It all started for me when I went to a customer appreciation day at our energy cooperative. At the event they gave out fliers about geothermal and explained the rebates for installing geothermal. I wasn't very interested at the time but thought to myself I wonder how geothermal actually works. I wanted to know the mechanics of how you can heat your house with dirt. That winter LP fuel price skyrocketed past $5 per gallon. I took evasive action and installed electric duct boosters, basically auxiliary electric heat. As it was cheaper to heat with electric then LP at that cost. I then decided to take a good look at alternatives. Through reading about it and starting to understand it I decided to take the funds I had set aside for adding more solar pv panels and install a geothermal system. I payed a DIY contractor some funds to help me plan and design the system. The contractor gave me several good websites to read up on. They turned me on the caleffi indronics books and several other good reads. The contractor could not get my heat loss calcs done correctly so I ended up using hvac Calc software ($50 home owner fee) and did them my self. I also did calcs on my detached shop. At the time the plan was to use 2 separate 3 ton w2w units in the house and send whatever extra btus we had to the shop. Then the purchasing began. I bought 1 Bosch unit through my supervising contractor and later found a good deal on another new one locally. It took me several designs to get the ground loop nailed. I wanted to lay extra pipe and my contractor told me it wasn't needed so I ended up with a slight compromise and used 800' of 1" srd 11 per ton. And set it up with all the tails entering the building so I could valve it and manifold it inside. Through reading several post from the great geothermal guys on this site I started to learn that gshp run more efficient with lower leaving Temps (heating mode). This got me thinking, I only heat the shop to 50 deg and if I had one unit for only the shop that unit would run very efficient with the lower temperature. (In floor heat already in the shop with a lp "boiler") My heat loss was almost identical between the shop at 50 deg and the house at 70 deg. So the math on 3 tons in each worked. From there it became designing 2 separate systems. From the start I knew the house was going to be more involved then the shop. I had one room that was always 4 deg cooler then the rest of the house due to the way it was built and poor design on the 30 year old duct work. I wanted radiant floors and I wanted it zoned. This started the pains taking process of installing uponor heat transfer panels and pex. Ran in a way that each room was zoned. Also the prior owners had hard wood installed in part of the home and who ever did the install used a underlayment and put a nail every 4" in both directions. Every single nail had to be cut off flush. This was also why I chose uponor because it had some aluminum between the pex and the floor, my theory was it will hopefully keep the nails from causing any damage to the pex. I found I could order geothermal pipe at the local diy big box store. So i ordered up some pipe and when it came in I had fun making a slinky table and making 6 slinkys from the 6 rolls of pipe. I had a friend that was in the area with a big excavator that graciously offered to dig for me if I pay for fuel in the excavator. This would have been great for me but my supervising contractor had problems and could not deliver the parts on time so I had to cancel. After I finally got parts I had to rent a mini excavator. (I had no idea how hard it was to try and get someone to rent me a big excavator, no one wanted to) It took me 2 long days to dig in the shop loop, lay the pipe and back fill leaving a mound of dirt above the trench so it would settle in. There was lots of hand digging as several areas crossed power lines ect... A few weeks later I rented again and finished the house loops. Leaving a pretty big mess in the yard as you can only do so much with all the "extra" dirt I had. I did not want to pack it into the trench with the excavator. I chose to let the rain do most of the compaction for me. I was a little nervous about kinked pipes with the weight of the back filled dirt. Later on when I had some cut off pieces of srd 11 pipe laying on the shop floor one ended up under the tire of my truck. I was amazed that it didn't crush. But it heald up, I wasn't worried about the pipes so much after that. Once the loops tails where in, the inside install was started again. The house install also included some remodeling. I'll post some pictures so you can see what we have. I'm sure it's not the most evolved system but it's mine. A Thanks to Doc for showing me the buffer tank tee setup. My contractor told me this tee setup wouldn't work so I plumbed it both ways with a set of valves so I can show supporting data on it. In hind sight I wish I had bought a buffer tank with a big fitting in the top to run the tee setup on but the one I have should be ok. In the shop I'm using the cement floor as the "buffer" tank. I have enough flow to support this so it should work out well for me. On the loop methanol antifreeze I didn't like the initial thought of having flammables in my home. But after reading on the flash points of mixed methanol and water I began to understand that it's not as dangerous as I thought. Between that , the cost, and better flow characteristics I went with it vs polypropylene glycol. In the end buying it and mixing it was pretty easy.