Ideas For Appliance Installation Support

I get a lot of jobs installing appliances, including over-the-range microwaves and in-cabinet ovens and double ovens. I work solo and some of these bad-boys can be pretty heavy. I have FastCap 3rd Hand supports and have used them for wall cabinet installations, but I'm not sure I trust them for a double oven.
I have an adjustable hospital over-bed table that is used for serving meals to bed ridden hospital patients, but I don't think it would support a double over.
My last-ditch solution is to just build a temporary support, on site, with 2x lumber.
Any ideas?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 8:47:48 PM UTC-6, -MIKE- wrote:


I am the only one of my confederates that is still as active on the job as I am. I work by myself about 1/2 the time, the other half I have other tra des or even a helper with me.
I no longer "muscle" things into position like I did as a kiddo. Hanging a microwave is about as far as I will go. These days I make sure that I have someone around to help out when I do the heavy or awkward stuff, and to my surprise, I have found that if I will spend a day doing the things that ar e safer or much easier than doing it alone the cost of the help pays for it self in speed.
Not to mention my Advil bill. And many times, I can't get something adjust exactly the way I want as I am a couple of hands and eyeballs short to hol d or move a piece, read the level, check on gaps, line up indexing marks, e tc.
Worse, I dont' seem to heal from all the little pulls, yanks, mashed finger s, bruises, bangs, etc., that you always collect when doing this work all d ay.
So my suggestion to you... one you will hate...
Have someone else install the big stuff. If I can't hang it on a ledger, pu t it on my two wheeler, or make a temporary platform, I don't hang it or in stall it. I can have a double oven pulled, disposed of, and have the new on e installed, adjusted for fit and operation and get a warranty for $125 if I buy the appliance and install plan from one of the box stores. That give s me a solid installation plan, a time, fixed cost, and if they drop it or damage it, they own it.
Just my thoughts...
Robert
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On 1/23/18 10:47 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Interesting, because $125 is my baseline price for this. Basically, if everything goes smoothly and the wiring is correct and nothing needs to be modified, electrically or with the cabinets (ie: carpentry), it's $125.
HD is supposed to be delivering the new one, removing the old one, and leaving the empty space in the cabinet. GE assured the buyer that the new one would be an even swap with the old one, space-wise.
I'm prepared to make any modifications needed, electrically, for changes regarding aluminum wire, direct connection, 3-4 wire connection, etc.
Client knows that any electrical or carpentry modifications will occur additional charges.
So basically, the only advice you've given me is that I'm an old man, too, and to get a young man to help. Gee, thanks, Robert. :-p
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 11:52:00 PM UTC-6, -MIKE- wrote:

If I recall my conversations with Karl, you're actually a few years younger than I am. Maybe more than a few! At any rate, unless I have my guys on s ite I don't do something like big wall ovens anymore.
Washers, dryers, stoves, still on the slate. Depending on the melt, I will still hang a microwave. But if it has the lightweight vent flaps, the power cord that comes out in a weird place, and the hanging hooks that are small for the bracket, and I have to line up the toggles as well for the front o f the machine, I'd rather have one of my boys Take 5 minutes and help me ge t it in place.
Where I do well on the installations is that when I buy from Lowe's, they o ften have free installation. And from time to time if they have not heard f rom me they send me deep discounts on appliances. Either way I come out ahe ad as I apply those towards an install if I need to. And I won't kick if I get a free install on the normal things that I do.
In the old days I happily did my work as a laborer and then as a house fram er for 10 to 12 hours a day everyday. Worked most weekends for extra money. I love to work 10 hours or more, then go drink beer for a couple hours, gr ab something nasty to eat and then hit the house. In great shape for the ne xt day!
I can still keep up with the guys, but it takes a lot out of me from time t o time. 1 Normal work day with paperwork is probably about 14 hours by the time I finish my estimates, invoicing, planning, scheduling, Etc.
I just finished a job before Christmas or I had 3 12 to 13 hour days cuttin g and removing decking and lifting the fascia across the back of a house an d securing it. I loved it as I was away from my phone for a while and didn' t have the mountain of paperwork that seems to follow me around. It is diff erent at the end of the day these days... Now I find myself getting in the truck, taking a couple of ibuprofens, stopping for a couple of glasses of d ollar tea from McDonald's, and going face down on the bed when I get home.
The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be!
Robert
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On 1/24/2018 4:12 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Geez Robert,,,, I thought you were a Stallion! not a mare... ;~)
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On 1/24/18 4:12 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

See Leon's Stallion quip! :-p I always enjoy your posts and this one was entertaining.
I don't know how Lowes gets away with their "free installation," other than taking a big hit on the sale to keep the customers coming to their stores.
This job is actually through Home Depot's Pro Referral, which was a web site called Red Beacon (terrible name) that Home Depot bought when they got sick of dealing with installers, directly. Lowes bought a similar site called "Porch" that they now use for most of their installation services. I'm on that site, too, but rarely respond since they charge too much for for referrals for my taste. Pro Referral is free so long as you're buying stuff from HD.
I hate paperwork, too. Who likes it!? Ever since I got an online bookkeeping service, it took a lot of the paperwork out of the equation. Taxes are so easy, now. I just click on the reports and print them off. I try to stay religious about coming home and entering everything from that day, mileage, income, etc. The site generates integrated estimates and invoices, automatically enters CC transactions, estimates quarterly taxes, and does all the tax reports. That's about 10bucks a month which is nothing considering the time it saves me. I can deposit checks with my phone, too. I don't remember the last time I went to by bank.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 9:43:06 AM UTC-6, -MIKE- wrote:

I just want to remind you and Leon that this is the 21st century. We get p ick these days! And you can't judge, either. I will turn you both into th e PC police.

I don't know either. HD has it from time to time, but I like the appliance lines better (and the pricing) at Lowe's, so I usually go there. Plus, Lo we's is more of a general public remodeling/repair store than HD, so they h ave more appliances on hand. The last to times I have been emailed a gener ic 20% off "Pro Advantage Coupon" it has worked with their current sale. S o the last time I bought a kitchen full, I got 60% off with $65 haul off an d delivery for a dishwasher, microwave, standard oven, and disposal. Free install on the dishwasher (plus parts) and oven (gas, so plus parts there, too).

Part of what makes my little company run smoothly is that I manage my custo mer's expectations and concerns. I write a notoriously, laboriously detail ed contract that leaves nothing to chance or imagination. I was slow a few years back and thought I would give both HD and Lowe's a try on their inst allation of cabinets. The pay wasn't good, and the customers were full of the baloney the salesperson had fed them. "The installer will go over that with you, sir". "The installer will work that out in the field, sir". " The installer can fix that with the materials he carries on his truck, sir. They do it all the time".
I did one job for each, and nothing else. My intent was to do a job like t hat, put a little money in my pocket, but offer all the rest of my services to the client to promote my business. As it was, it the coordination was so poor, it was not a good fit. Lowe's wanted me to go back out and put in a filler piece a month after it came in (wrong size piece delivered to the job) on a lower kitchen after the tops were in. They held my money until I did, then submitted the bill, and I waited ANOTHER month to get paid. No , thanks.

.

Quickbooks now has an interface with a lot of banks that will generate repo rts and do light bookkeeping for you as you enter your checks. Is that wha t you are using? Sounds like your service is pretty sound. I don't do my own books. I have, and my company is small enough it isn't a big deal, but I am lucky that my CPA always needs to have something done at her house, s o a deal has been struck. I pay minimum charges, so one more thing off my plate.
My paperwork is the reports I write (which take hours) after an inspection. I annotate photos, cite code violations, cite Southern Building Codes, ad d graphics as needed to illustrate my point, etc. Then I invariably get a phone call that asks for an additional report to condense my findings and m ake point by point recommendations. When I am tired those take forever.
The next part is my painfully detailed estimates. I don't promise to paint a house, I tell them exactly how I am going to do it, what processes are i nvolved, the exact paint, my prep, etc.
I will be up late tonight as I am going to look at a realtor "make ready" a nd it has me lifting the cabinet over the stove in order to add an over the oven micro, replace two different vanities, a toilet, and do some wall rep air and painting. There is outside repair, caulking to replace, a piece of plastic soffit to find, and a patio that needs repairs. There is also an o utbuilding they want to reside and paint. I have to find all the crap that fits with their budgets like the vanities, tops, faucets, a microwave, and plug in my cost for plumbing installs like new traps. stops, etc. to get t he prices on point.
Then I have to write my recommendations based on my inspection report. Aft er I am through I have to go over the whole thing again to make sure I didn 't miss anything as I don't want to be held responsible/liable for deficien cies I find. Then I make sure I have the proper exculpatory language in the mix as some of my estimates and reports go to a corporate office somewhere else for approval, and no telling what a office guy would think I meant wh en he read my findings/estimate.
That level of detail has been a key in building my business, but it is hard er than doing the work for me sometimes.
Anyway... off to the salt mine I go.
Robert
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On 1/24/18 11:33 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

These new systems are just referral services. I would never work directly for either for the reasons you described.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 7:14:43 PM UTC-6, -MIKE- wrote:

Actually never heard of the referral services from HD or Lowes. Could easily be because I don't pay much attention sometimes.
Are you still using Thumbtack? Like it?
The rage around here is the homeowner associations and their own "Angie's List" setup. No word on that from contractors or clients.
Robert
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On 1/24/18 10:49 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I still use Thumbtack and it works well when it works. They've made some changes that aren't exactly in the service providers' best interest, but it's still a good source for work when it's slow. I also have a very high rate of clients who find me through Thumbtack who call me back for other work.
It might be worth your while to check out Porch and especially HD's Pro referral. Like I stated, Pro Referral is free (you get credits for materials purchased there) and you are not beholden to HD whatsoever. One cool thing about Pro Referral is once you develop a decent reputation in the local stores (you certainly would) the customer service reps tend to single you out to customers, meaning you're not competing with other service providers. They have the option of how many Pros they recommend and just like any other occupation, once they have someone they can count on, they just go with them.
Porch is a pay-to-play service. You pay per referral but aren't guaranteed the job. They have an upper level where you pay by month and get guaranteed referrals in a territory. That could really pay off for the right person in the right situation.
If you want to check out Thumbtack, send me your email address and I'll send you a referral link. If you sign up, we both will get free credits towards bids.
There's also a new site going around called Nextdoor that is just a website for different neighborhoods to connect. I've gotten a lot of referrals from that site.
Stay away from Home Advisor. They used to be Service Master and got such a horrible reputation and terrible reviews that they had to completely re-brand their entire company.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 11:15:41 PM UTC-6, -MIKE- wrote:

I will look into that and see if it is a good fit for me. These days I eit her have a gap here and there, or more than I can do. Last year I had as m uch as 6 weeks wait time with as many jobs going as I could manage. My rep air/maintenance/remodel business doesn't make a lot of money, but thankfull y has kept me busy. But I am ALWAYS looking for more sources of work.

I will take a look at that, too. My little company is right at the cusp of where some jobs are too small, and some too big. I am reluctant to turn a ny down as like you, a small job can certainly lead to bigger stuff. But I can't make a trip to go out and install just a medicine cabinet for $35, e ither. Some things I get the "prevailing market rate" to do (like the oven install referenced above)but it has to be folded into other work. I make my money these days on specialty repairs such as rehanging and entry doors, installation of specialty hardware, stone/brick chimney repairs, difficult waterproofing projects, light remodeling (baths, partial kitchens), house painting, concrete tile roof repairs, etc. The rest of the work is just ke eping the lights on. I have a storm door to put up next week... a waste of time. I have to go pick it up, drive it across town and install it; all fo r $85. Couldn't get out of it though as it is a daughter of one of my long time clients.

I might be in touch sooner than you think as I am negotiating a big make re ady (+/- 12K) for a realtor and it will be all or nothing for me. If I don 't get it, all I have is a series of small repairs. Maybe we could have a quick chat on the phone. We could cover a lot more ground more quickly tha t way if you are up for it.

Too late! They already pulled my eyeballs out! I was with them for about two years and got two jobs. For anyone that doesn't know how their "free" service works, the HA computers match up a client with several contractors at once. So if I was a client and needed roof repair, the computer would a utomatically send out notification via text to 5-6 (maybe more) contractors . The contractor pays for the notification to the tune of $35 - $55 depend ing on the work to be done. So every time someone clicks for the "free" se rvice, contractors are charged (in aggregate) about $200 to $300. You have no choice as a contractor; you pay only for the opportunity/lead, nothing else. And you have no control over how many contractors get leads.
And they do not check for insurance. They do not check for licensing. They never called one reference of mine. They never ran a credit report for me or my business. They never contacted my suppliers to make sure I am a timely payer.
You call them, and a commissioned (yep, the salesperson admitted that) pers on from HA answers the phone and does everything in their power to get you on their referral list. When I stopped their service, I had several phone calls from them offering to waive the referral fees, giving me discounts, e tc. All those guys are is an automated yellow pages that charges you for a listing. Once I got to nearly even with them (less my time, of course) I c ancelled in writing.
They are exactly the reason I have never looked into another referral servi ce. Once bitten, twice shy.
Robert
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On 1/25/18 12:20 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

For a storm door, my minimum is $125. If it needs to be "built-out" then I go to hourly with an accurate estimate given to the client. The good new for you is that they are getting easier and easier to install. Andersen and Larson are really making great improvements to their stuff and installation requirements. I swear, I could probably do 16 in an 8 hour day if they were all at a condo development and I had someone to unpack everything. :-)

I'd love to talk! Maybe you and Karl and Steve and I could set up another google meet up for a video conference while we're at it. You can email me with your name @ my domain name in my sig.

Sorry you had to go through that but you just validated every hair that stuck up on my neck whenever I had any contact with them. Last time one of their con-men tried to get me to sign up, I got to the point where I literally cussed him out and told him if they didn't put me on their do-not-call list I would take them to court. (You can get 5 grand if they call you back and you can do it in small-claims court.)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 5:29:04 PM UTC-6, -MIKE- wrote:

Will do! We will have to send out a search party for Karl, though. I saw him at the wedding of Leon's son and he told me that he actually retired in 2016. I didn't realize that. And apparently, when he said "retired", he m eant from everything! I think he is dividing more and more time between two homes these days, enjoying his time.
We'll get together soon.
Robert
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On 1/29/18 12:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Karl's on facebook. You should get on there. Ask your grand kids how. :-p
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Monday, January 29, 2018 at 1:38:04 PM UTC-6, -MIKE- wrote:

OUCH!!! Unnecessary!! (still chuckling)
Robert
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On 1/24/2018 10:49 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I bought a WH form HD a couple of years ago. I hauled it home. HD offered a free quote by the installer and that was it. The installer came out the next morning, a little guy all by him self came out. My wife and I had already removed the old WH. He quoted us $600 to R&R. I asked about a discount for him not having to remove. No discount but the quote was free!
I called another plumbing company out of the blue, the owner and his helper showed up and did the job for $285 plus parts, $35 for SS fittings rather than the new brass fittings I purchased.
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On 1/25/18 9:06 AM, Leon wrote:

That was probably his "I don't want to do it" price. If the customer bites, he gets paid very well for something he doesn't want to do. If the customer balks, well, he didn't want to do it anyway. :-)
The price you actually paid seems reasonable. How long were they there?
There are a few websites out there that give general pricing for home repair/installation tasks. WH installation being one of them. So many customers come to the party already armed with information about pricing. This is a 2-edged sword. Because they often have bad or out-of-context info. If you're lucky, they've read info that leads them to believe it will cost a lot, instead of a little.
I had a landlord (I hate working on rentals, because landlords could squeeze a dime from a nickle) call about replacing a framed shower door from a fiberglass shower enclosure. This person was the "I'd do it myself, but...." type who thought every job should take an hour. They looked up what it should cost to install one. They didn't take into account removing the old one and cleaning off all the caulk (without scratching up the surface) hauling it off and disposing of it. Our dumps charge for commercial disposal, and I don't cheat that system-- the fine is about 20x the disposal fee.
My quote was much higher than they were expecting. Needless to say, they never called back and I'm fine with that.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 1/25/2018 9:49 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

Precisely.

A good 2 hours. They had to preposition venting in the attic and go after extra venting. The new WH was about 6" different in height. They did not charge me for that.
And to tell you how this all played out, about 6 months later the check still had not cleared. I called inquiring and they said that I owed nothing as their copy of the receipt showed that I had paid. I reminded them that the check had not cleared and they sould do some further checking. About an hour later they called me back and admitted that they must have lost my payment. They were shocked and grateful that I followed up and insisted on paying.

I have installed and charged to do this on numerous occasions 20 plus years ago..

I worked with a friend and we did a lot of landlord stuff. BUT we refused to do work in occupied rentals. We only did the work between renters. Empty rentals are bringing in no money so the landlord focuses more on getting the repairs done vs. the cost.

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On 1/24/2018 11:33 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Haaaaaaash taaaaaaaaaag me 2
I got a kick from rewatching a scene on the news from the "SAG"?, awards. A bunch of women actors yammering on about standing up against men making advances and, what amounts to them not being uncomfortable with their sexuality and not knowing how to handle life and it's uncertainties.
The awards/trophies that they were accepting was a statue, a totally nude statue of a man holding a mask in each hand and of course with the package bulge between the legs. And they stood on a stage with a huge picture of that statue behind them so that every one in the crowd could see the nude man statue.
I'm all for women being treated equally and in a respectful manner and there is certainly numerous cases that are legitimate but you can't be promoting that stance while holding a statue of a nude man and thanking an audience for receiving that nude man award.

I suspect that a deal was made for a specific price for a specific type of install. Now, from a large retailers advantage they buy in large volumes and almost certainly buy in quantities that require them to take delivery in enormous lots, so large that they have their own standalone ware houses and distributio0n centers. When I was in the automotive business I could get very large discounts for volume buying of single part numbers. For instance I could replace 3 AC compressors on a stock order or take advantage of a yearly deal GM would make. The deal often amounted to a 35~40% discount off of our normal cost when we bought in lots of 10 or more of a particular part number, I typically bought 30~40 if each part number and that would last the season. That percentage discount, if similar on appliances, could easily absorb the install cost.

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On 1/23/2018 11:51 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

It probably goes with out saying to remove the oven doors and all the racks inside, before lifting. ;~)
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