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What code changes might be required if I attempt a basement remodel?

What code changes might be required if I attempt a basement remodel?


  #1  
Old 03-25-15, 10:56 AM
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What code changes might be required if I attempt a basement remodel?

I live in a 1923 home with original boiler and radiator system. Water heater was replaced in 2001. All of this works perfectly - I do not want to replace any of it. BUT - if I remodel the basement (utility area that houses boiler/water heater; adjacent laundry/bath area and family room on other side of wall) will I be required to upgrade these items? If so that is a non-starter.

Would a work around be to remodel only the family room and laundry areas, staying out of the utility room completely?

Thanks in advance.

NL
 
  #2  
Old 03-25-15, 11:13 AM
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Hi NL and welcome to the forum.
Local codes will vary so ultimately you will need to check. Plumbing and electrical, if modified will often require a permit and inspection.

As for the boiler and radiators, would you replace them if someone paid you to do it? If they are original to 1923 they are pouring energy dollars out the chimney. Do the math, based upon your current heating bills and estimate the savings for installing a new system, along with some insulation improvements.

But unless you are removing and reinstalling that boiler, I know of no codes that would require you to bring it up to whatever your current codes are. Others will comment.

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-15, 11:47 AM
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Good point. We did get all new windows in 2006, plus additional insulation in the attic, at which time we saw our heating bills drop by literally hundreds during the winter season. As of now, heating costs are very reasonable - not to say they would not be even lower with a new system. But ugh - don't wanna go there until I have to!
 
  #4  
Old 03-25-15, 03:38 PM
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I'm going to guess here, but a 1923 boiler could be as low as 50% efficient. That means half of the dollars you spend for heat are going up the chimney. Check the service tag as they are supposed to measure the efficiency and record it. And, that is just the combustion efficiency, it gets worse as you add in the distribution efficiency. I've run into some old oil systems here in Maine and none have justified staying in service.

Windows and attic insulation are the starting points for people who have not done their homework. Sorry to be blunt, but air sealing should have been first on your list and windows last, walls and foundation inbetween. But you have seen progress and with an energy audit, DIY or professional, you will discover that that boiler is now about 4 time the size it needs to be.

Sorry for drifting from your initial question, just habit.

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 03-25-15, 03:53 PM
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The only codes I can think of that you might have to worry about relate to fire separations and size of your utility room. For that information, you will need to consult your local codes.

I can't imagine any reason you would be forced into upgrading your equipment if it is currently functioning properly.

One thing to be aware of is that your heating system pipes almost certainly have asbestos insulation wrapped around them. As long as it is in good condition and you do not disturb it, there are no issues with it. Keep this in mind though as you work in the area.
 
 

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