Heating Systems

Central Heating

I see lots of refurbished properties and because all the parts are so visible, no other aspect of a refurb. shows up a developer’s
attitude to his task, than how he deals with an existing central heating system.

Sometimes there’s a new condensing boiler fitted but more often than not, I find 20 year old rads. no thermostatic valves and a 1970’s roomstat still in the hallway. The biggest giveaway however, is the airing cupboard. The number of times I have found the original old cupboard which has had no more attention paid to it than a lick of paint, concealing the original cylinder with no thermostat and the wall behind it, still with the 1930’s brown wallpaper hanging off it.

It goes without saying of course that the tank and pipework in the loft have only got a few old coats thrown after them for insulation.

Luckily, most punters hardly notice any of this, they are so goggle eyed at the new bathroom that it seems to simply fly right past them.

We’re talking money now, when refurbishing a property I’m not Mr Nice Guy. The existing heating system is happily working by the way, there’s no
requirement to upgrade it. Buyers are going to try and “knock me down” by a few grand just on principle and business is a 2 way process. Why the hell should I give people the best of everything when I know I’m not going to be recognised for it! (You can substitute recognised with paid of course).

As Tommy Cooper used to say. “It’s not the principle, it’s the money!”

Personally, I would only replace the boiler if it was atrocious, and if not replaced, I would try and box it in (hide it, to be blunt).

I would put a nice red shiny insulation jacket over the hot water cylinder and paint the wall behind it!

If the old room stat was seriously visible, I would change it.

The ideal scenario of course would be that the existing system was so old it all just
had to be changed. Actually, I’ve never worked out whether we all live in an ideal world, though somehow I seriously suspect that we don’t!

Other Heating

If there’s no heating currently installed, the cheapest form to fit is electric panel heaters. They just plug into sockets, look good and are cheap to buy. They are expensive to run though because they use peak power but that’s not your problem.

If there are very old ugly storage heaters, replace them with new “boostable” ones. They look 10 times better and are far more efficient.

If you want to fit a feature fire, an attractive choice is a new fangled bioethanol heater. They burn a gel, there’s a nice big flame and they don’t need a chimney (you can put them on the coffee table if you are drunk enough)……magic!