Tom, thanks for your reply the other day. My pipes seem to be all copper. I think I may have a problem though. This space used to be a side porch entrance to the house. I took a peek underneath from the outside and there is a crawl space under the area but I think it's outside the basement wall. Is that going to be a problem?
I hadn't really considered the loan option...thought I would only have the choice of credit cards or cash because I just got my first mortgage. But maybe there is hope!