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labor hrs

I am a heating journeyman my boss who has no experience in the field and I are butting heads over how many hrs for a wm ultra boiler install. Just looking for other opinions


  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    One hals again (more) time than he thinks it will take him to install it.

    There's never enough time to do it right but there's always time for someone else to do it over.
  • How far apart are you?

    Where does his idea of how long the installation should take come from?

    How much longer is the installation taking?

    You may have to remind him that there are potential warranty problems with a too quickly done (and sloppy/incorrect) job. Ask him to read some of the posts here from people who have had bad installations done, and caused legal problems for the installation company. Is he more interested in providing a service at a fair price, or just making a buck?

    Maybe he should be butting heads with the sales force, who are selling too cheap!

    Does he have any background anywhere?--NBC
  • Jim GodboutJim Godbout Member Posts: 49

    It not about the short term make a buck

    its about long term relationships that build a company

    money will come if work is done in professional manner.

    hold yourself to highest standards and you will always succeed

    Jim Godbout
  • TechmanTechman Member Posts: 2,144

    ,have your boss do an install.Have HIM get the pipe,drains,fittings,supports,vents,etc,etc,from however many supply houses,and then do the onsite labor and startup and testing and then see what his words of wisdom are.
  • EmpireEmpire Member Posts: 2,343
    Labor totals.

    Generally the day is devoted to the proper installation of the entire equipment.  Installation is only half done after it's in.  Set up and technical checks MUST be done after that.  Quote;  "I'm not taking too long, you just under bid the job". 

    Mike T.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    is this

    a replacement or new construction? Replacement should be the day, and more depending on the replacement, location, etc. Sounds like someone is bidding too low
  • steamy ray vaughnsteamy ray vaughn Member Posts: 30

    the previous standard for our flat rate for a 105000 btu was 30hrs.  for a replacement.

    I thought that was way out of line.  my arguement is that you can't put a flat rate price on boiler jobs because each one is unique.  his side is that he wants anyone to be able to give a price on the spot
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,475

    What techman said. If your boss has never done an install he will never know how long it will take. Next time you do an install make a list of every tool, every part and every fitting you use. This will take up several pages. Hand it to him it will open his eyes.

    Rather than telling him show him.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Scope of work?

    Does this flat rate include venting?  Why not have separate rates for specific building conditions?

    Flat rate books are evil IMO.
  • kevinkevin Member Posts: 61
    boiler replacement

    Did you say 30 hrs. I would kill to have 30 hrs.
  • Steve WhitbeckSteve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669
    30 hours?

    I could do two in thirty hours.

    If we are comparing cast iron to P/S high efficiency.

    And there is no way you can have one price for every install.

    You could have an installed cost for the boiler and then extra for vent piping over a certain length, chimney liner, New pumps/zone valves, New manifolds or valving.
  • Ray LandryRay Landry Member Posts: 94

    For your average chimney to wall hung conversion, venting under 40ft, gas already in home, no indirect we get 1 day. Add more venting and an indirect and we get another 1/2 day. Oil to gas conversions are 2 to three days depending on the situation.
  • gennadygennady Member Posts: 680
    edited December 2012

    To do it right and no corners cut, oil to gas, electric control , venting, removals, set up, inspections, insulation, system cleaning, new gas line, DHW tank with piping, mixing valve , pumps and control, supports and so on, 3 man, 4-5 days. add warranty support on the top.
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Time to install:

    Bet you didn't do THAT install in a day.
  • gennadygennady Member Posts: 680

    But i tried. Still went over 30 hours.
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • JackJack Member Posts: 941
    One of the reasons

    I no longer work with the tools is that I'd look at a job and say I can do that in 4 hrs. Simple! 8 hrs later I'm bangin my head of the pipes wondering what I was still doing there. I guess I was just ADD before it became fashionable. I have great respect for who can walk in and knock out a good job. Great respect!

    I like the idea of getting him on a couple jobs. It will be good for him to do so and will improve his feel for the tool side of the business. I would also suggest that his desire to allow "anyone to quote a price" is fine if he has trained people eyeballing the quotes. Get the sales staff on a couple jobs as well. The owner has to invest in a couple "slow" jobs to do that but it will improve relations and I think profitability.
  • JackJack Member Posts: 941

    Are there any post install reviews with the owner, sales and installing crews? Seems that would help as well. Or, of course, it can just be left like it is and everyone will hate each other...with predictable results! Good luck on this! Please keep us posted!
  • MpjMpj Member Posts: 109

    Oil to gas one man 23-27 man hours. Have electrician and removal person come in and do there thing.

    oil to mod-con three zone and indirect on man a about a week.
  • gennadygennady Member Posts: 680

    how one man can bring indirect heater into the basement alone?
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,584
    We had our own spread sheet....

    It was based on my and my parters installation abilities/capabilities. Of course, we both worked like we owned the company (because we DID).

    No reading the newspaper for morning break, rarely more than 20 minutes for lunch, and NEVER walk from point A to point B without SOMETHING in your hand. Never a wasted move/moment.

    During the installation, the employees were required to record the hours consumed on a daily basis, and each task had a code number, and hours consumed were tied into their time sheet. This is called labor tracking.

    At the end of the job, we'd sit down and look at the numbers, and they (employees) were ALWAY way over on hours. And would complain about it... "You're not giving us enough time to get this work done..."

    The reason for the spread sheet was to be able to adjust the job costing spread sheet based on productivity increases, i.e. using ProPress versus conventional soldering etc. Funny thing, those tools never showed a significant increase in productivity.

    If we adjusted our estimation spread sheets to take their actual labor into consideration, we would have NEVER gotten a job. The consumers were squawking about the prices we were giving in the first place. They would have NEVER given us the job if we'd adjust the price based on what the employees were doing it for...

    When I was in the flat rate pricing business, we also NEVER hit the labor target, but the owner wasn't too upset, because he had a 50% efficiency (billable hours versus worked hour) factor built into the price of the work being performed. And if your boss is business smart, he too will have that factored in.

    Other than working by myself, I don't know of anyone that can work as fast as I do. I am always thinking three tasks ahead, and always make sure I have all the materials necessary to do the job. And I STILL end up putting more time into the job than I'd anticipated.

    No two people do things the same, and if we let the employees dictate how many hours were necessary to complete the job, we'd ALL be looking for new jobs...

    I guess that's why they call it "estimating" ;-)

    Reality bites.

    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.
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,584
    I do it all the time...

    I don't/won't deal in stone lined tanks. Most newer stainless steel tanks are light enough for one person to easily handle them, but most wholesale suppliers will be glad to deliver to the basement.

    The heaviest tank I dealt was the Turbomax, and I had the wholesaler put it on the "X" on the floor of the mechanical room ;-)

    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.
  • SlimpickinsSlimpickins Member Posts: 314
    Labor talk

    Talking about how much labor it takes for an install is about like talking pricing. It's different for every scenario, very seldom do i do a change out without repiping the entire mechanical room and adding all new components. I don't think I could do a quality change out in 15 man hours, maybe in an ideal situation but that doesn't happen often. The pic in my attachment took me a full week and a 1/2 day after dismantling a 14 section behemoth and a full day commissioning it and a 1/2 day waiting on the building inspector.. Call me old skool but I believe in craftsmanship but not saying you don't either.
  • gennadygennady Member Posts: 680
    actual labor hours

    Could not agree more on actual labor hours. I remember recording actual job hours and seeing how far are they from estimated. Then calculating real cost of the job. And then sitting in disbelief looking at prices i had to charge to stay in business. I had to make a choice, closing the doors or double, triple  my prices. No, Nobody would pay these crazy prices for my installations. I WOULD NEVER GET THE JOB!!!! But i was wrong. people who value what you do will pay. People who don't care about what you do for them , who only want fast installation will never hire you. In an essence this is about who your customers are, not about how fast can one puke the boiler installation. I spend hours doing measuring, calculations and computerized modeling for each job.  People who work for me are the best, but they are not robots. They need breaks, they have bad moods, they do not move as fast as i do. And i have to take it into an account. This is a business, not a formula one racing. Yes, in the past i did one family house boiler replacement  alone in one day. Am i proud of those installations? Definitely not. I would not put my name on those installations today. But my old customers would not buy from me today as well. Again, it takes time to do job right, properly, with all procedures done.

    these are my 2 cents.
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 3,922
    I put in every tank and

    I demo every boiler. When I price quick it is always wrong, that's why I never do it anymore. I look at every job, check out for stairs and measure the doorways. every job is different and every one is the same. People want comfort they can ignore at a price they can afford. When people bring their house to me to put on a lift to work on in my heated shop I will flat rate boilers.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • gennadygennady Member Posts: 680

    Tank in the picture is a viessmann vitocell v300, 168lb,+ packaging,  to bring it into cellar of NY brownstone alone without risk of the damage looks to me mission impossible.  Customer is paying top dollars and deserves it to be installed without a scratch.
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • Jim GodboutJim Godbout Member Posts: 49
    sales staff costing job

    The only way a sales person can have a actual awareness of any project is to work along sude tech occasionally so the can value the time placed on any installation

    Every install is different, and sometimes communication between sales and field techs is important when costing jobs

    I guess what i am saying is communication is best solution for your problem with boss.

    good luck

    Jim Godbout
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,584
    Good point Jim...

    I've been in all aspects of the job, from design, sales and installation. There is a BIG disconnect when you hire a "sales" person who has no idea of required labor. In most cases, they are just looking to close the deal, at any cost.

    I agree that every sales person (Male or Female) should be required to spend a minimum of 6 months in the field before they are turned loose with a spread sheet estimation tool, so that they understand the difference between putting 5 pounds of sugar into a 2 pound bag, versus putting 2 pounds of sugar into a 5 pound bag. BIG difference. I would also go a long way towards establishing a rapport between the field people and the office people, which always seems to be a problem.

    I also believe every mechanical engineer should ALSO be required to serve a minimum of 1 year in the field, turning and burning, so that they too understand the need for proper service clearances, etc, BEFORE they are given their license to practice. This is a requirement over in Germany.

    I've been doing this for 36 years, and I am STILL learning...

    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.
  • tim smithtim smith Member Posts: 2,226
    Re: quoting jobs

    I agree with Charlie and Mark. We always look over the job. Stairs, doorways, chimney, heat loss, floor drain, where can the backflow go? Where can we mount boiler (most all are wall mounts). Pipe sizes, radiators.  All this goes into how long our estimated time will be. Over the last 30+ yrs I have learned that I can't estimate on how fas I can do the Job but how long will my guy's take to do it.  It pains me sometimes but I am also pleasantly surprised sometimes.  It all averages out.  There is no way in heck you can put a flat rate to boiler replacements, if you do you will amost surely: 1)  have no jobs, 2) be broke. 3) be uptight all the time.     This is just my take on it but it has worked for a long time, but always a work in progress.  Tim
  • TonySTonyS Member Posts: 849
    Sales staff on commission

    Have seen this first hand over and over. The salesman makes a commission on the equipment, so he has no real motivation for  properly sized equipment. Two more sections add a little extra money in the paycheck or larger Christmas bonus based on gross sales. Its thievery plain and simple and should be treated the same as breaking and entering!
  • steamy ray vaughnsteamy ray vaughn Member Posts: 30
    labor thanks

    I knew most everyone was on the same page I was.  thanks for the backup
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