Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Remove old furnace,install new one ,add air-conditioning, replace ductwork, replace wall furnaces,sheetmetal flashings. Ventwork, attic fans. Getting more into mini-split systems in the last few years.been doing quite a bit of custom coper work as well.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. Adding an a/c system to a small hair salon. Adding a samsung mini-split heating/cooling system to a guest house. Removed all old ductwork and equipment. Replace furnace and all ductwork to house being remodeled. Added a/c. Installed 10 mini-split systems since the beginning of the year.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Ask to see a valid calif. Contractors license and proof of insurance. Ask for at least 3 references of completed jobs.Hire a person who lives in the area.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. quality can vary greatly. the cheapest bid usually,but not always,means that cheaper materials may be used.or that something may not be covered. go over all the details you can think of. in sheetmetal work,such as gutters,the old methods are still the best.solder is permanent,mastic isnt. A guy that has a contractors license will value that license and not want to have any complaints against it. he will be more inclined to come back when you have a problem than someone who isnt licensed.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. pretty much covered it above. contractors license, insurance,references. how long have you been in the trade.experience does count. I think using someone who lives in the area is a good idea for all. he wants to keep his good reputation in his area intact.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Learn what you can about the equipment and materials you may need for your job. Dont rely too heavily on internet reviews of all products. Most of the time,a bad review actually reflects a bad job or installation. My experience is ,that currently almost all hvac equipment is very close in terms of quality and reliability. Buying your own equipment online may save some money initially,but may not be the right one for the job. Better to go with the guy who has been using and installing his favorite brands for a long time.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I think that I take more care to do the job right the first time.1st reason-I want a satisfied customer.thats the best advertising. 2nd-having to come back and fix something later is no fun for anyone including me. 3rd-giving someone a great job means that they will remember me when they have another project that may require my trade. and again,refer me to friends and family
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. crawling under dark crawlspaces.no,thats not it. risking my life on steep roofs. no,not it either. doing a job that I do well,walking away knowing that I gave them their moneys worth and maybe even made new friends. getting paid is a highlight as well .
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. can you do it for free?no ,kidding. I guess the main question is"how much ?" along with" when can you start,how long will it take,do you give senior discounts,do you stand behind your work.? I try to give a realistic estimate of the time needed,all jobs are not equal. I do give senior discounts. I will come back to take care of a problem as long as im doing this trade.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. that not everybody is going to do the same job. once I bid a gutter job .when I called to see what she thought of my bid,she said she got a bid half of mine.when i asked if the others were going to do it the same way I bid,she said " gutters are gutters." thats not true in gutter work or hvac work.quality does cost a little more.Galvanized ,soldered gutters will far outlast any aluminum job".seamless",my ***
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. my neighbor,who owned the biggest sheetmetal shop in the bay area,told me I should get into the trade.my father asked what it paid to start. He replied"$6.50 per hour."My father said "he'll take it!"
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. Finishing up a heating,a/c installation for a family in santa clara. they welcomed my ideas and helped them find a contractor for other work they needed done. much prefer working directly with homeowners.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. constantly needing to learn about the new equipment and latest in "green" construction trends.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. I think all the mini-split systems available give people a lot more heating, cooling options. they are very efficient,use less electricity,etc. whole house fans are also getting more popular.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. have 3 or 4 ongoing.will update.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. a simple system .cost of materials with no markup,number of hours I think the job will takeX my hourly rate. ($55 to $70 per hour) depending on the type of job.Or time and materials at $60 per hr.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. go for it. learn all you can. don't let the old guys withhold information like they often did when I was an apprentice.you can work for a shop for 10 years and not learn anything if no one will show you.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. stubborn as heck.still need to show the rest of the trade that im top of the line.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. my powder-coating technique.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. why didn't I stay in the union and get a big ,fat pension? because when you're young,you don't think about pensions.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. would I chose this trade again? ask later.