What do you guys think is a good price for this job? Adding central AC to
existing house. 2 American standard 15 seer systems. 1.5 ton in the attic to
feed the upstairs. About 20 ft. of supply trunk, 5 supplys and 3 returns.
Downstairs is a 2.5 ton system in basement. About 60 ft. of supply duct
work, 25 ft. return duct work. About 9 supplys and 2 returns. Customer is
responsible for all high voltage electric and opening any access holes for
duct work and linesets. I'm struggling with this price because it is a
friend and I want to be fair, but yet not screw myself.
In that case prepare a proposal for your friend listing two complete
ac system's for the installed price of $15,500 and then offer it to
your friend at a discounted price of $12,500. everybody wins.
I had a similiar situation for a friend. then there was the friends
son. then his mom. all of them got new systems at the price I
May I humbly suggest the following: give him your account number or
call ahead to parts counter that he'll be picking up for you. Give
him a list of everything needed and tell him to go buy it all. Charge
him for labour but spend a little extra time for free doing it extra
neat. He pays cost for all parts, you get paid for time.
This has to be one of the STUPIDEST ideas one could suggest!!!!
First, your friend would KNOW your direct equipment/supplies costs. Now,
don't you think he's going to tell others? Think again!
Second, don't you think you'll be using supplies ALREADY in inventory?
Third, the next time your friend needs something... he'll call the supply
house and get the parts (or at least try).
Fourth, he'll tell everyone he knows... you're the cheapest and this sets
you up for "the lowest bidder" syndrome.
Fifth, where do you get reimbursed for parts that might fail in warranty?
Are you going to eat your time running for parts? Doing the paperwork? Eat
your time for installing, adjusting and testing them properly?
Sixth, now that he gets the first years filters at cost... are you going to
charge him cost for ALL the filters in the future? If so, you're going to
lose money handling the filters.
Seventh, whatever you charge him for LABOR is going to be considered
OUTRAGEOUS. Since you have to cover ALL your expenses in your hourly costs.
They don't understand that you have to cover the cost of running a
I'm stopping here...
This just sets you up for many, MANY headaches now and in the future. It's
just not worth it. You might as well refer him to your competition. At least
if they do the work, you won't be LOSING money doing a NONE-FOR-PROFIT or
Knowing what I do now... I would either do it for free on the condition
that he not tell, nor mention the job to anyone, or refuse to do it with the
explanation of how warranty work will dissolve a friendship.
... I don't work for free anymore.
Problem is you can't charge any money. The moment ANY money
changes hands, your friends or family revert to the mindset that they
hired you to do this job and they somehow believe they have paid
you full premium monies to do it, and then expectations get
all fucked up, etc, etc, etc.
Give him the short list of people YOU would let do your work.
Let him get a few bids, make yours 50% higher. Tell him what a
unbelievable deal the next lowest guy has given him. Make sure
his warranty is rock solid and reassure him how good it's gonna feel
to call them for warranty work any time day or night to get their ass
over and fix this shit equipment, and how you'll be there to watch his
back anytime he has a warranty question or other issue.
Then you and him can have a few beers, critique the ongoing job
together and continue your friendship for many good years.
Thank you for all the good advice. Basically what I did is tell him to get
other estimates. I made sure to remind him of comparing apples to apples
this way he sees other quotes coming in around the same price as mine, he
will know I am not ripping him off. I think he understands I'm in business,
and can't afford to do this shit for free. If he gets some low baller and
goes with him, that would be fine with me too.
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