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John Rodriguez
Heated steps

I need to demolish my concrete porch and the steps leading up to my front door. I own an historic Chicago bungalow in North Mayfair, Chicago; a neighborhood that was featured in This Old House magazine back in March 2010. Here is my question. I am thinking of having heating elements added to the treads to melt the snow and ice during those very cold Chicago winters. I am afraid of two things. The cost, and more importantly, whether the constant heating and thawing of the steps will cause the concrete to fail prematurely. Can you give me any advice on this? Thanks

dj1
Re: Heated steps

You shouldn't worry so much about this, as heating systems have improved in the last few years. Just as important is the proper installation to ensure good results.

For the cost, have a few contractors bid on the job, ask for references and follow through with them, ask for recommendations, word of mouth - in other words, pick your contractor carefully.

Do your homework and you will have good new concrete porch and steps.

John Rodriguez
Re: Heated steps

I appreciate the advice, but what I am really looking for is someone who actually has had this done to their own house, and how did it turn out? I have a contractor lined up who did a similar job for a neighbor, which didn't invole the heating elements; but the question remains as to the wear and tear of the concrete. Thanks.

dj1
Re: Heated steps

I don't think that your outdoor concrete will fail faster because of the heating element. From what I've seen, concrete in your area doesn't last very long to begin with.

You should be more concerned about the cost. Also, ask around people who have installed heated concrete and get their opinions.

John Rodriguez
Re: Heated steps

Thanks for the advice!

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