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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Dec 30, 2021

Matthew and Nick Wavra join the podcast to discuss everything that goes into job estimation in commercial HVAC. Nick has a lot of fieldwork and project management experience, and Matthew has marketing, software, and sales experience, which helps bring in and retain clients.

Commercial estimation begins when a mechanical contractor asks for a bid on a job. The estimators go through the spec books, bidding documents, and any addendums to come up with takeoffs and a price. The estimator seeks approval from manufacturers to build the materials, and they use software to come up with an estimate. The pricing updates weekly to stay current and accurate in an economy that’s currently facing inflation.

Estimators develop takeoffs for materials and labor; each material has some sort of labor attached to it, though the labor estimates may need to be adjusted as conditions change. 

Commercial contractors may make mistakes when they miss equipment or elevation considerations (when estimating labor). On-screen takeoff options significantly reduce the risk of creating mistakes, so it may be unwise for contractors to do takeoffs by hand instead of using software to help.

Matthew, Nick, and Bryan also discuss:

  • Sheet metal price increases
  • Software vs. man-made takeoffs
  • DX piping vs. chilled water boilers
  • Estimation in HVAC vs. refrigeration
  • CRM (customer relationship management)
  • Developing a commercial HVAC estimation training course
  • Finding a niche in the HVAC estimation business

Look for Nick and Matthew at the AHR Expo 2022 in Las Vegas! They will be at booth N9142 in North Hall.


Learn more about Matthew and Nick’s business by visiting or by calling Nick directly at (238)-900-6330. 

If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE.

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Check out information on the 2022 HVACR Training Symposium at