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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woburn, MA
    Posts
    8

    Question Replacing 50 year old Gas Boiler - ballpark cost?

    I had an offer accepted on a house that has an archaic gas boiler. The home inspection revealed that the system showed signs of failure as the unit was actually rusted out on the side and weeping smoke when in use.

    Now the seller is adamant they will not pay for any repair or replacement of this heating system, and I would like to get an idea of how much a new gas boiler system would cost. Of course I know there a lot of variables in this and seeing as I do not live there, it makes it a bit more tricky to have contractors come in and give me a formal estimate while the seller is trying to rush along the sale.

    So with that said, is there anyone who has recently replaced a similar system or just has an idea of what it would cost?

    House is 1875 sq ft, built in 1880, and is heated by the gas boiler feeding to I think 7 radiators. Windows, siding, and roof are all less than 5 yrs old and in good condition, but home is uninsulated in walls or attic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Replacing 50 year old Gas Boiler - ballpark cost?

    Just curious , was the offer contingent on a satisfactory inspection ? Did you use a Realtor ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woburn, MA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Replacing 50 year old Gas Boiler - ballpark cost?

    Yes we are using a Buyers Agent and have been going back and forth all day with the seller/seller's agent about reducing the agreed upon price. We can back out of the sale, but want to weigh the cost of a new system before making that decision, as we still like the house.

    The other problem encountered we encountered during the inspection was some asbestos, which I have a similar thread about in the insulation forum.

    http://advice.thisoldhouse.com/showthread.php?t=4599

    Again, thanks for any insight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Replacing 50 year old Gas Boiler - ballpark cost?

    Yuk & djohns make good points that should be considered.

    But I don't see this as completely nixing the sale.

    The boiler will obviously have to be replaced, but the price could range from a very basic (though satisfactory) pin-type cast iron boiler by Slant/Fin, Peerless, Dunkirk or Utica for $1800-$2000 plus installation, so a boiler COULD be installed for ~$4-5k.

    A recommended high efficiency condensing boiler by Veissmann, Peerless, Burnham,or Triangle Tube Prestige would cost closer to $8-9k, but save tons of money in coming years in fuel savings.

    An intermediate 3-pass boiler by the same mfrs would cost ~$6-7k.

    Boiler installers deal with old asbestos day in & day out---20' of asbestos is not a big deal in this business, & should cost little additional $$ for removal.

    The other concerns I have would have to do with the total lack of insulation in the walls & ceilings.

    A blown-in insulation project SHOULD BE DONE FIRST before a boiler is put in so that A SMALLER BOILER can be ordered, AND the AC bills in the summer would not kill you.

    Thus, as it stands now, you would have to put in a boiler rated at ~80k to 100k but/hr in heat output---this will kill you in oil or gas usage.

    If you insulate, you can put in ~40k btu/hr high efficiency boiler (1/2 the size) that would save you tons of money in fuel costs.

    This would also affect the size AC you would have to put in for the summer, if there's nothing there now.

    Another concern I have is the age of the house---something that old should be checked for structural damage & integrity of the foundation & support beams to insure there's no sill rot, etc.

    Also determine if the foundation is made simply of piled up rocks or stones that leak every rainstorm, or has a sturdier construction.

    Since the inspector has been there, I assume he would have spotted something, in any case ASK HIM.

    Since you'll HAVE TO spend $10k for the boiler & insulation/asbestos, & other incidentals, run this by the seller to see if he will take that amount off the selling price, and carry on with your bargaining from THAT point.
    Last edited by JacktheShack; 03-05-2008 at 11:01 PM.

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