Sorry for the lengthy post..
I read through the rules of the site about no DIY stuff and I think I udnerstand it. So let me be clear from the get go, I am doing a full DIY duct install in my house. However, I am not coming here for step by step tutorials on how to do it.
I am a fairly handy person and feel very comfortable doing it, but because I am not in the profession I do have a few things I am unsure about and am hoping someone here would be able to help.
If this post violates the rules I appoligize, and please remove it. I respect the fact that this is how most of you guys make your living, and by me doing it myself is taking work away from you or your peers.
To start, let me give you a little background on my situation. My house in Ontario, Canada has no duct work, and I currently heat with a wood burning fireplace, and electric baseboard as a backup. We want to get duct work installed mainly for A/C in the summer, and also possibly a propane furnace for backup to our fireplace instead of the baseboards.
We have had 4 local companies out to quote the job so we are/were open to having a company do it, but we weren't very happy with the quotes and/or methods the companies wanted to use. One company wanted to run ducts into the attic to heat the second floor. I know people do it, but we don't mind a bulk head if it means doing it right. We aren't affraid to pay good money to have it done right, but in the end we have decided if I did the duct work myself I could run things how I wanted, and hopefully save some money in the end. Then we would have a company come in for the furnace install, and hook into my duct work, so I am not completely taking work away from the industry.
I am also paying a company to do a heat/loss and duct design and provide us with the drawings with sizes of supply and return trunks along with size and location of supply lines, and returns. Once I have that I feel very confident I can take care of everything else. Who knows, I could be kidding myself but I am willing to try.
So now to my questions.
1. When using a wall cavity for cold air return, is it acceptable to use a load bearing wall? Obvisouly this would require cutting out the top and bottom plates of this wall which is what I am not sure about.
2. I have to run my main trunks through block foundation that seperates my "crawl space" (its about 5ft high) to the other side of the basement that is going to be finished. Here is a pic of each side of the block wall that I need to go through.
Here is a further back view of the second pic..
The plan is to basically come through that closet and angle up to run along the side of the support beam that runs the length of the basement. I have about 36" of width I can use for supply and return trunks. So is it ok to just remove the required blocks, and do I need to use something like a lintel to help carry the load?
Thanks a lot if you read through my post and if you have time to help me out that would be great.