Cheap Charlie, and The Chocolate Boiler
Earlier this week I had a phone call from someone asking for the “cheapest” quote for a boiler replacement. I explained that a boiler replacement has a lot of variables, and it would be best if I could attend site, to give an accurate costing. There’s a lot to think about, from an installer point of view: boiler location within the property, pipework location/layout, flue termination, clearance around the boiler/pipework, boiler make and model, etc.
The caller, we’ll call him Cheap Charlie, said that he didn’t want to risk wasting my time or his, so asked if I could give a rough quote over the phone. Not ideal, but okay. I asked Cheap Charlie a few questions about the current installation. Perfectly generic, but trying to get a clearer picture of the situation. Cheap Charlie answered them (I hope) honestly.
I thought for a moment about a good boiler, and what would be needed with it, then gave a rough estimate.
“Oh, I’ve had another guy give me a cheaper one.”, said Cheap Charlie, and sounded as if he was going to hang up. I quickly tried to explain what he would be getting for the price I gave. A boiler with a ten year warranty, a magnetic filter, smart controls, a system flush, etc.
NOTE: For a full breakdown of everything that I normally include in a boiler replacement please hover the pointer over the Services tab, and then click on Boiler Installation.
However, Cheap Charlie wasn’t interested in listening; he’d heard a number that was higher than the previous one, and that was all that mattered to him. Which is a shame. If you want the CHEAPEST quote, I guarantee you that it won’t be coming from a reputable company.
In order for a boiler install to be cheap you have to make sacrifices on either quality of workmanship, or quality of materials. Or both. Anyone reputable will compromise on neither.
Admittedly there are products which are reasonably priced, and of excellent quality, but this typically doesn’t occur in the heating industry. Especially with boilers. Parts can often be quite intricate, and very finely tuned - hence the reason that boiler manufacturers state you must have an annual service carried out in order to maintain the warranty.
Everyone wants to save money. I genuinely understand that. But remember two things:
1/ “Skimping out” on a gas appliance that will be inside your home, heating your water, and (soon) your radiators isn’t the best way to save money.
2/ The person who installs the boiler is just as important. The risk to life, if something were to go wrong, is high. There are Gas Safety Regulations for a reason, and you need to make sure that the person who carries out the work is competent at it.
Don’t be a Cheap Charlie.
- Ivo @ Plumbingwerx