I’ve been hearing for years that you’re working to “transform the market.”

In the New York home performance world, though…you ARE the market.  Anyone who’s not in your system has to compete against it.  So I don’t think you’re transforming the market.  I think you’re killing it, or at least strangling it.

I get it.  You have a long-term plan, but contractors live in a short-term world.  We have bills and mortgages to pay, every month, but you don’t.  You’re looking a decade out.  In 2025, you hope that “solutions are implemented on non-affordable housing buildings without subsidy.” (1)

Why I Don't HeatSmart

There's a program where I live called HeatSmart.

Bad Energy Code. Bad!

When I'm out with my family and we go by a jobsite, I slow down if I'm driving.  Everybody rolls their eyes and my son says, "what's wrong THIS time, Dad?"  The answer is usually "So many things."

Today I was on my own, which meant I could get out of the car and take a close look.  Was I snooping?  Heck yes.  This is what made me pull over.

What caught my eye was the foam.  It's only an inch thick.

"An inch of foam" isn't in itself a problem, but it gets worse.

How to spend your tax refund

Posted in: waimea, hawaii

It's tax day! Hooray?

I used to get excited about tax refunds, and then I learned they're not really anything to get excited about; if you get a refund, it just means that you overpaid your taxes, and the Man is simply giving your own money back to you.  (I don't like to be a downer, sorry.)

With everything that's going on, are you SURE that you want to give this administration more of your money, so they can do who-knows-what with it?  You'd be giving them an interest-free loan.  They won't give YOU an interest-free loan, sooooooo...check out your pay stubs.  If you're getting a big refund, reduce the amount you have withheld.

On Customer Service

Posted in: waimea, hawaii

This week a paying customer was dragged off a flight by cops, for no other reason than "the airline wanted him off."

This is BS.  You have rights as a passenger, but that's not what bugs me as an American and a consumer.

I'll state right off that I feel like this does not at all compare to much of what's happening in the world today.  But it's indicative.

It's indicative of a business culture that wants to subdue you.  It's indicative of a trend towards control and profit.  Control of you, profit for them.

You Need a Bigly Dehumidifier (Pt. 2)

I don't want to belabor the point, but houses have evolved.

It used to be that houses were uninsulated and air-leaky.  They'd get wet, they'd dry out.  And energy was so cheap that we could afford to pump them full of heat to help them dry out.  It was kind of like putting your house in the dryer.

You Need a Bigly Dehumidifier (Pt. 1)

Pre-Spring is over and Second Winter is upon us.  For a bit there it was glorious.  Do you remember?  It was wet and squishy and muddy and dehumidifiers were kicking on all over the place.  The whole area got very wet very quickly.  And it's about to get real wet real quick - up to TWO FEET of wetness, some people are saying.

That's all going to melt, the the creeks will rush, the lakes will fill up, and it'll still be cold.  It'll be cold and damp.  Happens every year in Ithaca.

The Contractor's Dilemma

Posted in: waimea, hawaii

I was reminded recently of the iron triangle.  I've run a lot of large projects, but even the small ones track the same principles.

My preference is to deliver, to my clients, these three things: exceptional service, low prices, and high quality.  The drawback, then, is that work doesn't happen quickly.

But now we're in the literal dead of winter, and it's cold.  It is really, really cold.  So let's say that your heating system is swapped out - it needs to be a VERY FAST changeout.  If things go wrong, it turns very quickly into a VERY SLOW changeout.

A Full Plate

Posted in: AC, waimea, hawaii

It's Thanksgiving in a couple of days.  It just snowed and the no-heat calls are going to come rolling in.

If your heating system poops out, call your installer/servicer.  When you purchase a large piece of equipment from a reputable source, they're your first call.

If you want a new heating system, I can help.  I've done the homework for you and if you're income-eligible, get you a grant to help pay for it.  It's easy, I do all the paperwork for you.

Renovate, Rebuild, or Replace?

Posted in: waimea, hawaii

When I bought a house in Trumansburg nine years ago, one of the first things I did was cut down a tree.

It was a “street tree,” an old maple with three thick leaders. A “leader” is a thick branch. When the tree grew and split into three equally-sized parts, the entire structure of the tree was weakened.

There are a number of these trees in the village. The one in front of my house was held together by chains, to keep the leaders from spreading, and concrete had been poured in the crotch of the tree in an effort to keep water from pooling and rotting the tree.