Chicago, IL - Basement Remodel, Rework of HVAC and Water Heating

1 Reply

We recently purchased a three-unit rental property.

We want to do some renovation work immediately, and plan to conduct more extensive renovations on the property over the coming years.

Currently, the water heater and the boiler furnace are located in an improperly ventilated portion of the garden unit. These need to be removed. We plan to replace with tankless water heaters and in-unit high-velocity small duct central heat and air (using electric baseboard for the garden unit heat), and also remove all the radiators from the building.

With the furnace and water heater removed, we would like to knock down the walls dividing the current furnace room, and make one larger rear, which is the bulk of the remodeling work to be done. don't not currently have drawings or architectural plans. I'm not imagining a drastic floorplan change. Currently the rear of the garden unit is divided up by walls to create a furnace room somewhat in the middle of it, and a second closet-type room to access the furnace room. I just want to open as much of that space up as possible after the removal of the furnace/heater and create the largest single room possible, or at the least combine the closet room and the furnace room into a finished room with a floor more comforting than the current bare concerete.

I'm expecting the HVAC/water heating to be a much more significant project, as there are a lot of questions I have that I cannot answer about whether I'd need to expand the gas service or electrical, whether I can run small-duct high-velocity in the ceiling easily or possibly along the ceiling inside the unit instead of in the walls, etc.

If possible, we also would like to install in-unit washers/dryers in the first and second floor units.

I don't know if any of the above would require expansion of the gas or electrical service to the building, or how I would go about setting that up. I'm approaching this whole project as a big learning opportunity, to develop a skill-set I can use for future projects.

I have a lot of fun plans for the garage of this property, which is huge, insulated, and has a bonus room, as well as a good structure for a garage-top deck.  That will come later though.  I'll update this as I go along.

I'm currently getting quotes from contractors and general contractors.  I spoke with one guy that seemed very professional and respectable that offered to take a serious on-site look through my project and advise me for $500, prior to potentially putting together a plan and coming on as a general contractor.  I don't know if that's very abnormal, but I respect the idea of paying a real professional for their time.

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