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Yikes! This can't be possible!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by missesbeasley, Feb 17, 2008.

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  1. missesbeasley

    missesbeasley New Member

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    Maryland
    Hi! I just registered here and am in total shock! My husband and I would like to have a Quadra-Fire 7100 installed, replacing our current fireplace insert. Our electric bill in the winter is about $800/month plus an additonal $200/month for our supplemental oil furnace. We settled on the Quadra-Fire 7100 because it seems to suit our needs. I know the unit itself sells at the dealer for about $3,400 which is fine. However, when the dealer gave us a quote to actually install it, they wanted $13,000!

    The only thing they are doing is taking out the old insert, putting this one in, and running an outside air return.

    Am I just naive or is $10,000 labor to install a fireplace insert outrageous? We purchased and installed our current fireplace insert ourselves and now my husband is interested in attempting the Quadra-Fire 7100 himself because of the high installation cost.

    So I guess my question is two-fold:

    a. Is $13,000 a typical price for a standard installation of this unit (no additional duct work, etc, just purchasing the unit and installation.)
    b. Is is possible for someone to install this unit themselves, given that they already have an understanding of how to install a fireplace and run wiring, etc.

    Now that I am recoving from the shock, I would love some suggestons.

    Thanks,

    Misses Beasley

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  2. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    I can't say for sure, but that seems REALLY high. Maybe they don't want your business so they figured they would quote you something crazy. One of the pros should be along pretty soon.
  3. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    Loc:
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    First things first are you sure they are only charging you $3400 for the unit? sounds like a great deal as Suggested Retail Price is: $4,070.00 - $4,477.00 US* Depending on trim level.

    Figure another 600-1200 for the pipe depending on length needed.

    My dealer charged $550 for the removal and install. The hardest part about putting the 7100 in is lifting it into place, its 570 pounds. If he installs it himself make sure he checks all clearances to make it fits before he buys it.

    and yeh 13k is absurd. Does it come with a lifetime supply of cord wood to go with it? Do you have an itemized breakdown on the charges for the dealer? some dealers today just want to sell stoves and not do installs.
  4. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Remember the WW11 "battle of the bulge"? That famous quote seems applicable regarding the 13k price. NUTS!!!!
  5. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    central coastal nj
    go to another dealer, even if its a bit of a ride id say its worth it just to get a qoute id also think about bringing a picture of some kind with u also of what exact insatal will look like and what needs to be done.
  6. Chettt

    Chettt Feeling the Heat

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    Western Michigan
    Good lord, everyone in the U.S. should boycott Quadrafire products until that thief is forced to stop selling stoves.
  7. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    The only way that number makes any sense is if the chimney needs serious work, they are doing a hearth extension, etc.

    Otherwise I would suspect that they think you are gullible and you have money to burn and/or their instincts tell them you will be demanding customers or somehow be more trouble than the usual mark up is worth.

    ~Cath
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The 7100 isn't a fireplace insert it is a whole fireplace. There is a lot more to installing it than just sliding it in and hooking up a liner.
  9. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Other than the fact it has an arched firebox, I don`t see the justification in that price?

    The OP didn`t mention anything about using the "heat zone and auxillary convection air systems".? However, if that is their intention, then yes, the price is justified. Maybe the op will get back to this post and clarify?

    In the meantime,because I am just naturally "grumpy" I say NUTS to that price quote.
  10. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    heat zone kits were an additional 250 per kit charge by my dealer, i didnt add them
  11. missesbeasley

    missesbeasley New Member

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    Nope. No heat zones. Just taking out the old insert, putting this one in basically.

    Here is the other weird thing...he told me it is a 4-day job. WHAT? I watched my husband and his buddy put in the first insert and it took maybe a day. Granted, this one involves some electrical work, but still...

    And yes, they are charging me $3,400 or so for the unit itself...the $10,000 additional is for putting the sucker in.

    I had a budget of $6,000 for this and I thought THAT was high. I am just shocked and appauled. There is really only one other person in my area who sells these. Is it possible to purchase one and then find someone to install it? Or would that be asking for a big headache?

    What is a reasonable price to pay for something like this, any ideas?
  12. Chettt

    Chettt Feeling the Heat

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    Missus B, may I ask what a Qfire 7100 does that any other stove does not? My $700 stove releases 400 to 700 degrees of heat into the house when I burn wood in it. Is the 7100 like a masonry stove?
  13. missesbeasley

    missesbeasley New Member

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    I am not familar with the stove you have. This is basically an entire fireplace that can heat approx. 3,500 sq. feet. It supposedly has a burn time of 16 hours.

    Unfortunately, I cannot get a freestanding woodburning stove, as my little boy is handicapped and would very likely get hurt on one. We liked this one because it puts out a lot of heat (hoping to heat our entire house with this) and because the "look" is what we want. (hope that made sense.)

    We have a large property with enough firewood to last us a lifetime so it makes sense to do something like this and stop paying these huge utility bills, if we can.
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, first let's stop using the word "insert'. This is not an insert. It is a whole fireplace.

    So you are having a fireplace AND chimney completely removed and a new fireplace and chimney installed. This is not a $500 job!

    As mentioned above, it is likely that the unit and the chimney could be $6000....in materials. We have no idea exactly what work is being performed. Is this an exterior chase? All interior? Is there new facings and hearth being installed?

    This is not a typical installation, but rather a complete remodeling job. I'm not saying the Price is Right, but without a full detail of 100% of the work to be done, it is hard to pass judgment.

    No doubt money can be saved by DIY. But without details, we can't guess at how much.
  15. missesbeasley

    missesbeasley New Member

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    My husband has the actual detailed quote on his computer, unfortunately. However, I can't imagine why they'd need to replace the chimney. Is that typical? Does a unit like this require a special chimney? Nothing needs to be remodeled or resurfaced. The job is completely interior and more or less a "swap" of what is already there, from what I understand.

    Sorry for sounding so ignorant, but I am trying to educate myself on this before I go and spend money I don't have.
  16. Chad S.

    Chad S. Member

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    Loc:
    West Bend WI
    All pre-fab fireplaces have to use the chimney that is specified in the installers manual. Some have many, some only have one. Some are cheap and some are insane. Only what the manufaturer says is allowed is allowed. The quad fireplace should probably be between 4000-5500 for just the unit and chimney I think.
  17. Chettt

    Chettt Feeling the Heat

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    Western Michigan
    I read some reviews as I'm sure you have as well on ths.gardenweb.com and some people really like the 7100 and others really don't. If you are going to spend money you don't have I would try to meet someone in your area that has this system and see it in a real house. Also, are you positive that you are going to spend the rest of your days in this house? I always look at the opportunity cost of purchases and in this case on $13400 at 5% you can make close to one months heating bill every year by leaving the money in the bank. I know you experience a few months of winter in Maryland but it's not like Minnesota there. My last question is, have you done all you can with insulation? About half the houses in my neighborhood have huge amounts of ice dripping from the roof even when the temperature is below freezing for weeks at a time.

    I hope this all works out for you.

    Chettt.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It would be helpful to know is exactly what is currently installed. Is this a masonry fireplace with an insert or is there a prefab fireplace currently installed? Pictures would be a great help.
  19. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    What part of MD, and who was the dealer? I ask because two years ago I replaced my existing "builder's special" prefab fireplace with the Ultima EPA ZC. I called around and only found a couple local companies who even seemed willing to consider it. One told me they'd need to rip open the wall on both floors to get at the chimney (which is in an external chase), and although I didn't get an actual quote I was told $10,000+. The other guy said he'd just climb down the chase from the top, which he did. Bill was around $2500 parts and $2500 labor. Given the market I'm in, it was a good price. $13,000 sounds way over the top, and I'm wondering if it's the same place I called.

    If you have an existing masonry fireplace, then a better insert seems to make more sense than to rip out and replace the whole fireplace.
  20. missesbeasley

    missesbeasley New Member

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    The specific chimney for the specific fireplace makes sense. I can understand that.

    Actually, in Maryland we have more than a few months of winter. We are using the heat from October through April, so it is pretty significant in terms of usage. It's also significant to point out that Maryland has something like the third highest electric rates in the country. I pay $800 a month in just electric over the winter, so the savings may be more significant than in other parts of the country where electricity is cheaper.

    We plan on living here the rest of our lives. We've been here 15 years, renovated the house ourselves, and live in a fantastic area. So time and return on money isn't an issue necessarily.

    The dealer we had come in is in Clarksville. It is not a masonry fireplace, just a Home Depot Special I like to call it. Nothing fancy and definitely not beautiful.

    Can anyone suggest other units I should be looking at comparable to this? I did see the reviews on the unit, and it seemed that, for the most part, people were happy wit it. But I am totally open to other units that would be better and less costly.
  21. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    If you have an old fireplace with an insert it in now, and want to install the 7100 that is going to be a BIG job, especially if the old fireplace is a masonry fireplace. It would require removing the insert, and then removing the old fireplace (prefab or masonry). Also would have to remove the old chimney as well. Then install the 7100 and a whole new chimney.

    Sometimes the dealer just needs to stand back and think about what you really want. Maybe what you really need is a 5100i INSERT and not a 7100 fireplace.

    ---

    I just read some more posts and see you dont have a masonry fireplace, just a cheap builder box it seems. This type of job we typcially do in one day with a 2 person install crew. Its about $1000 - $1500 of labor + $4000 or so for the unit. Not sure how much the chimney is but it should be under $2000
  22. missesbeasley

    missesbeasley New Member

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    No, it isn't masonry. No masonry at all anywhre. It is only a pre-fab fireplace unit we bought at Home Depot, stuck into a framed area with pipe going up through the roof. There is nothing to rip out. The guy even told us that.
  23. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    You HAVE to rip out the old unit and chimney if you are going to install a 7100. There is no other way to do it. You either need to talk to someone else at the dealer or find a new dealer IMO. Either that or you are not really listening to them very well.
  24. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum missesbeasley.

    First, I would like to suggest that you slow down, take a deep breath, and start the process of learning all there is to know about High-efficiency factory-built zero-clearance fireplaces. Coming to this forum is a good idea and you will get lots of help. But this entire project is not an easy one. What you are contemplating is a remodel job and as is often the case with remodel jobs there are many things to consider and many questions to answer both before and during the process.

    I would start by setting a firm number for your budget. What can you afford? What will be the return on your investment (considering both financial and non-financial benefits). If the results were exactly what you wanted and perfectly suited to your needs, would you spend $13,000? Or will you only spend $10,000, or $6,000? Defining your budget will help you choose both your appliance and your contractor.

    Yes, $13,000 is a lot of money. And many here have already insisted that that number is too high. But the fact is we cannot tell you that from here in this short amount of exchange on this forum. There are way too many questions that are unanswered. And we will not be your best source for the answers. We can help guide you in the process but you will need to do the work locally. You need to get more local people involved.

    Okay, you have your estimate from "company X". Now you need them to clarify what is included and why they estimate the charges as they did. Next, you need to get estimates from "company Y" and then "company Z". Ask them all the same questions and make sure they understand your wants and needs and that their solution matches your requests. Be willing to consider their opinions but clearly establish what you want the end result to be. You may be surprised that your end result will cost more than you thought it would cost. If your budget can be adjusted to match your needs and wants than do it. You'll be happier if you get what you want. If your budget cannot move you will need to adjust your end result. Either a different appliance or a different type of contractor. Maybe a DIY solution will better fit your budget. Maybe you can pay a professional to do the inspections and give advice and hire a competent carpenter who has less overhead than a fireplace company.

    In short, despite all the loud exclamations that $13,000 is too much, we simply do not know yet. I can tell you that I have done this many times - I am a fireplace contractor - and that number is not absurd. It may not be the correct number. We have work to do to find out. But to flatly say it is too much is not correct. Those comments come from well meaning people who are feeling your pain and want to help you feel better. Fine. Take it in. But take your time and figure it out properly. Do your work and get more information. We'll still be here.
  25. missesbeasley

    missesbeasley New Member

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    Thank you, Sean. I really appreciate the advice and help. And you are right: I need to learn everything there is to know about this before settling on anything. That is why I am so happy I found this forum. I did get on Gardenweb but the fourms didn't seem very active. I feel like the dealer may be advising us to do things that aren't necessary, etc. As for carpentry, my husband can do all that. We renovated our home completely by ourselves: electrical, framing, drywall, plumbing. You name it, we can do it.

    When I meant there is nothing to rip out, I mean there is no stone or masonry. Just a pre-fab fireplace and the pipe going up. The only thing that currently comes out of my roof is a pipe...there is no brick or stone, etc.

    Here is the fireplace that we want to replace. As you can see, it is just a basic Home Depot off the shelf fireplace that we did ourselves. The mantle will have to go (it's already a fire hazzard) and we are thinking of having our stone mason do a hearth and surround for us with stone we have left over from another project.

    [​IMG]
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