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Wood Heat Advice Template?

Post in 'New Forum Hints and your Questions & Suggestions!' started by Kosmik, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    *Edit* A "questionnaire" is a more accurate term.

    Did a quick search of the forum and didn't find a template.
    I use them a lot in other forums.
    Real useful so 20 people don't have to pull teeth to get where you need to be.

    So this is just a short brainstorm of what I could come up with.
    Just looking for content right now, we could tailor them for different sub-forums and make em pretty later.
    But seeing as the same questions come up time and time again, templates are especially helpful aids.

    And trying to not be too invasive on the lifestyle portion, but some info does help in people here providing opinions.

    Anyways: Questions, comments, concerns, or additions are all welcomed.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2roucXE3-ZTVVhHNnA4OFZxaWc/edit?usp=sharing

    Couldn't upload file, so I put it in Google Drive. Original file is OpenOffice, but any spreadsheet app should open it.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I don't understand if this is a question, statement, or who we is,,,,,, therefore it sounds like a suggestion so I'm moving it to that room.

    pen
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you talking about a flow chart of some type?

    In 1982 I started writing a BASIC program for our store.....to help folks decide the same kind of stuff. I guess it could be distilled down......but you'd have to have either a single person or small committee do it (IMHO) so there are not too many chiefs.

    I think it would work best as an HTML 5 type of thing...maybe even an app. Stove selector.

    Is that what you are trying to get at?
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think he means a questionaire that covers all the basics like location, house sq ftg, stove location, yadda yadda so that it doesn't take 20 questions to get to the basics. This is what I got from the Google site:
    House Information:
    Location:
    Avg lowest temperatures
    (jan/feb):
    House Style:
    Stories:
    Basement?
    Square Feet Total
    (to be heated)
    Does this include the basement?:
    Insulation (Rfactor, type, thickness, other)
    Roof
    Walls
    Basement Walls
    Basement Floor
    Windows
    Size,number
    Placement
    Condition/Type
    Electric
    grid tied (y/n)
    backup power source
    Current heat source, fuel usage and temperature maintained.
    Woodlot/Acreage
    Solar Exposure
    Alternate heat/power sources
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Some of that and other stuff is suggested in the sticky at the top of the Hearth Room:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/read-before-posting-or-answering-which-new-stove-to-buy.115094/

    Sometimes it's simple, but many times it's not.

    I guess one question is whether this is for the person themselves...who fills it out? Or it is for them to answer and then show others and ask which stoves they should consider?

    The first use is OK - as a checklist. The second I would be wary of because, frankly, very few people are willing to read, grok and then properly suggest what the output of the form should be! It's more fuzzy than that.....IMHO. Like "what does the wife like?" "What is the style of the room?".

    Maybe I'm jaded from so many years selling stoves. Most customers I ran into were not 24/7/365 "get the best possible for the area" types, but rather had lots of other concerns...from whether the stove gets very hot (convection or radiant), can they cook on it, etc. etc.
  6. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    Yeah, questionnaire. Sorry that wasn't clearer. Not stove selector. Cleans it up for people trying to help the OP as most the information gets captured on first post.
    This one is from a computer site.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/353572-31-build-upgrade-advice

    Just helps to get basic things out of the way up front.
    I'll admit, my upload didn't look pretty.

    But I've seen questionnaires tailored on other forums for more specific diagnosis too (why isn't my secondary working??? Could be an adaptation)
    I spent hours reading all the 'read first' threads, and hope others do too.
    But in the interest of spreading the knowledge and people having less time than me (because many times questions are posted that make it seem they didn't read the suggested threads).
    Questionnaires become a quick way to get through some of the traditional back and forth that goes on in a thread.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, these are good ideas - if, for nothing else, to have a template in the wiki or elsewhere linked so folks can understand the complex issues.


    My pet peeve is "have a relevant thread title". I see threads titled "take a look at this" or "let me know what you think", rather than containing the actual subject!
    pen likes this.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    "Newbie Here"
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    There are various things which go along these lines...

    notice when you create a thread in the Pellet Price reviews, a special guide comes up on top:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/forums/wood-pellet-pricing-reports.29/create-thread

    Also, there is a way to have the first post in particular forums have some "ghost text" in them (erases when you start typing) which says stuff like "Make sure you title the thread accurately and put any relevant information in the thread", etc.
  10. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    Well, I'll clean up what I have into a questionnaire format soon and we'll compile from there.
    Probably easiest to have a 1-2 page questionnaire with the basics just copy, and post answers in different font color. Way it was done on another forum.

    "Question"
    User Response

    Otherwise probably have to put it in Adobe for fillable fields.

    Flowchart would probably be great for problem diagnosis and explaining complex issues. Why is my stove overfiring? Why aren't my secondaries working? New to wood burning prep list. Ect.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  11. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    Alright, first question will be...
    "Look at your thread title! Is it relevant? Is it specific? If it reads "Newbie Here", "Help!" or "Creosote?".... Please go back and define. "Newbie here, I can't get a fire lit", "Help, the house is on fire" or "Creosote? How long does it burn in your chimney?"
  12. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Go too far here and it ends up being helpful like the automated machine is when you call a company / business on the phone.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A guy was gonna do this three years ago. Went and started his own site for it and went away in a year.

    We have been doing it this way for 19 years and it ain't broke.
  14. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I think a good part of the reason that works is because there is a nice influx of new members who learn and don't mind answering some of those questions that tend to get monotonous after being around for years and years.

    I think people generally really respond to the personalized feedback to their request, even if it is something they could have easily found in a search. Also, the back and forth it takes to get all the right info out of someone very rarely aggravates a new member but rather helps them understand how folks here come to the conclusion of what is best for them.

    Just food for thought, not knocking the original idea here, just wanted to be sure to point out what I think makes this place special and longstanding.

    pen
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    "fill out the template", "RTFM", "search is your friend" and other stuff like that are what people compliment h.c. for not putting them through when they have a question.

    I would be interested in links to some of these sites mentioned that use templates to take a look at them.
  16. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Doesn't seem like our style. Also, I'm not sure where "Help me find a stove for my house" ranks in the list of thread subject frequency.
  17. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    Well I guess I shouldn't say a lot of websites. I only use a couple forums.
    The Toms Hardware above
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/353572-31-build-upgrade-advice

    Then this one is from a gardening site, for people trying to diagnose problems.

    "ARE YOU USING?

    SOIL:

    How long has this problem been going on?
    What plant species are you growing?
    What was the establishing technique? (seed or clone?)
    What is the age of your plants?
    How long have they been in the soil mixture they are in now?
    Were they in the same mixture when they were seedlings/smaller plant? If not, what mixture were they in before?
    How Tall are the plants?
    What PHASE (seedling, vegetative or flower) are the plants in?
    What size pots are you using? (Include how many subjects to pot)
    What substrate/medium are you using? What brand of soil mixture are you using?(percentage of perlite, vermiculite...etc?)
    What brand Nutrient's are you using?
    How much of each nutrient are you using with how much water? *Knowing the brand is very helpful*
    How often are you feeding?
    If flowering, when did you switch over to using Bloom nutrients?
    What order are you mixing your nutrients? (example: veg nutes 1st, bloom 2nd ect)
    What is the TDS/EC/PPM of your nutrients used?
    What is the pH of the "RUN-OFF"?
    How often are you testing pH/ppm/EC/TDS?
    What method of pH test was administered? Using Strips? pH pen?
    How often are you watering?
    When was your last feeding and how often are you feeding?
    "

    No worries. If it's not the style, I won't bother. Just basically be a cleaned up (more complete) version of post #4.
    Been busy last few days, but snow in the forecast so time may free up to clean up my content and post it.

    The real advantage of questionnaires like these is just so that most needed information gets captured on first post and not buried later on in the thread. That is basically what prompted my post/question/poll?
  18. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    Well here is a draft ready for comments, questions, concerns.

    Basic Information Questionnaire:

    Tells us a bit about your house:
    What is your approximate location?
    What 'style' of house is it?
    Do you have cathedral ceilings?
    How many stories excluding basement?
    Do you have a basement?
    What is the square foot measurement of the space to be heated?
    How well is it insulated:

    Estimate R-factor for;
    Roof/Attic?
    Exterior walls?
    Basement walls?
    Basement floor/lowest heated floor?
    If have basement, is insulation exterior or interior of concrete(foundation)?

    Windows: (some people can probably answer this better than me, but since has a big effect on heating a structure, should probably be included).

    Does you house have electricity?
    Backup power?

    What is your house's current heat source?
    How much of your fuel do you use in a heating season?
    What is the temperature you maintain in your house during heating season?

    Will wood heat be your primary heat source?
    If secondary heat source, what will be your primary?
    If secondary heat source, how much heating are you trying to accomplish?
    What is your motivating factor for wood heating? (trying to get rid of the oil man, the electric company is ripping me off, I like the warmth of wood heating, I like watching the fire, ect.)

    What is your budget for this project?
    Can you deal with temperature fluctuations, or does a constant temperature need to be maintained?
    How long will you be gone for any given time during the heating season? (never, just for work, days on end, weeks at a time)
    Do you have wood CSS (cut-split-stacked) yet?
    When do you plan to put the wood heating device into operation?

    Will you be using the existing chimney?
    Has it been inspected? By who?
  19. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    Abort, Retry, Fail?
  20. bobdog2o02

    bobdog2o02 Minister of Fire

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    Reported,

    Sorry, I think this is a useful idea. I'm on a jeep forum where we use a similar format. Not as lengthy but it is intended to id the components on each vehicle. It is VERY useful. most people are newer and looking for easy fixes and the short list of vehicle info helps id the electronics and major components on the vehicle, as well as locations of small nuisance components. This questionaire could be helpfull here if condensed a bit.
  21. Kosmik

    Kosmik Member

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    Cool.
    Wish to comment on which to remove, or just copy/paste your condensed version?

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