Editor’s Note: The following remarks were made onThe NEWS’group,The NEWSNetwork, on LinkedIn. These comments are about homeowners who buy their HVAC units online, then want contractors to install it.

Charge a Normal Price for Comparable Units

If every contractor would charge their normal price for comparable equipment, less their cost on equipment, they would do fine installing equipment purchased elsewhere. However, it would likely cost the owner more. We have quoted several this way, but didn’t get the job. Know of a couple that were installed by unlicensed [people], and had major issues.

Dave Hutchins
Bay Area A/C
Ocala, Fla., area

Are you Familiar With the Units You’re Installing?

An associate I have known for years in the trade in Maryland could not pass his Master License for Maryland so he could start his own company. He decided he would get licensed in Pennsylvania, since there is no testing for the technicians or contractors for HVACR — just pay a fee and you’re done. His niche was installing equipment that homeowners would buy, then he would install. Just recently he installed a furnace and had some major issues, which he is now being sued for due to the installation. I was kind of taken aback that he did not size the equipment and also was not familiar with the equipment.

Victor Sainato Jr.
Maintenance Manager
Keany Produce
Baltimore, Md., area

Warn Customers in Writing There Won’t Be a Warranty

I wrestled with this issue many years ago due to customers purchasing plumbing fixtures at the big box centers. I developed a document detailing there will be no warranty from my firm on anything supplied by others and how any issues that arise due to their choice will be billed. Add in whatever mark-up you require, and provide the quote.

Dave Yates
F. W. Behler Inc.
York, Pa., area

Publication date: 01/09/2012