I would purchase a used oil boiler, late model, triple pass or tube (very reasonable as folks change out to NG) and a Super Stor or equivalent indirect water heater(also many used at 40% of new costs). You cannot OD on insulation, and if budgeting permits start looking at spray foam. Hydronic heating and as much radiant as is practical. The 'latest and greatest' will probably not save you a dime over time. IF solar siting is favorable, I'd support that LONG before the Geo-Thermal. Obviously I prefer coal, however oil is the best hedge right now as a 'Lender Friendly' primary fuel.
Chimney: No matter what, some form of a 2 flue chimney, preferable within the structure and not on a outside wall. SS costs about the same and has no where near the longevity. Be flexible if you want to remain married/shackled.......whatever they call it now, or she will own it and you will be standing outdoors with Mr. Happy in one hand with a bewildered look on your face, with a stack of payment obligations..
Look around for a coal boiler, there are many to choose from; used or new. I might add if you are worried about the coal supply, I have been burning for 48 years without any issues, so the money you save every year, sure makes your choice a no-brainer IMO. Try to make an area dedicated to the boiler room and not so small that a troll is the only one who fits into it. If you were lucky, you might be able to design a waterproof coal bin outside with access through your new foundation. That should make a few more revisions to the plans....... I'll PM with some other boiler info.
Go visit your local coal breakers, learn about what really goes on in their world, and visit so local folks who burn.
Keep a close eye on any dudes in shiny new pick-ups, all lettered up, and a crisp new shirt and matching coat with emblems on it proclaiming their participation in some unheard of Society : 'The GREEN Emancipation Enviro Corp' or whatever........ who offers you a glass of some funny tasting drink.......
...forgot to ask: Are you handy and doing much of the work, or is it a subcontracted effort?
....also forgot, if you wanted to do an ISO insulated concrete foundation, there is another way to save more money over time. If you can ever go into a basement with ISO forms, you will be amazed at how sound deadened it is. Never feels cold and saves every day you live there. That would allow the wifey to have her dream kitchen, and you could be warm and comfy in the basement.......just thinkin' down the road.
Last edited by whistlenut
on Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.