We are going to be breaking ground on our new home in the next few weeks. We need to have most of our big decisions made by Wednesday. There are two biggish decisions we are still struggling with.
1) geothermal vs. conventional heating and cooling
I have heard lots of raves on here and from others about the cost effectiveness of geothermal. However, it is so hard to guess how much it will actually save us monthly on our home. Our builder builds very, very energy efficient homes to begin with, so not sure if it will make as much of a difference? We do have a lot of windows, though, which might make heating costs higher overall. I think that with current gas prices, it would take us at least 10 yrs to pay off the difference between geo and conventional, and while we plan to be there that long at least, it is always hard to predict, and that is kind of a long time for our investment to break even. However, since prices on gas will likely rise, it may not take as long....
2) Stubbing for a bathroom in basement. DH really wants to, I do not. I honestly don't think we need one down there. Growing up we never had a bathroom in our finished basements and it was not a big deal at all. He thinks it would be nice to have an extra shower when the kids are teens and both getting ready at once, and I do understand that. However, to me, the cost of the bathroom would be better spent elsewhere.
Also, if you have built recently and have other tips or must haves, I would LOVE to hear them! Thanks!