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cutting wrong holes for AC

To cut to the chase, how common is it for a contractor to make an error or two while installing high velocity AC? We've hired a high-velocity AC contractor to install a system in our 2000 sq ft home. The contractor comes highly recommended for top-notch work. All they do is high-velocity, and they've been doing it for 15 years. They're midway through our project, and most of the work seems good. But in one of the rooms, they cut four holes and discovered that they can't get to two of them. This is especially frustrating because we told the owner/lead engineer that the room posed challenges and to be alert to them. When I was told of the two non-usable holes, I raised my concern with the owner, and he asked if I'd seen how good the other work was. The other work is good, but we're paying a premium price for a premium job. What I don't know is how much of a stink I should make about the two holes that now have to be patched. Is this just part of doing this type of work and to be expected, or was this a case of neglecting "measure twice, cut once." Thanks.


  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Common Practice

    Although all installation crews should make every attempt to avoid mishaps by, as you mention, measuring twice and cutting once, things do happen. I can guarantee that the installers feel miserable, especially given the fact that you referred to their good reputation for performing high quality work.

    Since you seem satisfied with the overall execution of the job, I would indeed contact the company and speak with the installation supervisor to disuss the situation. I would be very surprised if the supervisor did not go out of his way to correct the situation.

    There are a few ways you can resolve the issue and the resolution depends on a number of factors including the location of the misplaced holes, the room in which the holes are located, the construction of your ceiling, the age of your ceilings and the paint used on the ceilings.

    I mention all of these items for a number of reasons. if the room is not a high traffic area and you do not object to two extra supply escucheons on the ceiling, you can have the installation crew make the additional two holes in the ceiling and put "dummy" escucheons around the mis-cut holes. This will result in six holes in the ceiling, but no one, except you, will be any wiser. This may also be the solution if you have textured ceilings or a custom paint that may or may not be able to be matched easily. Improperly matched paint will be more of an eyesore than the extra supply locations.

    If you have a standard paint job, you can request that the holes be patched. This request is completely reasonable and I would be very surprised if the company refused to have the necessary repair made.

    Chances are that your contract for the work includes a "paint and plaster by others clause" but this typically refers to any plastering and touchup painting that may be required during the course of a normal installation.

    Service companies are in business to provide... well.... service. We value our customers and appreciate the business. Even awkward situations such as this can turn a potentially volatile situation into a great "customer care" situation depending on how the contractor handles the situation.

    Good luck and please post the outcome...

  • Warren Young
    Warren Young Member Posts: 5
    High velocity unit

    What exactly is a high velocity installation? And what is the difference between this type of unit and a regular A/C installation
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    In a Nutshell

    In a nutshell Warren, a high velocity system is one that has the air moving through the ducts at higher velocities than would be found on a conventioanl air conditioning system.

    Since the velocity of the air is faster, the duct system can be physically smaller than conventional systems.

    Check out:
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,636
    extra holes

    Even with all the measuring in the world some times you drill out holes only to find changes in the framing or wires in the way that can,t be moves it happens this is not a case of measure twice cut once .If it's only two holes i wouldn't worry about it .In older homes espically 1 st floor of a 2 floor home it happens to even the best of the best if i where you i wouldn't worry.I've been in residental and commerical a/c heating for over 22 years and it happens to me even with all those years i even make mistakes the only way in some casers ois to have z ray vision but we don't .If the rest of the work looks good then don't worry be happy just complain if the system doesn't work correctly peace clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
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