a quotation and then things get nasty when they think their paying for gold plated material and 500hours of labor.
You seem to forget that the original poster stated 'SEVERAL" companies did this, and this not being the norm tells me that this is not a normal job or customer.
Rich
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And we have not been hesitant to show it to them.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Permits are not required in our area when it is not going to be living quarters. It is not considered living quarters unless there is a stove.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You are confusing a replacement package unit, the $2400.00, to a new install. The replacement has all of the duct work, drain, electrical, t-stat wires and stat installed. You want a new air handler installed and a remote condenser. Splits are a minimum of a grand more than package units to start with.
I find when the customer is vague about his requirements the price goes up. When the customer has specific requests and needs it is a lot easier to quote. (for me)
You fail to mention the insulation and wall lay out. Those determine where and how many duct opening are needed.
I suggest you change your tack and call companies to send out an estimator and have them tell you what you need. Based on the floor plan and construction details YOU provide at the time of the estimate. Help them to help you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree with SQLit, too many things left out, AND the price quoted is about the price of a typical change out, not a new system

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Two companies came today and priced the job exactly the same. $2750
Why is it those other guys quoted $4800 - $5300?
Licensed contractors. Genuine proposals.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.