ASSESS YOUR CAPABILITIES
As with any mechanical work, the job should only be undertaken by a person qualified to perform the task safely, correctly, and of course legally. Many tasks can be accomplished by the mechanically inclined homeowner, such as completing portions of the pre-work necessary to complete a replacement.
The original amount of money saved by purchasing direct in combination with the money you can save by doing some of the basic work yourself, will, in the end be well worth the effort and will allow you a larger budget for the portions of the project that require a licensed professional. Please read the manuals provided with our equipment for the warnings and requirements for installation.
HIRE LOCALLYHome Air Direct firmly believes that any service work that you have done in your home is best accomplished by using local talent. The equipment you purchase is always covered nationally by a warranty honored by any dealer of the manufacturer’s products. However the labor used is another issue. We believe in using local installers and technicians so that you have much easier recourse in the case of a dispute or problem.
MANAGE THE PROJECTInstalling new equipment in your home does not necessarily have to be done 100% by you or 100% by someone you hire.
There are many aspects to the job that you may feel more comfortable with, such as demolition, equipment placement, running & securing connections, etc. After you have accomplished as much as you are qualified for, bring in the professional to finish the job on a Time and Material basis. They will have the tools and experience necessary to finish, but you can also control your expenses by managing the project and the budget.
A flat rate bid you receive may appear high, but those prices must include some provision for a whole host of contingencies, i.e.) what is the current work load, ease of installation, access to the work space, return trips, etc. You can avoid this contingency charge by eliminating the unknowns in the job, clearly negotiate what work is to be done, the time required, your expectations, and of course the contractors' expectations.
You will have to be very accommodating to the contractor in this type of contract, since the purpose of a T&M job is to only pay for the labor needed to complete the task, reducing that labor is paramount to your projects success. For instance, if it is arranged for the work to begin at 8:00 am the next morning, but the contractor does not have total access to the space at that time, be prepared to pay for their time waiting for you and all drive time associate with a wasted trip.
BID A TURNKEY INSTALLATIONYou've already decided on purchasing a high quality Whirlpool Product from us, but do not want the responsibility of the installation process. That is fine, and in many cases recommended.
Another option is to bid out the installation and start-up. The key to any bid process is the number of bids, request and receive as many as you have time to coordinate.
Choose your bidders wisely as well, the company with the largest page in the yellow pages is not necessarily the best (they may after all just have a larger advertising budget). There are many, many, and we cannot stress this enough, MANY, very qualified smaller contractors out there.
Typically the owner of the company is the same person that will estimate your job, do the work, and be the one you come to with questions and for service. These contractors are not as easy to find but, we find, are well worth the search.
As with any interview process, ask for references and check them out thoroughly. Better yet find a referral of your own, to avoid a possibly coached reference who will only tell you what you want to hear.
After you've acquired your bids, evaluate them.
The lowest is not necessarily the best, and the highest is not necessarily the worst. The first thing to look for is their attention to detail, how sure are you that they have considered your particular job? Did they just ask a few questions and whip out a one paragraph quote, or did they actually visit the location and layout the work to be done? Did they offer a very clear and well described quote of the work to be done? Perhaps the higher bidder noticed that your gas service will need to be relocated to do the job correctly and included that observation in your quote.
Their quote will be higher because it will include more work, but its work that needs to be done. The apparent low bidder may not have noticed or planned for this task and in the end you will pay for it either in a change order, or by them skimping in some other aspect of the job.
LET US HELPWe are constantly adding to our organization of local qualified installers and service companies. Upon placement of your order, if we have someone registered that serves your community you will be forwarded their information for your review. You are not under any obligation to use them.
We welcome your suggestions for qualified contractors that you are familiar with. Just go to our “contact us” tab and send us your suggestion.
Gathering as much information upfront as possible is the key to any successful project