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Is It Worth Installing Heated Flooring In a Log Cabin?

A log cabin comes with a number of positive features that make it a desirable option for real estate. For instance, there is the general look of the cabin that makes it feel more rustic and traditional than more modern McMansions that have become the suburban norm. Then there is the long lasting quality of wood, so it can easily be a house that is passed from generation to generation.

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Perhaps one of the biggest pros that cabin owners talk about is the customization. You can add anything you like to make it 100% your own. It gives you the ability to make your dream house and who doesn’t want that?

Heated Floors...Aren’t Those a Pointless Luxury?

One upgrade that is becoming more common is installing heated flooring. This is a climate control system that is laid under the wood, tile or carpeting and can either me switched on manually, or set to come on when the temperature hits a certain degree or at a specific time in the day/night. Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most popular rooms for heated floors.

Some may ask whether or not this is just a pointless luxury? Those people have obviously never felt these floors for themselves. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night in the winter and going for a glass of water in the kitchen. The shock of the cold tiling jolts you awake and you have trouble getting back to sleep again. Or you take a hot shower before work and stepping on the floor is actually painful after the heat of the water.

Heated flooring is an upgrade that anyone who has ever felt their tootsies frost over can really appreciate.

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Hidden Benefits of Heated Floors

Not getting frostbite is one of the more obvious benefits of heated floors. But what are some of the more obscure pros of having warm flooring in your log cabin?

For one thing, you are adding value to your home. Upgrades are a guaranteed way to add some cash to the price tag of your home, especially those little luxury additions that aren’t integral to the house itself. It shows pride of ownership and are little added benefits that potential buyers look at and apply to their fantasy of the home. So Mr. and Mrs. Smith aren’t just imagining where their couch set might go. They are thinking of those cold days and the comfort of the heated flooring, something that will really stand out against other houses.

Another potential benefit is reducing the risk of damage in floors. Wood is a sturdy material but it requires upkeep and can be prone to certain risks. Extreme weather, especially temperature, can be one of them. Keeping your floors warm reduce the risk of damage in the long term.

How Much Does Floor Heating In a Log Cabin Cost?

The materials for heated floors is relatively inexpensive. Most stores like Home Depot and Lowes will sell it for around $4 - $6 per square foot, so the cost will depend on the size of the space you are covering. For example, if you are just doing a small bathroom of around forty square feet you are looking at around $160 to $240 for the materials alone. An average kitchen is 70 square feet, meaning around $280 to $420 or materials.

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Where this will differ is going to be labor costs. A professional install job can get a bit costly and will be much more than the materials alone (which you will still have to provide). According to contracting experts, the average cost of an install job in a bathroom is going to be around $600. For an entire 1,500 square foot house it could cost a smuch as $25,000, though around $10,000 seems to be the most quoted price.

As you can see, heated floors are an investment. Part of that is in your own enjoyment and comfort and part is in additional value to your home if or when you decide to sell. Making an upgrade of that magnitude can really pay off later on.

Can I Install It Myself?

Seeing the install price may have you balking at the idea of hiring a contractor. After all, if the materials are only a few hundred bucks, couldn’t you just eat that cost and do it yourself? You’re handy...you fixed a leaky faucet once or twice and even erected a prefab gazebo in the backyard!

You can possibly install these floors on your own. All it takes it exposing the baseboard, doing from work to prepare it and laying down the coils the right way. The problem is in the “right way” part. Heating flooring is easy to install incorrectly. You could end up with uneven distribution that has cold patches. There may be short in one of the racks. Or you could possibly start a fire (yes, that really is possible).

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That doesn’t mean you can’t try. There are many guides and YouTube videos out there that will walk you through the process. If you have some experience dealing with flooring it could be easier to prepare things and reduce your risk of mistakes. But first time DIYers who aren’t quite sure what they are doing may be better off getting a professional.

After all, the last thing you want is to spend even more money fixing something that could have been done right the first time.

Hiring Someone to Install Heated Floors

Hiring someone to install heated floors in your log cabin is pretty easy. Most contractors will know how to do it and be able to quote a price. Make sure you shop around and find someone who is in the mid-range with their quotes. Too high and you are probably being swindled. Too low and they probably can’t stand behind their work.

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Finally, be sure they are licensed and insured contractors. Failing to do so could lead to a much bigger headache than you ever want to deal with.

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