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Patio29Dadio

Boiler Installation Costs

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So, I just got my quote for the steam boiler installation.  The boiler is a 1.4M BTUh Rite low pressure system and the quote for all the hardware was about $45k.

The installation quote came in at $85k.

It is not a complicated installation.   Anyone out there have a comment on this?   I think the boiler company is smoking rope.   They are reputable, but really?

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Really hard to say without know what your space looks like and the scope of work.  In general that sounds pretty damn high though.  Paid 20k on my install and thought that was high.  At this point I feel like I could do it myself for a few thousand.

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I think it is common that install is usually the same or more as the equipment itself.

If the first number is just the boiler, and the $85K includes materials needed for install then maybe? Are there more details on the installation quote, are they doing custom piping and welding or just threading pipe? Is it stainless or black iron, does it include insulation or not... Do they have any competition near you or are you in the middle of nowhere and there is a lot of travel time/expenses allotted?

I know around us, all the trades are really busy, so prices for things can be high.

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I know around us, all the trades are really busy, so prices for things can be high.

Yeah.  I think that is the deal here.  A bit of gouging because business is good.

$45k for all the boiler parts (condensate return, burner, water softener, etc.) less the piping and stack.  $86k for the installation.  They did not break down the quote well enough, but it looks like about $16k for materials and the rest is labor.  They are C4 certified and bill at $150 per hour.   $70k @ 150 per hour = 466 man hours.   The site is open and clear with straight 20' stack to the roof and the steam pipe run is straight overhead about 60' to the last piece of equipment on the run.  Electrical and gas stubs already installed.  I was expecting to be shocked with an installation bid equal to the boiler cost... not double!

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It depends on where you are as well.  A boiler install in Alabama may cost $20,000.00 while installing the same boiler in New York may cost $50,000.00

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Although this Boiler type is different from what I have run in the past it looks like a quality build.

Just having a Steam Fitter with the expertise you need in your area is something that many places do not have, so in some ways you are lucky to even have a quote. The mechanics that know how to set up and run steam systems correctly are a dying breed. Even just getting the return pump system, makeup water, and chemical feed set up correctly is RARE in this day and age. There are a major amount of hack jobs at large that somehow run, but dangerously so. Steam Boiler operation is an Art to be taken seriously and done correctly. They require daily attention.

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A boiler install in Alabama may cost $20,000.00 while installing the same boiler in New York may cost $50,000.00

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Even just getting the return pump system, makeup water, and chemical feed set up correctly is RARE in this day and age

Got four additional competitive big requests going.  I will see if this is an abnormality or a common malady!  A total of $131K for an installed 35 HP steam boiler is about twice what I expected.

One of the vendors offers and option on skids that should save all the worry about incorrect setup, etc.   They also say they will do the plan and coordinate with other contractors to help the client save on installation.  Now I just hope that their boiler hardware isn't significantly more expensive.

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We have a 2M BTU Columbia and our bids were around $100k for steam and glycol.

 

 

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Our boiler install was definitely the biggest surprise during our buildout.  I have a 1mm BTU Rite Boiler and the installation cost (which included a lot of on-site custom welding and piping) was about $40k.  

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I made 2 mistakes.  It was a little over 31 K and it was in VA not Alabama.  It was a 1 million BTU Rite Boiler.  He did one for another customer of mine in NC and another in TN.  I'm not sure what those cost.  He is a very good steam fitter who is licensed in VA, but somehow he got temp license in NC and TN.  If I remember correctly, he said that he could not get temp licensing in most North Eastern states for some reason.  Maybe it is because they are Union, but I'm not sure.  The VA install was almost 7 years ago.  It seems like his hourly rate was around $65.00 per hour then.

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It seems like his hourly rate was around $65.00 per hour then.

$150 per hour is the rate quoted for this CA job.  Over 450 man hours of work at that rate.   It just does not seem right from my perspective.   I don't have an argument with the rate so much as the number of hours. 

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Our boiler install was definitely the biggest surprise during our buildout.  I have a 1mm BTU Rite Boiler and the installation cost (which included a lot of on-site custom welding and piping) was about $40k. 

That was my budget expectation... $35-$45k installation of the 1.2MM BTU Rite.  My space is open and the run from the boiler to the tanks is straight.  Below is a 3D rendering of the setup (water tanks have since changed, but not the general layout).  It is about 50' from the steam boiler location to the furthest still tank boiler.  The space between is for phase-2 growth equipment.  The boiler is sized to cover phase-1 and phase-2.   I envisioned a straight run of 4" steam pipe over the rafter trusses (about 13' off the ground) with straight T connections down to each piece of equipment.  Seemed a pretty easy install without a lot of fitting required.  However, seismic requirements are such that this is more complicated and it might make more sense to run the steam pipe header along the wall under the rafters and over the planned copper water lines.  I am getting advise on all that.  I have four other steam boiler vendors working on quotes with a request to help find some economy. 

Steam-and-Water-Piping.jpg

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Did you double check that they quoted the right number of hours?  If that takes one person 11 weeks to do they definitely aren't worth $150 an hour. Maybe it was supposed to be 45? 2 people, 2 and a half days makes a lot more sense, but even that seems high for that short run of pipe.

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Just call a different company and get another quote.

Businesses overbid projects all the time, and for a variety of reasons. Sometimes because they think the job is going to be a PITA, or just not worth their time. Sometimes because they are already busy and want jobs that really bring in the cash, sometimes because they just want to sub it out. The list goes on.

Does this business do boilers of this size/scope regularly, or are they putting boilers in +million square foot buildings?

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Does this business do boilers of this size/scope regularly, or are they putting boilers in +million square foot buildings?

Largest boiler vendor in the state.  They handle all sizes and scopes.  I think you are probably correct.  They are cherry-picking the high-paying jobs and over-bidding.  Have four other bids underway.  Wish me luck!

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4 hours ago, Patio29Dadio said:

Largest boiler vendor in the state. 

That's why, they probably do a lot of public jobs.

You're better off finding the old guy who's been doing boilers for 20+ years, who doesn't advertise (gets all his business off referrals), and who only has a couple employees.

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