Flip HVAC replacement - Chicago

6 Replies

Hi everyone!

I have a property that only has a furnace. I'm looking to replace the furnace and add an central AC unit. I'm also finishing the 2nd floor/attic and will need to put in ductwork. I got an estimate around $8,500, which I think is somewhat high. Do other have thoughts on what this should cost?

That price seems fair to me. i figure around 5k to replace a furnace with some duct work. Then, running new duct from the basement to the attic I could see costing between 1500-2500. What part of Chicago is the property in?

@Melvin Kim

If you can find that qualified moonlighter you should expect to cut this number in half.  That's about 20% more than what they'd make in a full time situation is my guess (all that $$ goes to line owners' pockets and pay for lots of overhead for those shops).  Understand though that most shops try to keep their 'people' down and do not allow them to moonlight, so you're introducing a decent amount of risk to someone doing that in going that route....  There are people transitioning in and out of the industry though and sometimes you can catch them at just the right time, when they're hungry and ready to work and have the experience.   

If it's a hot item and you don't have that person in your network then that number seems 'middle of the road' to me.  With shops, at least around here, for what you've described of scope I'd expect to get quotes to come in with a 95% confidence interval plus or minus $2k from that quote you listed.  Depends of course though on the details and especially the time involved in the duct routing?  Is everything exposed and pretty simple there or is it going to be a 3+ day adventure to get the ducting adjusted?

By the way the equipment (furnace, coil, condenser) will cost YOU somewhere around $1800 - $2400 depending on the house size.

It will cost one of these shops far less than that, but of course, they will when asked say it's $3000 + worth of equipment.  

That moonlighter you have to be prepared to get them the equipment they need, and even if you have to purchase:

  • OXY ACetylene set
  • vacuum pump
  • refrigerant

You'll usually come out WAY ahead after just one project.  And you own that stuff for the next one.

Is this a 3 ton, 4 ton, 5 ton unit? For a 5 ton unit, that is about what it would cost here in CA, perhaps slightly less depending on the access, brand used, efficiency rating, and amount of ductwork. I would expect it to be a bit less in your area.

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