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Remodeling advice

Posted by C Andrews on May 28th, 2000 10:08 AM

My husband and I have just recently bought a 85 year old, 3-storey, double bricked detached house in central Toronto. Our closing is August 15, 2000 and we plan to move in on September 1, 2000. The house has electric baseboard heating. Can someone help with answers to the following questions:

The house was hot water gas heated until the the late 70's. We have been told that the old piping would be no good as it is too old. Is this true?

We have read about using durable and flexible reinforced aluminum polyethylene pipe which allows older home to be retrofitted with hot water heating replacing electric baseboard units without major disruptions (as no duct work would be required) since the pipe can be fished through walls and between floors. Would we get any cost savings by going that route?

We have heard that heat pumps can save money when you have electric heating. Is this a viable alternative for us?

The engineer who inspected our house indicated that since the price of petroleum products had increased by about 30% (natural gas along with it) in the last year we would not get much cost saving from a conversion. Would gas heating still not cheaper than electric?

In point form here are some of our other issues:

We are not very good about turning down the heat at nights or when we are not in.
We also prefers to maintain a heat temperature of 24/25 not the 20/21 recommended by Hydro.
He works from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; I work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. so there is not much time when the house is unoccupied.
We plan to have two set of tenants and we will pay the heating costs.

Should we convert to gas heating? If so forced air or hot water? Could the work be completed in the two weeks between our close date and our move in date?

My second dilema revolves around the fact that the brick is painted.

We would like to remove or arrange to have the paint removed. My father has told us that we can rent a sand blaster and do it ourselves. I spoke to someone at Home Depot who indicated that this job was too big for the novice. Who is right?

Should we go with a professional or try to do it ourselves? Should we sandblast or use a chemical wash? How safe are the chemical washes to the environment?

I would very much like to get answers or if you could provide me with direction on where to look to find the to the above questions I would be very grateful.

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