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Would you BUY a house with radiant?..........hb

one of my previous employers buddied up with one of his builders to do one of these Parade homes. Same thing, install it for cost, then we'll send referrals to you. All of my former employers mechanical rooms were things of beauty, but for some unexplainable reason, the GC would NOT allow him to set up an information booth in the mechanical room. I'd have been adamant about letting me do what I wanted to during the show...

The real bad thing about that home was that the guy who built it with all his subs "at cost" ended up buying the home himself and moved in!!

Talk about ballsy moves.

Whenever I see the guy, I turn and RUN the opposite direction. He knows why...

If I'm going to "partner up" with one of these guys, we're going to play the game to WIN together, or I don't want to play.



  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    I've been thinking about this.

    We all know radiant is supposedly the king of all things comfortable and energy efficient, correct? I must say, that aside from the jobs I see posted here, I don't think I would buy a house that had radiant in it that wasn't installed by one of us. I will admit, that I am seriously jaded of late with all of the garbage mechanicals I've seen this year. Radiant floor heating should enhance the property , shouldn't it? I don't see it in my region. But it's probably just me.


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    The Radiant Whisperer

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

    I guess we would know as soon as we stepped into the mechanical room!

    This is my first home and I bought it because I could easily tear out the junk that was in here (FHA) and staple up tubing.

    I bet we all get to see our share of catastrophies.

    Maybe someday folks will talk about the comfort systems the way they talk about other great works of art.

    "OHHHHH MY!! This is a (Your name here) home!!" they would squeel, "We Simply must have it!"

    Now that would be cool!

    Mark H

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  • eddie grierson_3
    eddie grierson_3 Member Posts: 51
    Would I?

    Of course I would if one of one you guys installed it. I think homeowners that are in to sites like this and read magazines like Thus Old House would, but then again a lot of them would propably build there own house. (including the heat system) But based on the way the housing market is in my area it could have an electric warm air furnace and they would buy it. People are paying over asking prices by large sums. The market hasn't been this good since the 80's. I due have a lot more customers requesting radiant from the builders. I think people looking at houses around here would not change there mind about buying a because of radiant. If anything it is a home selling plus in my own opinion. As far as craftmanship, there isn't much of it going in around this area and the majority I've seen pretty good. But don't get me wrong I've seen some garbage.
  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
    Excellent observation HB

    The wife and I did the annual "Parade of Homes" last summer. (Usually about 12-14 homes are open to the public for touring before the owners move in)

    Of course, to my wifes dismay, I headed straight to the mechanical room in all of them. We went through a beautiful full log house that was valued at over $800K. It was very nicely crafted in all details except the mechanicals. This poor HO is saddled with a nightmare waiting to happen. The boiler was a standard U.S. made cast iron unit and after staring at the piping til my better half came and got me I still couldn't understand what the installing company was trying to accomplish with the wall full of Tekmars, injection pumps, mixing valves and thermostatic 3-ways. Suffice to say that it looked like the boiler was running strictly off of its own aquastat. (set at 190) The main loop then went into a motorized mixing valve run by a tekmar. Some of the zones (which were NOT piped pri/sec) had injection pumps, some had thermostatic 3-ways. All told there were 14 zones in a home of roughly 4,600 sq ft. Some zones were in gyp crete, some were staple up, 2 had plates as I recall. The garage zone appeared to dump directly back into the boiler.

    I wouldn't buy that place for $200K let alone $800K. I'm betting that his fuel costs are $6-800 per month in this weather.

    Oh!, did I mention the 40 gallon indirect supplying water for a 2 person tub and one of those human car wash showers.

    At least they can go down into the mechanical room to warm up in the radiant heat from the un-insulated copper piping.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,793
    P-Rade of homes!

    Long time ago, when we were looking for homes, I too would head straight to the mechanical rooms. Put my stickers on the water heaters and boilers/furnaces for potential customer in the distant future - until one Sunday I got a call from an irate "customer" who insisted we'd installed a heat pump in the property that wasn't working. When I asked for the address, it didn't come up as being one we'd installed. The more I insisted we hadn't installed this new under warranty heat pump, the madder he got. It finally dawned on me what was going on - he was the real estate agent assigned to show the property that day & we'd visited the week prior. Last time I ever tried that stunt(G).

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    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Would have to see one first!

    Only radiant I've seen is some electric "Warm Tiles."

    How about two FA systems with BOTH thermostats in the same room? Seen it twice!
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,793
    Depends on the tube!

    Brand name and vintage, of both rubber and PEX types of tube :)

    Depends on workmanship, component brands, and how many loops come up out of the slab :)

    I'd rather buy "nude" and dress my own, personally!

    hot rod

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    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Street of Dreams

    In Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond area, the Master Builders set up a "Street of Dreams" with usually 10 houses for viewing and they tend to start at $2mil + . Same story. The homes were beatiful, the mechanicals were poorly installed. In one home, a screen was placed around the 3 furnaces to hide the lack of craftsmanship. When consulting these builders to demonstrate what can be done, the common reply is "we want you to do it for free, or at cost, to advertise and promote your company". Then they pocket the profits. As a result, they get the bottom feeders to install. I don't think this was the "builders program" Wirsbo had in mind.

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