I'm wondering what home performance contractors have found to be the best contract and or pricing method for air sealing duct systems?
What happens when the system has leaky areas that are hard or very difficult to get to and require ripping into walls, etc? One can replace all the ducts and still have inaccessible plenums that leak like sieves.
How do successful contractors protect themselves from systems that have plenums made from framing and one can't get inside to seal them?
George, that is a tough question to answer - for most customers they would like a fixed price estimate while some may allow for time & material. No matter which method you choose you need to know all your overhead costs and make sure they are factored in. The protections come not from the type of contract, but the language & limits in them.
As for tearing into drywall or other portions - if you truly think you need to go that route I would first recommend a full blown Manual J,S,T & D because no one is going to be happy if you seal the ducts, but leave behind some real problems behind that new drywall as the costs for this can easily be in the thousands, if not tens of thousands.
Try setting a time element on each task you perform taping all lines=2 hrs, mastic on furnace =1 hr etc. Add travel time to and from, setup and cleanup then multiply all hours by the rate you want.
Note: your hourly rate should consider percentages of over head insurance, vehicle, equipment, training etc
Add mark up on material to your cost. Then add an amount for profit on top of all other costs. Inclued a separate hourly labor rate if you hire help.
Say you need $50 an hour as an initial labor rate for your self to get started. Multiply that by the estimated hours you computed. 10 hrs x $50 = $500 Add materials, disposal of waste to this of say $300= Total estimate of $800.
I always quote the hourly rate for cost over runs, or time and material when you can not give a solid price on areas that may contain hidden costs.
Adjust as necessary as your business grows.
This is exactly what Aeroseal - aerosol based duct sealing was designed for. It allows you to seal ducts from the inside, even if they're using building cavities for returns, duct board, etc... We can not say enough about the product. We're happy to demo the system for you depending on where you're located.
Check out the video on our website for a great overview on Aeroseal - Priority Energy Aeroseal
In Alabama, feel free to stop by... I know that's way to far,but I would love to see this system work & the duct numbers before & after...
The 1200 to 1500 you list below is easily below what it would cost to rip out drywall & refinish the affected area's in many homes
What are the limits on the size of holes or crack that can be sealed? Thanks
Aeroseal will fill holes up to 5/8"
If you're interested I'm sure I can probably find someone in your area
Sean, The contact info for Aeroseal is as follows.
6838 Ellicott Dr.
East syracuse, NY 13057
I too have been talking with them.