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Archive for Saving Money

A Bigger Radon Fan? Bigger is Better Right?

A gimmick that has gone around for a while with Radon systems and companies trying to convince you to go with them is to up-sell you a bigger Radon fan. In our society bigger seems to always be better or the thing to do. Well, with Radon systems there is only a few cases when a bigger radon fan is the right move. First, if there is very tight soil under a basement slab such as sand and or clay then a larger vacuum fan can be needed. Extra vacuum power can move air in a tight soil condition whereas a high air volume fan, that is made for low resistance is not the best fan to use. Second, when there is a very large square footage slab, and I mean large like more than 4000 square feet it might be a good idea to use a higher air volume fan. This is mostly in commercial applications. So, if you are a homeowner and you have a 1000 to 3000 square foot slab in the basement and a Radon company is trying to sell you a bigger radon fan to give you lower Radon levels you are being scammed. Radon does not work that way. You actually don’t need to move much air to lower Radon. You just need it to move from footing to footing. A regular air volume fan will more than do the job if installed properly. Think about it. If the Radon company really cared about you, wouldn’t they install the right fan to get you the best results right away? It’s easy for them to scare you to get a “lower Radon guarantee” when it is not necessary. We offer a guarantee of 1.0 or lower for a little more money, but it does not involve a bigger radon fan, and to be honest, in most homes it’s not needed. It includes more diagnostic testing should the first post-test come in above 1.  And I tell customers that. Most homes with the right fan and piping, and gravel and or drain tile system will get below 1 Pico curie right away. Instead of offering you a fan upgrade, why not ask that they just quote you the best system with the right fan in the first place.

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Don’t build over your sump pit

Because of the type of work we do, we run into things that we know can come back to haunt you as a home owner. If you are considering finishing off the basement, which is great because of the extra space you will have, there will be one thing that you will not want to do. Please, don’t build over your sump pit. If you do you will lose access to it. If the pump needs to be replaced it will make it very difficult to get to. I always recommend to build a closet around it. That way you will have access to the pit, pump and piping should anything need to be worked on. If you do build a cabinet around it make the lid low enough so you can work on the pit while you are on your knees.  We have been to plenty of houses where the customer ended up tearing the cabinet apart to change out a pump during a storm because the were not able to work in the space they had created.

Crunch Time

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I can get someone Cheaper to do the same job

Today I received a call from an Realty agent. He said the buyers had requested our company by name. I said, “great, that’s what keeps us in business.” He then said if it were up to him he would have someone else do it because he knows he could have it done cheaper. I agreed with him, you could have it done cheaper, as a matter of fact I could do it cheaper, but I won’t. I am reminded of a man who came into a tire store I was managing years ago. He was in the market to buy a set of tires for his daughters car, so he just needed the cheap ones. I responded with, I will sell you what you want, but do you really want the cheapest tires on your daughters car? Tires are extremely important when it comes to braking, handling, driving in the rain/snow. They are where the car meets the road. I told him that Michelin’s are the best, and also the most expensive. I then showed him a few sets that were less, but still good quality. I explained why the Michelin’s were more expensive and why I have them on all my vehicles. I even walked him outside to prove to him I had them on my car. Well, he changed his mind and bought the Michelin’s. When it comes to Radon we might be the most expensive  company. But why is that? I could lower my price by not putting fire collars on the pipe in the garage, there’s $50 savings. I could use a cheap, flimsy lid to seal sump pits, another $25 savings. I could not have proper insurance on my company, installers and vehicles, more savings. I could not have my Radon monitors  calibrated on a regular basis, more savings. I could use a cheaper pipe, instead of schedule 40 PVC. I could skip the clamps and J-hooks to support the pipe like we have been seeing on systems. I could do the electrical wrong and save some money. A big savings would be to buy the plastic sump pumps when they are on sale, a savings of at least $75. But would it be right? No. When we seal a sump pit, we install a high quality sump pump with an alarm system. My cost is $150, and that’s what I charge for them. Retail would be $225 with the controller we install. Do you want the cheapest sump pump or a high quality one when the pit is sealed? Fire collars are code, not installing them is wrong. Bottom line is when it comes to your families safety and health, do you want the cheapest system or the best one that will last forever? If your buying a home, don’t settle for what the seller is willing to pay for or with a system from a company that was willing to do it wrong. Demand the best for your family.

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Happy New Year Everyone!

Happy new year everyone. Thank you for your business in 2011. We finished the year with 781 Radon systems install and almost 700 Radon tests conducted. We get most of our work by word of mouth, so again, thank you to everyone who helped us in 2011.

A few costs are going up on our side of  the business this year, but we hope to keep system pricing the same. I am looking for ways to save money with advertising, mortgage and vehicle use. We can not cut back on what it takes to install the system as far as materials or fans. The quality of the systems is the most important thing.

As always we welcome questions and hope you have a great year. Lets hope the economy starts to bounce back. We could all use that. So, again, Happy New Year Everyone!

 

 

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Radon Systems

I just want to thank everyone who has used our services. I truly believe that by being involved in this business that we are helping to save lives. To date we have installed over 6000 Radon systems. If 8 out of a thousand get lung cancer from Radon then we saved 48 lives, in theory. I have had so many people lately thank me for our services. From the neatness of our installs, cleaning up when we are finished, our polite installers and standing behind our work. Yes, sometimes we have to go back because something was missed or something happened to our system. A large percent of our call backs are do to something else affecting our system, not our workmanship.  We try to go back when we are in the area to avoid any more costs to the customer. With the economy being slow I feel lucky to still be in a service oriented business. Other companies are giving away systems, and unfortunately quality along with the price. Because we have refused to lower our standards we are still getting the majority of the jobs. Integrity, caring about what we do, quality of work and a fair price will keep us ahead of our competition. Thanks again, and I hope the next year will be even better for everyone.

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From Customer “can you match another companies price?”

The answer is, depends. When we give a quote  the price includes installing all the necessary components of a Radon system. One of the biggest things I see being left off Radon systems is Fire Collars. When routing a pipe through a fire wall, such as the wall between the home and garage that is attached you need to install a fire barrier material, wrapped in a metal sleeve. (this could save your home if there were a fire in the garage)  Fire caulk will not collapse a 3″ PVC pipe. So, on a Radon system fire caulk will not be sufficient. If the garage has a finished drywall ceiling, that also may be a firewall, so it too may need a fire collar. The biggest thing that companies are doing out there (not just for Radon) is installing electrical work, without a licensed electrician. It is illegal to install, for hire, any electrical work if you are not licensed. Most municipalities also require a permit, which needs to be acquired by the electrical company. Not using an electrician or getting a permit can save a company $100 to $150 on the cost of installing the system, so they will show a lower cost. Anyone who says you don’t need an electrician for a simple outlet is not being truthful, and is taking a risk if they get caught in paying hundreds of dollars in fines. We will match anyone’s price, but their proposal/system needs to match ours. A wise man once said, “getting the cheapest job done is like getting the cheapest set of tires put on your car. They may be round & black, but you won’t like them once you go down the road.”

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We are an Honest Business

A very disturbing event happened last Sunday. A builder and their Realty agent received emails from a “potential buyer”. They stated that they walked through a home to take a look at it, and that two of my employees were working there. When asking about the builders house, this person claimed that my employees had many negative comments about the builder, and that they should not buy this builders homes because they are poorly built. Obviously the builder and agent were quite upset. Once they contacted me I was upset, because I know my employees would never do something like this. Long story short, the email was sent by a competitor who was caught, posing to be a buyer in an effort to gain this builders business. This just goes to show how cut throat the business climate is getting, and what other companies are willing to do to get business. We would never resort to tactics like this. We run an Honest Business. I am thinking Karma will take care of this.

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Did you really check out that Radon company?

Two things happened within the last week. The first was an angry customer that called me complaining about the initial price quoted, and the final bill that he received.  Turns out he was calling the wrong Radon company. He explained how he was quoted a very low price, but by the time they installed the system, and upgraded his guarantee that his bill was much higher. He got his companies mixed up because we had quoted him a system also. Our final quote was $750. The other Radon company originally quoted $540, but by the time they were done the price was $900! If he had gone with us he would have had what he wanted with no price changes. Please compare quotes item per item, then make your decision.

The second thing that happened was we had to remove an improperly installed system in Green Bay. Have you seen the cable show Holmes on Homes? Well, we consider ourselves the Radon Gurus of our area. We have fixed and replaced many Radon systems over the years. What really irks me is a certified Radon company out of Green Bay installed the system we replaced. The customer paid us $700 to remove the existing system and install a new one, and patch their roof. We were able to reuse two of the holes cut, but everything else had to be changed. This customer paid dearly in the long run. Why was the other company hired? The person seemed like a nice guy and the price was a little lower. Check out the company you are going to hire, no matter what the work might be. Get references, check out their shop/business, and go see their work. Make sure they are following local laws and codes. Does their work vehicle even say who they are? Hiring a company that does anything on the side is a big risk.

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How Much Radon Exposure Is Safe?

Image of body expiring radon from lungs.There is no debate. All major national and international organizations that have examined the health risks of radon exposure agree that it causes lung cancer. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer, preceded only by smoking. Second hand smoke ranks third.

You’re exposed to some level of Radon, no matter where you live or work, worldwide. But every home and building is different.

Your home’s Radon level could be 1 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter), while your neighbor’s could be 10 pCI/L.

The EPA recommends that Americans fix their homes when the radon level is 4 pCi/L or more, and that you consider doing so at levels between 2 pCi/L – 4 pCi/L, especially in the area that you sleep in.  The World Health Organization recommends a level of 2.7 pCi/L or below.

Consider that exposure at a level of 4 pCi/L for eight hours per day is the equivalent of 200 chest x-rays per year! So a level as low as 2 pCi/L is like 100 chest x-rays of radiation to your lungs.

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You Might Think You’re Saving Money on a Cheap Radon System, But…

Is saving $25-$50 dollars really worth it? Looking for a cheap Radon system?

Your looking for a Radon system to be installed. So, you need to hire a Radon company to do that. If you are selling you’re probably looking for the least expensive option. You check around and find a company that is offering a really cheap price. You think you will be saving money, but may not be. Not all Radon mitigation services are created equal – and saving a few dollars on your system installation may not be worth it. A poorly installed Radon system can be a far greater risk to your health than no system at all. That’s because a poorly installed Radon system can actually increase your Radon exposure! Click here for some examples of bad Radon system installations. The last thing you want to happen is to have the buyer not approve where the system is located or how it was installed. Maybe it doesn’t meet standards and you have to have it fixed.

If any company, regardless of whether or not they’re certified to install Radon systems, provides a written proposal that matches our warranty, Radon level guarantee, routes the system the same way, uses fire collars, and provides proof of workers comp and liability insurance, we’ll match their price. We back up our statement of “the best job at the best price” not just by saying it, but by putting it here, in writing. We can provide the lowest price because of the number of systems we install. Quality of work will not and has never been compromised.

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