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Question DetailsAsked on 11/2/2017

Is $13,000 fair price to move furnace and water heater 25ft into garage

That's with new gas line and ducts and vented and a new furnace (96%) efficient

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3 Answers


Could be, or could be quite high depending on difficulty of rerouting the power, gas, water and ducting - but for that amount (which I would say is definitely on the high to quite high side for normal cases) I would be looking at getting at least 3 responsive bids from Heating and A/C (HVAC) contractors on comparable units - your Search the List category to find well-rated and reviewed vendors for this type of work. Then you would have a much better picture of where that cost lies relative to the "fair market value" of the work.

My gut feeling - if the new location will close to the main ducting (largest size section near furnace) or you have easy ducting runs (attic or crawlspace or unfinished basement or such) you will probably get substantially better bids - if this is going to require significant in-wall or in-floor runs or new location is well away from the existing large diamter ducting (so you are essentially flipping large ducting to opposite end of the house) then it might well be right in the ballpark - especially if it includes repair of necessary access openings.

What the new furnace is costing factors in a lot too - normal 96% efficient furnace might typically (for normal size house in most of US) run $1500-3500 for the unit itself - but there are some out there for up to $10,000 - even saw one 80% efficiency 60,000 BTU unit listed (and they said no error in pricing) at $12,000 for the unit only - go figure, since that efficiency unit would normally be about $1500-2000 for the unit itself.

And be sure the contract calls out clearly exactly what is to be relocated and that everything else is to be new materials/equipment, and that any work needed to make it meet building and fire codes is to be included in the contract amount. Which might, depending on location, include collision protective posts and support bench / pedestal under each (or one for both) (both these are required in garages), possible utility closet, certainly ducting modifications to provide proper air distribution from the new location, etc. And make sure the location is closely defined so you don't take away needed car parking space or interfere with car door opening or such, or shorten the garage so subsequent buyers with an SUV or pickup will not want to buy the house (a common mistake by people with sedans or minivans or who are not paying attention to where contractor sites the equipment).

And it appears there will be a new code requirement in the next electrical code cycle, which while not necessarily retroactive to existing houses may raise a yellow flag from a buyer's home inspector when you go to sell, that water appliances like water heaters will have to be either 3 feet clear of electrical panels/breaker boxes or have a drywalled wall barrier between them - so I would make sure that is required to be on the safe side - would normally not cause a problem in siting your equipment.

Consider if you need wall/ceiling repair in the old location, new firewall or utility closet in the garage, etc - you might want a General Contractor on board, not just an HVAC man.

One other thing - moving the water heater is a major portion of the cost of installing a new one, so unless yours is QUITE new (like less than a year or two at most) I would replace it at the same time - commonly added cost as part of this move of around $400-600 for the new water heater itself (and disposal of old one) if done at this time, but wait till it goes out maybe just a couple of years down the road and you are looking at more like $1000-1500 replacement cost commonly, so normally one would do it now (preferably with a 6 or more year life unit).

Of course, the rated life span and how high-end s unit you go with would depend partly on how long you intend to stay in the house - if a "forever" house you decision process may be quite different than if your employer moves you every few years.

Here are links to several previous similar questions with answers which might help too:

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


They charged me 4800 to move furnace using existing venting but did move gas line 25ft. They did not repair any dry wall I removed old furance. And they said they would take old furance but still here and charged me $400 for thermostat and put in $68 one and charged me 3700 to move water heater next to furnace in garage with pex pipe

Answered 3 years ago by KTH5150


Hmmmm - sounds like maybe you did not get several bids on this work from different HVAC companies first ?

Of course, not seeing the exact circumstances ... but sounds like you paid close to normal price for a NEW furnace (including some ducting connection relocation) and substantially more than normal for a NEW water heater installation, just to move the old ones.

If able to use the existing gas line and ducts, with just new connections to them, I would have expected (assuming no concrete or brick wall penetrations) something in the range of $1000-2500 for a relocation like that - plus probably about $500-1000 for the gas line relocation/extension ASSUMING no increase in the gas meter or main line feeding it was necessary. Presumably not, because same devices as before, but sometimes when extending runs you end up having to upsize the line to reduce line friction.

Water heater relocation (gas line cost also included in above) I would have expected in the $1000 range - maybe $1500-1750 depending on how difficult the water line connection/extension was.

The $400 for the thermostat (assuming billout price of probably $100 or so for the thermostat itself including markup) leaves $300 give or take for the labor - so 2 hours. More than I would expect normally because basically (unless a "smart" or very high efficiency continuously variable fan speed furnace which takes a bunch of programming and testing), normally 1 hour to extend the wiring and hoo the new thermostat up would cover it - so sounds high there too.

So - bearing mind this is after the fact so hard for you do do anything about arguing the price at this time, I would say those prices sound high to me off the cuff, not seeing any possible difficult access issues. One good thing though - you initially said $13,000 (estimate I guess) and evidently got billed about $8500 so good news there - but for that total amount I would have expected brand new equipment too, not just relocation of the old. But as I said - especially since it seems you agreed to or approved a $13,000 estimate, not much you can complain about at this time without really ticking the vendor off. The time for that sort of discussion is during the bidding/estimating process.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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