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1890's Victorian Home: Options?


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  • 1890's Victorian Home: Options?

    Hi everyone,

    it's a 2 storey home, 5.5' tall crawl space for a basement, HAD a boiler installed in the mid-1990's to feed the radiators throughout the house. This house was repossessed last December, and the heat wasn't turned on, so...., pipes froze, radiators busted, etc, etc.

    I'm debating on these 2 options to restoring heat to this place:

    1) Repair the busted pipes and radiators
    Pro's: Not too expensive
    Retain the original look of the house
    Won't take too much time hopefully
    Con's: Not sure where all the busted pipes are
    Not the best way of heating a house
    I may not find the pipes that have REALLY small cracks in them

    2) Install a forced-air furnace
    Pro's: Modern source of heat
    Can add central AC easily
    Con's: Running ducts to the 2nd floor nearly impossible!
    More expensive

    I've thought of running the ducts on the ground floor only, and then putting in electrical baseboards on the 2nd floor and attic area, but, putting in AC would only cool the lower part.

    The walls are plaster and solid wood of course. I could run a duct through a main floor closet to the 2nd floor, but then what? I still have to split it to go to the individual rooms.

    Any ideas?

  • #2 could install a forced air/split system for the first floor and a package unit on the roof for the second floor. By having two separate systems you can reduce costs by only heating/cooling that part of the house you need to at various times. I assume there is an attic through which you can pull duct work for the second floor?



    • #3
      Can you explain the split system? We'll want / need to keep most of the house, except the attic, at the same temperature, so I'm not sure if we'll gain an advantage there.

      If there's a way that I can run a duct up to the attic, I can snake it around the edge, where the roof line and floor meet, and drop down some vents into each 2nd floor room. We'll be putting 2 - 3 foot mini-walls around the attic, so the ducts won't be visible. The tricky part will be to bring the main duct up there without it being too much of an eyesore.

      I guess I just needed to write it out to get ideas of what can work.


      • #4
        heating system....

        Not to mention the recent changes for tax advantages. If you time it right, you also may be eligible for rebates from the electric company.


        • #5
          I am really interested in hearing more about how to do this from Handyman Trainer! Had a house in similar condition (i.e., abandoned and pipes vandalized). Ended up restoring pipes to the radiators. It takes a while! Also have to treat your plumber like gold. Also be prepared for other funny developments (I had a collapsed chimney from the gas burner--but the wall had already been partly torn out, so didn't matter much except that it was a ton of work to rebuild). These old houses look great when you are done though, so keep up the good work.
          Also re mrcaptbob's comment on tax incentives: definitely check it out--good all of this year, at least, I think.


          • #6
            The tax incentives go through to December 2010. The incentive can be as much as 30%, (sometimes more if your state or power provider also offers incentives) which is a huge saving.
            Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
            Every day is a learning day.