In a few days I'll close on a c. 1900 2-story Queen Anne located in central NC. The downstairs is fully renovated and has central air and gas heat, plus working wood and gas fireplaces. The second floor, on the other hand, is not renovated. The bath is at bare stud, one bedroom is ~80% complete (trim work and floor refinishing left), and another bedroom is left to start. There is no HVAC upstairs, and no existing ductwork.
I have a few ideas, and I'd like some help thinking about the upstairs renovations, especially heat and air, and how to prioritize them before I start getting estimates, so that I know what questions to ask and can make sure I get my horse in front of my cart. I'm a novice renovator, so if my plan gets picked apart, it can only help.
If radiant heat is installed under the wood floors in the bath, is this sufficient to warm an ~10' x 11' room?
Can a quad-zone mini-split A/C unit be used on a second floor? Will I come out ahead with a mini-split versus putting in ductwork and using a conventional split w/ducts?
I was thinking about using baseboard heating units upstairs, and installing gas fireplace inserts in the two bedroom fireplaces, which share a chimney with two functional, wood-burning fireplaces downstairs.
About the order of work upstairs, I was thinking the logical order is:
add HVAC & refit fireplaces
have bath plumbing made ready for addition of fixtures
finish out bath
complete the 80% done room
complete the unfinished room
complete the hallway
One thing that may complicate the order of work is that I plan to create arched passages between the two bedrooms where two existing closets now stand on either side of the fireplaces. The nearly done bedroom will remain a bedroom, but the 2nd bedroom will become a sitting room. I'll install a large walk-in closet across the back of that room. The upstairs will become one (very large) master suite.
For electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, I'll use pros, but for the rest, I'll do much of the work myself. Since time is not an issue, I'm not sure that the expense of hiring a general contractor to run everything is justified. I figure I can spend five years on the upstairs, since it's just me and pets in the house. Is it foolhardy not to hire a general contractor for this undertaking?
Okay, that's my plan - your critique is appreciated!