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Question DetailsAsked on 8/23/2014

Why would you install a furnace and hot water heater upstairs instead of the basement which was built as a new home

Was thinking about buying a home and when we went to look at it, the furnace and hot water heater was in a closet on the main floor and the only thing in the basement was the water softener. I rather everything be in the basement and easy access. Also, what would the cost be to move everything to the basement?

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Borderline Flood Zone? I guess if this was a Modular Home it might have been installed at the factory to have final connections made on site. It does not make much sense to me if there is a full basement and was a stick built home. It is much easier to install and service in the basement and if there is a problem with the hot water heater less chance of major damage. I would not do this unless it was in a flood zone!


Answered 5 years ago by ContractorDon


I would say Don is probably on the right track - in flood zone or basement had water problems when built (maybe since corrected, maybe not - look for signs of water damage or highwater lines). Some areas prohibit utilities in the basement in flood zones - contact the local building department about that - or probably on the building department website.

Possible the original owner had it done that way to leave wide open basement for rec room or a hobby like a gigantic model railroad or such - building department might (possibly) have original plans on file showing if original permit was for that configuration, and if it originally had a basement.

Other possibilities as Don mentioned - could have been modular home, or maybe did not originally have a basement and they added one under it (or moved it to a basement built next to the original house.

You would have to get a specific quote for relocation cost, and finding space for ducting within the walls from basement to existing closet could be a pain and especially if you wantto get the piping and ducting out of the closet to make it usable, but I would guess about $1000-1500 bare minimum with leaving ducts and piping in the closet and just extending down into the basement (which would look funny to prospective buyers when you move) and quite possibly double to triple that to move them into basement, along with duct and piping and electrical relocations out of the closet too.

Bear in mind, your downstairs location is probably going to have to be within about 3-5 feet of right below the closet to connect up to the same flue piping (assuming gas or oil fired) unless you have a lot of headroom, which might park them right in the center of the basement which might not bve worth it to you, so when contractors come to look at it, be sure to first define the feasibility of it before talking $.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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