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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pointers on bid to thaw out house

I'm looking for a few pointers on how much to bid for a job like this. This is a new one for me, and the last thing I want is to loose money. And/or be a bottom feeder that is responsible for driving rates down.

I've run into 3 properties in the last two days and expect another one on a winterize job scheduled for tomorrow. Eventually one of them is going to ask for a bid price to thaw and re-winterize.

All three of them were able to partially winterize.

Also recommended equipment for this yob.


Thank you for the pointers.
 

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Captain California
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How long is it going to take you?
What is it going to cost you?
How much are you trying to make for yourself?
Have you taken your overhead into account?
Are you qualifed?
 

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Hot water baseboard or forced air. You will need to know about how much glcol you will need for the winterization. Also will be tough to figure how many breaks you will have in the water lines...Probably set amount for exposed breaks and another for hidden breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hot water baseboard or forced air. You will need to know about how much glcol you will need for the winterization. Also will be tough to figure how many breaks you will have in the water lines...Probably set amount for exposed breaks and another for hidden breaks.



So far they've all been forced air.

So far the 3 I mentioned have no obvious breaks.

I'm looking for pointers on the thaw out.
 

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I'm looking for a few pointers on how much to bid for a job like this. This is a new one for me, and the last thing I want is to loose money. And/or be a bottom feeder that is responsible for driving rates down.

I've run into 3 properties in the last two days and expect another one on a winterize job scheduled for tomorrow. Eventually one of them is going to ask for a bid price to thaw and re-winterize.

All three of them were able to partially winterize.

Also recommended equipment for this yob.


Thank you for the pointers.
Your trade: Property Preservation

Shouldn't you all ready know how to figure this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your trade: Property Preservation

Shouldn't you all ready know how to figure this?




I'm amazed at the smart butt comments made on this topic.

And here I thought that this place was a place to come and find some info
on some thing I didn't already know how to do. Boy am I ever wrong.

I've been doing P&P for several years. This is the first time I've run into a
need to bid this.

Apparently you and several others that have already posted on the matter
don't know how to thaw a house out either.

I'm just trying to learn from the PROS on the mistakes to avoid and the things that work.

Did that spell it out enough for the smart butt commentators?
 

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I'm looking for a few pointers on how much to bid for a job like this. This is a new one for me, and the last thing I want is to loose money. And/or be a bottom feeder that is responsible for driving rates down.

I've run into 3 properties in the last two days and expect another one on a winterize job scheduled for tomorrow. Eventually one of them is going to ask for a bid price to thaw and re-winterize.

All three of them were able to partially winterize.

Also recommended equipment for this yob.


Thank you for the pointers.
Not trying to be smart here- but you don't give many specifics---- Partially winterize- what did this consist of??? Thaw What??? Are pipes Frozen?? Recommended Equiptment to do what?? How can anyone give tips on How to bid this??? You should give more Info- And maybe we can help....................
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK.


I know how to winterize. Thats not the issue.

Yes I've got frozen plumbing with no visible damage yet. Just cannot blow compressed air thru the system to winterize.

I'm looking for the proper recommended equipment to use for the job. And any suggestions on level of pricing.

What I'm thinking of doing is renting some large electric heaters to do the thaw out. I'm just looking for advice from those that might have already had a job like this.

Thanks.
 

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Remodeling Specialist
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You are going to have to heat the house, drain and re pressurize to check for leaks. I'd figure a couple of days minimum unless it's a single story with uncomplicated visible plumbing.

You need to start up the furnaces if its hot air and make sure every pipe gets drained properly.

I would not rely on going around with electric heaters but I would close off registers in rooms that needn't be heated to thaw out pipes in walls. Again unless its a small house with visible plumbing.

Compressor and a few fittings to convert to valves where needed and the house heating system is all you need.

I've done single story cottages before.
I don't charge to heat the house if it is their fuel just the draining and patching which is some times just a day and the service call to turn on the furnace.


(Oh and by the way most contractors are wise butts, that is why we are self employed):w00t:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Baron I agree with you that using the house system is the best way. No question about it.

How ever with all of these properties being foreclosures the banks are not likely to activate utilities for a few days for the ease and enjoyment of the P&P contractor.

I'm pre-planning on how I'll go about doing the thaw out without them playing nice.
 

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I worked on a house one winter that had four inches of ice in the basement. Water had leaked in and frozen. I used a couple of these:


In about two days it was dry as a bone and all warm and fuzzy.
Just open a window before staying in there very long.
I don't have a clue what you should charge. If you're in business you can figure that out.
 

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Baron I agree with you that using the house system is the best way. No question about it.

How ever with all of these properties being foreclosures the banks are not likely to activate utilities for a few days for the ease and enjoyment of the P&P contractor.

I'm pre-planning on how I'll go about doing the thaw out without them playing nice.
I don't know how you get the kerosene smell from the heaters out if you use Salamanders, Gas space heaters are cleaner but pretty dangerous, then you have electric but then you are going to have to be specific on your locations to apply the heat 'cause electric with a generator will take some doing.

I have used those Kerosun space heaters (the round ones) in the basements under the pipes in a cellar once and it worked within hours, but I'm talking a 4 room cottage here. at about 34 by 28 foundation. That worked out to be no leaks as it wasn't frozen too long.

I've jumped out oil fired furnaces before and ran them with a 5 gal supply and a generator to heat a house. I don't think I'd recommend that as a safe method though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did think of using the house system on a propane bottle and generator. As long as the furnace is set for propane. A lot of houses are on natural gas.

The one house I'm thinking of has a very antiquated heater (house was built in 1910). I don't think I want to use it.

And I agree with the smell of a kerosene or diesel fired heater.
 

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Sluggin away
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I did think of using the house system on a propane bottle and generator. As long as the furnace is set for propane. A lot of houses are on natural gas.

The one house I'm thinking of has a very antiquated heater (house was built in 1910). I don't think I want to use it.

And I agree with the smell of a kerosene or diesel fired heater.
We use indirect heaters. There are companies in Cheyenne that provide construction site heat. We normally charge "high 3 figures" per day with a 3 day minimum. Check your codes for plumbing though since thawing is considered a repair in a lot of areas and "respect the trades" and hire a plumber/hvac contractor to cya. Indirect heaters can pipe right into the gas supply with your pipefitter/plumber/hvac tech or you can run off of 3-4 100lb cylinders. Just don't freeze the tanks so make sure to have someone knowledgable on tying these together.
 

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Sluggin away
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by the way since you are in a "cold weather market" you might consider a starter unit like a Drieaz Dragon 85K btu unit that is ducted. Sweet little machine that is very affordable and good at the 1200sf homes +/-. We find this small units can pay for themselves easily in 1 winter season. Just some FYI.Good luck
 

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I'm amazed at the smart butt comments made on this topic.

And here I thought that this place was a place to come and find some info
on some thing I didn't already know how to do. Boy am I ever wrong.
See below.
I've been doing P&P for several years. This is the first time I've run into a
need to bid this.
So that would make you unqualified to do it then.
Apparently you and several others that have already posted on the matter
don't know how to thaw a house out either.
Sure we do, call another contractor who is qualified and has the equipment to do so.
I'm just trying to learn from the PROS on the mistakes to avoid and the things that work.
Which means you are not qualified to bid or perform the work you are bidding. Stick to what you know until you have researched it or, hire somebody who knows how to do it and has the equipment, or hire a consultant to teach you to do it properly and invest in the necessary equipment.
Did that spell it out enough for the smart butt commentators?
Did that spell it out enough for you how working in an area you are not qualified to is received around here? This is not a how to forum.
:rolleyes:
How-To Questions: Contractor Talk is a site for professional contractors to come and share business and trade knowledge. From time to time everyone runs into new situations that they’ve never seen before or that they need help with. While it’s fine for members to ask for help it’s not OK for members to ask how-to questions when they are clearly in over their head or don’t have the experience needed to complete the task. How-To threads will be closed on a case by case basis.

Try using the search button for information on bidding, estimating, and pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And so the smart butt comments continue.

Apparently you read the forum with blinders because there are a lot of questions being asked on how to do this or that. By other contractors I might add.

I am not in over my head. I will figure out how to do this without your help.

Which by the way you don't know how to do what I asked. So why not just keep your comments to yourself????

For the life of me I can't figure out why the need for the flaming from you. I guess if that makes your "little man" problem feel better then have at it.
I'll just remember in the future that you are one that doesn't know
what hes talking about.


Thank you to the other guys that did post some useful info.
 

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And so the smart butt comments continue.
:rolleyes:
Apparently you read the forum with blinders because there are a lot of questions being asked on how to do this or that. By other contractors I might add.
Their are also a lot of people told this is not a how to site.
I am not in over my head. I will figure out how to do this without your help.
On your customers dime no doubt.
Which by the way you don't know how to do what I asked. So why not just keep your comments to yourself????
My trade is not listed as Property Preservation. When I do run into a client that requires those services I do have a sub-contractor that I use or refer them to.
For the life of me I can't figure out why the need for the flaming from you. I guess if that makes your "little man" problem feel better then have at it.
I'll just remember in the future that you are one that doesn't know
what hes talking about.
This is hardly a flaming. I just have an issue with people charging other people to do work that they are not qualified to do. I don't answer a lot of how to questions for this reason. If this is a trade you are in business to do you should have a) the know how to do the service you plan on providing b) the equipment necessary to provide said service c) a means of accurately estimating the cost to perform said service.

Thank you to the other guys that did post some useful info.
I'm looking for a few pointers on how much to bid for a job like this.
Only you can answer this question. There are to many variables to be considered and information that we do not have access to that pertains to your company. You also have no experience doing this work which means no history available to accurately price this. That means the best you could hope for is an educated guess based on what the average completion time is for someone experienced. You could in theory then take and multiply this by your predetermined billing rate to determine the labor cost. However, the time factor would not be applicable to you as you have no experience doing this. So this leaves you with one option: T&M billing. Which means you are learning on the clients dime.
I've been doing P&P for several years. This is the first time I've run into a
need to bid this.
If you have done this work before then you should have an idea as to how to bid it. My point is you have not done this work before (or are suggesting by your posts that you haven't) therefore I have issues with you charging someone for services you have no experience in providing. Would you like it if I misrepresented myself as a surgeon and operated on you after asking how to on a forum? Of course I guess there is the chance you just don't know how to bid jobs at all. If that is the case then use the search button and you will find information that will get you started.

As far as the comment that I don't know what I am talking about; I am not on here asking anyone how to bid on jobs that I am bidding, nor will you ever find me doing so. Why, because I do the trades I know and hire subs to do the trades I am not skilled in or licensed to perform.
 
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