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That’s $1440 an hour…

December 5, 2010

Since the BAB occupies 100% of the property, there is no “land” or easement area where we can place an air conditioning condenser. Therefore – the roof is the only location. Unfortunately,  since we don’t have the new stairs installed up to the roof (just a ship’s ladder right now through a scuttle) the only way to put a condenser on the roof is to hoist it up there with a crane.

Our mechanical contractor gave us an quote of $165/hour with a four hour minimum for his usual crane guy. That’s $660 to lift a piece of equipment that costs less than $500. I put the word out to our network of peeps, and I got the contact info of a sign installer that could be available to bring his crane by for $90/hour with a four hour minimum. That’s a $300 savings over the other guy.

So we scheduled it for 7:30am; he showed up right on time, the HVAC guys had their condenser in a van, and the pad that Sue constructed was placed right on top of the condenser box. One of the HVAC guys skittled up to the roof.  Stephen – the sign guy – was an expert at this kind of stuff:

Stephen the crane guy

He had his side supports placed on plywood pads, spread out, and completed in 3 minutes.

The boom was lowered into position over the condenser box (with Sue’s wood platform) in another 90 seconds.

Stephen got some straps out and with the help of the HVAC guys, they had the condenser box cradled and ready to lift in another 60 seconds.

With everyone giving the go-ahead – Stephen pushed some levers and pulled some bars and in about three minutes, had the entire load (which was just the condenser box + the wood platform on top) already up to the top of the parapet:

Air conditioning in a box.

The HVAC dude on top of the roof (visible in that photo) knew all of those fancy hand signals for crane operators. but in all honesty, they could just talk to each other. Which they did.

So i haven’t been adding them up, but just a few minutes later, Stephen had dropped the load on the roof, lowered his boom,  pulled up his outriggers, took up his orange hazard cones and secured everything for travel – I looked at my watch – it took him FIFTEEN minutes to complete the entire task from start to finish.

I KNEW that we wouldn’t need the full four hour minimum, so I had pre-written a check for Stephen in the amount of $360. (I’d also been secretly wishing he could give rides around the neighborhood for his remaining time.)

But it is quite a racket he has – at a bill rate equivalent to $1440 an hour for this task, I’m sure he left BAB confident that he could spend the next 45 minutes sitting at Starbucks drinking whatever expensive espresso concoction he could think of.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom Peterson permalink
    December 5, 2010 9:03 am

    Hi Tom and Sue,

    Well, quite a lot going on. Someday you will be able to never use the words fortunately and unfortunately again..
    I am sorry you are having so much going on, but you seem to be coping with it. Hope things will go much smoother now–you deserve it.

    Although I keep you in my prayers each morning and evening, I think I will do a NOVENA–this calls for drastic measures.. Tom–Auntie always does Novenas, so maybe I will enlist her help too. We can start a Tom and Sue Prayer Chain….

    I really enjoy going on this “journey” with the both of you.

    Take care.

    I love you,

    Mom P. xxxoooxxx

    • Tom permalink*
      December 6, 2010 11:58 am

      Don’t pull out the big guns yet! Who knows what else can happen, and we may need to save some for later…
      see ya soon
      love, tom


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