9 Tips for Working with a Radiant Design Consultant

For contractors who don’t specialize in radiant systems, it’s wise to work with a design consultant in order to stay on the right track and avoid costly mistakes

9 Tips for Working with a Radiant Design Consultant

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As with most complicated plumbing projects, design is crucial when it comes to radiant heating and cooling.

Before a radiant system goes into the floor (or ceiling or patio or walkway), it’s essential that everything be designed correctly, from the spacing of the pipes to an adequate heat source.  

For contractors who don’t specialize in radiant systems, it’s a good idea to work with a design consultant who has the necessary expertise and familiarity with all the options, products and variables that go into a project.  

They can make sure any contractor is on the right track and avoid costly mistakes. However, as in any relationship, the arrangement can pose challenges. Here, directly from a radiant design consultant, are nine ways for a contractor to get the most out of that working relationship:  

  1. Build a relationship with your designer so they know what you want before you ask. Sometimes designers service many areas of the country. Different climates, local codes, and construction can steer how a design consultant drives a design. The more familiar we are with your preferences and practice, the faster we will get an accurate design and material list to you.
  2. Ask for recommendations. Having designed millions of square feet of radiant systems, we will likely have recommendations that will benefit you, as well as the design. We surround ourselves with plumbers, trainers and experienced engineers so that we can provide the best service to you.
  3. Provide feedback. If you don’t tell us how the installation went and how the system is performing, we can’t improve future designs. We also don’t always know the field conditions or what works on paper and what does not.
  4. Pick up the phone. Emails and text messages are the norm, but sometimes things are lost in translation. Get on the phone with us and we can talk in detail about what you need and what we can do for you.
  5. Let us help you coordinate the design with building engineers. We can collaborate directly with building engineers throughout the process to save you time. This also gives us a closer look at the overall system. We have seen huge success with these types of relationships.
  6. Take the time to determine the actual job specifics. We can always make assumptions for things like insulation values, floor coverings and window sizes to get a rough design. Spending the extra time to get exact information will not only allow us to design a more efficient system, it will save you headaches from undesirable performance.
  7. Think outside the box. You might not be planning an office building or commercial structure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t provide a solution for you. We have experience with designs that aren’t your usual heating and cooling systems. We have software that allows us to design even the most complex systems, from outdoor warming for reptiles and other zoo creatures, heated and cooled racetracks, and waste evaporation systems.
  8. Use us as a resource. Even if you only have questions or need some advice, give us a ring. We have access to a lot of information that we’re happy to share. Let us set you up for success. We can provide professional presentations, webinars, and submittals for you and even your customers.
  9. Empower yourself. Know the product and software. We can help you learn the product and we can train you to do some of your own design work with our software. Visit us at one of our world-class training centers for product, design and software training so that you can acquire the tools and knowledge needed for success.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get the most out of the relationship with your radiant designer.  

About the Author

Brett Austin is manager of design services at Viega LLC


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