Hi all - I've been mulling over buying a new wood stove or boiler for a couple of years now as my current wood stove is simply an iron box with a pipe out the back...no baffles and tons of wasted heat. I found out my bank was having a loan "sale" this month, so I applied and got the financing....and I just bought the last carbon steel e140 from Alternate Heating Systems had in stock (or so I was told) at a significant discount. I've read countless thread on here and other forums, but finally decided to register and make a post to see if anyone had some specific advice or hints for me. I'll give you a little back story and some pictures to illustrate my questions. My house is approx. 1,600 square feet between two levels. It's a farmhouse built in the 1920's, and is insulated like one. I recently replaced all of the windows (36 in total) as they were the old wood and weight style that were most likely put in when the house was built. I have zero insulation in the walls and don't want to get them insulated just yet as I'd like to run new pipes to the 2nd floor in addition to replacing all of the old BX electrical wire to both floors, and blown in insulation would just get in the way of this. Here is the general layout of my house: First Floor Second Floor: My house has the old style "big iron" radiators, with the ones in the living room and dining room being 10 or 12 feet long. I've always had issues with the radiators heating the house evenly, with the far end of the house (top of drawings) receiving less heat. I have a single zone for all of my heating. Here is a line diagram showing the layout of the heating pipes in the basement, it's a very rough sketch and not to scale, but when combined with the above it will give you an idea of which rooms come off at which point in the runs: I'm getting ahead of myself here, please excuse the poor organization of my writing. I'd like to cut the heating system up into zones during this project. Would it be reasonable to Cut the 1st floor into the following 3 zones? Kitchen (has two radiators and is cold when wood stove is not running) Dining Room and Living Room - They share a large wide open doorway, and also house the stairway to the upstairs Bedroom 4 and Bathroom 1 - Bedroom 4 has frequent heating trouble similar to the kitchen. There is a door that can close these areas off form the Dining Room/Stairway, so I thought a zone of their own would be a good idea The upstairs I would like to put on a single zone so as not to overburden myself with costs on this project, although it would be great if I could put 2 zones for a reasonable cost. Is a single zone upstairs a better idea, or would I benefit from a second zone? If 2 zones would be worth it, how should I zone the upstairs? I have a few main goals in this project. I want to decommission the wood stove in my basement. It's inefficient, the chimney needs to be re-pointed and has no cap, it's messy and located right next to my laundry area, is too much labor to move the wood into the basement, and finally can't hold a fire for more then 8 hours....which is a pain when you are AT work for 8 hours, longer if you count the commute. Because of some of those points, I don't want to locate the wood boiler in my basement. So I have a detached garage. The garage would be a great place for the wood boiler, it's near the wood, less of a fire risk, don't care if it gets dirty, and I already have to go into it every day to get my car out and go to work. I have a 240V/50A service to the garage and a 1 1/4" low voltage conduit already installed so I'm all set for power and data. The issue I'm going to have is with running the pex lines from the garage to the house. I have two options, as you can see in the picture below. Option 1 is in dirt, but is a longer run, with about 75' of underground and another 25 to 30 feet indoor. Option 2 takes the "direct" path, but will require cutting and patching a 30 to 35 foot section of the driveway. I'm not a super skilled backhoe operator, so I'd guess the patch will be as wide as the trench I need plus 50% at least. So, based on the experience of others, what do you think would be a better plan? Which do you think has more potential for foul-ups? I like the longer outdoor run since I won't have to patch the driveway and prefer the boiler position closer to the center of the garage as the pitch of the roof will realistically require the chimney pipe to go up 2 feet over the peak no matter where on the roof it is (garage is only 20' wide, so horizontal distance of 10' on the chimney would put me at the peak anyhow and I'd rather have less protrusion of the chimney over putting supports for a 10 foot chimney stack). Next, I'm wondering how I should penetrate my foundation. I'm planning to run 2 @ 1" pex for supply and 2 @ 1" pex for return since I have the tools for 1" pex but nothing larger. Because I have high water in my area, and my basement frequently takes on water during heavy rain, I'd rather not penetrate the foundation below ground. If I penetrate above ground, what insulation procedures should I take? Should I build a cinder block box around the pex and fill it with foam and/or other insulation to prevent freezing? On the Garage side, the garage sits on a slab, so I could come up through the floor, however it's an unheated garage, the sets of carriage doors don't even close tightly so there is airflow into and out of the space. This makes me think it may be better to come up outside and build an insulate box there as well. What are people's thoughts on this? I have tons more questions, many of them will go into zoning, controls, heat storage tank (open storage, departing between EPDM rubber and Permaflex for water retention), links to parts and products I'd like opinions on, and other fun stuff. I do ramble, sorry about that. I appreciate anyone's input, and like constructive criticism since it helps me get it right the first time! TL:DR Based on the drawings above, how should I rezone my house? Based on above drawing, should I take the short route across the driveway or the long route that requires less driveway cutting for my exterior PEX run? How should I bring my PEX above ground to penetrate my foundation, and how should I insulate it? Should I come up through the slab in the unheated garage, or should I come through the exterior wall similar to the house?