March 17, 2019 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
New subscriber? Welcome! This issue may have you wondering what you've gotten yourself into, but hang in there for a week or three.
Subscriber of record? Get ready for a heaping dose of inspiration.
Heat Transfer Plates
I spent the entire week up in Bar Harbor, Maine working on my daughter and son-in-law's new home. We tried to install 900 Uponor heat transfer plates and just missed hitting that goal. Soon you'll see a video of these magical aluminum inventions. CLICK or TAP HERE to discover more about these plates.
The u-shaped channel in the center of each plate will soon have 1/2-inch hePEX tubing snapped into it. The water circulating through the tubing will be about 120 F. The aluminum will get that hot and transfer the heat to the wood subfloor above. The finished tile flooring above will end up about 80-85 F - so warm all you'll want to do is lay on the floor like a lizard all day.
I'm going to be recording LOTS of video explaining all the nuances of radiant floor heat, so hang tight for that. Yes, there will be 6 inches of fiberglass insulation pressing up against the hePEX and plates before the drywall is attached to the bottom of the floor trusses. This prevents the heat from radiating down instead of up.
What's Going on Here?
If you think you know the answer CLICK or TAP HERE to see if you're right.
If you have no clue what you're looking at, CLICK or TAP HERE to become enlightened!
Brent Hutchins - Living Inspiration
I met Brent Hutchins for the first time back in December when the builder was installing the floor trusses on top of the sill plates on my daughter and son-in-law's new home. It was a snowy windy day. CLICK or TAP HERE to discover more about floor trusses.
Brent immediately impressed me as a friendly guy. He was like the Energizer Bunny and you'd never think he was the oldest member of the crew. Brent is 42 years old.
It's important to realize that just two days ago, I told Brent I was going to write about him in the newsletter. He said it was fine and even gave me permission to use his name. My original intention was to make him anonymous. You'll soon discover why.
Fast forward to this past Monday and Brent was working with my son-in-law Brent - yes, it gets confusing have two people on the job with the same name - helping to put in all those heat transfer plates. The builder allowed us to borrow Brent to speed up the construction process.
About twenty-five years ago, I interviewed the detective of the Amberley Village, Ohio police force. His name was Donald Clark. I lived in Amberley and the interview was done to get insight on what are the right questions to ask a contractor before hiring one.
I'll never forget one sentence that Don said early in the interview, "Tim, most people love to talk about themselves."
Brent Hutchins is one and he had a tale to tell! My son-in-law had been working side-by-side with him on Monday and I was not able to hear much because of the infernal racket made by the on-site electric generator that belched out sound all day like water gushing from a broken fire hydrant. Yes, I was wearing hearing protection and it still drove me nuts.
Over dinner on Monday night, I heard about Brent's life. He's a recovering drug addict and thief. He's been in prison twice. He's one of the invisible people you might hear about in the news when a story might appear on your radar screen about the opioid crisis.
Brent used to weigh close to 300 pounds. He had surgery to staple his stomach. His prescription pain killer started him down the dark pathway to heroin.
He's a stoic person, "I don't like asking for help and was convinced I could beat it." He was wrong. He was spending $300-$500 per week on heroin. He began breaking into houses to fuel the addiction. He got caught and was looking at ten years in prison.
Fortunately, he was able to enroll in a rehabilitation program and eventually a work-release program.
He's completely turned himself around. "When I got out of jail, I had no friends, no money, nothing."
Now he's got a great job, a wife, his own car, tons of tools, money in a savings account, he goes to church each Sunday, and above ALL ELSE - a contagious positive attitude.
I asked him on Friday morning, "Brent, what happened when you were at the bottom of the pit? What is it that made you turn yourself around and climb back up out of the morass?"
"Oh, that's simple. The day I was arrested the first time the officer, a high school buddy of mine, showed me the tear-stained complaint signed by my dad. I was arrested for stealing stored tires from his camp to sell for more heroin. He had hidden game cameras set up at the camp and he saw that I was the thief. That's how bad I was. Stealing from my own dad. Right then and there, I knew I had to beat this thing."
Rarely am I inspired by people, but this week was eye-opening for me. I say this because the opioid scourge is sending about 130 people a DAY up to Heaven. Brent has beat both the Devil and the Grim Reaper so far as he's been clean for three years.
I wanted to share Brent's story with you because you may be trying to overcome some challenge. With me it's ice cream, Peanut M&Ms and recently mini Reese's cups. You may have a battle with some other demon or substance.
Brent's story is evidence that you can overcome your struggle no matter what it is. Perhaps you know someone who's grappling with something. Share Brent's story of success. Hopefully it might spark her/him to break free of the bonds of addiction.
Brent's inspiring turnaround is what's going to get me back to the playing weight of 187 pounds. This is what I looked like I back in college when I played middle linebacker on the top intramural team at UC. That's me on the left in the photo.
Yep, that's me at about 187 pounds wearing pants with a 36-inch waist!
What goal are you going to set for yourself? I'd love to know.
College or a Vocation? Chose Wisely
Look at this photo for more inspiration. This is exactly what I was doing just 30 years ago and I had the same determined look on my face.
Are you constantly worried about getting screwed by a contractor? Are you fretting about if the work being done is shoddy?
Are you terrified you'll have to do the job over spending more money?
You're not alone. The general consensus is it's getting harder and harder to find a craftsperson that treats what they do each day as a vocation rather than just a job.
Millions of consumers are LOOKING FOR honest and knowledgeable tradespeople. When they FIND THEM, they HIRE THEM and SHARE their names far and wide.
CLICK or TAP HERE and read what I have to say about whether it's a better idea to skip college and head down a different career path.
That's enough for a Sunday. It's time to tie my bow tie for church.
I'll be leaving in the morning to drive up to Bar Harbor to work again for about ten days. If you live in Ellsworth or on MDI and want to get together for lunch next Saturday, you know what to do.
Did you discover ANYTHING in this issue that helped you? If so and you feel inclined to treat me to something HEALTHY, CLICK or TAP HERE.
Do It Right, Not Over!