My wife and I are going to move into our first home here in New England and the floors are pretty worn so we're going to fully replace them with new wood flooring (quarter and rift sawn so it can work with radiant heating).
There is currently radiant heating in the kitchen and breakfast room and a 250k Btu boiler from a 2001 renovation. There is also a forced air heating system.
I'm looking to add a radiant heating system to about 1,500 sq. ft. of the downstairs and upstairs bedroom areas (~750 sq. ft. each floor). The problem is that the quotes I'm getting are coming in much more expensive vs. what I was initially thinking so I'm trying to get smart about what matters most and what matters least about a potential system. So I'd love to hear whatever advice people may have.
Current quotes are ~$15 to $25/sq. ft or $20,000 to $40,000 - but they were sight unseen so they probably have lots of headroom so there wouldn't be surprises.
How many zones should I plan on having? It would seem that we'd basically just need 2 zones (upstairs and downstairs) because I imagine I'd just turn it on during the Winter and use the forced air heat to mitigate the ups and downs of temperatures.
Do I need an outside monitor that will automatically raise the temp when it's cold and floor temperature monitors?
Should I do the hallways in addition to the bedrooms or will it not really matter in the end?
It seems that most installers are using the Quik Trak system - any issues to watch out for with these systems? Benefits?
Anything I'd want to set up on the 2nd floor that would make the system "better" - like a separate manifold, etc.?
How much should I expect to "save" since I already have a boiler that should support the system (i.e. if they're quoting $40k, but adding a boiler is ~$7-8k fully installed then maybe the right number should be less)?
Will any "options" really save me money in the end or should I just keep shopping for a reputable installer who has lower prices?
Thank for any help - I'd also love to hear anyone's experiences with radiant heat to help me understand if it's worth the $20k+ we may spend.