Remodeling a Business

September/October 2004
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2004 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 01, 2004
        It would be hard to imagine a more ardent, outspoken proponent of home performance principles than Darin Hughes, president of Hughesco, Incorporated, in Amherst,New York. “We don’t guess,” Hughes says succinctly. He’s describing the process Hughesco auditors use during their first visits to houses with performance problems. He is also capturing what distinguishes his business from other repair and remodeling businesses. Instead of guessing, a Hughesco auditor uses diagnostic tests—a blower door test and infrared scans to identify air leakage, a heating system efficiency test, and health and safety tests—to identify a home’s problems.The refrigerator, clothes washer, dishwasher, and dryer are checked to see if upgrading them makes sense.The auditor determines whether the furnace needs to be replaced, and if so, specifies the proper equipment. He or she even evaluates the lighting to suggest the most costeffective locations for CFLs.And then that auditor will deliver the unvarnished goods: the solutions that will make the house more comfortable, healthier, and more energy efficient. Hughes is strongly opposed to highpressure sales techniques or attempts to sell a family more fixes ...

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