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3799 Main St. #87024
Atlanta, GA 30337
USA

773.398.5288

Advanced residential construction and home improvement consulting and owner's advocacy in Atlanta, using the latest building performance diagnostic and modeling techniques and tools. Airtightness, insulation, HVAC, ventilation, moisture, and air quality and EMF consulting for homeowners and building professionals alike.

Videos/Podcasts/Articles

Home performance articles and stories from the field with internationally respected building forensics guru Corbett Lunsford at the Building Performance Workshop. Hear new episodes of the Building Performance Podcast, see new videos from the Home Performance YouTube channel, and learn all about how diagnostic testing (more than an 'Energy Audit') can make home improvement and new home construction a proven process!

Filtering by Tag: Home performance training

Dear Corbett: Why Don't Homeowners Want It Done Right?

Corbett Lunsford

Dear Homeowners: please read and absorb what the quality contractors come up against with typical clients. This is part of why high quality construction and home improvements are hard to come by...

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Hi Corbett,
Hate to bother you, but you said if I had aquestion to get in touch with you. Sometimes I feel like just throwing my hands up in the air and giving up; why did I read that article about making the heating system airtightback in 1992 when I started my HVAC business? And why six years ago did I bother learning about the whole house approach? There are times I wish I wasn’t disciplined and motivated to do things right.

If a customer just wants a new energy efficient furnace or A/C and is not concerned with all the other issues with the house, should I just give them what they're asking for and take their money? Knowing how easy it would be to do that, I just can’t lower my standards. Even companies that are doing 'whole home performance' now, I’m following behind them fixing some of their mistakes already.

I get people telling me about the problems they are having inside the house. The question I’m always asking the homeowner is, If I see some safety concerns or other issues would you like me to tell you? On a service call, the first thing I have to get right is the problem with the equipment, than I can let them know what I see with the whole house and heating/cooling system generally.

I’m always getting pushback on this: "my heating system is just 7 years old, everything's fine." And here I am, telling them it was not installed correctly, and that we have to start all over again.  Always running into oversized furnaces and air conditioners with undersized ductwork.

Not sure if I’m explaining things correctly to the homeowner as to what I’m trying to accomplish inside the house for them. It always seems to come down to the price. Maybe I have to do a better job in showing value to the customer?

Right now, looking at one job, the call was for high end air purifying filters. The homeowner told me the house is 4000 sq ft but might include the garage and it’s 8 years old. Their 5 year old son has allergy problems, $650.00 utility bill a month, a lot dust in the house. They have 181,000 Btu output for heating and 10 tons of cooling! Told the homeowner the first thing we should do is test the house and HVAC systems first before installing the filters. It apparently costs "too much" to fix the problems. Help?
Thanks,
Sal C.


Hey Sal-
Great question, and I feel your pain!  Sometimes it can seem like our clients actually prefer to hire mediocre contractors to do cheap home improvements that make things steadily worse in the house.  I promise you, though, that it's not true. Yes, I believe it's 100% about education and showing the value, and judiciously using the powerful marketing tools Fear and Sex Appeal to do so.

Keep at it. I'll keep an eye out for your success stories to come. 

Looking Forward, 

Corbett

Why Fall Fast Track Stands Alone in Building Pro Training

Corbett Lunsford

Like anybody else in any other profession, construction pros are expected to learn new things and get better at our work. Dirty secret: some of us don't do that at all. Amazing opportunity: those of us who DO get better and better leave the others in our dust, and we get not only our own loyal clients, we get theirs too.

I love my work, and I get paid to learn every day- it's incredible that there's always more to learn, no matter how deep you dig. When I first trained to become a HERS Rater, my instructor told me on day 3: "You ask too many questions- you just need to shut up and do what I tell you for the rest of the week."

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I knew then and there that I would never be that guy. We need to ask MORE questions, not less, and we all walk around pretending we have a handle on what's going on when we usually don't have a clue! That feeling in high school- the one when you know you didn't do your homework and you're about to be found out- many of us live with that feeling every day in our work. It doesn't have to be that way. Now there's FALL FAST TRACK.

Proof Is Possible, and performance testing is the way to get there in buildings. It's a funny thing to be where I am in the construction industry: still a relative newbie at only 7 years in, but also one of the only people with both 7 years experience AND daily performance testing experience, still. Most of my colleagues at this level have primarily taken on management work, and don't actually crawl around in homeowners' attics and crawlspaces. Many home performance experts out there do not lug blower doors around or drill test ports in ductwork- they manage employees who do, or write about it, or make policy decisions for energy efficiency programs. I still do all my own hands-on work every day, and it makes me a better building scientist and teacher.

Which brings me to the free market. My hourly fee is on par with attorneys in many places, and that's because I don't just bring brains to the table- I bring tons of scientific gear, too. Anyone with both can earn a good living in home performance contracting, but you have to get out from under the umbrella of energy rebate programs to do it.

I attended a think tank recently, all about 'how to bring home performance contracting into the mainstream private market'. On the last day, I came right out and asked how many of the 40 building science experts in the room already worked entirely in the private market; and I was the only one. It made me feel both proud and like I must be an idiot for not taking the public money. But mostly proud.

I've learned to help homeowners solve problems and get more control over their homes, and earn a good living while I'm at it. And so can you. FALL FAST TRACK happens just once a year, and is limited to 100 pros. My goal is to have at least one home performance ninja in every market in the U.S., and if it's not you, it'll be your competition. And then there's Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa to work on. Am I tired yet? Hell no, I'm fired up about it!

All we need to do is get the client, the homeowner/homebuyer, to understand what they should expect from anyone in the construction industry, and they'll naturally seek out the masterminds. It's worked for me. It can work for you. Let's do this.

CLICK TO LEARN ALL ABOUT FALL FAST TRACK NOW!

Calling All Home Performance Ninjas: the FALL FAST TRACK 2015

Corbett Lunsford

Spend six weeks with building forensics guru Corbett Lunsford, learning to maximize your profits in the private market using performance testing for home improvements and homebuilding. Registration opens August 1, course begins Labor Day, continues long-distance until October 17.  Learn to master your business and immediately put your skills to work in your local market.