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Commercial Quoting – Several Factors to Consider

by Wayne Tracy, Operations Manager

Wayne TracyWhen quoting commercial work there are several factors you have to consider.  These can vary from job to job, but must be considered and investigated when providing a quote.  Listed below are some of the major things to look into.

Special Insurance Requirements:   Be sure when quoting commercial work you ask what the insurance requirements for the job are.  Special coverages such as Employee Liability, Umbrella policies, bonding, and even special wording can be very expensive.  If there are special requirements, send them to your agent and they’ll provide you with pricing for these coverages.  I always add the cost of these special requirements as a line item in my quote.  Often times the building owner/project manager may waive this requirement when he’s made aware of the added costs he may incur.

Special Equipment:   Are the ceilings high and will you need a scissor lift or boom to gain access?  Or maybe it may be a special ladder or staging.  Like other requirements, list it as a line item. The owner may have this equipment already and let you use it to avoid the added cost.

Grills and Registers:   There are several different types and you have to determine if they are removable and how they are removed from the register pan.   Some styles are unibody construction or tack welded and may not be removable at all.  If this is the case you need to allow extra time for getting access to the duct for cleaning.  In some cases you may have to disconnect the flex hose from the register pan, then reconnect it.  This can be very time consuming and you must allow for this extra work in your quote.

Volume Dampers, Fire & Smoke Dampers:   These are very common in large commercial duct systems and can be very difficult, if not impossible to clean through.  If you have blueprints they can be located on the print.  If you do not have prints you’ll have to spend some time at the site locating them – again, a time consuming task and you have to allow for it in your quote.  You may be able to clean through a volume damper with an air whisk, but Fire & Smoke Dampers are virtually impossible to clean through.  You’ll have to clean up to them; then make cuts in the sheet metal to continue cleaning on the other side of the damper.

Turning Vanes:   These are located in square ducting when the duct is making a 90 degree turn to help steer the air through the corners of the duct.  It is impossible to get a cleaning tool  through these dampers and you’ll have to make sheet metal cuts to get around them.

VAV Boxes & Reheat Coils:   These are located in large commercial duct systems and like other obstacles you cannot clean through them – you’ll need to make access cuts before and after them for cleaning.

These are the more common obstacles I encounter in quoting commercial work.  Always be on the lookout for potential problems or obstacles that may confront you on the job.  A missed obstacle can be very costly and have a direct impact on the profitability of a job.

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