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Old 07-16-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
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Heating Unit

I have a two family house and have tenants living on both floors. I have oil heat in the house. I am paying hot water and heating fuel. Is it worth it for me to replace the oil heater and install two seperate units so that the tenants will pay their own heating bills? Can anyone advise me on this and recommend the type of heating unit I have to purchase and how much will it cost me? The local contractor told me that he will install two seperate units which will operate by gas. This will be a hot water unit and he will install hot water heating boards in the basement, first floor and second floor and remove the heating oil unit, pipes and radiaters. He is asking $10,000 for this work. The house is located in Brooklyn, NY.


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Old 07-17-2008, 04:01 AM   #2
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We can't see the job, so there is now way to advise you. Such work varies greatly from area to area in any case.
As always, get itemized written quotes from three different professional licensed companies, and check their references.
If it were me, I would only go to this expense if the unit needs replacement anyway or you can't raise the rent to cover the added fuel costs.
Good luck!


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Old 07-18-2008, 05:23 PM   #3
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When a landlord pays utilities the costs should be included in the rents. If you have two identical apartments and one of them has all the utilities covered by the landlord and the other does not I would expect a $300-$500 difference in the rent. While it's nice to have separate utilities I'd just make sure I included the costs of paying these utilities in the rents and save myself $10,000.

I can't be there to see the job so I can't say what it should cost. I live out on LI and I know plumbers charge decent money. the company I work for charges about $140/hr for one person, the city is more expensive. Just be careful and do your research on different plumbing companies. Don't be afraid to get a few quotes either. Check and see if the quotes include draining and hauling away an indoor oil tank, or draining and abandoning an outdoor tank. An improperly abandoned outdoor oil tank can literally cost millions of dollars should it contaminate the surrounding soil. See if it includes the cost of brining gas into the building. If you already have gas is your existing line large enough?
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