HVAC woes... :(

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by ChristW, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. ChristW

    ChristW Agent

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    Well, I was all set to have the HVAC contractor come out and do the ductwork in my basement today. We made the schedule on Tuesday and confirmed again yesterday. By 10:30am today, he's not here. I call him, leave him voicemail. At noon, still nothing. Call him again and he appologizes, but "emergency calls came in." Seems he decided to take the emergency calls over mine, because they paid better. What kind of business practice is that?!

    Sadly, it seems that all of the HVAC contractors around here are like that. I've called a dozen of them, probably heard back from 5 ro 6, and got estimates from 3. I guess business is so good that they don't need my job...

    Anyone know any good HVAC people in the Twin Cities area?

    I suppose I can go with the second estimate at this point and see what happens. My concern is that we had to call their main office the day of the estimate because they apparantly forgot about it. *sigh*

    Also, the second estimate wanted to put diffusers in the middle of my room (http://www.fezam.com/basement2.gif), one in the "theater" and one in the "Living". He would then put a double return across from the stairs (if I reacll correctly). Do I really want a vent in the middle of my ceiling? Sounds lame to me... Also, wouldn't that distort the picture quality, since it would be blowing warm air in front of the projector?

    I'm at a loss -- already took two days off from work to get this done (estimates, installation), and don't want to waste any more days if possible. Thoughts?
    CW
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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  3. ChristW

    ChristW Agent

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    Ok, but as HVAC contractor, wouldn't you have had the decency to CALL the person who you had a schedule with but weren't going to be able to make? If I would've gotten a call at 7am saying that they couldn't come, I would've been able to go to work or run some errands or something, instead of just sitting around my house waiting for them to show up. The lack of communication is the biggest complaint.

    Of course, I still don't think that it's his moral obligation to go help someone without heat. There are tons of HVAC people in the area, I don't understand how you can accept a job with a customer and then just not show up because a bigger paying emergency job came up. Doesn't seem quite right to me.

    Anyway, the guy did call back Thursday night at 9pm and offered to come out Saturday morning (today) to do the work. I'm not holding my breath, but will be very happy if it does work out today.

    I'll keep everyone posted. [​IMG]

    CW
     
  4. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Chris,
    Yes he should have called, if he was able to. I run a 1 man shop and sometimes I simply cannot call anyone. I've been in walk-in freezers for hours on end making repairs and cannot use a cell phone in a walk-in cooler/freezer. I've been so far out in the boonies that cell phone reception just wasn't available.

    I've had customers call at all hours of the day/night without heat and beg me to drive 40 miles to a rural community, only to find that they haven't even tried to lite their pilot even after asking them, before hauling my ass out of bed at 2am.

    Most emergency calls are not big money makers. Most, but not all, are very simple. I've had to cancel jobs that were huge ( at least for me) so that I could run service calls instead, and didn't even make enough to cover my costs for that call. That's okay because getting someones heat going is what it's all about.

    True there are a lot of contractors in any major city, but when cold weather hits, we get slammed with phone calls. I've had customers that have call 6-12 contractors during a real bad storm, and they have been told that they may have to wait a few days just to get a service call. It's all about supply and demand. There are only so many qualified techs to go around.
     
  5. ChristW

    ChristW Agent

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    Am I allowed to be pissed off now? [​IMG]

    They said they'd come out Saturday morning. Well, it's 12:12pm, and they still havn't shown up and they still havn't called. I'm pretty miffed at this point.

    Guess I try finding someone else now... At this rate, I'm never going to get the theater finished (we had similar things happen just trying to get estimates a few months ago; guess HVAC business is so good that they don't need happy customers...)

    CW
     
  6. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely!!
     
  7. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Ugh. I know the feeling. Always know that when you hire a contractor that the job will get done when the easy money jobs are done first. Fact of life. Unless you are willing to pay twice what a job is really worth, you are stuck with this situation.

    Trust me. When he does finally start the job, you will be lucky to get him back to finish in a timely manner. My family has hired approximately 15 contractors in three different states this past year. Many home improvements being done this year in the family. We had to pick where to have Thanksgiving based on readiness from overdue contracted work. Just a list.

    Countertops - 4 weeks to complete
    Wood floor in two rooms - 5 weeks to complete
    Tile and carpet in one room - 3 weeks
    Kitchen floor tile - 2 weeks
    Cabinet refacing - 12 days
    Countertops - 8 days
    Tile backsplash - 8 hours - done by me.

    It has been truely rediculous when you look at it. They all started the job on time. Somehow, when they leave that first day, something came up in almost every one of our cases that kept them away for a week or more. The wood floors were actually done in five days, but it took them 2 weeks to get back to do the quarter round. Took another 2 weeks for them to get back to install the transitions. INSANE.

    Oh well, our family has come to just expect it I guess. Have fun and do it yourself.

    C. Ryan
     
  8. Jonas Pearson

    Jonas Pearson Stunt Coordinator

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    I am nearly complete work on our finished basement including our theater. At the beginning there was one thing that I planned to hire out - the drywall finishing, just the taping and mudding. It had nothing to do with not knowing how to do it, I've done it a bunch before. It was more of a time factor; I have a busy career, am nearly a full time grad student, and have tons of hobbies and other activities that I like to do with my fiance.

    I had multiple no shows for estimates, a couple of ridiculous estimates, and one guy who took the job, didn't show twice (my fiance took time off from work to be home), and never called again.

    I don't care if you don't want a job but saying that you will be there and not even calling is a**hole. So like the carpentry, electric, drywall, and HVAC, I did the taping and mudding myself. None of that stuff is hard, which is what these "contractors" would like to have you believe. In the end they screw themselves with this sort of behavior anyway, it just pushes people toward doing it themselves. There might not always be a ton of easy jobs out there.

    So F em', do it yourself and keep the extra $$$ in your pocket :)
     
  9. ChristW

    ChristW Agent

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    That'd be great... But I don't have the slightest idea how to do HVAC work... Any websites out there telling me how to cut into the ducts and run ducts where they need to go?

    CW
     
  10. Jonas Pearson

    Jonas Pearson Stunt Coordinator

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    CW,

    I did a couple of yahoo searches and found some step by step instructions about how to install returns and supplies, they mostly dealt with sheet metal ducts although the principles are the same. I don’t have the exact site anymore.

    I have forced hot air gas heat. My trunks are duct board, a one inch thick rigid foam material, easy to cut with a utility knife. The important thing with these is to get take offs (the part that ‘taps’ into the trunks) that are made for duct board, they have extra long teeth to bend around the board.

    Not sure what king of system you are working with. Sheet metal ducts work similarly. You can also look at the exisisting duct work to see how that was put together.

    Most supplies can be found at Home Depot: take-offs, flex duct (insulated for supplies, foil for returns), registers, connectors, and foil tape (get the expensive kind).

    Remember to separate supplies and returns, keep one high and the other low or vice versa.

    Good Luck.
     
  11. ChristW

    ChristW Agent

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    I'll do some searches and see what I can come up with. Our trunks are aluminum so will be a bit more difficult to work with. I'm also the most unhandy person you'll probably ever meet, so I may not even attempt it. But we'll see...

    I'll at least look into it though, thanks!
    CW
     

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