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See what you think. PAH

Dave Yates (PAH)
Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
Homeowner doesn't want to pay the price necessary for the system needed to protect the hardwood flooring. He knows we did our homework and that our design will ensure long-term comfort and reliability. Here's the e-mail I received this morning. Think I ought to roll over & give up my design criteria??? The other bidders he mentions range from no radiant experience to just a little in small remodels, from what he's told me. Low bid was 18K for two A/C systems and 2,100 sq. ft. of hardwood radiant with multiple zones, oil tank, boiler & indirect.


Is it possible to get a copy of your heat loss analysis/detailed design summary that was completed for our home. I got copies from the other bidders and I was hoping to get yours as well. I'm just looking for loop lengths, number of loops, floor temps, water temps and the heat loss/gain for each room. I would appreciate this info; however, I can understand if this is not possible.

By the way, my meeting went okay today. The control system is defintely watered down compared to the comfort system."

(He's referring to the controls we had included in our "comfort system" that would have offered protection for the hardwood flooring, which included injection mixing along with feedback and zone management.)

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  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    He is not interested..........

    in hiring you, Dave. Unless they are paying for designs upfront, they don't see anything but the over all project costs. With a project that size, $300 will get him the entire design. Company policy #4: No designs are giving to any potential client unless or until design fees are collected or a signed contract with downpayment is received. Until then, all designs are the property of this firm.

    He knows you are the best man for the project. Stand your ground. And you know what? There is another project coming your way this week with a client who will appreciate your talents and professionalism.


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    The Radiant Whisperer

    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Troy_3
    Troy_3 Member Posts: 479
    free design

    Don't do it without a deposit to be applied to contract. I just toured a job I lost last year. They tried to impliment my design but missed terribly. The plumber who underbid me having seen my proposal failed to understand the piping or control strategy I proposed. So a hose manufacturer instructed him on 3-way tempering valves. He was shocked that I knew he was having over temp. problem with his restaurant that has hose imbedded in a 4" concrete slab. Not to worry though the high velocity cooling system I designed comes on to knock down the overtemp situation. God and he thinks this wrench did a great job. I couldn't help myself- I asked if his electrician put his roof on. I didn't have the heart to tell him his system had so much more potential. Now if the manufacturers selling these plumbers would not just be interested in selling garden hose but do a little real design, then maybe radiant would grow a little faster.
  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395
    can someone

    Explain to me how anyone can do that amount of work for so little of a price. Iam at a lost to come up with a answer.
    I dont get a opportunity to do a lot of infloor heat, I
    even being a small frie would have a hard time with that price for infloor only, am I missing something or what?
    please help. don
  • Ron Huber
    Ron Huber Member Posts: 121

    "Is that which gets us into more difficult problems" .
    As radiant contractors using high end equipment and more efficient methods, we price ourselves out of the odinary. There is no way you can make a decent profit when you are bidding against low ballers and guys who are just learning. It really bugs me when this happens. Sometimes you can convince the homeowner that cheaper is not better. But to a lot of those customers, they do not have a clue, and assume that all the guys giving estimates are of equal ability and the lowest prices are a "good deal". It takes me a while to get over it, more so if I spent a lot of time with the customer and a lot of time designing a good system, even more time when I go back and try to find ways of getting the price down. I feel bad, until another good prospect comes along. We have to take the highs and the lows, if this guy is shopping for price over performance, there is not a lot you can do. He may just have a limit on what he can spend and that is the bottom line. Hope you get another call this week and one that has been looking for your ability and not so much a low price
  • roll over

    or did he say bend over(G) that design and years of experience (SP) is worth more than $300 or a thanx we'll get back to you, this is one of the hardest things that I do when I am slow and someone asks if I can come up with a solution and "how much" the sincere will ask how soon can you do it the jerks will ask "how" will you do it.

    I have another suggestion, but it may not be p.c. to print it here!!
  • John T_2
    John T_2 Member Posts: 54
    I'm amazed too

    Is this job in a part of the country where cost's are that low? I'm in Michigan and couldn't touch that much work for that price. This would definitely be a one to walk away from for us.
  • John (jcg)
    John (jcg) Member Posts: 43
    I would offer it for sale

    I have been in this situation before and I offer the engineering for sale (better to get something than nothing). My engineering charges go for about twice that of my normal labor plus a percentage for profit and overhead.


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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106

    I always like to ask shoppers like this what they do for a living. Then form an analogy and ask for some free services or product from their company. It's always fun to see how they react when the shoe is on the other foot :)

    Charge for the design or don't give it up. You owe it to yourself, your company and your family.

    There is certainly a time and place for freebies and community service. This doesn't sound like one of them.

    hot rod

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  • D lux_2
    D lux_2 Member Posts: 230
    I used to work for a contractor when a cust .

    was told the price . the cust. would start to bargin with him IE how bout including a new t stat and he would think for a while and say getting up ,no I don't think I can do that all I would do when i install your furnace is is to figger a way to try to get the cost of the t stat back then they would say OK never mind

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