Top Considerations in Evaluating HVAC Contractor Estimates: Part II
Posted by CLS Admin on June 02, 2015
We hope that you found part one of our series on evaluating HVAC estimates helpful. In part two, we tackle a couple more common questions you may have.
Question: What are realistic expectations for ordering parts, scheduling service and invoicing for work?
Answer: We believe that practically any part should be available for installation within three days of the approved estimate date. In many major metropolitan areas, parts already are available in that geography and can be delivered within 24 hours. In rural areas, most parts (with the exception of large compressors) can be shipped overnight for a pretty nominal cost. At CLS Facility Services, we believe that cost is extremely reasonable when compared to the cost of delaying repairs and causing potential tenant and customer discomfort.
As for invoicing, you should receive an invoice upon satisfactory completion of the service. That invoice should state the full scope of the service in understandable terms, and it should clearly delineate the specific costs associated with it.
Question: How can a national HVAC provider help me evaluate the estimates that I receive?
Answer: National HVAC providers subcontract work in most markets they serve. If you’ve hired a national HVAC vendor to manage your HVAC system portfolio, they should be managing the estimates you receive, so ask your representative in that company precisely what they do to “watch your back” in all HVAC-related matters including estimate management.
For example, if one of your stores in Biloxi, Mississippi is warm and getting warmer by the minute, a national HVAC vendor will dispatch a technician who will then issue a quote back to the national service provider to fix the problem. If he estimates eight hours of labor to replace a compressor, who in the service provider’s company is validating that quote before it is sent to you? The technician said a replacement compressor would cost $2,000 as the material expense; is it really a $2,000 compressor, or is it a $1,500 compressor?
A HVAC technical person in that national provider’s office should be reviewing all quotes from a third party contractor, prior to passing it along to you, the customer.
In 2014, we posted a four-part blog series entitled “Choosing a National HVAC Service Company: 13 Questions to Ask”. This series was designed to help you make smart decisions about your national HVAC provider, their capabilities, their processes, and their accountability. Follow the links below to read the series:
Choosing a National HVAC Service Provider – Part 1
Choosing a National HVAC Service Provider – Part 2
Choosing a National HVAC Service Provider – Part 3
Choosing a National HVAC Service Provider – Part 4
There are additional factors to consider when it comes to estimates, but hopefully these questions should get you started in thinking about the importance of details when it comes to evaluating contractor estimates.