The Cost of Heat

Our house was built with radiant heat.  At some point, the radiators were taken out of the home, presumably because the previous owner was going to switch the heat from radiant to forced air.

Because that switch didn't occur, the house currently has no heat/air source.  We decided to put in forced air so that we could have A/C (hooray!).  The original plan was to use the laundry chutes to run the ducts, but as it turns out, one of the chutes was not large enough to fit the duct work. 

We had three options:
1.  Rip up the wall in the first floor bath and lose all the wall tile in order to run the ducts up that wall (plus add more labor to take down the tile and rebuild the wall).
2.  Run the duct work in the basement, but it would hang 6-8" below the floor joists on an already low ceiling.
3.  Lose the first floor linen cabinet and use a third or half of it to put the ducts in.

I laughed (bitterly) and told our contractor that it was like he was asking me which leg I would rather cut off, the right or left.  (I like having both legs, for the record).  It was painful to decide.  I didn't want to incur the time or cost in ripping up the bath; I want to finish off the basement someday without having people bump their heads; I want to preserve the built-ins in the house because that is one of the features that make the house so cool. 

I talked with Greg, who was far more sensible than I was at the moment and he thought we should go with option 3.  I felt like throwing up about it, but it's probably the best option.  There is a small linen closet in the bathroom, so we still have the functionality of a linen cabinet.

So here's the process of taking the linen cabinet apart:

And here's what it looks like now:


The linen cabinet backs up to the kitchen, and now that the cabinet is gone, I am trying to figure out how to use that 18"-24" of space.  I think that we should integrate that space into the kitchen and add the cabinet to the right of the fridge, as shown here:

On the bright side, the second laundry chute worked fine to run some of the ducts.  Here's what it looks like in our room:

And this, people, is why renovating always costs more than planned.  Stupid duct work.



  1. Heat at last; heat at last (in the winter, you'll be thanking God Almighty) for heat, at last. ;-)