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    Which HVAC system would you choose?

    Hello, which of these two systems would you choose? I have a 2100 sqft 2 floor house built in 1928 with attic and basement in Arlington MA. I plan to finish the basement (~900sqft) in the next year...
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    Re: Can I remove this? bricks above beam

    Alright, I don't know what balloon framing is, but I'll take your word for it. :) The house was built in 1928 if that helps to confirm.

    Ok, so the brick/plaster fireblock is necessary. But, I can...
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    Can I remove this? bricks above beam

    In my basement ceiling, but only above the support beams, I have what looks like grey bricks mortared in between the joists. Maybe it's plaster? I can break a chunk off and crumble it further in my...
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    Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

    Srry for resurrecting old thread, just thought of something related. Does anyone cover PEX in steel conduit or something similar? I wonder if that would address the durability weakness of PEX? It...
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    Re: Radiator - can I used for FHW?

    Thanks a ton for all that info! Ok, radiator conversion sounds like quite the labor intensive process. And that's with everything going as planned. The risk of developing leaks seems high and will...
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    Radiator - can I used for FHW?

    My house currently has steam radiators pictured below. Can these be converted to work with a forced hot water system? How can you tell?

    http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4273/radiatorpic3orig.jpg
    ...
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    Re: R value for walk out basement

    Thought I was subscribed to this thread, doh! Anyway, R25 is a high number. I could get that with 2" XPS foam boards glued to foundation walls, then use roxul batting in stud cavity for R15. I'm...
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    Re: Ideas on how to fix this?

    Totally agree with you, no pics until 10 posts is very annoying! Make some posts about other stuff you're wondering about first, that's what I did.
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    Re: Finding the right people for basement dig

    Thanks! Found two so far using the term excavating contractor. One guy wants to come over soon to talk about the project. The other referred me to a civil engineer and asked me to get back to them...
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    R value for walk out basement

    On the 2009 IECC page for MA LINK, I see Basement Wall R-value c 10/13.

    Are those the values for a walk out basement too, where the back and part of the side walls are exposed?

    Want to make...
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    Finding the right people for basement dig

    I have an unfinished 900 sqft walk out basement that I am considering excavating to gain additional height. I know this is not a DIY job at all, and I should go over it with structural engineers and...
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    Re: oil to gas conversion - heating question

    Also, anything bad with a condensing boiler besides cost? MA offers these rebates, which according to the prices I see on pexsupply, evens things out between the 85% AFUE vs condensing models.
    ...
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    Re: oil to gas conversion - heating question

    Again, thanks for the recommendations! I owned one house before for 4 years in AZ, but it was built in the late 80's, so it really didn't need any work. The house I'm buying now has one hurdle left...
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    Re: asymmetrical house remodel ideas

    Let's say I waited until the roof needed to be replaced, and then did something like the pic below. Very roughly, how much would that cost? (don't mind the crappy photoshop skills)
    ...
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    Re: asymmetrical house remodel ideas

    Interesting, thanks for the warnings on modifying brick veneer exterior. I kinda knew it would be more expensive and difficult to match the look of the existing brick. I didn't set out to buy a house...
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    Re: oil to gas conversion - heating question

    I'm glad I found this forum, thanks for the advice!

    Yes, I'll be looking into the insulation for sure. MA has this masssave program where you can schedule a home energy assessment. LINK A...
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    Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

    Wilsonsarah, do you have a link to an article or something that shows it to not last long? One weakness of PEX is vs UV light, is that what you're talking about?

    Copper looks like it's vulnerable...
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    Re: asymmetrical house remodel ideas

    Below is the floorplan for the second floor. The odd little window is from a storage eave, off the 2nd bath. IMO, it's useless space.
    ...
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    Re: oil to gas conversion - heating question

    Thanks for that info! I'm definitely considering scrapping all of the current steam heating system. Most of it is very old. Plus, I grew up with a natural gas steam radiator system in my parent's...
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    Re: The Low Bid Home Remodel Tale

    Interesting, good to know! I'm still in the research phase, and this is pretty new to me. This article made it sound like architects should be used for a lot more than just design and consulting.
    ...
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    Re: any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

    Thanks! The rats/mice point is interesting, haven't seen that yet. I have two cats though, so that should help. :) I have no worries about it being plastic either.

    Here's a quote from my...
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    oil to gas conversion - heating question

    I'm in the process of buying a 2100 sqft house in MA built in 1928. It has an oil fired steam boiler that feeds radiators and baseboards for heat. I'd like to convert to a gas system, any suggestions...
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    Re: The Low Bid Home Remodel Tale

    Great thread, subscribed. What do you guys think of using an architect to act as a project manager? I'm in the process of buying a house that may need $100k worth of work (convert oil to gas, remodel...
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    Re: pee stains on lawn from dog (fix)

    I have a dog and the idea of following him with a garden hose every single day to dilute sounds like a lotta work. Much easier to have your dog do his business in a particular spot.
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    any disadvantages to Pex plumbing?

    I'm in the process of buying a house built in 1928 in MA. The inspection found multiple spots where brass was connected to copper, resulting in corrosion. He recommended replacing it with Pex. I've...
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