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SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/28/24 8:44 p.m.

I have a friend that is building a new house. He was excited to share with me that he was installing an HVAC system with a SEER rating of 26 so that he didn't have to pay high energy bills.  The cost?  It was a $60,000 upgrade.

I asked him what he was doing for insulation and to improve the building envelope. He said, "Oh you know... standard stuff."  R-13 fiberglass batts in the walls, R-30 blown-in in the attic.  No spray foam, no increased performance in the walls or roof. Standard wall sheathing.  Ducts in attic outside the building envelope.  No special attention to vapor barrier and performance sealants.

What a waste. I figure he should pay off that $60K in savings on his electric bill in about 67 years.  frown

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle UberDork
2/28/24 9:36 p.m.
11GTCS said:

Anyone that estimates cooling capacity by "square footing" the building is guessing at best.   

This is correct. Sadly it's the way about 98% of residential HVAC contractors operate. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/29/24 1:01 a.m.

In reply to OHSCrifle :

It's not just HVAC. It's all residential trades (and GCs)

Now a lot of contractors have switched to something worse than square footage pricing. Now a lot of them price their labor as a match to the material costs. If your deck will include $5000 in materials, their labor will be 2X materials ($10K). 
 

It's a totally stupid way to "price" a job (it's not pricing at all). 

the_machina
the_machina Reader
2/29/24 10:36 a.m.

For building efficiency, you can consider going with an insulated roof deck and making the attic part of conditioned space in the building, that way all your air handling is in conditioned space. Zip sheathing, using something like Aero Barrier to get air sealing way up, etc. Could also go with monopoly-home construction so that you end up with a super efficient envelope.

Modern HVAC can have multiple speeds on the blower fan, and if you run the blower fan slower it removes more moisture without cooling the house as much, and acts as a dehumidifier. Doesn't work if you need to dehumidify when the air is 50 degrees, but great for when it's in the 70's.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/29/24 11:53 a.m.

One more thing about square footage pricing...

I agree it's a dumb way to price construction services. 
 

BUT, square footage pricing is how appraisers and tax assessors value property, so ultimately the construction work (and associated lending) IS tied to square footage.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/29/24 12:56 p.m.
SV reX said:

I have a friend that is building a new house. He was excited to share with me that he was installing an HVAC system with a SEER rating of 26 so that he didn't have to pay high energy bills.  The cost?  It was a $60,000 upgrade.

I asked him what he was doing for insulation and to improve the building envelope. He said, "Oh you know... standard stuff."  R-13 fiberglass batts in the walls, R-30 blown-in in the attic.  No spray foam, no increased performance in the walls or roof. Standard wall sheathing.  Ducts in attic outside the building envelope.  No special attention to vapor barrier and performance sealants.

What a waste. I figure he should pay off that $60K in savings on his electric bill in about 67 years.  frown

The year we upgraded our ac/furnace with a larger heat pump unit we also blew in another 8" of insulation, added insulated vinyl siding and replaced both leaky old sliding doors with new ones. Cut our electric bills in half overall and about 30% off the peaks. But we paid $5500 for our heat pump unit, $12k in the siding installed and $1000 in two doors installed. 

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/29/24 12:59 p.m.

First rough quote came in. High, but I was expecting that. $325-450k depending on how silly we go with cabinets, flooring, hardware etc. Thats all in including well, septic, 10' garage ceilings and all the impact fees. 

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso UltraDork
3/1/24 8:39 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

That sounds more reasonable than I would expected in todays market. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
3/15/24 8:36 a.m.

annnnnnnnd we are now Florida people. Almost. At least we now own the property. 

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
3/15/24 9:20 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Congrats.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
3/15/24 9:51 a.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Now I can grow my hair out and wear flip flops all the time

 

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
3/15/24 10:30 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

You could have done that before but now you won't be a poser.

iansane
iansane Dork
3/15/24 10:56 a.m.

Congrats, time to get crazy.

jmabarone
jmabarone HalfDork
3/18/24 7:02 a.m.

don't forget the jorts

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