Next-gen radiant systems offer builders a surprising competitive edge.
Homebuilder and remodeler Desmond Greaves has a foolproof method for keeping customers happy.
He tests building material products in his home first. “If I use it and like it, I recommend to customers,” says the owner and operator of DG Custom Built Homes and Remodeling, an award-winning contractor serving Long Island and New York City for nearly 23 years. Judging from his line-up of five-star reviews on Houzz, his method works wonders.
Surprising Outcome When Greaves built his personal ‘forever home’ a few years back, he invested a lot of time researching home heating options. He ended up with the system that went beyond competing systems for versatility, comfort, health, and value: radiant heating.
Greaves knows all the arguments for and against. Radiant heat is often described as the “perfect heat” because it eliminates costly ductwork inefficiencies with none of the forced air dryness, noise, dust, cold zones, and allergy hazards. He also knew about the downside … or thought he did.
Greaves learned next-gen radiant heating systems had successfully leapfrogged the old drawbacks, including installation and heat transfer (conductivity). Here are 7 reasons why Greaves is all in on radiant heat:
No Plywood Subfloor. No Problem. “I learned that the radiant panel system from Warmboard actually takes the place of the structural subfloor, so there’s no redundancy like other systems,” Greaves says. “The Warmboard system is also a lot lighter than mud-based systems, so there’s less need for structural steel.”
Quick Heat-Up. Greaves knew the issue with high-mass radiant heat systems is response time – how quickly the homeowner feels warm. Old school systems can take up to 4 hours to provide heated comfort. Warmboard, by contrast, takes about 20 minutes. Greaves says this heat curve is equivalent to a forced air system.
More Design Flexibility. Greaves says the any-floor versatility was a big factor in his decision. “I wanted hardwood floors. The old slab approach meant you had to add another subfloor. It takes time to heat all those layers.”
All-Floorcover Versatility. Greaves knows not all in-floor radiant heat systems have the heating muscle to power through thick carpet or large-area rugs on hardwood floors. Warmboard convection technology works great with any flooring material, including thick carpet.
Spring and Fall Comfort. “Today it’s 70 degrees outside. At night it can get down into the 40s and 50s. Heating a slow-cooling high-mass slab means it’s throwing off heat when you don’t want it to. That can make daytime very uncomfortable,” he explains.
Easy Installation. The old bugaboo of labor-intensive (high cost) installation has been diminished as well. Radiant heating panels from Warmboard are delivered to the jobsite pre-fabricated for easy plug-and-play installation. You don’t even need a pipe trades pro. These panels can be installed by skilled carpentry labor, another possible savings.
Competitive Advantage. For Greaves, radiant heat helps differentiate his service from other contractors in a crowded marketplace. “It’s kind of a hidden product. A lot of contractors don’t offer radiant heat because they’re more comfortable talking about forced air.” That can give Greaves a big leg up at proposal time.
Big Dollar Savings. Warmboard’s 12-inch on center tubing outperforms other panels using 6-inch on center tubing. Less material to heat means less energy expense. Some Warmboard users report monthly energy savings of up to 70 percent over a forced air system. Payback can be measured in months, not years.
If you’re looking to attract home buyers with upgrades that can help set your homes apart, keep the option of radiant heat in mind. To learn more about all the benefits of offering an upgrade to radiant heat, visit warmboard.com.