Installing a central heating system requires a range of specialist skills related to gas, electricity and water. Nowadays those with the right skills describe themselves as heating engineers and should be Gas Safe registered.
There are three main skills needed by an individual or company that installs gas boilers:
- professional installation skills
- good customer service
- strong sales and marketing skills to find new business
National companies: The bigger companies such as British Gas have all these skills. They have call centres to handle telephone calls efficiently and spend heavily on marketing and TV advertising. The downside is that these companies have high overheads that have to be recovered by charging higher prices. You can find these companies by internet searches.
Local companies: Often a small company will have great installation skills and provide a personal service at a competitive price but they are not so hot on marketing themselves or making themselves stand out from the crowd. Their overheads are lower than the national companies as they answer the phone themselves and pick up the majority of their business from personal contacts and recommendations from happy customers rather than from expensive advertising. Whilst they may not have the same marketing skills as the big boys, they may have been in business for many years and live locally. You can find these companies by asking around your friends and family for people they have had a good experience with.
Get two or 3 quotes
Whoever you find from your search it will pay to get 2 or 3 quotes. You may wish to take the cheapest quote but also consider whether the quotes are like for like, as some installers may include additional items in the cost which will benefit you in the long term by reducing heating bills and improving boiler reliability. If you are not sure what a reasonable price is then try our replacement boiler online cost calculator to give you a starting point for a comparison. If you are struggling to find local installers you can try a company like Quotatis, who maintain a national database of central heating installers and who can find suitable installers in your area. Find out more here.
Do some checking
Whoever you end up with, if you want trouble free performance from your boiler for many years to come, make sure that they:
- are on the Gas Safe register
- have a trading address and contact telephone number
- have public liability insurance
- take cheques and/or credit card and not just cash
- can provide references on previous installation job
In addition, check the length of the manufacturer’s guarantee. Provided the boiler is installed correctly then the manufacturer will often have their own service engineers to repair breakdowns under guarantee.