Return on Investment – Blog 5 – Heated Floors vs. Baseboards.

Are you renovating your home?  Unless your plan is for a long-term occupancy chances are you’ve given some thought as to what the future buyers of your home might want and the potential return on investment.  If your plan is to sell in the next few years you’ll be competing with the ‘big boys’.  Developers have a team of experts constantly balancing their budget restrictions with the ever-increasing demands of the buyer.

Kitchens and bathroom updates are the low hanging fruit of the home renovation list but only if done well.  Real estate expert Lance Phillips says that if the money isn’t spent on the right features, it’s wasted on resale.  This blog answers the question baseboards or radiant in-floor heat?  The next blogs in this series will address bathrooms and kitchens.

So we asked him:

Which is better, radiant in-floor heating or baseboards?  

Well, in bathrooms with tile floors, radiant in-floor heat is a must.  The good news is that you don’t have to invest radiant heating for the whole house.  Bathroom floor heat can be, and often are, electrical pads and are independent from the rest of the heating system.

Buyers love in-floor radiant heat. Inspectors shy away from them.  Inspectors know that baseboards are easier to maintain and issues with them are less disruptive to the household, easier to diagnose and infinitely easier to repair.  A leak in an in-floor system, while rare, is always a much bigger issue to find and repair.  From a practicality point of view though, the baseboard has more “moving” parts and each unit will have certain valves and parts that are wear items needing replacement from time to time.

Lance tells us that the buyers’ complaint about baseboards is largely from a functionality point of view.  They can interfere with furniture placement and can also produce uneven heating in a room.  In-floor heat not only gives buyers the impression of luxury, but they also tend to think that the physical layers used when installing the floor heat will provide some sound deadening between floors.  “So the perception is of quality and that adds value.” He advises that if you were building a new house, then you should install it.  If you are retrofitting an older home, it’s probably not necessary.

Remember though, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  If your budget doesn’t allow for the entire house, then you may want to consider it just for the main floor.  Buyers may not even notice the seamless radiators that you install on the upper floors because they look just like baseboard; it’s hard to tell the difference.   Attached to this blog is a picture of a baseboard installation, illustrating just how clean and seamless baseboard heaters can be, even with all the wires they need tucked inside.  Want to see it in person?  Drop by our shop and see our display of Made In Canada Rescom rads.