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DIY radiant websites

Are you this way only on weekends?

Comments

  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,290
    DIY radiant websites

    I just clicked on one of the Google ads, I think it was "radiantdirect" or something like that. It took me to a company's website (Hannel?) that listed a bunch of packages for tubing with a heat source, most of which were water heaters. Only one package with a boiler (Trinity).

    I clicked on their pricing and checked it out. Long story short, I'd sit here and sell those pieces and parts all day long for what they're getting for them. Not real cheap in my book. It'd be great to just ship the stuff out and never see it again, not have to ever service it, not have to install it and all that other jazz. Just ship it and swipe the card reader. YeeHaa!!

    I'm in the wrong end of this business.

    What brought me to do a little sniffing around on some of these website was a phone conversation with another Wallie this week. He was taking some offense at the fact that Dan was allowing these Google ads to be placed here and felt it harmed him as a contractor. From the pricing I saw on that particular website, I'd tell the customer I'd be glad to match it or even beat it by 5%. It just wasn't that great.

    Have any of you guys had problems with customers beating you over the head with internet pricing on comparable products? If so. what did you do about it?
  • brucewo1b
    brucewo1b Member Posts: 638
    Well Steve

    it was the night before Christmas oops sorry wrong story, customer bought a direct vent LP heater over the net, well it arrived NG so we converted cost to him was our hourly fee, we ran a new line and installed it T&M. Then it would not stay running turned out to be a bad circut board diagnosed and repaired at hourly fee, he desided that it would have been much cheaper to pay us once next time.
  • The biggest prob I have

    is trying to convince people against that "double-bubble" stuff, every DIY joint says it`s the best thing.

    Dave
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    My first time

    > I just clicked on one of the Google ads, I think

    > it was "radiantdirect" or something like that. It

    > took me to a company's website (Hannel?) that

    > listed a bunch of packages for tubing with a heat

    > source, most of which were water heaters. Only

    > one package with a boiler (Trinity).

    >

    > I

    > clicked on their pricing and checked it out. Long

    > story short, I'd sit here and sell those pieces

    > and parts all day long for what they're getting

    > for them. Not real cheap in my book. It'd be

    > great to just ship the stuff out and never see it

    > again, not have to ever service it, not have to

    > install it and all that other jazz. Just ship it

    > and swipe the card reader. YeeHaa!!

    >

    > I'm in the

    > wrong end of this business.

    >

    > What brought me to

    > do a little sniffing around on some of these

    > website was a phone conversation with another

    > Wallie this week. He was taking some offense at

    > the fact that Dan was allowing these Google ads

    > to be placed here and felt it harmed him as a

    > contractor. From the pricing I saw on that

    > particular website, I'd tell the customer I'd be

    > glad to match it or even beat it by 5%. It just

    > wasn't that great.

    >

    > Have any of you guys had

    > problems with customers beating you over the head

    > with internet pricing on comparable products? If

    > so. what did you do about it?



  • and the P & M

    Have a full page of the bubble craps selling to who? Us, the contractors or public?
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    I had an opportunity one time

    to install a Radiantsomethingorother Kit that a homeowner bought over the internet from a dealer out of Vermont. This opportunity came thru one of my regular Contractors, (in fact the same one that built my own home) but I passed when I was informed that any bunch of schoolboys could perform this kind of work. Long story short; I didn't do the job because it was doomed to fail from the start and the homeowner refused to listen to common sense and felt I was too expensive. Now the General contractor and all the subs are being sued because the home is unfit for Human Habitation. And all they did wrong was follow the instructions of someone that didn't know what they were doing.
  • Troy_3
    Troy_3 Member Posts: 479
    Radiant

    Yah. well its just laying some flexible hose. No big deal. I lost a job to a roofer recently. When I asked the owner if the roofer was qualified he said "My roofer said its no big deal, its just hose." WOW. I must have not done a good job communicating my proposal. But, oh yah he was cheaper.
  • JoeV_2
    JoeV_2 Member Posts: 43
    on the flip side...

    After investigating internet radiant heat systems and talking to them it seemed like a lot of bang for the buck until I continued researching and found this website through P&M magazine. You guys saved me -and my reputation. My wife would have ragged me 'til death do we part!

    Their approach, when compared to Seiganthaller's is like comparing an outhouse to an indoor toilet. Asking you guys questions steered me away from the internet sites.

    So what if this website generates cash from these guys. Less bricks to sell.
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Internet Radiant is one of the reasons................

    ..........the service side of my business is growing faster than anything else. Hence, my F.A.P. ad.

    hb

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



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224
    SOME ARE BAD

    > ..........the service side of my business is

    > growing faster than anything else. Hence, my

    > F.A.P. ad.

    >

    > hb

    >

    > _A

    > HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=

    > 304&Step=30"_To Learn More About This

    > Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in

    > "Find A Professional"_/A_



    But not all Its probably just like geting a contractor some are good some are great most are bad.
    Mike A
  • Rob Blair
    Rob Blair Member Posts: 227


    I just bid a job that was bid by that VT. company and I came in 200+ dollars less on a $1250 job. Of course I am selling Rehau tubing and Honeywell and Wilo. I am sure it is worth less than that 7/8" tubing and that "No Name" cast iron "medium head" pump! Not to mention someone local that they can call on with any questions.

    Rob
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    I should state that................

    ........most of my radiant service is because of other contractors not knowing, or caring, about what it is they are taking money for.

    hb

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



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • sorta

    the same here, although I'll add that to date every internet rad system we've come across when called to the rescue has had to be gutted and redone. With a few notable exceptions, contractor-sold&installed systems could be surgically altered to get them on track.

    Just remember, clicking on those ads costs the advertiser a few pennies each time you visit. Some of the liberties taken with the content are pretty amazing. If only I'd read that BEFORE I began the long learning journey that is radiant hydronics.
  • Ted_9
    Ted_9 Member Posts: 1,718
    ads

    I believe that having those ads misrepresents who we are as a community.

    Massachusetts

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • just cause

    they 'state' guys like us ain't necessary? Don't cha know, anyone can do this stuff without any thinking, training or edumacation?

    Soon's I figgur out how to use my shop--vac for liposuction, I'll be thin again(G). Them plastic surgeons are sure high priced for sumpin I can do on a weekend.
  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,290
    Guys like us

    According to that website, eliminating the contractor will save between $8-$9 per sq ft of radiant installed.

    I for one would LOVE to have a profit margin of 8 bucks a sq ft..........but it doesn't happen around here.

    What I do find to be profitable is doing rehab on messed up systems. There are a lot of those around giving radiant heat a bad name. Many times I find that the installer(s) are loathe to confess their involvement in the project due to either pride or embarrassment. It can get pretty ugly when I suggest repairs or corrections and tell them to get in touch with the original installer for compensation. Usually that's met with a blank stare. The stare is typical of most who need rehab, a lot like that Spears girl.
  • stephen_4
    stephen_4 Member Posts: 22


    you mean like the radiant panel association
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Isn't that what NRT does?

    Selling complete packages over the Internet to anybody with a checkbook? Isn't that company in direct competition with everyone here? I have seen samples of their work, very nice. Includes tubing layout and a comprehensive piping diagram.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    NRT

    I don't even think that you could throw NRT into the comparison, as to what this thread is about. NRT gives you safe thought out WORKING design packages. I have never heard him bost on how the end user can save money by cutting out the Pro either..... Deffinetly on the fire side of things.


    Its a tough lump of crap to swallow with the way the internet has opened up commerce. May as well bite the bullet, and capitalize on the aftermath these companies can create. It flows over into other trades not just the wetheads.

    Gordy


  • We don't sell complete packages. For instance, we don't sell boilers or any other combustion equipment. We tell every single one of our clients that isn't already a heating contractor to go get one to provide and install a boiler (of a type we specify such as mod/con, etc) that they are comfortable with, because that is an area that is most definitely for pros and pros alone, and is an area where a pro provides a lot of value in knowledge of the particular unit, access to service parts, etc.. Since contractors sell replacement boilers all the time, I assume it's profitable to do that, so, you're welcome. You just got to sell a mod/con and storage tank instead of a cut rate pin boiler with a coil in it because I spent ten hours doing calculations and showing the client why the mod/con made sense, and to go find a guy who has worked with them before and pay what he asked to put it in.

    I assume, of course, that you have worked with mod/cons. If not, then I suppose you have that much less reason to like us.

    Beyond the boiler, yes, we will help anyone who can follow us through the design process install the tubing, etc., if they decide they can handle it. If there is any question as to whether they will need a contractor to install the rest, we tell them not to order parts from us unless a deal is set up with the installer first. If they are comfortable sweating copper, they can. If they are comfortable installing PEX, that's ok too. If they are not comfortable in the mech room, we can build it for them... and we work with (i.e., hire) a local pro to build the unit and then ship it, so a pro gets some of that work too.. maybe just not you.

    Half of our business is to contractors (including the custom built mech room panel side of our operation). The other half is to DIY'ers and builders. The majority of our DIY and builder clients have found that they know more about the radiant heating system they want than their local pros do, and they come to us because we can give them what they want. A lot of them have their locals doing nothing but trying to talk them out of outdoor reset, talk them out of radiant, and claiming that they need a boiler that is 3x larger than the one they really need. There are a lot of places around where it's still challenging to find a pro who really knows radiant and modern technology and who will do the math, believe it or not. Sometimes my client can't even find anyone locally who knows what a mod/con is!

    So yes, we are competitors in some respects, much like any two of you in the same location are competitors as well. But, none of you have ever been called in to rescue one of our clients from one of our designs. And several of the people hanging around here and the RPA site have had full install projects handed to them or referrals sent their way, from me, for people that are not DIY material. Some of the local contractors who work with us get several projects a year, full projects and partials (like the 50/50 HO does tubing, they do mech room split), from us.

    So we do our best to compete with integrity. I have no interest in having poor systems out there with our name on them; I'm not trying to tell every tom **** and harry that installing radiant is easy and fun and how contractors are all rip off artists. And I also have no interest in letting the DIY'ers that work with us have to go figure it out for themselves with one of my competitors online... and make no mistake about this, if they weren't working with us, they'd be working with them, not calling you... well maybe they'd call you later to fix it, so in that respect I guess yeah, we do cost you work, but I don't feel bad about costing you that particular phone call.

    so you don't have to like that we exist, but we do, and if it weren't us it would be someone else who likely IS calling you all crooks and would sell them the boilers to boot.

    Hopefully, we can instead realize there is more than enough work out here for all of us.
  • rb_6
    rb_6 Member Posts: 222
    bar raiser

    I love game changers especially when they meet every definition of entrepreneurship, professionalism and capitalism.

    Tomas Lenman (Wirsbo et al) made industry pay attention to oxygen permeation, created the ASTM/CSA standards for PEX then made everyone play by the new rules, Harold Prell (Viessmann) didn’t roll over and die when in 1984 his boilers were five time the price of domestic products, Dale Prichard( Radiant Engineering) who put the plate in heat transfer, John Siegnather (Appropriate Design) who redefined Hydronics as Modern, Dan Holohan (no need for introductions) who knows the power of a network, keeps it fun and simple, Mark Euteneier (Klimatrol) who stands for righteousness in life and business, Gord Nagus (Cypress Sales) who is the consummate duck, so calm on the surface but underneath paddling like crazy, Dave Urell, Tom and Rick Meek et al who are the definition of hustle for every buck, Mark Eatherton who stood up to the best lawyers for his clients and won so others could win, Eric, Neleke and Dan from Spirovent - let the product speak, Yates - I'm going to bug you about bugs so you don't die from them - so many I should write a book!

    Stir it up Rob…the more friction the better – every one of the guys above have people who love them or hate them but they all have made difference.

    As we teach in our courses - you can lead, observe or follow and you can tell where you are by the friction you create.

    Heck, I'm on my sixth or seventh flak jacket...and boy they are getting lighter and stronger the older I get.
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
    flak

    From what I have seen in my short tenure in the field of hydronics, that is an excellent group of people who have changed the face of the industry. It should also list Robert Bean, tireless champion of human comfort.

    Having worked for Dale Pickard and Bob Knebel at Radiant Engineering for nearly seven years ending last spring, I think I know them well enough to say that there are few with their dedication to improving this industry. I, for one, am better for having known them.
  • Jim_65
    Jim_65 Member Posts: 184
    rb

    I agree that Robert Bean should be included in that list!

    Although when he is the one giving kudos to the others it may not seem like the best time to pat yourself on the back. :)
  • modest to a fault

    RB is at the top of my list of those who have had a positive and tremendous whallop of an impact on this industry. A tidal wave of information and education. A Canadian unafraid to drink a Budweiser too(G).
  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404
    Let's Face Facts NRT Rob

    By engineering, furnishing materials and giving the Homeowner a complete layout you have eliminated any profit a Contractor may have made.

    We get paid for those things in case you didn't know. Also, if the contractor ever had to deviate from your explicit drawings the HO would think they were shortcutting the job therefore trying to rip them off. Plus, what self respecting contractor would work for labor only? Not me!

    I think you use this site to learn new ways to eliminate the true professional and dilute the trade. IMHO
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    I have no fear of NRT taking......

    .....projects from me simply because it wouldn't happen. Why would someone take Rob's advice over mine? I'm here, Rob's there. If a client won't take my word when I'm standing right in front of him, what does that say about me? Trust me when I say this, if I had the time, I would do exactly what Rob is doing.

    hb

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



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."


  • exactly hb. it's not common that we end up "bidding against" a contractor.. either we are working FOR the contractor, or a DIY client who is not going to hire a contractor to do the grunt work in any case.. but when we do, if the contractor is good, we don't get the project. And I'm *happy* to lose a project to a competent installer on the ground, because having a competant installer there, on the ground, in person, is OBVIOUSLY better than having a competant designer in another state. I've walked away from quite a few projects with a smile on my face knowing the guy on the ground is doing due diligence. And when that is apparent, I have no problem at all telling the client that myself.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471


    > RB is at the top of my list of those who have had

    > a positive and tremendous whallop of an impact on

    > this industry. A tidal wave of information and

    > education. A Canadian unafraid to drink a

    > Budweiser too(G).



    RB is at the top of my list of those who have had a positive and tremendous whallop of an impact on this industry. A tidal wave of information and education. A Canadian unafraid to drink a Budweiser too(G).


    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
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