"My dad is a relatively frugal man. And so I was rather surprised when he could not tell me the cost of his newly-installed furnace. In fact, beyond knowing total cost of the package, he had no idea what the individual costs were for labor, equipment, and any other charges included in the total bill.
I wondered if my Dad's experience was a common one, and whether it would make a difference to consumers in the high stakes negotiation of getting a new furnace if there were a Blue Book-like price listing for furnaces. After all, if you have a better understanding of what a furnace costs and can compare apples to apples, you would be in better position to know what the contractor's markup for the furnace is and then try to negotiate that price down. Right?"