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New barn

Adittmer

5 year old buck +
That guys on crack, I paid $1,400 for the tubes installed and $5,800 for a Bosch 151k btu combi boiler installed. That boiler will run our entire barn in northern Wisconsin. 36x72’ with 18ft side walls. I’d get another bid or buy the tubes and run them yourself it’s not very hard. Good luck with your build.


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
We got estimates from several different barn builders for the barn itself. He was far from the most expensive overall. It could simply be that because I'm far enough south that heat pumps are common, he is not set up for it. As I recall, he said something about needing a different cement truck. Codes could be different between our locations. I would think that anything that is commonly done in a a general location becomes commoditized and competition drops prices. In areas where it is uncommon, there is probably some fear and doubt in the the estimation process.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I met with the HVAC sub today. He seems very knowledgeable. He is going to try to get as close to the builders original allowance for HVAC as he can. I've decided against dual fuel due to cost. We are looking at a traditional heat pump and a Mitsubishi split system with multiple zones. I'll wait to see the pricing to make the call, but I'm leaning toward the latter. I've done a little homework and they are much more efficient. I think the installation will be less effort and cost as well than a ducted system.

They made some progress on the barn this week:

cdd039f9-c37b-496b-9b21-0a7bbae2b9f5.jpg


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Thanks,

Jack
 

Rit

5 year old buck +
I met with the HVAC sub today. He seems very knowledgeable. He is going to try to get as close to the builders original allowance for HVAC as he can. I've decided against dual fuel due to cost. We are looking at a traditional heat pump and a Mitsubishi split system with multiple zones. I'll wait to see the pricing to make the call, but I'm leaning toward the latter. I've done a little homework and they are much more efficient. I think the installation will be less effort and cost as well than a ducted system.

They made some progress on the barn this week:

cdd039f9-c37b-496b-9b21-0a7bbae2b9f5.jpg


cf41a5ee-4cf9-4c53-922a-996bf9c0b339.jpg


1120089e-8a00-4aaf-8f2b-e6b8ce33a1c8.jpg


Thanks,

Jack
I have a mini-split in my patio. It’s mounted thru the wall. Efficiency is the name of the game. Patio is 350 sq ft built on a concrete slab but also has 20’ ceilings at the peak. Entire patio is windows. That thing is more than enough to heat or cool and we don’t notice it in the pocketbook when it’s used every day. We generally only heat with it but it runs 24/7 from October until probably May. I was looking at heat pumps before we decided on Geo-thermal. The mini-split was the result of a ducting calculation error by the geo installer. I paid for the concrete to be cut and they undersized the duct work. They installed the mini-split for free as a “we are sorry”. I’d say at peak winter it may add $15-20 a month to the electric bill. We closed off the geo vents and only heat the patio with the mini-split. I wouldn’t hesitate to install another mini-split if the need ever arose. 6 years strong with no issues on the one we have now.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I have a mini-split in my patio. It’s mounted thru the wall. Efficiency is the name of the game. Patio is 350 sq ft built on a concrete slab but also has 20’ ceilings at the peak. Entire patio is windows. That thing is more than enough to heat or cool and we don’t notice it in the pocketbook when it’s used every day. We generally only heat with it but it runs 24/7 from October until probably May. I was looking at heat pumps before we decided on Geo-thermal. The mini-split was the result of a ducting calculation error by the geo installer. I paid for the concrete to be cut and they undersized the duct work. They installed the mini-split for free as a “we are sorry”. I’d say at peak winter it may add $15-20 a month to the electric bill. We closed off the geo vents and only heat the patio with the mini-split. I wouldn’t hesitate to install another mini-split if the need ever arose. 6 years strong with no issues on the one we have now.

Thanks for the insight!
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Well, I'm on to the next decision. Now that I've abandon propane as a heat source for the living space in the barn, I'm considering hot water heater options. I'm considering a traditional electric HW heater and an electric tankless. In general, I'm not a fan of electric tankless as they have a hard time keeping up with water flow for a house, but the living space in the barn is more like a Tiny House. It will have a small stackable washer/dryer, shower (no bath tub), and utility sink. If all three operated together, the water flow would be about 4.5 gpm. In my area, the nominal ground water temp is supposed to be 57 degrees, but I think our well water at the farm might be a couple degrees colder. I've seen some electric units that are speced to get close to this for about $550 + installation. I'm going to need a pressure tank for the well pump. I don't think there is any issue oversizing a pressure tank in terms of the well pump, just undersizing it. So, if I get a large pressure tank and put it in the utility room of the barn, it should also act as a tempering tank. The water in it should be warmed to the ambient temperature of the living area. To be conservative, let's say 65 degrees. I think the electric tankless could easily handle that flow with this temperature differential. I looked at the Rheem RETEX-36 for specs.

Given that, I think it comes down to a cost benefit analysis.

Tankless -
  • About $150 more expensive than a 40 gal traditional tank. (lowes pricing)
  • Installation cost is higher. I looked at some average installation costs on the internet. Lots of variability depending on specifics, but the average difference is about $950.
  • Requires 150 amps. That means I'll need 400 amp service instead of 200 to the barn. That should not be a problem. I presume the cost of running power to the unit is in the in the install cost. Not sure about a sub-panel. Since I plan to run separate 200 amp service to the house, this should not be a problem.
  • The energy savings would be nominal compared to a 40 gal modern tank.
Tank -
  • Takes up a bit more space, but I did size the utility room for a tanked HW heater.
  • I could add a switch to turn off the power when the living space becomes spare bedrooms for guests and is empty.
  • Does have a tank to rust and leak in time.
I think I'm talking myself into a traditional tank, but I'd like to hear some opinions.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Lucky_P

5 year old buck +
Marathon water heater by Rheem...and probably other manufacturers have similar...have plastic tanks, guaranteed for life not to rust or leak. Also, so well insulated that there is almost no standby heat loss.
We had an 80 gal marathon that had a catastrphic leak, probably due to overheating/pressure rupture when at less than full when the county water system was shutoff due to a broken main, while we were not at home - this tank supplies infloor radiant heating as well as kitchen/laundry...no questions asked, Marathon gave us a new one to replace it.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Wow. Those are almost triple the cost of a steel tank. I just replaced the natural gas water heater in my house because the steel tank in my old one rusted out after about 15 years. The failure with steel tanks tends to be a slow leak for a while before something catastrophic happens which gave us a warning.
 

Rit

5 year old buck +
Wow. Those are almost triple the cost of a steel tank. I just replaced the natural gas water heater in my house because the steel tank in my old one rusted out after about 15 years. The failure with steel tanks tends to be a slow leak for a while before something catastrophic happens which gave us a warning.
Is it triple the cost if you never have to pay for another? I’m not sure when those things became available but I wish I had know 7 years ago when we replaced ours. I have two tanks a 50 and a 40. One is just a passive heat sink for the Geo but I would have surely looked hard at those.

Did you decide on the HVAC yet? I didn’t read up yet if so I’ll catch it.
 

bjseiler

5 year old buck +
I have tankless water heaters at home and the farm. Sometimes three bathrooms with people taking back to back showers, plus kitchen stuff going on, we've never ever run out of hot water. They are great.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Is it triple the cost if you never have to pay for another? I’m not sure when those things became available but I wish I had know 7 years ago when we replaced ours. I have two tanks a 50 and a 40. One is just a passive heat sink for the Geo but I would have surely looked hard at those.

Did you decide on the HVAC yet? I didn’t read up yet if so I’ll catch it.

I don't know when the electric water heater was installed in my house. I switched it out to natural gas when our HVAC died years ago. Just recently we had the gas HW tank leak. That took 15 years. I don't know if that is typical or not. We caught it when it developed a small leak, so there was no damage from a catastrophic failure. As the guy who has one demonstrates, the plastic tanks are not immune from catastrophic failure. So, triple the up front cost at 15 years per rust out, the payoff is 45 years.

I'm not sure that is true for everyone. Maybe I was lucky at 15 years and I know the water chemistry is more caustic in some areas then others.

Yes, I just made the call on HVAC. I met the HVAC guy at the barn and we worked through my objectives and the layout. He then went back and did several quotes. One was a traditional 1.5 ton heat pump with duct work and a 2 speed air handler. It came out o $9870 installed. He then quoted a split system Mitsubishi split system with 3 zones with in-ceiling 9K btu interior units and a standard 24K BTU outside heat pump installed. It came out to $8760. He then quoted the same Mitsubishi split system but with a "Hyper" 24K BTU outside unit that provides 100% heating capacity down to 5 degrees. It was $9840, about the same as the ducted standard heat pump.

I'm trying to balance cost with other things here. The budgeted allowance was only $6400 for HVAC which is probably on the low end. Our 10 year average low is 28 degrees. It is rare to have below zero days here. I have a bunch of oil filled electric heaters that I can use to supplement if things get too cold. I don't think the cost of the "Hyper" outside unit is worth it. We only plan to stay in it while the house is being built and I doubt we will often have guests in the dead of winter.

So, I settled on the $8760 unit. I like the high SEER rating of the split system compared to ducting.

Thanks,

Jack
 
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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I have tankless water heaters at home and the farm. Sometimes three bathrooms with people taking back to back showers, plus kitchen stuff going on, we've never ever run out of hot water. They are great.

Yes, I think the high BTU gas/propane tankless system are great. They have plenty of heating capacity for high flow water, especially with a tempering tank. I could not talk myself into an electric one. I'm still waiting on quotes for that, but I think the total cost will be too high. Since I've abandon propane for the barn, electric is the only option. There is very little in energy savings with electric since electric HW heaters are more efficient these days than they used to be. They are only a few percentage points more efficient. I do think the electric tankless could meet the low hot water usage needs of the barn, but I think it would be added cost with no real benefit.

I will probably go with a 40 gal electric tank and simply install a wall switch for the power. When we are not living in the barn, I'll shut it off unless guests arrive. I'll have more than an hour or two notice before guests would arrive and need hot water.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
We got estimates from several different barn builders for the barn itself. He was far from the most expensive overall. It could simply be that because I'm far enough south that heat pumps are common, he is not set up for it. As I recall, he said something about needing a different cement truck. Codes could be different between our locations. I would think that anything that is commonly done in a a general location becomes commoditized and competition drops prices. In areas where it is uncommon, there is probably some fear and doubt in the the estimation process.

Can't believe the prices you were quoted. We put in floor heating in our barn build. The barn is 40' x 90' with 17.5' high ceiling. Cost for all infloor tubing, instantaneous water heater, controls, plumbing, soft water system, etc. was $8k. The system also provides all hot water for kitchens, bathrooms, etc.

Best decision we made as I keep the barn at 64 F all winter and we have gotten down to -25 below. That is actual air temp for you sissies :emoji_scream: and I can work in the shop with a shot sleeve t-shirt.
 

Adittmer

5 year old buck +
We got estimates from several different barn builders for the barn itself. He was far from the most expensive overall. It could simply be that because I'm far enough south that heat pumps are common, he is not set up for it. As I recall, he said something about needing a different cement truck. Codes could be different between our locations. I would think that anything that is commonly done in a a general location becomes commoditized and competition drops prices. In areas where it is uncommon, there is probably some fear and doubt in the the estimation process.

Can't believe the prices you were quoted. We put in floor heating in our barn build. The barn is 40' x 90' with 17.5' high ceiling. Cost for all infloor tubing, instantaneous water heater, controls, plumbing, soft water system, etc. was $8k. The system also provides all hot water for kitchens, bathrooms, etc.

Best decision we made as I keep the barn at 64 F all winter and we have gotten down to -25 below. That is actual air temp for you sissies :emoji_scream: and I can work in the shop with a shot sleeve t-shirt.

Haha this is what I wanted to say but felt like I was holding a gun to his head, again I 100% agree with the above and would get a combo boiler and run all hot water & have it in the whole building. I’d fire the shit out of that contractor and find another one!


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Haha this is what I wanted to say but felt like I was holding a gun to his head, again I 100% agree with the above and would get a combo boiler and run all hot water & have it in the whole building. I’d fire the shit out of that contractor and find another one!


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Mid-west vs East coast. Washington DC/Richmond/Charlottesville triangle. I've got a good friend that works for an HVAC company where we currently live. Ge gave me a significant discount when we replaced our 70 gal gas water heater at home. I called a few places for comparison. They were by far the least expensive and it was $3.5 K. Everything is pricey around here. I've seen old shacks (in my opinion) selling for over $200K.

The barn builder who is acting as the general contractor was about mid-range when I got quotes for raw barns. Things that are easily shipped are much less expensive since folks can order them online and have them delivered. There is a lot more competition there. In the housing market or anything that requires local skilled labor is much more expensive.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
We went down this week. The barn structure itself is mostly done. The still need to install the big doors and do the spray-in insulation as well as pour the aprons. We happened to driving by around sunset so we stopped:

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Here is a daytime pic:
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They have done the framing for the living area:

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It will certainly be a tiny house while we are living in it. Close quarters test relationships :emoji_grin:

We spent several hours with the electrician working out wiring details. For now the plan is to run 400 amp service to the barn. There is a 200 amp disconnect installed. Depending on the power requirements for the future house, we have the option of running the 200 amp service from barn to house or using the 200 amp disconnect for future expansion in the barn and running a separate 400 amp service to the house if 200 amps is not enough.

The plan is to start trenching for the power next weekend. It will be about 1,000 yards of trenching. about 800 is through mature hardwoods. That will likely require a backhoe. My new neighbor has one and is willing to take on the work. We will probably just rent a trencher for the rest in the open.

Things are moving along.

Thanks,

Jack
 

swat1018

5 year old buck +
I have tankless water heaters at home and the farm. Sometimes three bathrooms with people taking back to back showers, plus kitchen stuff going on, we've never ever run out of hot water. They are great.

Gas or electric?
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
That is really an awesome barn Jack!! I may or not be a little jealous :emoji_relaxed:
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
That is really an awesome barn Jack!! I may or not be a little jealous :emoji_relaxed:

Yes, they have done a good job with the construction. There is still a long way to go. The need to spray in 1" of foam and install the overhead doors. In addition to finishing the living space, they need to put in the well and septic along with power. My neighbor has a backhoe and he is going to do the power trenching for me. It will be about 1,000 feet total for the power. The electrician will be wiring the living area, but I'll do the wiring and lighting in the barn after they are done to save on cost.
 

mtholton

5 year old buck +
I'm taking notes from you each step of the way! Thanks for sharing your progress!
 
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