Monday, September 30, 2013

Tips on buying land to build your custom home

Looking to buy a lot to build a custom home?

If you are looking to buy a piece of vacant land to build a custom home there are several things that you need to know that should affect the cost of the lot, the cost of building the home and the size and shape of the home that you will be able to construct.

Vacant property comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but there are some key things you should be aware of when looking at them. Here are a few of the more important ones;

Location. You have probably heard the real estate slogan Location, Location, Location. This rings true with vacant land. The cost of the lot will be directly related to where the lot is situated.

Depending on the township or municipality the lot is located in, it will directly affect the cost of the building and development fees. These fees can be as low as a couple of thousand dollars or in certain places it can be over 30 thousand dollars for a normal house building permit.

Rural lots will have more privacy but pose some challenges. You need to supply your own water, septic system and there will probably be no access to natural gas. City lots that are serviced may come with a sewer and water connection fee when you plan to build your home that will be above the cost of the building permit.

Certain areas are protected areas. They can have building restrictions that will make it harder to build on the property, it can limit the size, shape, height and also the look or style of the home you want to construct.

Lot size, shape and topography. When your looking at property to build a custom home you need to understand that not all properties are created equal. The lay of the land will play a lot into what you build.

If you want a walkout basement then you should be looking for property that has a grade sloping away from where you want to place the house and towards where you want the house to face. Depending on how deep your basement is going to be will be affected by the slope of the land. Too steep of a lot and you are living on a hill which is not enjoyable, too flat and you will have to pay to bring in fill to grade up to the house to create the walkout basement.

Make sure the property is big enough for your requirements. If you want a large home with many out buildings then you are going to want a larger piece of property that isn’t going to look crowded when you have them all constructed. There are percentage limits on land, you are only allowed to cover a certain percentage of the property with buildings, this will vary depending on what municipality you are in.

Odd shaped lots can be a waste of space, they can force you into building a home that is not the size or shape that you want. You could end with setback problems and have no room for out buildings or decks.

Warning signs to look out for when buying vacant land,  here are some simple things to look for when you are touring through vacant land.

If the lot looks like it is in a low lying area then you could have a problem with ground water. This could affect whether you are able to have a full basement and if you will have flooding or water infiltration problems.

Where is the power? It costs money to bring electricity to your property. If you buy land on a road that doesn’t have a power line yet then you could end up spending thousands of dollars to have the local utility install poles and string power lines down the road.

What shape is the road in? In rural areas some roads that have little or no residences on them are not maintained by the municipality. If this is the case and the road is smaller than the new standards then you will be forced to pay to have the road re-built to township or county standards, you will have to do this before you are issued a building permit. This can cost up to a 100,000 dollars! Once you have the road built to there standards then the municipality will maintain it for you.

Check to see if you have a cell signal on your phone. This is a simple way to tell if you have the ability to have internet. Not all rural lots have access to internet.

Look at the neighbouring properties and see where on them the houses are built, how they are built, the style they are built and how long ago they were built. The style of the home will affect the end cost of building them.

These are just some of the things that you need to be aware of when you are looking to buy vacant land to build your dream custom home.

It would be a good idea if you were to hire the general contractor that you want to build your home to look with you. For a small consulting fee most contractors are happy to do this for you.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trends in heating systems in custom homes 2013

Heating system trends 2013

The trends in homes and renovations coming in to 2013, a lot of the things that we did in the 2012 construction year were the same as in previous years. But there were things that became trends in 2012 with more and more home owners opting for them leading into 2013 creating trends. I am focusing on the heating systems that are being installed in new homes and renovations and where they are trending.

Heating Systems

Here is a list of things that have stayed the same over the last couple of years;

In town natural gas high efficiency furnaces are still the most commonly installed heating system.

New custom homes that do not have access to natural gas are all by a rule installing geothermal heating.

Conventional hot water tanks are still the most popular way to heat hot water in town and in the country.

HRV’s are standard in all new homes that are now built.

Heating of bathroom tiled floors is done with electric mats that are controlled per room, making for a more enjoyable experience when stepping out of the shower on to warm tiles.

Here is a list of the trends that are gaining momentum this year;

Ductless heat pumps are becoming by far the most popular way to heat or cool area’s of a home that have been renovated or added too.

Air-to-Air heat pumps are one the most popular choices lately to make your heating system more energy efficient whether you live in town or in the country. This system is becoming so popular because it is basically an add on to your existing furnace without too much interior renovations required.

Flash boilers that run on natural gas are growing in popularity for new homes. There is a rise in people wanting in-floor heat; with in-floor heat you require a flash boiler which also gives you on-demand hot water.

A disturbing trend in new homes is people opting out of installing air conditioners. Whether it is the extra cost of installing it or the fact that they believe they do not require it a lot more people are opting out. New homes must be climate controlled and without air conditioning that can’t be achieved.

Multiple thermostats are a rapidly growing trend; this allows the home to be better regulated with heating and cooling. You can set the temperature of the different zones of the home to whatever you require, different levels of the home can have different temperature settings.

Smart thermostats are being more popular; with the growing smart phone market people want to be able to control the climate in their home from anywhere in the world, smart thermostats do that with a phone or internet connection.

Fume hoods in kitchens are getting larger and with that growth mechanical contractors are being forced to install “make up air” systems in the furnace. This system helps stop the depressurization of the home when all the air is being sucked out by the fume hood by adding more air then normal into the duct system to make up for it.

Steam humidifiers are becoming more popular; people are trying to avoid the overly dry air they end with through the heating season.

Multi stage furnaces are more readily available and the bigger the home the more it’s being demanded. The multi-stage allows for better energy efficiency and that is one of the biggest trends in today’s homeowners.

These are the main trends in the Heating systems of new and renovated custom homes for 2013.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Designing an area to do their homework

The school year is a new beginning, not just for the kids but for you too. Take this opportunity to provide loved ones with a creative learning environment. Adding new home d├ęcor items will keep them organized and you happy with all the clutter neatly put away. It’s not just about making a room look nice, it’s about functionality and feel.

Designating an area or a desk will help them know where they can go to get homework done.

Filing cabinets are half the battle to winning the organization game.

Brightly coloured cans that can house school supplies keep the work surface clutter free but also easily visible.

A very comfortable chair is essential, there is no need to be rushing to get work done because of neck pain.

Proper lighting is so important! Get a good task lamp for reading and writing. You can even change the ceiling fixture to something that throws off more light in that area to help out where dark corners persist.

You'll be amazed by how much your surroundings will motivate you.


This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc.  If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at www.robabbott@villagebuilders.ca

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What is a primary electrical line?

Q:

My contractor says that we have to install a new primary electrical line to the house, what is that?

A:

The primary electrical line is the electrical line that comes from the nearest hydro pole or hydro vault to the electrical panel in your home. This is the main feed of electricity for your home, without it you wouldn’t have electricity at all.

There are two types of primary electrical lines;

1. The overhead primary electrical line; this is the line that comes from the nearest hydro pole through the air to your house. It is usually connected to a metal pole called a mast that is mounted high up on your house usually on the roof or the top of a gable. The wire runs down the mast into the meter on the side of your house, from there it runs into your home through the wall and into the back of the electrical panel. Because the line is strung from your house to the pole it is easily visible and can be damaged from extreme weather or tree branches.

2. The underground primary electrical line; this is the electrical line that comes from a hydro pole, or hydro vault underground across your property until it comes to your hydro meter. From the hydro meter it then enters your home through the wall and runs into the back of your hydro panel. Because the line is underground it isn’t affected by weather or tree branches. It is in danger of being dug up when work is being done on the property that evolves having to excavate the ground. It can also be damaged depending on the soil type around it, rocks or hard clay can pinch or break the line if there is movement in the soil from frost or vehicle traffic over top of it.

Usually if your contractor is telling you that they have to change your primary electrical line it is because your house is not receiving the correct amount of electricity to properly run everything in it. That shows up when you are using a lot of electricity, for example in the middle of the summer the air conditioner along with several appliances sometimes will be running all at the same time putting a high demand on the line for electricity. Another way that you exceed the electrical capacity is if you are adding to your home in a renovation or addition then you could exceed the current power supply and need to upgrade that line.

Thanks for the question

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Roll-off systems for your construction company

Going to a roll-off system

Are you getting tired of fixing trailer lights, getting the trailer safeties, repairing tires and fixing hitches? Get rid of the trailers and switch over to a roll-off system.

Roll-off systems aren’t just for large container companies, they can be put on a truck that is licensed for the average worker. This means that you don’t have to employ a transport driver just to drive around and pick up garbage or drop off material to your jobsites.

Roll-off systems are fairly simple things when you brake them down to their individual parts and look at them.

You take a 1 ton pick up truck or a small scale transport tractor, take whatever is off the back and install a system that has two slide rails, under the slide rails you install hydraulic pistons to lift the rails up on an angle. These rails are the guide system that holds on whatever you want to have on the back of the truck, it can be a garbage bin, flat deck, storage container or even a site trailer without wheels. These loaded items get rails attached to them as well and these rails when interlocked with the rails on the truck hold the item straight and level on the back.

Then you have a large winch attached at the top of the rails near the cap of the truck. The winch is what pulls on and lets slide off what ever item  you want.

As you raise the pistons you release the winch allowing whatever you have to slide or roll off the truck onto the ground. If you are taking a full garbage bin to the dump then you simple raise the pistons without releasing the winch, with the back of the garbage bin open the truck now acts as a dump truck.

With this type of system you can roll-off whatever container you want and pull on another one. So you can drop your garbage container at a jobsite and then go pick up your flat deck to move equipment or pick up material. Instead of having a jobsite trailer you can have a jobsite container, you don’t have to worry if the lights aren't working or the brakes have been replaced. The only thing you have to worry about is the truck and its lights and brakes.

Going to this kind of system will take your maintenance costs way down from where they are now. You will not be fixing trailers and worrying about having the proper paperwork filled out. All you have to worry about is one truck and what comes along with owning that truck.

The company that we have been using for this is called On-Trux Roll offs, they build a high end roll-off system that can be installed on any type of large truck whether it is a small or large transport or a larger conventional pick up truck.

What you might find is that you are able to do a lot more with less, less trucks and less trailers.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What is a construction punch list?

Q:

What is a punch list?

A:

A punch list in construction is a list of minor items that need to be completed or corrected before the project is considered finished and the final payment is made. In most cases, the contractor and client walk through the home and generate the list together.

Where does the practice get its name? In the days before computers, the builder would reportedly generate a written list and then punch holes next to items as they were completed.

The amount of money that is held back is proportionate to the amount the punch list would be worth.

For example; if the main things on the punch list require the builder to fill some drywall nail pops and do some repainting over these area’s then they amount of money that is held back is relatively small. If there are major issues such as the windows are all the installed wrong and they require replacing then the amount of money held back would be far greater.

Punch lists are created by the builder and the homeowner together and not by one party or the other, the punch list is a collaboration between the two parties because there are always things that need to be done in a new home that are not the builders responsibility under the original contract. The items that are not under the original contract are considered extra’s and therefore are not placed on the punch list. There is no money held back from these extras because they will be done at an extra cost above and beyond the original project.

The main thing a punch list does is put the builder and the homeowner on the same page when it comes to deciding on what the requirements are for the two parties to consider the job completed.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How do allowances in custom home budgets work?

Q:
How do allowances work?

A:

Allowances allocate funds to parts of the job that haven't been fully specified at the time of the contract signing.

When pricing a custom home or renovation the budget or even the fixed price is based on the plans supplied by the homeowner. These plans can be drawn by a draftsmen or by an architect, depending on the level of detail that you purchased from these professionals will depend on the overall accuracy of the quote.

For example when you have house plans drawn they will give you detailed overheads of things like the kitchen and bathrooms. An overhead shows what is in the room like a toilet, sink, shower but it doesn’t show what they look like or of what the make and model would be. Because of this we have to make an educated guess on what you want your bathroom fixtures to be, the simple American standard toilet can be 200 dollars, but if it was a Kolher toilet it would cost 500 dollars. So when we budget we make a decision on the overall feel of the house, if the home looks like they want a high standard of finishing then our budget will reflect this with a higher number for the bathroom fixtures. If we think the house is on a tight budget we will budget for a lower amount for the bathroom fixtures.

Just because we have budgeted a certain figure or “allowance” doesn’t mean that you are required to stick to that number. As the homeowner you can upgrade above that amount or downgrade to save yourself money. All an allowance does is give the client or homeowner an idea of what it will cost and a goal to work with so that you have some semblance of the amount you are spending.

Usually when we budget for a house we end up with at least 1 dozen allowances for different things in the home. At the end when the project is completed and you add up all the bills we are you usually within 10% above or below the total amount of allowances. Because every allowance is priced individually you are able to see where you have been able to save money and where you have exceeded your budget. Building a custom home can take up to a year and it doesn't take long to forget if you have already gone over the allowance on certain areas. Pricing individual allowances allows you then to adjust your spending on the remaining allowances to come in budget or under budget to help balance out your spending.

This is one reason why you should always choose a quality contractor that is able to price and build your home; they need to have the experience to make a proper educated allowance in the budget when they price it for you. These allowances could be the reason you stay on budget or end up over.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What is an OC or Occupancy permit?

Q:
What is an OC or Occupancy permit?

A:

OC stands for Occupancy Permit. The Occupancy Permit is issued by the local building department; it signifies that the house is safe for people to inhabit. It doesn’t mean that the house is finished; it means that if someone moved in to the new home then they would be able to use the home without the worry of injuring themselves, things such as railings or guardrails must be installed. The home must also be able to sustain human life at its normal level, things such as water hot and cold, light, toilets, showers, electrical systems and heating units all have to be properly functioning.

There are safety systems that must be in place before the OC permit will be issued, things such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly installed and working. The gas proofing layer between the attached garage and the rest of the home must be completely intact with no gaps or holes.

When talking about electrical, all plugs and switches have to be installed and if they are not installed then there must be cover plates to protect people from accidental electrical shock. All GFI’s in the bathrooms must be installed and functioning and there must be at minimum one working light per room that is functional.

There is one more inspection that must be completed after the occupancy permit and it is called the final inspection. To be given the final inspection your landscaping and grading must be properly completed.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, September 13, 2013

What is hot water recirculation?

Q:

What is hot water recirculation?

A:

A hot water recirculation system uses a small pump attached to the hot water line to a home's showers, tubs, and faucets that circulate cold water out of the line to deliver hot water faster thus mitigating the amount of water wasted as you wait for it to heat up (called lag time). Often activated by a switch or button in the kitchen or baths, the system can reduce lag time to a matter of seconds instead of minutes, reducing water use at those locations by 30 percent or more.

The circulation pump is usually placed in the mechanical room or crawlspace of the home near the rest of the components that run a modern home. Circulation pumps are easily installed by a licensed plumber at the time the house is built or after as a retro-fit. The retro-fit is a little more difficult at the switch end up still do-able.

No matter what type of system you have to heat water you will end up with water cooling in the hot water feed lines unless you use your hot water to such an extent that it doesn’t have time to cool. Most people do not have that big of families or that many people lining up to use the water.

So the next time you turn on the tub and you wait for the cold water to stop coming out think about a circulation pump, it might just what you need.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Minimize Stress and Maximize Sanity when going through your remodel

Minimize Stress and Maximize Sanity

A good remodeler will have systems in place for making the experience a positive one for the homeowners.
Remodeling a home can be stressful. Savvy homeowners choose a remodeler who will make it less so. But beyond making certain the company is licensed and insured and has provided a fair bid and a professional contract, how do owners determine whether a company will deliver on its promises and not tax their sanity?
The answers lie in good systems. Companies with clearly defined management systems tend to be better organized, communicate more effectively and minimize unwanted surprises.

Three systems that are key to a comfortable remodeling process have to do with communications, schedules and responsibilities.

Communications. A recent Consumer Reports survey of more than 900 homeowners confirmed that, when it comes to remodeling, miscommunication is the root of most ills. That's why smart remodelers have solid processes for keeping their clients informed at all times. Signs of a company that communicates well include detailed project descriptions (leaving no question about what the finished product will include), the ability to clearly explain financial concepts (where, exactly, the dollars are spent) and regular meetings.

Meetings eliminate problems by getting everyone to think through the job. A good example is the preconstruction meeting, where the homeowners meet with the remodeler's team to review plans, schedules, and job rules. This is also a time for the homeowners to ask questions and make requests. Topics could include anything: work hours, bathroom use, parking, cleanliness and dust control, materials storage, what trees to protect, etc.

Ongoing meetings, at an agreed upon schedule, tend to be shorter and less formal, but keep everyone updated on job progress and provide an opportunity to gain clarity and solve problems.

Schedules and Payments. The old adage "fail to plan, plan to fail" may have been penned by a remodeler: a schedule that details the job from start to finish is crucial to getting things done on time and within budget. Of course weather delays, delivery backlogs and other unforeseen events can shift production schedules over time, but a well-managed company starts with a plan and updates everyone when things change.

Payment schedules are also important. The remodeler gets a percentage of the job cost as a down payment, and subsequent payments on completion of certain milestones: the finish of demolition and framing, the completion of mechanical and insulation inspections, etc. Well-planned payment schedules allow owners to clearly understand what is expected of them and help the remodeler to manage his resources over the course of construction.

Who, what, when? As a Professional Remodeler, we invest time to help our clients understand how our team is organized and how to interact with team members. We clarify who will be responsible for the job at each stage, including the final closeout and punch list. Who the owner can contact with questions or concerns, what's the best way to make contact, and how long before you can expect a response.

Understanding how a remodeler handles these kind of issues has real payoffs. The answers will indicate how effectively a builder communicates, pays attention to details, and has systems for getting things done on time and according to plan -- all of which help make the project the positive experience it should be.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc.  If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at www.robabbott@villagebuilders.ca

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Don't replace your cedar deck, sand it!

Is your cedar deck looking tired and heavily worn?

Today’s cedar decks do not last as long as they used too. There are many factors today that are contributing to the premature failure of cedar decking such as UV light, existing trees and plant life around the deck, water from pools or hot tubs and the quality of the cedar that is now being sold. Cedar decks are now looking older and wearing out faster, instead of having a beautiful cedar deck for 20 years people are finding that their cedar decking is lasting 10 years and then looks like it needs to be replaced.

Before you decide to tear up the cedar from the top of your deck, throwing it away so that you can install new decking there is something that you can try.

You can have your deck sanded. When I say sanded I don’t mean have your deck sanded by someone with a palm sander, I mean have you deck sanded by someone who re-finishes floors for a living.

Companies that re-finish floors use large, heavy drum sanders that efficiently remove the top layer of wood, this is usually all that is weather warn on your cedar deck unless the board is completely rotten.

Once you sand through the first ¼ inch of cedar you will usually find that the decking looks rather new.

The advantages of doing this are several;

The cost is far less then tearing up your whole deck and re-installing a new top.

You will be able to get 10 more years out of the same wood instead of having to use more resources.

The sanding of your deck is much quicker and less invasive then tearing up the old cedar and having carpenters install a new one.

Sometimes when you take the top of a deck off you end up damaging the framing below, this then requires you to spend more money repairing it as well.

Cedar decking is a lot more expensive then it was when your deck was originally installed with it.

There are other costs that you will need to know if you want your deck sanded;

1. Someone has to drive the existing nails or screws in the decking lower before the deck can be sanded. This can take a couple of days depending on how big the deck is.

2. You will probably find some boards that are beyond sanding and need to be removed and replaced with new ones.

3. You will have to remove all of the things on the deck like barbeques and patio furniture so that it can be sanded and repaired properly.

4. You should have a coat of water sealer applied on the cedar after it’s been sanded to help the decking last longer.

When looking out at the old tired cedar deck think about a finish instead of a completely new top.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, September 6, 2013

How much is a "square" of roofing?

Q:

How much is a "square" of roofing?

A:

In roofing lexicon, a "square" is equal to 100 square feet of area to be roofed. Remodelers and roofing contractors purchase roofing to the nearest square, so when they are working out the size of your roof and then converting it to bundles of shingles they tell the supplier the amount of “squares” they require. Every shingle manufacture has different sizes of bundles of shingles; depending on the style and type of shingle it will change the amount of square footage in the bundle as well. Bundles of shingles are packaged on size and weight, a more expensive shingle that is a thicker material (meaning that it has the potential to last longer on your roof) will have less shingle tiles in the bundle. Since (per shingle tile) it is heavier they have to put less individual shingle tiles in a bundle to get the bundle to the correct weight and size. The bundle cannot be made to heavy or to large for that would restrict a single workers ability to pick it up. On average more expensive shingles cover less square footage per bundle meaning that your roofing contractor would have to order more of them.

You as the homeowner should be insisting on a more precise estimate from your roofing contractor if they are giving you a quote by the “square”. The roofing contractor should measure the entire roof so that they have an accurate count of the roof, not just for the shingles but for the hips, valleys and any other penetrations. If they give you a per square price they are telling you that they don’t actually know the total square footage so your final bill will probably end up higher.

There is always the chance even with a proper quote that your re-roofing job will cost you more, but it shouldn’t be in the cost of the actual shingles, the extra costs are usually found when the old shingles are removed and they find extreme water damage and wood rot in the sub structure below.

The shingles on your roof are the only thing keeping the weather out of your home, you should want that installed by a qualified professional, make sure they are by insisting that their quotes are accurate and not a guess on what it should cost.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Safety tip-Wear that hard hat

Safety tip-Wear that hard hat

In today’s residential construction industry safety is more important than it has ever been before. The simple practises of working safe are the ones that keep people the safest and allow them to do their jobs without the fear of being hurt. One of the simplest ways to make sure that workers are proceeding in a safe manner is to ensure that they wear a hard hat.

In residential construction hard hats have not been the biggest safety issue over the last couple of decades, hard hats have always been more prevalent in commercial construction where the project is bigger, government supervision is stricture and there are more workers on the actual site.

Residential construction with its smaller work sites, less workers and less overall government supervision have never in the past had it enforced. Today’s residential construction sites are different, today because of new labour laws, ministry enforcement and insurance employers are more apt to make their employee’s wear hard hats.

One of the worst injuries a person can suffer is a head injury; a simple but strong blow to the head can have life altering consciences. A hard hat can reduce the chance of that happening, but it can only do it if you are wearing a hard hat.

In construction sites there are always workers working at heights and other workers walking or working in the area below them. Falling tools or material does a lot more damage to a person’s head if there isn’t a hard hat involved.

Weather conditions can have an effect on falling tools and materials, sudden strong gusts of wind can blow materials or tools off elevated work platforms onto workers below. In construction you can never control the uncontrollable; you can never control the weather.

Protect your head and the head of your fellow workers, wear that hard hat.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager

Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How deep are the pipes of a ground-source heat pump?

Q:
How deep are the pipes of a ground-source heat pump?

A:

When geothermal lines are installed in the ground they are usually placed at a depth of about 8 feet. At 8 feet the temperature of the ground stays fairly consistent all year around. The frost in the ground usually doesn’t penetrate more than 4 feet into the ground, at a depth of 8 feet you do not have to worry about the lines ever freezing. Also when you are using the geothermal lines in the summer for air conditioning the ground at the 8 foot depth stays cool no matter how hot it gets at the surface.

There is also drilled well geothermal installations. This is where several vertical wells are drilled into the ground; the depth of the wells depends on the size of the system that you are installing. Installing a vertical system allows you to have geothermal heating on a smaller foot print and access to a larger source of cool or warm earth. This is ideal for in-town use or small country lots.

The third way to install geothermal lines is to install them into an existing pond or large body of water like a lake or a large river. These lines are weighted down so that they sit at the bottom where the temperature of the water never changes from summer to winter. Being at or near the bottom allows for boat traffic to drive over the area without effecting them.

More important than the depth of the geothermal piping is the amount of water that is in the ground at that level. The more water you have where the lines are buried the more heat exchange you can have. The lines absorb the temperature from the soil surrounding the pipes; water replaces that warm or cold when it is absorbed by the piping. The more water the more constant the temperature is around the buried geothermal lines.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.