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A Life Rule Challenged

November 1st, 2006 at 07:15 am

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've learned to always get at least 3 bids for major purchases. (and being a home owner....it seems like I'm always either researching, getting bids or having some job done around here)

Well........I finally got motivated to call around for furnace bids. (could be the 21 degree temps around here yesterday) And, was I ever surprised. No, not by the cost of a furnace.........although I'm sure it's going to be pricey.

I couldn't get a bid on a furnace to save my soul. Actually couldn't even talk to anyone about one. I didn't get past the front desk & I really tried. Everyone I talked to charged a trip fee to come talk to me about selling me their furnace. Granted, if I bought a furnace, their trip fee would go against the total........but it goes against my grain to pay for this. And, it makes me not want to get 3 bids.

Since I've never bought a furnace before, I'm in the totally stupid phase of this project. And, getting info seems to be harder than I could imagine. I have a bit of time today to spend banging my head against this difficulty one more time.

I suppose the cost of the 3 bids might be outweighed by actually having 3 bids and choosing the least expensive option. If I just went with one company, who knows if it is the frugal choice, or the priciest one?? The whole thing goes against my grain........and what I've been taught over the years. Get 3 bids, compare/contrast, etc, then make an informed decision.

How in the world do I learn about furnaces? At this point, if I find a company that isn't going to charge me to tell me how much a furnace would cost.......I'm ready to write them a check!

In the meantime, bundling up here and keeping the wood stove a'goin!

7 Responses to “A Life Rule Challenged”

  1. campfrugal Says:

    I am with you. This is a whole new thing. It will cost us for someone to give us an estimate for a repair or replacement that we need. I had to replace my furnace and the total cost was around $2,500, last February.

    I also just recently had my oven fixed and everybody I called wanted to charge me an estimate fee over and above what it was actually going to cost me. So I had the oven fixed and the total came to $250.00 and $70.00 of that was for travel fee and estimate fee. Give me a break. But, what do you do, I needed an oven and my stove is only 7 year old.

    Maybe, go back to school and become an electrician/appliance repair/replacement gal. Sheesh.

  2. miclason Says:

    What about getting references instead?...I mean, if you could get 2 or 3 people that have used the same company and get their opinion on their service...and if you do that for 2 or 3 companies...that would be almost as good as having 3 quotes... (plus, the customers will know how much they paid, won't they?)

  3. mjrube94 Says:

    Two thoughts: Call the gas company. They usually have rebates if you install high-efficiency furnaces, and can probably give you an education on what to look for. They may even be able to recommend someone who would give you a free quote.

    Also, given all the other work you've had done, hasn't their been one contractor that you've found to be honest, trustworthy, etc., where you would trust that his quote would be fair, even if it's the only one you received? Or if he can't install it himself, maybe he could at least tell you what to look for?

    I don't envy you here...

    btw, how about an update on the chicks in one of your upcoming posts?

  4. LuxLiving Says:

    First, who told you that you need a new furnace?

    Can you just have a service call and then when they get there and it's defunct then let them bid out the job?

  5. campfrugal Says:

    Well, for me and my furnace. It was old and caught on fire, but blew the pilot out so the fire didn't last and leaked gas all into my house. My son came home and smelt gas, opened the doors and called me. I, in turn sent my husband. We had to get a new one.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    Maybe if you go to the heating stores in person you can at least find out how much the type of furnace you want costs. In person, they might even give you a rough estimate of installation costs. It is much harder to give a person the run around if they are standing right there.

  7. tinapbeana Says:

    perhpas call the mnaufacturer of your current furnace? maybe they have authorized 'dealers' or repair folks, or maybe they can give you a quote on a replacement?

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