Questions about boilers (another!), and new elec, gas and water feeds....

Hello again
I have decided, while converting the barn to keep the upstairs as on large open plan office which I plan to let to a local business. The downstairs will stay part of the house.
I need to do one of two things.....
1    Bring in new water, gas and electricity feeds with meters into the 'upstairs' part of the barn and install a boiler that will feed the hot water and radiators up there
or
2    Feed the whole lot from my existing supply - including fitting a new boiler for the house which will feed the lot - and charge an all inclusive rental for the office....
I am sure option 2 will be cheaper short term and as long as I factor in the costs of running the office (over 12 months), it might be suitable long term, especially if the upstairs ever becomes a 'granny flat'
How much work is involved in bringing in new feeds - in terms of and time? Can I legally charge an 'all inclusive' rent? If I go for option 2, I'll need a good boiler that provides a feed for 4 seperate heating circuits (house - ground and first floor, and barn - ground and first floor) as well as hot water - is there such a beast? That way I can use a timer/room stat in the office to ensure the heating turns down during the evening.
Sorry again for so many questions - you have all already been a great deal of help! I'm sure at the end of all this, when the conversion is complete, I may be able to contribute - with the experience I have gained!
Regards, Simon http://www.thehawthornes.org
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"Simon Hawthorne" wrote | I have decided, while converting the barn to keep the upstairs | as on large open plan office which I plan to let to a local | business. The downstairs will stay part of the house.
Bear in mind that business / mixed use / multiple occupancy can give rise to more stringent fire escape and alarm requirements. Also if the business upstairs has more than 5 employees it will need separate male and female WCs and may have additional car parking requirements. You may also have to consider disabled access for staff and visitors, and public liability insurance for the car park and shared areas.
| How much work is involved in bringing in new feeds - in terms of | and time?
Electricity - up to about 60A you can get 'check meters' from electrical wholesalers quite cheaply and meter the sub-main to the office if your existing supply is adequate. For a barn-sized building you may be lucky and already have a 3-phase incomer.
Water - an office is unlikely to use a lot (WCs and kettle for tea) so you might just absorb that cost, especially if you can get a domestic unmetered supply. Bear in mind sewage charges may also apply.
Gas - dunno. But if the property is well-insulated so the heating load in the office isn't more than about 6-8kW max you could just install electric panel heaters run though the office sub meter. Electric handwash units may be useful in avoiding long dead legs to the taps and frequent on-offs if you use a combi.
(Probably wise to have a condition in the lease banning bottle gas heaters.)
| Can I legally charge an 'all inclusive' rent?
AFAIK yes, but there is a maximum on the resale price of energy to tenants (although this might be for dwellings rather than commercial leases).
If you are doing all inclusive on heating you would need to put the timer in the dwelling part of the property (under your control) and agree with the tenant what hours heating is provided - and that you are not liable for its breakdown (if your boiler fails, the office is too cold for work, and the tenant has to send his staff home, you don't want to be liable for the wages and consequential loss of business.)
Owain
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I believe devices are available for measuring the energy supplied by a wet central heating system. I suspect they measure the flow rate and temperature difference between the flow and return pipes. You could use this to meter their heating usage.
BTW, you'll need planning permission, building regulations and insurance to do all this, each of which may be quite onerous to obtain.
Christian.
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