I have a 75-year-old house that was converted from hot water radiation to electric baseboards some twenty years ago (before I owned the place.) The move was done to take advantage of the extremely low electric rates (they're still low), but the hot water pipes weren't removed. I am now planning to finish the basement, but there are several places where the pipes steal an extra foot of ceiling height in what is already a mere 7ft ceiling.

I know about the rules of asbestos abatement (a job for pros only, hasmat suits, the works). What I'm considering is leaving the asbestos on (not disturbing it and not making it airborne) and just cutting the pipes (with a chain cutter, perhaps?) and carefully removing the lengths.

Why? Because just removing the asbestos (not the pipes) would cost $1600 for our small basement and wouldn't solve the problem at hand. And the two quotes I got from plumbers were...chokers.

Anybody have any advice?