Virginia New Construction Quote

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by New2Geo2020, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. New2Geo2020

    New2Geo2020 New Member

    We are building a new home in Virginia. We are using a reputable builder that works in the nicest communities, but that does not have a lot of geo experience. We told the builder we were interested in a Water Furnace system for the home. The home will be two levels on a basement. Total above grade square footage is about 5,200, roughly 3,000 on the first and 2,000 on the second. The basement is another 3,000, but will be finished later.

    The builder was only able to find one vendor for the job. The vendor quoted two 4Ton GeoStar Aston units, one for the basement and first floor and the second for the upper floor. Each would have their own IntelliZone thermostat. The field will be a closed horizontal loop. The system comes with a 10-year parts and labor warranty.

    The new build comes standard with a 14 Seer Trane propane furnace on the main and a heat pump for the second floor. After receiving a credit for not using this system, the quote for the GeoStar system adds an additional $105,000 (+/- $10,000 depending on ground conditions) to the cost.

    Perhaps I had unrealistic expectations, but I didn't even know what to say. I suspect the return on that investment would be decades. Is this really what geothermal costs?
  2. SShaw

    SShaw Active Member Forum Leader

    Sounds quite high to me. Looks like that unit is a rebranded WF 5 Series. Let's assume you got a $10K credit for the old system, making the total price ~$115K.

    That's about $57,500 each for two WF5 4T systems. There are a lot of available options on that system and options for variable speed pumps that can raise the price, but you didn't list any of those details.

    I was quoted substantially less than that to retrofit a single 4T 5 Series with all the options: dual capacity, Intellistart, Symphony WiFi stat, all the monitoring sensors, variable speed flow center, and Intellizone2 zoning. I would expect new construction to be be cheaper, since the install should be easier before all the walls are in.

    I would look for another installer and get more quotes. I would also want to personally vet the installer myself, since not many HVAC installers are very familiar with geo.

    Where in Virginia?
  3. New2Geo2020

    New2Geo2020 New Member

    Midway between Richmond and DC.
  4. SShaw

    SShaw Active Member Forum Leader

    My installation is midway between Fredericksburg and Richmond. You should be able to find a couple dealers in your area, but finding a good one could take some work. Your builder probably doesn't want to be bothered with it. He might be adding a lot of money on top of the dealer's price to dissuade you and/or cover the risk and hassle.
  5. New2Geo2020

    New2Geo2020 New Member

    Thank you. We're very close to Fredericksburg. If you have a dealer recommendation for this area (and it isn't forbidden by the rules of the forum), please PM it to me.
  6. SShaw

    SShaw Active Member Forum Leader

    If you PM me the city your place is in I'll ask my guy if he's willing to come that far. He'd probably travel a ways for two systems.
  7. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    Cost seems high to me too. Looks like you got a $0 credit for the Trane furnace and second floor air source heat pump and then he is tacking on a "If I have to deal with this, I'm going to make a lot of money for my trouble" premium onto the price. Is this vertical bores or horizontal loops? That can make a difference too - horizontal being generally cheaper and with the ground all messed up from construction less worry about destroying an existing landscape. The house square footage seems like it might be two large systems too. You would think most installers would covet that opportunity.
  8. New2Geo2020

    New2Geo2020 New Member

    Thanks. It was proposed as a horizontal loop system. There is no existing landscape and the lot is fairly flat and about six acres, with at least three next to the house that are already cleared. Are you saying that you believe the systems are too small for the square footage of the home?
  9. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    right, so horizontal loop with no worries about landscape destruction so the price should be much cheaper than quoted.

    I didn't mean to imply anything regarding ground source heat pump unit sizing - I consider a 4T unit a large residential system. I would think that an installer would want the opportunity to drive to and install two systems rather than one.

    If the downstairs unit will eventually be heating and cooling the basement in addition to the first floor, that unit might be too small at 4T but its hard to tell from the information provided. If there is any future plan to heat or cool a currently unfinshed space (such as the basement), I would probably at least design the loop field to accommodate that and probably install piping in the ground and bring it into the basement and capping it for future use (or use now too - bigger heat exchangers are never frowned upon). This will save digging up the yard and making an extreme mess/destroying landscaping in the future. A couple of extra trenches are easy to dig when you have the equipment already there and pipe costs peanuts to install when access is easy.
  10. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    That sounds crazy high. May be better off going with your builders stock HVAC system and having a dedicated geothermal installer come out afterwards and retrofit. Based on that pricing, I think you can save tens of thousands.

    Sounds like too much HVAC for size of house. I do like the idea of two systems, but the right size may be a pair of 3 ton units, or maybe a 4 ton down and 3 ton upstairs. Get a serious contractor who will do heat loads before sizing a system. With that much property, you can always oversize your loop field for minimal additional cost. Its a much safer et to go with Waterfurnace 7 Series to have more flex capacity around uncertain load in new consruction. Much more efficient across a wider range of load conditions.

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