AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Central Indiana
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Today I finished obtaining my HVAC estimates, my plumber did just enough rough in so I can drywall and I got an estimate on the spay foam insulation.
First off the HVAC estimates. Really hoping for these to be a grand or lots less and really hoping that my system was up to the task without an entire system overhaul.
Company one. Called to schedule an estimate was told over the phone I would need three supplies, which would cost 250 bucks. I asked him if he was sure he did not need to see the space. He said (I'm paraphrasing here) basically my job was too small and it really was not necessary or cost effective to do a "free" estimate, but would be willing to do the work for said amount just let him know. Yeah ok, don't hold your breath.
Company two. Very pleasant gentleman who spent quite a bit of time listening to me and really trying to give me several options of what could be done to fit into my budget. Option one run total of five new supplies and two returns tying into the existing run blowing from the center of the room sideways and outwards. Option two five supplies two returns using new supplies running to the outside wall blowing down.
Option one $440.00. Option two $665.00.
Company three. Another very informative gentleman (and owner of the local company) who understands a little about HT and that a PJ can potentially put out a lot of heat. He took the time to ask a lot of questions about the HVAC of my entire house. Looked over my existing equipment reassured me that my furnace was up to the task and pointed out that he could make the existing furnace work more efficiently by making some minor ie: cheep ducting changes and help with some of my heating issues on the main level and take care of the basement as well. His solution do the modifications to the existing duct work, and add four supplies and two returns. He also explained that my furnace was being choked off in the return air department and the two additional returns would help this problem as well. The supplies would go to the out side walls blow down and be drawn into the returns place near the floor level. He also pointed out that he could place the returns on the sides of the equipment area due the theater and the noise that can come from a return. At least he was thinking of the theater aspect regarding what I wanted.
His estimate $700.00
Company four. Basically the same set up with four supplies two returns plus he was concerned about the furnace combustion air and wanted to put in a grate for the furnace in the wall in the theater room for combustion air intake. He also basically wanted or planned on taking the return air from the back side of the basement from two sides of the kids area without any of the return coming from the theater side of the build and this also included some fancy ducting around and under the stairs and the water softener.
His estimate was $765.00 and when he asked about the other bids and I responded he then without blinking an eye and went to $715.00. The only thing that bothered me about this guy was his over selling and subtle bashing of other companies without actually naming them.
Company five. This gentleman is in another league altogether. He did listen to me and was very attentive. He also seemed to know some basics about a HT and the possible heating issues with a projector. He also had two different options. Option one was to redo the lower ducts and then run the five new supplies and the two returns, similar to the other guys. Option two was to completely redo the lower ducts, build additional soffits and run two ducts one for the basement and one for the main level of the house and put dampers with independent thermostats turning my system into a two zone setup. If I would have built this house from the start I would have set it up this way from the start with each level being its own zone. Both of the options required me to pull out previously built soffits and replace with a larger one to accommodate the new/revamped ducting.
Option one was $2000.00. Option two $4200.00.
Well after careful consideration I'm pretty sure I have decided which one I'm going to go with, but I would like to hear all of your opinions to see if I am thinking on the right track or totally off track.
Anxiously awaiting all of your thoughts opinions.