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Evaluating an estimate by its form and detail

I am looking to replace my steam boiler. A contractor sent me an estimate listing the boiler name and some labor items without noting the cost of each items( the boiler and specific labor costs). Is this the usual way an estimate is made? Thank you,
Gene

Comments

  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,923
    we generally list out what we are going to replace (controls, zvs, circs) but we dont break our estimates down by all the parts needed, labor and boiler cost. If that helps... I would ask since your's is steam if they intend to skim the boiler, and return at a later point to skim it a second time, I would also want that the boiler will be installed at minimum to manufacturer specs...
  • FredFred Member Posts: 7,846
    I would say different contractors probably quote in different ways. Sounds like this quote is for a bundled installation, which is fine as long as it details all the work to be done, removal of current boiler, correction of any near boiler piping, standard header, or drop header, single or double risers out of the boiler, full tapping risers, diameter of the header or specifying near boiler configuration to match exactly what the manufacturer specifies in the I&O manual on page #__(plus any enhancements you agree to), including a proper skim port. Brand and model number of the boiler to be installed and that the boiler net Sq. Ft. steam rating (on the boiler plate) matches the EDR of your total radiators. That an EDR survey be completed to insure proper sizing, that main venting will be checked and upgraded if needed, that each main will be tied directly into the header with piping sized to match the mains, that all near boiler, steam carrying piping be black iron pipe. That all mains/radiator run-outs and returns be checked and properly pitched, that all radiator vents be checked and/or replaced as needed and the radiators checked for proper pitch.Wet returns may be either black iron or copper, that all required controls be properly installed, including a probe type LWCO, SAFEGARD, not Cyclegard, auto water feeder with a water meter, That the contractor acquire the necessary permits and that a final inspection be completed by the local municipality. That a written warranty be provided before final payment and that a copy of the boiler registration (filed with the manufacturer and an installation summary be provided to you.
    That the Contractor will return X times, at two week intervals to skim the boiler or that he/she will instruct you on skimming after the initial two skims. Anything else you expect from the contractor or that he/she agreed to do.
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 828
    I just list out all the work to be done along with what I am supplying, and then a total cost. I don't want customers shopping on line and comparing prices, and then complaining about the cost. I have found if you give them just the total, there are a lot less problems.
    The restaurant doesn't break their price down for your dinner, why should I?
    Rick
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 1,955
    I've seen it both ways, & I've seen crooks on both sides of the line. What your actually looking for, however, is trust: do you trust this contractor to do the right thing? Do you trust him to not gouge you? Ask him about prices that seem high—if he's honest he'll tell you why it seems so high without getting mad. There's a lot of domain knowledge & experience that goes into this sort of thing; that isn't generally apparent to someone outside the trade.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,399


    The restaurant doesn't break their price down for your dinner, why should I?
    Rick

    'cause some people think we are laborers???
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,399
    But seriously now, it's hard if not impossible to teach a lay person heating jargon on a page or two worth of proposal material. Why not do some research and hire the contractor with the best reputation in your area? One that will call you back if the poo hits the fan? One that will stand behind his work?

    Every contractor writes quotes differently.

    Some people hire the cheapest guy they can fine

    Some of those people get lucky.

    Any bird can connect pipes. You need someone that knows steam

    Gather some quotes, ask questions, hire the dude that sounds like he may know what he's talking about, sit back and watch the pros do their thing.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • FredFred Member Posts: 7,846
    Better yet, tell us where you are and maybe we can recommend a Pro who participates on this site and who we know will do right by you, both in pricing and quality. You do have to remember, the cheapest quote and the better or best installation are different things. Know what you are getting for whatever you spend and don't pay for it until it is done right but be upfront enough to let the installer know, during the installation, that something is not done as per the manual or your agreement. Making sure you get a quality job is not a way to look for reasons not to pay for that job.
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