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Autonomy of a snap decision

Yesterday I was tasked with figuring out what method to use to install radiant heat for a planed renovation. I also have to come up a with a complete cost for the entire installation and the amount of man hours it is going to take. In addition I have to provide a price for installing a new boiler and hot water heater and the labor to install them. I have until noon on Tuesday to get the whole thing together.

In once sense, this is not so hard. For one thing, I have help. Most of the boiler pricing and research is being done by others. I just have to pull it all together. And the scope of the project is not that large. It is just a small remodeling project after all.

The thing that makes all this tricky is that I don’t have any practical experience with radiant heat. Nor does anyone else in the organization. And the nature of renovation means that we can not use any of the most common methods of installing radiant heat.

That is to say, I can’t bury the tubes in concrete and I can’t strap tubes to the underneath of the sub flooring due to the nature of the construction that the planed remodel will take place in. This pretty much limits me to the more exotic systems for putting in radiant heating. And I really hate to have to chose amongst the more exotic methods of doing something when I don’t even have a good understanding of the basics. Especially when I only have a few hours to research the issue before I have to get to work pricing out the components of the project.

But sometimes you don’t get to pick your battles. My solution was to go with a product called Warmboard. It was a snap decision based on three things.

I had heard about the product before. I knew it was the gold standard for doing radiant heat in a non masonry applications. And it seemed like the easiest of the exotic systems for a bunch of noobs to install.

I expect to be crossed examined on this choice. I don’t think the powers that be are going to like the costs. But it was the best snap decision I could make. And I still have to figure out what kind of controls I am going to use so I don’t have any time to second-guess myself on the system I’m going to use.

And that is what makes life exciting.

2 Responses to “Autonomy of a snap decision”

  1. on 07 Nov 2009 at 11:35 pmSteveK

    A radiant heating system doesn’t have to be floor or even hot water based. There are alternatives that are often much more cost effective. The alternatives may be less costly and therefore the risk smaller if your estimates are wrong.

  2. on 08 Nov 2009 at 9:27 amThe Editor

    You are correct.

    I actually argued that hot water radiant heat was the wrong way to go in this case and argued for the use of a system similar to the one that you are selling. But the powers that be have it fixed in their mind that they wanted hot water radiant heat and all other suggestions have been firmly turned down.

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