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Job quotes on tough jobs where do u stand ?

clammy Member Posts: 3,111
Not getting into pricing at all but in these tough times what type of adjustments do you take into consideration on jobs with alot of equiptment and that are very tough to do say this example is 2 unico systems on a 3 story building which has very limited space no attic and working 1 system from a 3 rd floor knee wall and another from a basement .also note that the duct side shall be properly layed out so there will more then the required 6 hits per ton due to the lenght of alot of runs and that i am very limited as to making the supply ducts longer  and that the return side will be multi  returns with a hard ducted  return worked from a knee wall with oval to a small top attic  and also a 2 nd  floor  return lay out also all r 8 insulation .I know what the price should be but some times when you put it all on paper it is a large number and i already know that any others prices from others  would be lower and i know that it will not be as quite nor set up as manafactures guide line want it and will not be insulated properly .i know times are tough and the tough get going but where the hell are they going?Job is also a cruise away with tough parking ,tolls and of course urban crime also .thanks for some insight  peace and good luck clammy
R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
NJ Master HVAC Lic.
Mahwah, NJ
Specializing in steam and hydronic heating


  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
    edited August 2010
    When the going gets tough..........

    Hey Clammy,  that sounds like a doozy of a job to pull off. When I run into one like that I first ask myself if I want to do it in the first place and then think about that for a while. On occasion, I have let an empty checkbook make my decisions for me and gone after something I really didn't  want to do in the first place.

    If you decide you want that kind of work then the next question is "how much will I do that for" ....better known as "how much does a contortionist get paid". You know, one of those guys that folds themselves into a 2 foot square box. :)  I've found that no matter how pessimistic I try to be on labor for jobs like that I still come up short. Getting in and out of places like that takes up a ton of time and you just have to bill for it. Don't be bashful about it. Figure it like you are doing the work for the Queen of England and it has to be perfect. Let some other hacker come in a give the customer the low bid. Then it's on his head when things don't work right or water leaks into the attic, etc etc. 

    If they take your offer then do it to the best of your ability because they trusted you enough to pay your price and hire you. Whatever you do, don't go after a tough one like that for less than normal profit dollars. You'll hate yourself in the morning ;)

    Once in a while I will suggest straight up time and material for jobs like that with everything spelled out very specifically in a contract.            just a thought.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    Are your costs getting lower?

    When times are slow no need to loose money when leaving the shop, you can do that at home and not get dirty. We keep our prices steady and our quality to its same level. I know you would never do a subgrade job so why short change yourself?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Hard decision


    One of the hardest things to do when work is scarce, is know when it is better not to do the work.

    There is always the temptation to get the job, then try to "make it work".

    There is something about a job that is bid for short money. They seem to have a way of having everything little thing go wrong. Not just the price & the profits, but all types of goofy little things that eat away at the job.

    Sometimes, you are better to spend your time and money trying to get good jobs at a fair price, where you and the customer both end up happy.

    Just my $0.02

    Ed Carey
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    When the going gets tough... the tough give...

    more VALUE to their services.

    We are ALL consumers, at one point in life or another, and we ALL want to get a "Good Deal". It is human nature. But human nature does not mean we are looking for the lowest price. We are looking for VALUE.

    Pump up the PERCEIVED value. You have to SELL your services. These people (for the most part) don't know the difference between a good German boiler, and a box of donut holes. They only know it is going to cost them a lot of money and they have no idea what it is that they are going to get. They have asked you, the expert, to come into their lives and tell them what they need. Educate them (within reason). Show them pictures of your completed operations. Give them referrals from your happy customers, and ask them to call them for reference.

    Be head and shoulders above your competition. Show up and put on surgical booties as you are walking around the house. It's the little things that establish good relationships and gains their trust in you and your services.

    Don't lower your price. Increase the volume of the perceived value. Stand your ground.

    People who do heavy discounts during tough times have no idea what their cost of doing business is, and they'd be better of staying in their office, and burn dollar bills. At least they are in control of their losses at that point.

    Avoid wasting time if you want, by prescreening the consumer on the phone by asking them how much they intended to spend. If they are within reason, continue the conversation. If they are way out in left field, nicely explain to them that they didn't budget enough money to do the job correctly and completely, and if they are willing to move the target upward, it is probably worth while to continue the conversation.

    If they won't budge, don't waste each others time. They will probably find some sucker to take it on for that amount, but you can rest assured that there will be problems down the road. Tell them to keep your name and number so when they get into trouble, they can call you to come bail them out.

    Just my $0.02 worth. Keep the change :-)

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
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