To get email notification when someone adds to a thread you're following, click on the star in the thread's header and it will turn yellow; click again to turn it off. To edit your profile, click on the gear.
The Wall has a powerful search engine that will go all the way back to 2002. Use "quotation marks" around multiple-word searches. RIGHT-CLICK on the results and choose Open Link In New Window so you'll be able to get back to your results. Happy searching!
In fairness to all, we don't discuss pricing on the Wall. Thanks for your cooperation.

Radiant Web Site

Mark HuntMark Hunt Posts: 4,909Member
and how about some pics or testimonials from some folks who found out the hard way WHY it's so cheap?

I wish I had saved the photos I took at a DIY install with a product that was sold to them by a certain company in Vermont.

The tubing was splitting. They installed it as per the instructions they were given. Now it's broke and where is that Vermont company? Not their problem!

Mark H

To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
· ·
«1

Comments

  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Radiant Web Site

    I could really use some input from all of the radiant contractors that use this site. I have been mulling over the idea of putting together a web site that is totally dedicated to radiant heat. Why? Because whether each and everyone of us likes it or not, homeowners time and time again have been purchasing so-called radiant systems off the internet. In the last month I've had a dozen homeowners walk into my office looking for a contractor to hook up the radiant tubing that they installed and purchased off the internet. My first question to all of them was, "Who did your heatloss/radiant design?" Answer, Nobody, I went on the internet and all I had to do was tell them how many sqft my room was and they sold me the tubing, manifold, and pump. "Did you insulate below the slab? How about the perimeter? No, they didn't tell me anything about that. So you installed the tubing in the slab with no insulation? Yes, why not. So you do the heatloss for them and show them exactly why insulation is so important. For the little bit of money that they thought they were saving on the material they gave back plus a whole lot more to their oil companies.

    Now out the dozen that installed the tubing none had it hooked up. What was their recourse. Nothing. Why? Because the systems would work, they would just be very expensive to run down the line than they are worth. This my friends is what gives radiant heat a bad name and I think it's about time that someone squishes these so called radiant internet companies. Those of us in the industry know who they are and we each have heard the horror stories about them.

    So, what I would like to do is educate the homeowners out there that want (because that's our right as americans) to purchase and install the tubing in the slab, the plates and tubing in the bay, or the above floor panel. We each know that it's very easy to install tubing as long as it's done correctly and that the labor end is what drives the cost of radiant up there and shy's potential customers away. I would like build a data base in order to recommend reputable, licensed radiant contractors in their area. Sorry Dan, I would like to have some type of chat room totally dedicated to radiant. I would like to provide a heatloss and different radiant designs for them so that they can sit down with their contractor and together decide which is best for their application.

    Now without giving away too much of what I plan on doing, I would like to know what you guy's would like to see in a site. Any input will be highly appreciated. Remember, it's not about winning each battle it's about winning the war. Happy New Year to all.
    · ·
  • Mark HuntMark Hunt Posts: 4,909Member
    Hey now!


    How about a list of "internet radiant nightmares"?

    I think you are onto something.

    Keep me posted.


    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Nightmares

    Mark, how about this. I found it on one of those internet sites. This is supposedly the proper way to pipe the boiler.
    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Hey Dan

    While the RPA site is great for us in the industry it's not what most of the do it yourselfers are looking for. I type in "Radiant Heat" on the MSN search engine and the first two sites that pop-up are Radiantec (Our Vermont Friend) and Do-It-Yourself Radiant.com. That's sad for our industry. Hear are the top 15 sites that come up. Where are the Wirsbo's, Stadlers, Rheua's, Zurn's, RTI's, RPA.


    SPONSORED SITESABOUT
    Radiant Underfloor Heating Systems
    Affordable radiant underfloor heat from Radiantec Company, the leader in radiant heating technology. Discover the many advantages of this unique and efficient heating system.
    www.radiantec.com

    Do It Yourself Radiant Heat
    Free technical and design assistance for do it yourself radiant heat installers. Support line available 66 hours a week. Easy to read installation manual. Factory tested components.
    www.radiantcompany.com

    Radiant Electric Heat, Inc.
    Electric radiant heating for residential or commercial applications. Cove, wall, or baseboard styles available. Replacement radiant panels. No environmental sensitivity concerns. Economical!
    www.electricheat.com




    WEB DIRECTORY SITESABOUT

    Find an Electric & Radiant Heat Contractor - ServiceMagic.comGet a service guarantee and get matched to a prescreened local contractor who can install and repair electric baseboard and wall heaters, and radiant panel heating units.
    www.servicemagic.com/servlet/RedirectServlet?m=looksmart&D=CATEGORY&ca...



    Advanced Radiant TechnologyAdvanced Radiant Technology designs and installs custom radiant floor heating systems in the Seattle area. The site offers a basic introduction to radiant heat, descriptions of the company's services and a form for requesting additional information.
    www.advancedradiant.com



    Radiant Floor Heating - Radiant-Floor-Heating.comGuide helps folks decide on which radiant floor heating system they should use. Includes a cost calculator, videos of an installation, and articles on radiant heat.
    www.radiant-floor-heating.com



    Reflect-O-Tech InternationalTucson, Arizona, firm specializes in reflective technology. Find products such as radiant heat barriers and learn about their benefits.
    www.reflectivetechnology.com



    HouseNeeds.comSupplies energy-related heating products such as tankless water heaters, gas and propane space heaters, and radiant heat and hydronic supplies.
    www.houseneeds.com



    WEB PAGESABOUT

    Radiant DirectOffers pre-plumbed and pre-wired radiant floor heating packages for contractors, builders, and do-it-yourselfers with complete installation instructions.
    www.radiantdirect.com



    Radiant Heat OFFICIAL WEBSITERadiant Heat OFFICIAL WEBSITE PC or i-mode、J-SKY、ezweb
    homepage2.nifty.com/radiantheat



    Radiant heat informationCopyright © 1999 by Rohor.com Inc. ™ All Rights Reserved Sidewalks & Patios FLOOR RADIANT HEAT Radiant floor heat is the most comfortable heating available. Radiant floor heat is the most efficient heating available.
    www.rohor.com



    SSHC, Inc. Enerjoy Electrical Radiant Heat PanelsElectric Radiant Heat ANSWERS TO YOUR RADIANT HEATING QUESTIONS In this Connecticut home, Heatmodules make a to passive solar heat. What is radiant heat? Radiant heat is what you feel when heat transfers from a warm surface to a cooler surface.
    www.oikos.com/products/mechanical/sshc



    Radiant, heat-storing, thermal mass, Tulikivi soapstone fireplaces for comfortable and healthy home heating.mid-atlantic masonry heat inc. Distributors for TULIKIVI soapstone fireplaces, bakeovens, slabs and tiles throughout the mid-atlantic and southeastern United States since 1987 TULIKIVI (Two-lee-kee-vee) in Finnish, it literally means "fire stone."
    www.virginiaradiant.com



    Radiant Electric Heat - Healthy and Affordable Heating ComfortManufacturers and suppliers of electric radiant heating products for home, office, or commercial applications.
    www.electricheat.com



    Radiant HeatRadiant Heat OFFICIAL WEBSITE you are th visitor LAST UPDATE 11/6 NEXT LIVE 11/16(SAT) at 滋賀ハックルベリー W/JET STREAM、GUSH UP、OOLONG CHILD and more ◇CONTENTS◇ MEMBER ~Radiant Heatのメンバー紹介~ HISTORY ~Radiant
    homepage2.nifty.com/radiantheat/top.html



    PCI & Associates: Radiant Heat– Radiant Heat – 98 By Don Pearman Have you written any articles about the benefits and installation consideration of radiant heating or snowmelt systems using a boiler for the home?
    www.donpearman.com/writing/98.radiantheat.shtml



    Radiant Heat informationRadiant heat, everything needed to design and install radiant heating systems.
    www.radiantdesigninstitute.com



    tomi[魔法のiらんど][ケータイMode表示] From京都 激烈メタリックメロディックパンク ラディアントヒート 携帯用 ー裏ホームページー あなたは『24604人目』の来訪者です アリガトウございます
    ip.tosp.co.jp/i.asp?i=radiant4
    · ·
  • Tom MeyerTom Meyer Posts: 300Member
    Radiant Site - A work in progress.

    We all have horror stories about DIY people saving a buck and when they come to the professional to "just hook it up", radiant heat becomes the culprit. They tell all their friends their personal horror story about how terrible and costly radiant heat is. Word of mouth like that is a killer.

    We are presently finishing up a website which will hopefully answer some of the questions about DIY.

    It's scary to think you need a license for your dog, but a person can wake up one morning, scratch his belly, and say to himself "Welp, didn't work out me bein' a remodelin' contractor, so today I guess me and ol' Blue are gonna trying this raydeeant heat thing." And he and his dog pile into a rusted out pickup and off they go.

    I recommended to a local supply house they sell to qualified heat contractors only, suggesting a qualified heat contractor is defined as one who is INSURED to do heat installation and/or maintenance. They did. The number of "What do I do now?" calls dropped off, but business didn't.

    It's a start.
    · ·
  • CraigCraig Posts: 41Member
    Search sites

    Don't confuse what comes up first on an internet search site with quality. Search sites accept money to list sites at the top. They also give priority to those sites that register with them. The Wirsbo's, Stadlers, Rheua's, Zurn's, RTI's, RPA can all improve their standing themselves.

    Also don't confuse MSN with quality. Try your search on Google and you'll see a difference. Don't know if it's better from your perpesctive but it's different.

    Don't try this at home. Remember, I',m a professional.
    -cf
    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Search sites

    I personally know what you are talking about but, does the public?
    · ·
  • heatboyheatboy Posts: 1,468Member
    Search engines.

    Quite a bit of my business comes via my website, so I track the search engines and such pretty regularly. When the phrase “radiant floor heating” is used my site comes in at the following:

    Google #12. Ask Jeeves #12. MSN #6. Yahoo #12. AOLsearch #4 Alta Vista #12. Hotbot #4. Metacrawler #4.

    Search engines are funny things. Just change one word, for instance, heating to heat, and it changes the placement on most of the engines. Someone mentioned you can buy your way on. This is true and is why I have dropped down in the lists.

    When it comes to the phrase “radiant floor heating”, Google is the highest engine by 3 to 1 over Yahoo which runs second with 21%. Between the two of them, they account for 80% with the next 15 engines totaling the next 18%. If you want to get noticed, Google and Yahoo are the search engines you should populate.

    Warm Regards,

    hb

    "Expert in Silent Warmth"™

    888-UB-COMFY

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
    · ·
  • SvenSven Posts: 34Member
    metatags help

    here is Heatboy's



    That other company has more

    To check your metatags, which do get picked up by trolling search engines, go to your main web page and click on "view source" in IE5
    · ·
  • Gary UsaGary Usa Posts: 45Member
    drawing.

    hiya guys i was looking at the drawing may i say something if i may,i thought that an isolating valve would be needed on the return mix,so that when purging can islote that section,the one way valve should be after the circulator,and a 1 way valve should be placed on the return to stop ghost flow.plus an islating valve on the return also,along with a purge valve,so that the boiler could be isolated,the mix side of the return could also be islolated their fore the water would have to go all the way through the radiant to get all the air out.

    hope you didn;t mind me saying and whether i was corrcet in saying about these items if i am wrong i will go and sit on the corner,lololol

    hope you are all well take care

    all the best

    gary usa
    · ·
  • search engines

    do i have to pay google or one of the other big companys $300. a year for more web site traffic, or do some of the smaller ones work o.k. ? bob
    · ·
  • BudBud Posts: 200Member
    search engines

    you don't need to pay google...you can but the difference is the keywords you choose. Like to use sheet metal it would cost me .68 cents a hit. All you need is people messing around and your broke! I would never pay for search engine ranking.
    JMHO

    You can go through the motions and see just don't go to far.
    · ·
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 2,542Member
    Some of these sites are a laughable joke...

    one of them show this photograph of Mr. PEX with a single loop in one hand being held at close to 2" radius (4" diameter). I've seen the demonstration loop. It's FAKE!

    What some people won't do to make a buck.

    Hey Chris, maybe you should have a web site called "Why NOT DIY radiant" where DIY nightmares could be exchanged...

    I have no problem with educated DIYer's. It's the blow and go people who found their goldmine on the internet that blow me away. Something needs to be done, I'm just not sure what, or where.

    Maybe the RPA, NAH,,, some of the biggest offenders of this problem are their dues paying members. I doubt they'd be interested in supporting it...

    Still thinking...

    ME

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • John VanJohn Van Posts: 2Member
    Help educate DIY folks

    I'm a DIY'er that installed his own system, and am very happy with it. We did a hydronic retrofit to our previously scorched air farm house. Staple up radiant on the main floor, and fin tube (sized for the lower water temps) upstairs. It is a continuous circulation design, with a Tekmar 361 for outdoor reset and injection pump control. It was a ton of work and the one bid we received from a local contractor reflected the unpleasantness of installing tubing in the crawl spaces. The only way we could afford a radiant system was to do the install ourselves. I did my homework, studied literature, bought Siegenthaler's book, did a heat loss, talked to local zoning officials, etc. We ordered the manifolds and tubing from one internet supplier; the pumps, valves, controls, etc., from others. The suppliers that I talked to were very friendly, helpful, and informative.

    Education is the most important thing that you could provide. Teach the intricacies of radiant design. Some people are die hard do it yourselfers. Provide these people with the tools to put together a good system. Point them to websites, heat loss software, books and literature. One thing that I could not find when I designed my system (several years ago) was a decent chart or formula to estimate heat transfer in an underfloor installation, with and without plates. I ended up doing the intsall without them, knowing that I might have to go back later, remove insulation, and add the plates. I also wish I'd known about warm board. I might have used it in some areas where we were ripping up subfloor anyway. Provide references to reputable suppliers. Point out the pitfalls of a poorly designed or poorly executed system. This type of education will probably lead most people to seek out a professional, once they see the magnitude and breadth of knowledge required, as well as the time investment required just for the design. I see this as a lot more constructive, and probably more effective, than bad mouthing suppliers that you don't approve of.
    · ·
  • heatboyheatboy Posts: 1,468Member
    And you want all this for free?

    John,

    What would it be worth to you to gain all of this knowledge? I have invested thousands upon thousands of dollars and a multitude of hours trying to perfect my work. Why should I give it away? I do this for one reason and one reason only. To make a good living for my family. I can't just freely give away all of the expensive knowledge it has taken years to acquire. Caveat emptor.

    Warm Regards,

    hb

    climatecadvanced.com

    "Expert in Silent Warmth" ™

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
    · ·
  • Mark HuntMark Hunt Posts: 4,909Member
    John

    I have been involved with many projects that the homeowner wanted to do some of the work. I have no problem with that at all. It is a great way for the new homeowner to feel more involved with the construction of their dream

    My issue is with get rich quick companies that mislead people into thinking that what I do is as easy as getting dressed.

    I think that the whole point behind this radiant web site idea is to do some of what you mention. Educating customers as to why some things are better left to the folks that do this stuff in their sleep.

    Heatboy is also correct. I have spent and continue to spend great amounts of time and money trying to be that best that I can. And there is a fee for that.

    I am glad that your project turned out well, but I have been called to far too many that have not. In most of those cases the "supplier" is no where to be found. They got their money and they NEVER want to hear from you again.

    That is what I would warn people about.

    Happy New Year!!

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • JimJim Posts: 18Member
    An FYI site.

    Proceed with sales and leave the eduction to the contractor given the job to repair the mess the homeowner creates for themself. An education costs money. You want to create a site that puts out a heads up to Joe Blow consumer. They will get free info about the dangers of the DIY hydronic heating installs and not give it any credence. They will think it's all doom and gloom to the many pitfalls that just aren't there, and assume it to be smoke, mirrors, and blather. Later they'll get the real education when they pay for it. Nothing in life is foolproof because fools are too smart. The "sell it off the net" suppliers will discount your information and it will get into a discussion on semantics. Knowledge shared with people who have their careers and financial futures tied to that knowledge is well received and understood. Knowledge shared with fools is seldom, if ever, given full consideration.
    · ·
  • Paul RohrsPaul Rohrs Posts: 357Member
    Semantics

    Yes words mean things. I personally find it fascinating that everyone is worried about an "unregulated" internet site that can sell directly to the homeowner, when Keyspans intentions are to do the same thing right under your noses. Am I just a paranoid wholesaler trying to protect my turf, or is there any correlation to the two different arena's of sales?

    PR
    · ·
  • KenKen Posts: 26Member
    Help more than DIYers

    > I could really use some input from all of the

    > radiant contractors that use this site. I have

    > been mulling over the idea of putting together a

    > web site that is totally dedicated to radiant

    > heat. Why? Because whether each and everyone of

    > us likes it or not, homeowners time and time

    > again have been purchasing so-called radiant

    > systems off the internet. In the last month I've

    > had a dozen homeowners walk into my office

    > looking for a contractor to hook up the radiant

    > tubing that they installed and purchased off the

    > internet. My first question to all of them was,

    > "Who did your heatloss/radiant design?" Answer,

    > Nobody, I went on the internet and all I had to

    > do was tell them how many sqft my room was and

    > they sold me the tubing, manifold, and pump. "Did

    > you insulate below the slab? How about the

    > perimeter? No, they didn't tell me anything about

    > that. So you installed the tubing in the slab

    > with no insulation? Yes, why not. So you do the

    > heatloss for them and show them exactly why

    > insulation is so important. For the little bit

    > of money that they thought they were saving on

    > the material they gave back plus a whole lot more

    > to their oil companies.

    >

    > Now out the dozen that

    > installed the tubing none had it hooked up. What

    > was their recourse. Nothing. Why? Because the

    > systems would work, they would just be very

    > expensive to run down the line than they are

    > worth. This my friends is what gives radiant heat

    > a bad name and I think it's about time that

    > someone squishes these so called radiant internet

    > companies. Those of us in the industry know who

    > they are and we each have heard the horror

    > stories about them.

    >

    > So, what I would like to

    > do is educate the homeowners out there that want

    > (because that's our right as americans) to

    > purchase and install the tubing in the slab, the

    > plates and tubing in the bay, or the above floor

    > panel. We each know that it's very easy to

    > install tubing as long as it's done correctly and

    > that the labor end is what drives the cost of

    > radiant up there and shy's potential customers

    > away. I would like build a data base in order to

    > recommend reputable, licensed radiant contractors

    > in their area. Sorry Dan, I would like to have

    > some type of chat room totally dedicated to

    > radiant. I would like to provide a heatloss and

    > different radiant designs for them so that they

    > can sit down with their contractor and together

    > decide which is best for their application.

    > Now without giving away too much of what I plan

    > on doing, I would like to know what you guy's

    > would like to see in a site. Any input will be

    > highly appreciated. Remember, it's not about

    > winning each battle it's about winning the war.

    > Happy New Year to all.



    · ·
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Posts: 2,797Member ✭✭✭
    DIY, et al

    It's amazing to me that homeowner's would consider trying to install a RFH or hydronic system. Are these the same folks that tune their own autos? The complexity is similar. The TV home shows make it seem simple, in a sound bite. The industry likes commodities and RFH is likely to become one. The art of hydronics is not. To understand the complexities and nuances of HW heating and steam takes years of study and practice. No website, (even Dan's)will ever take the place of practical experience, pipefitting, burner or control expertise. I'm told by our wholesaler (one of the largest in the USA) that more than 60% of the RFH contractors depend on the wholesaler to do the heat loss calcs. What's wrong with this picture? I charge for my knowledge if it involves more than a 10 min. phonecall. Most clients are very happy to pay for professional advice and services. Some don't, and won't. They get 5 min. of my time. I haven't seen an internet site for "Self- Surgery". Do you suppose doctors could make more money if they taught their patients to "do it themselves"? Of course the AMA is a bit more influential than the RPA in establishing both ethics and professionalism. JMHO.

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Here lies the problem with your thinking.

    As Americans we have a right to choose and if a homeowner wants to save himself a few dollars buy installing the tubing and whichever application he decides to go with that is his right. There are too many internet suppliers out there that are looking to make a quick buck and could care less about the benifits, efficiency and comfort of in-floor radiant heat and that is not good for our industry. Wouldn't you as an installer of radiant heat want the installation to go right. Wouldn't it be nice if you and the homeowner could actually sit down with a heatloss, a few different radiant designs and acutally work together as to which application is best for the job.

    See this sites focus is not to give a homeowner a license to install the system on his own. It's focus will be to provide a homeowner with quality information on the types of applications, how to install the tubing correctly as per manufactures installation instructions, the different types of control strategies, the benifits of radiant heat, why he should consult with a reputable licensed radiant installer before any installation is done, the importance of picking a heat source prior to any installation and I will also, by building a data base, provide with the heatloss/design a reputable licensed radiant contractor in their area. The information I plan on providing is what every plumbing and heating wholesaler in this country provides on a day in and day out basis and what the internet companies do not provide.

    See, whether we like it or not, homeowners will continue to purchase off the internet and the only thing we can do for our industry is promote radiant in a positive way, provide what each and everyone of them want, the right to choose and to show them that yes, you can install the tubing if you wish to save some dollars but at the same time the tubing is just a delivery system and you have other things that, to be honest, are much more important to decide on prior to any installation and that's were you the contractor comes in to play.

    Here's a question for you. How hard is it really to install the tubing? Would you get more of the radiant jobs you bid on vs other systems if you could knock out 40 hours of labor and spend those 40 hours on other jobs that you now have the time for. You didn't lose anything, does your hourly rate change from job to job? I hope it doesn't. But guess what, you got that radiant job because you were able to get the price of the job into the customers budget and you didn't have to give up anything. Happy New Year.

    And remember, We are not out to win every batttle, we want to win the war.
    · ·
  • Bob BonaBob Bona Posts: 1,303Member ✭✭✭
    I

    don't see how this will benefit the trade, Chris. I especially take offense to your statement "how hard is it to install the tubing?". Sure, anyone can tie a wire or zip a tie. There's a little more to it than that. Tube depth, spacing, length, abrasion protection, sizing, insulation, routing, manifold location, heat sink or not, floor covering considerations, tubing kinking/damage control, pressure testing, co-ordination with other trades, and more. Good intentions can bring on a whole host of reprocussions.

    Sure, information should be available to the consumer, education is important-to a point. Without technical expertise and training, a radiant job done by the amateur can really turn sour, and give a bad perception to that form of heating. When something is permantly embedded in a floor, there is little recourse for mistakes. The future pro that goes on the job for troubleshooting has no clue or faith as to what the tubing layout is, installation method or expertise, etc.

    I,too, feel that giving away hard-earned knowledge reduces the professionalism of our trade.

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • KenKen Posts: 26Member
    Help more than DIYers

    If you want to help the homeowner and help yourself increase business there is one solution which can do both.

    I have studied radiant for 2 years now trying to find out what could be done to correct my botched system. Nothing is more frustrating than having someone say "you should of asked me that before you had it done and I would have told you it was a mistake". If I had known it was a good question which should have been asked then I would have asked it.

    Why dont you prepare a site which lists nothing more than good questions which a homeowner should have answered before they make the decision to go ahead.

    If they want to do a DIY job or they are planning on hiring someone off the Wall contractors list it shouldn't make a difference. They should be made aware that unless they have answers to all these questions first, they may find themselves one of the many disappointed radiant homeowners.

    By presenting people with this checklist it may make them aware that radiant heating is only a category which includes both excellent and butchered systems.

    If the DIYer wants to follow up on an internet site and they are not able to provide all the answers then that DIYer should begin to question the quality of that information.

    Even if the consumer isn't a DIYer but is trying to decide between two contractors this checklist will allow him to compare apples to apples. In my own case a checklist would of allowed me to find out that my contractor, which came with some high recommendations, didn't plan on slab edge insullation,under floor insulation,etc until I moved in and began to question the high degree of discomfort.

    If this checklist became accepted by organisations like the RPA, Wirsbo, The Wall, then a link to it could be added to any advertising or promotional information put out by them. Very quickly its existance could become common knowledge. I believe if you make this tool readily available to the homeowner they will use it.

    How many times have I read on the Wall about an unhappy guy because he was loosing out on a job because the homeowner didn't know enough to realise the other guy was cutting corners or was untrained. Now you can just tell the homeowner to ensure plumber B can answer all the questions on the list. This will allow the homeowner to question the plan without you having to bad mouth plumber B and possibly coming across as just a whiner.

    A list of questions will make the consumer more informed which is what I have read many times that you would like to see. Informed consumers can only help to improve the standards of installs.

    Presenting a site with any these questions will not cost you in time or give away any of your hard earned knowledge. The only time you as a contractor needs to answer it is when dealing with a possible customer. Only having these questions on the site will keep it from becoming cluttered with discussions which will be way above the head of most of the people needing the questions.

    My last comment is that if I had access to a list like this 3 years ago I might of had a lot more peaceful sleeps since moving into my nightmare home. I was asking questions but I wasn't asking the right ones.

    Ken Caverly




    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Bob

    I'm sorry that you take offense to "anyone can lay the tubing" but it's not a difficult as you make it. If a homeowner wants radiant heat and the only way he can fit into his budget is by laying the tubing himself why shouldn't he be able to install it. As long as he has a correct heatloss/radiant design and he consults (which is what alot of you are missing)with his contractor first, why shouldn't he. See I'm not talking about them doing boiler piping, wiring controls or even hooking the tubing to the manifold. We are talking about laying tubing.

    We are talking about providing a better service to the consumer than they are getting out there now. Isn't that important? How does educating a homeowner hurt our trade? If anything it helps by allowing them to weed out the fly by nighters and bad installers. It allows the customer
    knowledge of HIS heating system not YOURS. It's in his house for the rest of his life. Don't you think he should know what he has, why he has it?
    · ·
  • MasonMason Posts: 102Member
    Awesome Idea

    Great Idea Ken! Maybe Dan or Chris could add this somewhere. I think there is room for an "important questions for homeowners to ask" icon right next to the "Find-a-Contractor" Button.................
    Mason
    · ·
  • MasonMason Posts: 102Member
    Radiant protection for homeowners

    Gentlemen(and Ladies) I think we are on a precariously dangerous patch of ice here. This topic has and always will be treacherous. On one extreme we have contractors who( even I have felt this way on occasion) say I am sorry about your luck, while smiling about the profit that they are going to make trying to maintain and correct a bothched system. Then there are the Protectionist who think they must protect all the HO's from these unscrupulous suppliers, and all of us who can sympathize with the owner of a botched system. What we need to remember is that each and every homeowner is making their own decission. Good or bad, informed or not is irrelevant. Some people thinking that they could take better care of others than those people could take care of themselves got us big government in the first place. And I for one do not want another regulatory agency to deal with(I know that this is not what you are saying, but it is what could happen when this road is trod too often). I am also not saying that we throw homeowners who are concerned about cost to the dogs. But everybody should be able to understand that if we have an industry built on installing, maintaining, and servicing RFH than there must be a little more to it than these "suppliers" are letting on. I do support anything that would educate a consumer however we must simply do that and not try to become their"watchdogs". Although, Ralph Nader is a millionaire......
    Mason

    http://www.ralphnader.com/
    · ·
  • Bob BonaBob Bona Posts: 1,303Member ✭✭✭
    absolutely

    I see where where you are going with this..and I applaud your efforts to get radiant information out there more-an educated homeowner can be a pleasure to work with.

    I don't know many contractors that piecemeal a radiant job..I certainly would not. I need the control to ensure a workable finished product, in order to have my name on it. If a homeowner wants to pay someone to get a design done, and pay for a consultation with a contractor, I think it would be penny wise and dollar foolish to only lay tubing. The "consultation" might as well be on the job site, and would probaly end up with the contractor on his knees anyway!:)

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • Bob BonaBob Bona Posts: 1,303Member ✭✭✭
    Chris, I

    just took offense to that phrase, because it hinted of "minimizing" the detail that goes into setting up a tubing layout. I don't want visitors to this site to think that you just throw some PEX around and it doesn't get a second thought. A botched baseboard job, a botched boiler install, a faulty furnace install, done by a homeowner,can be corrected relatively easily, and the flaws can be seen to correct. A botched radiant layout is a whole different animal.

    I know this is a tough subject. I am all for competent DIY, but I think the stakes are kinda high for this type of DIY.

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Bob

    So you feel that if a homeowner wants radiant heat and he can't afford it by having a contractor lay the tubing than he shouldn't have radiant heat? Do you know that the three main reasons (in my area) that people shy away from radiant heat.

    1. The contractor is afraid of it.
    2. Hydro-Air
    3. The cost

    Now I have designed and quoted alot of systems over the past 10 years and I know what drives the cost. LABOR. And the biggest thing I hear from homeowners is how can I justify paying someone $70.00-$90.00 an hour to lay tubing that I can easily do myself with proper guidance. Whether we like it or not and I understand what your saying, but laying tubing is not rocket science. If the difference in losing a job comes down to this then we have just given radiant heat a bad name. Why? Because we are more concerned with our pocket book than the customers needs, radiant heat itself, and we make the perception that radiant heat is expensive.

    I just finished up a house where the homeowner wanted radiant - Basement Slab/Radiant Trak 1st & 2nd Flrs. Now there was no way he could afford radiant if he had the contractor install the plates and tubing. So the contractor allowed him to install the tubing in the slab, the plates and tubing in the bays as long as he followed all mfg installation instructions and I inspected each phase as he went along.

    Now he was able to afford to heat his house with radiant heat which is what he wanted, the contractor didn't lose the job and still got paid his rate for his time on the rest of the project, was able to be on other jobs meaning he still received his same rate for the same time he would have spent on this job and the homeowner didn't make one mistake and is as happy as a pig in ****. How many times have we heard in this industry that word of mouth advertising is best. What do you think will happen here? Look back and see how many jobs you lost because of cost? Could you have saved them using this example?
    · ·
  • heatboyheatboy Posts: 1,468Member
    You are correct, Chris.

    I work with people that want have a hand in the actual installation and will continue to do so in the future. There are stipulations though. It must be my design. It doesn't matter if the client has 4 other designs. All eqipment must be purchased through me so when other issues arise, I know where to go. All tube must be pressurized and OK'd by me before being covered. If I would not have let these clients install the tube or plates/tube, they would not have done radiant. They save money and I can still control the project.

    Warm Regards,

    hb

    climatecadvanced.com

    "Expert in Silent Warmth" ™

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
    · ·
  • Mark HuntMark Hunt Posts: 4,909Member
    EXACTLY!!!!!!


    Take insulating. Is there any reason why the heating contractor MUST do it?

    I will do whatever I can to get folks into a radiant home. I will make trips to the site to inspect the tubing installation (there is a fee for this) as well as inspect the insulation.

    But where is it written that radiant heat contractors have a corner on the correct installation of insulation?

    Heatboy nailed it. If the homeowner wants to do some of the installation, fine. But here are the rules.

    I will draw a line at equipment and controls. That I have to do. Period.

    Again, I do not think Chris is trying to completely discourage people from getting involved. I think it is more about educating them about what they are about to bite off.

    Am I right Chris?

    Mark H

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Heatboy

    Your approach is one that I wish other radiant contractors would take. Do you feel that you lose money by taking this approach? Did you come up with this approach by looking at the past jobs you may have lost?

    See in order for radiant heat to thrive and become the standard we need to make it affordable for everyone and this approach I find is the best way without having to reliquish good control strategy or equipment.
    · ·
  • Tom MeyerTom Meyer Posts: 300Member
    Profit vs Professionalism.

    There is an old saying "If it were easy, everyone would do it."

    Let's face it, radiant heat (hydronics) is part science and part art form. There is no such thing as the perfect design.

    Want to see a real debate get going? Sit with five wetheads and ask what is the best way to solve a problem and then DUCK! You're going to get five different answers. Each has it's own merits and is based on the combination of education and experience of the person proposing it.

    As professionals, we constantly strive to be better at what we do. Not unlike other professionals, (doctors, lawyers, electricians, plumbers, et al) we like to think it takes something special to do what we do properly. They have licenses protecting their profession. We, sadly, generally do not.

    Are we being snobbish? I don't think so. We know what it takes to design, install and maintain our products. It's that precise knowlege which makes us want to scream at the top of our lungs "IT AIN'T AS EASY AS IT LOOKS."

    We've all got "those" phone calls. The one's that start of with "I've got a problem with some heat stuff I put in..." It's been my experience, instead of smacking my lips looking for the big bucks on the fees I'm going to charge to correct the botched system, I have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Do we charge for correcting the problem? You bet! Is it more than what we would have charged if we had installed the system ourselves? We spend alot of time trying to figure out what IS, then what it SHOULD BE, then FIX it. That takes more time than designing and installing it correctly.

    If a homeowner wants to help out with the "grunt" work to save on labor costs...wonderful. But he doesn't need much formal training to do exactly what he's told. We'll work with some customers, but there has to be a special relationship there. It's a case by case thing.

    Don't forget two important things about installing or maintaining heat systems:

    (1) Recent studies have shown the number of FATALITIES from people working on heating systems with inadequate training or supervision.

    (2) After this homeowner leaves, another family will make that place their home. Is it fair to risk their lives?
    · ·
  • Chris MaderiaChris Maderia Posts: 120Member
    Mark

    You are absolutely correct. How many more jobs can we get if we make it more afforadble to the customers budget vs other systems? It's happening already out there. It's not going to stop. Homeowners will continue to buy and install tubing will no guidance and very little or no care by the supplier. They will then call a contractor when it's done and then the black eye. It has to at least be attacked in some way. RPA isn't doing anything about it, PHCC isn't, Home Builders isn't so I am going to. I work for a Plumbing and Heating Wholesaler in the North East, I have access to major radiant players and boiler manufactures. I am sure that as long as I approach this correctly, it will benifit our industry. Heck, I found a web designer that actually is part of our industry, know what I'm talking about and again together I feel that it will benefit our industry. Take Care

    "It's not about winning the battle, it's about winning the war!"
    · ·
  • Mark HuntMark Hunt Posts: 4,909Member
    The best in the industry gather here folks!!!


    Tom!!!

    What an excellent post!

    I completely understand that "sinking gut" feeling.

    I do not EVER get a kick out of those phone calls. If I lose a job to a GOOD contractor, then at least I know a decent system will be installed.

    If I lose one to a faceless web address, well now I have a problem.

    I have been saying and will continue to say that the hydronic industry as a whole has been p**s poor at advancing itself.

    I don't care which organization you belong to, NONE of them have EVER addressed this issue.

    I see LOTS of Trane, Lennox, Carrier comercials.

    Ever seen a boiler commercial? (I ran a Buderus spot two years ago with pretty good success)

    I won a Wirsbo dollar for naming the "Father of radiant heat" while at the Wirsbo school in July.(That is not how John Barba asked the question)

    Bob Villa.

    It's time to go outside of the box.

    Mark H



    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • Bob BonaBob Bona Posts: 1,303Member ✭✭✭
    here's

    a thought..half serious, mind you.:) What if I wanted, say plastic surgery, and it was way too expensive. What if I tried to work a deal with the Dr. to prep myself, etc. to save a few bucks? I would be paying some assistant major dollars to do it, and it looks easy..

    What if I went to Morton's Steakhouse, and wanted the special, but to save a few bucks I could clean, and season the meat, perhaps marinade it..why should I pay a chef the big coin to do something that anyone could do..he could even show me how...

    The next time my truck goes in for service, maybe I'll accompany the tech, and remove the spark plugs myself, with his guidance..all I need is a 13/16 socket..while I'm at I'll change the PCV and the filter, the tech can do the hard stuff..he's making the $85 per.

    My wife insists I get a haircut every month. She drives me to one of these ritzy Greenwich salons to be fussed over for 4 minutes, 55 bucks please. (I can do without, but Lordy, the sights abound there!)Anyway, not everyone wants a 55 dollar cut, 15 dollar tip added on, natch, so why don't I help out and spritz and comb myself..

    I know, getting a little crazy..


    I know there are competent HO out there, and those kind that are willing to put in the time to gain knowledge and effort to help out or install themselves, my hat's off to them. I daresay they are a select few. I feel that installation specifics over the net is prone to misinterpretation. Like the others said, a few special circumstances can exist where the contractor works with the homeowner..VERY special- I guess in my region, there aren't too many DIY. The ones I have dealt with usually have unrealistic expectations with time scheduling and job costs.

    The point is that we sell systems, not components or parts or labor.

    This is a great debate!

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    · ·
  • heatboyheatboy Posts: 1,468Member
    4 out of 5.....

    clients want nothing to do with the actual installation. For the most part, they could buy and sell me and my business a hundred times with all of their money. ;-) The other 20%, want radiant and are willing to do whatever their comfort zone and ability allow. All of the work so far has entailed joist bay with plates or concrete slab radiant. Haven't had any offer to staple tube for a gyp pour. Not sure what I would do in that situation. Maybe have them pull the tube for me to save helper wages.

    I don't do this because I would loose the job as much as it would go something else other than radiant. Anyone that talks to me is certainly not going to buy an Internet system, especially once they find out what these Internet companies are offering for their hard earned money. Like I said there are stipulations that ultimately add value for my client.

    I honestly don't see how someone can communicate with a client, design a heating system, have the buyer install, start and fine tune said system let alone perform any service without ever seeing the project site or having any eye to eye contact with the client. It is an insult to me and all of the other quality contractors who value their clients and strive for perfection.

    Warm Regards,

    hb

    climatecadvanced.com

    "Expert in Silent Warmth" ™


    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
    · ·
«1
This discussion has been closed.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!