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dodint
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Postby dodint » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:56 am

Anyone have recommendations for HVAC contractors in Westmoreland county? I'm starting to get estimates for a large project. Current setup is an ancient, dying oil furnance and two window ACs. We're looking to replace the furnace and add central air, along with some other small ancillary tasks like moving the oil tanks to the next room over.

mac5155
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Postby mac5155 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:59 am

i am looking for a piece of granite that is 58"x27" with a 10.5" radius hole cut 13.5" on center from the edge to top the grill table i am building. theres a place near my house - asian granite and cabinet - and it looks like they are in the 250-400 range in price. this seems consistent with vendors of the similar ilk. i have gone to some of the 'design studios' that may have a wider selection but i am in the 850-1050 range. curious if anyone has recommendation for high selection and price competitive
Ooooh arrrminaaa stooooonee

LITT
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Postby LITT » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:59 am

i am looking for a piece of granite that is 58"x27" with a 10.5" radius hole cut 13.5" on center from the edge to top the grill table i am building. theres a place near my house - asian granite and cabinet - and it looks like they are in the 250-400 range in price. this seems consistent with vendors of the similar ilk. i have gone to some of the 'design studios' that may have a wider selection but i am in the 850-1050 range. curious if anyone has recommendation for high selection and price competitive
also its hilarious to me that these companies want to 'field verify' my measurements and i tell them itll be a waste of time since it's literally a grill table without a top on it and i can send them a picture and the measurements. 'no no no its our policy we must field verify' and then they show up and act pissed off because its a 56x25 table that needs a 10.5" radius hole cut in it. pretty straight forward.

NTP66
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Postby NTP66 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:24 pm

Lol, that’s crap. When we had our kitchen counters done, multiple vendors gave me quotes over the phone based on my own rough measurements. I added a few inches to allow for some leeway, and it was totally fine.

mac5155
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Postby mac5155 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:27 pm

"hey while we're here why don't we quote you some new kitchen counter tops"

dodint
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Postby dodint » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:07 am

Can you delete a chimney from the center of the home? I have a chimney that starts in the basement, runs to the main floor, into the attic, and out of the roof. If I move my furnace to a perimeter wall and have them pipe the exhaust out of the wall and up the side of the house (exposed pipe or new chimney, whatever) can I remove the old chimney? Is it as simple as knocking it out and then patching the hole in the roof?

It's dead center in the house and when we do the expansion it would give us a lot of extra leeway in putting in a central staircase. I have HVAC contractors coming in this week. Just trying to gauge how stupid of a question it is before I ask it.

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Postby meow » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:10 am

I get anxiety just thinking about a project like that...

NTP66
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Postby NTP66 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:10 am

Can you delete a chimney from the center of the home? I have a chimney that starts in the basement, runs to the main floor, into the attic, and out of the roof. If I move my furnace to a perimeter wall and have them pipe the exhaust out of the wall and up the side of the house (exposed pipe or new chimney, whatever) can I remove the old chimney? Is it as simple as knocking it out and then patching the hole in the roof?

It's dead center in the house and when we do the expansion it would give us a lot of extra leeway in putting in a central staircase. I have HVAC contractors coming in this week. Just trying to gauge how stupid of a question it is before I ask it.
I've seen it done on This Old House numerous times using different methods - replacing the roof as part of an overall renovation, so it was closed off, and capping the chimney at the roof/sealing the inside. I don't know how DIY-friendly a project it is, though. I imagine that it's not.

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Postby AuthorTony » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:14 am

Can you delete a chimney from the center of the home? I have a chimney that starts in the basement, runs to the main floor, into the attic, and out of the roof. If I move my furnace to a perimeter wall and have them pipe the exhaust out of the wall and up the side of the house (exposed pipe or new chimney, whatever) can I remove the old chimney? Is it as simple as knocking it out and then patching the hole in the roof?

It's dead center in the house and when we do the expansion it would give us a lot of extra leeway in putting in a central staircase. I have HVAC contractors coming in this week. Just trying to gauge how stupid of a question it is before I ask it.
Yes you can and yes it should be that simple. I'm not saying I'd try to do it myself though.

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Postby dodint » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:16 am

Yeah, I'm not going to do it.

We're basically shitcanning a really old furnace and replacing it with a brand new one. So I'm going to see if we can put the new one on a perimeter wall of the basement instead of the middle, similar to the setup at my old house. Then haul the old furnace away, which would leave a freestanding unused chimney right in the middle of my house. When we do the expansion I would draw up plans (I already have them, actually, we hired the architect last year before the wife got sick) that do not include the chimney.

The other thing that is going to be a big ask, I think, is moving our twin oil tanks about 15ft into the next room. The space they're in now will eventually be a master bathroom. I'm not sure if they'll be able to move the tanks or if I will have to buy new ones. My understanding is that it is pretty expensive to throw out old oil tanks so I would like to keep them if possible. They're not HUGE but even with a small amount of oil in them it will probably be a challenge.

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Postby AuthorTony » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:19 am

RE: the old furnace, someone would likely take it for the scrap metal. That's how I got rid of mine.

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Postby NTP66 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:20 am

Yeah, I think the old tanks are going to be the bigger issue, personally. I know of one person who had one removed, and they had to bring out a truck to empty the tank, and then add some kind of material to soak up the rest before cutting it apart to get it out of the house.

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Postby dodint » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:27 am

We have two tanks, each narrow enough to fit through an interior doorway with a few inches on either side. So we could move them around fairly easily. I imagine if we disconnected all the piping and put each one on a rolling cart it would move cleanly from one room to the other. Whether the HVAC folks are willing to do that is another matter.

I know getting rid of buried tanks is a huge, huge environmental problem with a ton of red tape. Maybe I'm thinking of that and making it more complicated.

mac5155
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Postby mac5155 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:02 am

When they sold our old house (which we were renting off my grandmas estate) the first thing the new buyer did was remove the chimney from the roof. Now I have no idea if he took it out inside the house too. But we're talking a basement, 2 story, and attic that it went through.

mac5155
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Postby mac5155 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:04 am

Someone will take those tanks off you too for free. You live in the boonies like me. :lol:

DigitalGypsy66
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Postby DigitalGypsy66 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:06 pm

We've had a pretty severe drainfly issue in our master bathroom for the last 5-6 summers. The first warm (above 80) weather, and we'll start getting them. One or two...and then many. It's crazy. I've dumped hundreds of gallons of bleach, drain cleaner, vinegar over this period...and nothing. Cleaned p-traps, and shower drains. We thought it might be something with our HVAC ducts, but no change last summer (and this one) with the new ducts installed with the new heat pump back in late 2018.

We've resorted to a large bug zapper and fly paper. :lol:

So we had Terminix guy doing his termite inspection, so I asked him about them. "When was the last time you had the septic tank pumped?"

Uh, never? We've been in the house for 13 years (it was new construction) and we live in very sandy soil that drains well...so I figured we wouldn't need to get it pumped. Or not until the toilets stopped flushing. :lol:

I've never lived in a house with a septic tank, so I had no idea how to take care of such a thing.

I called a local company - they have "We're #1 in #2" on the side of their truck lol - and someone came out and located my septic tank cover, which was buried under two feet of dirt and centipede grass. That was cool...she used a long spear to poke into the ground to find the cement tank, and then the cover.

Then two dudes rolled up in the truck, backed it right up to the cover, and emptied it in about 20 minutes. They filled the hole back in, and were on their way $285 richer.

Let's hope this stops the drainfly issue...

dodint
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Postby dodint » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:35 pm

Anyone have thoughts on oil furnace v. electric heat pump for our climate? HVAC guy had positive things to say about the heat pump. Basically that it would run fine most of the year and then in the deepest of winter would spike our electric usage. My understanding was that electric is always going to be much more expensive than oil.

The idea of ditching our oil tanks and freeing up all that space in the basement is pretty appealing. The house is about 1050 sqft now, and will likely expand to 2,500 or so in a few years. The system is being designed to accommodate that larger space.

mac5155
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Postby mac5155 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:09 pm

I was skeptical of heat pumps also but mine works very well. Single story ranch 1700 sf. If you have good insulation I say go for it. Highest electric bill we've ever had was around 180. Usually around 120 to 130 in the summer months. You'll have an aux heat source too that will kick on under 20 or so degrees. You may be able to keep the oil for that and reduce your tank size.

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Postby DigitalGypsy66 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:20 am

We got a variable speed heat pump in 2018, and it's pretty efficient even in the winter. But we're obviously not in a cold weather climate. :lol:

I would look dual fuel heat pump - it's supposedly the best of both worlds. Efficient electric cooling in the summer, and propane/LP heat in the winter:

https://www.pickhvac.com/dual-fuel-heat-pump/

dodint
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Postby dodint » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:37 am

The way the HVAC guy Explained It Like I Was 5 for me was that the heat pump will do its thing most of the year as designed. In the coldest of cold days it has an auxiliary radiant heater (like a toaster) that uses electric coils to generate heat. That's what will spike your electric bill.

Our furnace is 56 years old(!). We're not interested in keeping it as a back-up. We're either going full electric and clearing all of this stuff out, or replacing it with a completely new oil system.

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Postby Kane » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:00 am

I see your 56 year old furnace and raise you my antique boiler system. (Well, sort of. The boiler itself is a 2011, but the radiators are monstrous.)

Hell, our house is so old that I find gas lantern lines in the walls when I renovate rooms.

dodint
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Postby dodint » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:37 am

First quote is in. $29,300 for the new system, oil. Seems high. :lol:
Same vendor but with a heat pump, $21,700.

I wasn't prepared for this. I thought we'd be in the $12-18k range.

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Postby Kane » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:38 am

Wow, that does seem high af.

dodint
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Postby dodint » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:44 am

Replacing the furnace and tanks, adding an A/C, and replacing the existing ductwork. Then hauling off the old stuff. They're going to run to the existing vents in the rooms, just replacing the ducts themselves. The basement is unfinished so they don't have to work through walls or anything, just take the old vents down and mount the new ones. They said they take measurements and do all the duct fabrication off-site so they're ready to just bolt up when they get here.

I have another company coming in today at 1pm.

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Postby meow » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:35 pm

@DigitalGypsy66 If you find a fix for those drain flies, let me know. We went on vacation in early June and came home to a house full. Haven’t found a way to get rid of the them, but Lowe’s sells a trap - looks like an apple - that does decent.


There was a point in July where I was close to torching the entire house.

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