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I'm curious. When doing an install in new construction with unfinished basement and/or no architect giving you a small closet for mechanicals do you routinely suggest that a reasonably finished "room" be made to house the mechanicals?

If anything like here, basements are often unfinished or partially finished at construction but very often finished shortly thereafter. Work often done by homeowner or handyman types who aren't too concerned with access, service or replacement of the mechanicals.

I'd think if you do suggest a reasonably finished space be made and give reasonable clearances that many homeowners would go along and you (or others) will be <I>very</I> thankful down the road... When/if the space is later fully finished, there's probably a good chance that they will work with the space instead of tearing it out.


  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    For years

    Mike I have said that you should not be allowed to build a house if you do not know where to put the furnace(mechanicals). And that not in the crawl not in the attic but where it can be properly serviced, cleaned and when the time comes replaced. Assuming that the furnace/water heater/ air conditioner will be replaced every 15/20 years. Why make it so hard on everyone? We drug an old air handler out of the crawl today and I an not looking forword to put the new one back. J.Lockard
  • Murph'_5
    Murph'_5 Member Posts: 349
    some folks do not care....

    Or do not know any difference. If working with the homeowner directly you may be able to work something out. back in the day I would always walk the building with the GC (greedy crook) and come up with a layout that benefitted everyone involved including basement baths and placement of floor drains and such.


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  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    It's what continues to shock me...

    I've seen pictures of some of the small cities that people build for themselves (15,000+ sq ft homes)... then we get a glimpse of the mechanical room, which is so tight, that you have to squeeze past the boiler to get to the back.

    Architects that force installers to put 10 lb of stuff into a 5 lb bag should be forced to work as an apprentice until they get it and promise not to do it again. I've set aside 160 sq ft in the basement (8x20) for the boiler, 2 ton AH, the wall with the hydronics pumps, the sprinkler system, water heater, etc. Even with that much wall-space I wonder if we will run out of room...

    Considering that I did the piping layout for the entire plumbing system, I suppose this is probably the time to sit down with diagrams showing access requirements, etc. to see just how to keep the basement room as uncluttered, accessible, etc. as possible. Some vellum, some graph paper, beer, and time should do the trick.

    One issue that continues to affect us though is that the waterproofing on the outside of the concrete walls ensures that the walls have to lose their inherent moisture to the inside. Thus, we will not be able to use ½ of the wall space in the utility room until the concrete is dry... sometime in November, IIRC.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Catch as catch can

    with the outrageous cost of building, artichokes, ME's and contractors are very reluctant to give much real eastate to mechanical guys.

    So we are forced to get creative! Why do you think the Munchkins are built so small :)

    You have noticed all my Munchkin installs are wall mounted above the buffer tank. Not because I like working on ladders, of course.

    It either build them small and stack them tall or no work at all :)

    Funny thing is it doesn't matter if the building is 1500 or 15,000 square feet. Residential or commercial. Only a handful of times in my carrer have I seen what could be considered adequate, ideally located, easily vented and combustion aired, available space.

    And it is always when the deal was cut with the homeowner. Or the GC was a former mechanical contractor and knew the "game."

    hot rod

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  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    We did a 25,000 square foot home

    a few years back.

    Try fitting 3 Buderus G315's and all the attachments in a 10'x10' space!

    BTW, one person lives in that home.

    Mark H

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  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    why not suggest your primary is An Art form?

    and get a boiler room in the garage and a mechanical room just to keep things looking like what it is Worth? :) explain that these two areas are the highest $ per square foot area s in the home.
    ...maybe this thought willdoit, or explain that you dont need to advertise so you like to put that extra effort and your advertising dollar into a top quality product within your budget.
    ...remember on really larger places its costing you large too. the GC probably holds out for you on the job because of a variety of reasons ,...the homeowner expects that to get Him to go along with the programme shorting his "Guys"out of the equasion is likely to PO the GC..Then hes looking for another builder..GC's aint all bad:) its sorta like in the code book where it says some thing to the effect of "Proper planning... will avoid these ......" :)
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    It's all in the eye of the beholder...

    ... we had our board of zoning appeals meeting last night. We needed a special permit to allow the addition of a roof over the rear deck (which is in keeping with victorian homes) and to have a consistent ceiling height in the basement.

    One of the more illuminating comments was "It's a 5000 sq ft house and there are only two of them". I'll check with the production department later, but this is a problem that should be easy to fix. ;)

    Anyway, because there is so little room in the house to run chases and whatnot, we're going to resort to 3 "regular" 2ton AC systems to keep the place cool. So our AC/HRV mechanicals will be spread somewhat throughout the house... the only location that presently makes me unhappy is the attic... whenever things are not easy to access, its so much harder to motivate yourself to do the PM properly, etc.
  • Nron_9
    Nron_9 Member Posts: 237
    boiler room

    Was in an older building last week had the original boiler in the basement about 9'w *14h * 25'L , and still enough room for 2 cleaver brooks boilers ,4 1oo gal hwts, 3 used and 2 smaller boilers pushed to the side with about a 1000 gal storage tank .. all this and there was enough room to park a couple of cars ,

    guess we now know where all the extra space is we are looking for eh guys
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