There are very few places on earth where people are comfortable living without heating and air conditioning, and the United States is not usually considered one of them. Weather you live in a state with hot and sticky summers, or freezing cold, snowy winters, you are going to want an efficient HVAC unit. But how much will it cost?
The price of residential HVAC depends on the size of the house, the quality and brand of the unit, the region in which it’s being built, and the type of fuel it will use. Initial installation cost is one thing, but it’s important to consider the cost of fuel in the long run as well. High-efficiency systems can be more expensive to install, but will pay off over time. Maintenance costs are also something to consider. A complete overhaul or entirely new system with new ducts will cost more.
Installing an air conditioning system in your home can range from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on the situation of the home and the duct work. For a 1,900 square foot home, an new unit may cost around $3,500-$4,500, not counting the cost of installation.
The region in which you live will play a big factor in your final cost. If you live in the Midwest, the South, or the country, you will pay less than if you live in the Northeast or West Coast regions. In Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, a reasonable estimate would be somewhere around $3,800-$4,200 for changing a 2-ton system. This price would be a bargain if you lived in Maryland or New York, where prices are on average closer to $10,000 or more. Estimates can range closer to $20,000 for a complete HVAC overhaul on a large house. Every project is different, so it is difficult to say exactly what the cost will be. As a nationwide average, homeowners should expect to pay somewhere around $5,000 on new heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, then factor in the labor.
The cost of your project will also depend greatly on which contractor you choose. Estimates for the same project can differ by thousands of dollars, so it is definitely to your advantage to obtain several before choosing between HVAC contractors. When reviewing an estimate, make sure you understand exactly what it includes and what it does not include. It always helps to get as much information as possible from your perspective contractors.
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Thanks to its sleek, classic look, hardwood flooring is extremely popular. Installing wood flooring not only makes a difference in a home’s look, but in its resale value as well. For homeowners interested in installing wood flooring, the first question usually has to do with money.
There are many things that can affect the cost of your wood flooring, including the materials, the size of the space, and the contractor you choose. Standard solid-strip hardwood flooring averages about $8 a square foot for materials and installation, or $1,150 for a 12×12 foot space. The wide pine planks that have become popular lately can cost up to $12 per square foot (materials and installation). This means that for a 12×12 foot room, you are looking at an average cost of $1,750.
Pre-finished wood is more expensive than unfinished, though it still depends on what type of wood you are buying. Usually, factory finished wood costs around $10-$14 per square foot for installation. This means that for the same 12×12 foot room, the average cost is close to $2,000.
Different types of wood come at different prices. Bamboo is usually cheaper, around $4-$6 per square foot for materials. Other, more exotic woods can cost up to $13 per square foot for the materials, and more when you factor in the installation. Laminate flooring is usually around $8-$12 a square foot for materials and installation, which means that your final cost is somewhere close to $1,500 for a 12×12 foot space.
Your final cost will also change if you choose to have a custom pattern or border installed. This adds an element of originality and uniqueness to your floor, though the cost may go up by $2 a square foot, or more. For a 12×12 foot room, an extra $2 a square foot means $288 added to your bill. The bigger the room, the more your floor costs.
As with anything, your final bill will depend largely on which contractor you choose. Competing flooring contractors may have dramatically different prices, so it is a good idea to obtain several initial estimates. Pay attention to which items the estimates include and exclude. You want to know exactly what you are getting with each contractor. It also can be very helpful to get references and see floors previously completed by the contractors in question. Entering a project fully informed is the best way to guarantee a successful and satisfying experience.
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