I have visited several shops in our local area looking for ideas as we build our building. We are putting a 40x66 shop in our 66x104 building. When it came to heat we had it narrowed down to in-floor heat or the radiant heat tubes. Our ceiling will be 18 ft high, but we were still concerned about the 1 time we accidentally park directly under the tube and cook the cab off of something. Radiant will heat objects and recovers quicker than in floor. All neighbors that have the in floor heat had the same recommendations AND wouldn't have anything but in floor heat..... pressurize the heating tubes with air before the concrete gets poured and keep damn close watch on the pressure gauge in case a hole gets punctured in one of the heating lines. They all had about a 40x50 or 40-60 shops, and typically kept the thermostat at 55. They said recover isn't the quickest, but if you walk away for half an hour on the coldest day, it is easily ready to work when you get back. They never touch their thermostat's, and just keep them as low as they can be set. Each said they will burn around 1000 - 1200 gallon propane to heat the whole shop all winter long......i thought that sounded awfully cheap for the amount of space they are heating. On top of that, they don't have to plug block heaters in all winter as long as they are parked in the shop. You never have to worry about the shop warming up simply because it will stay at the thermostat temp all winter long. They all said the in floor heat is dry heat, and will do a good job of drying the floor if equipment is pulled in with snow on it, or other moisture. They said they still might run a squeegee on the floor, but for the most part, the heat is dry. I guess I should mention we are in SWI and have pretty cold weather during the winter.....snow sticks around quite a while and there are several day periods of sub zero temp's. All the farmers I talked to said do not skimp on insulation no matter what. They said it is the kicker to making any heat work.....to me, kind of a no-brainer....if your going to do it, do it right.
When it came decision time, we went with the in floor heat. It is an additional upfront cost, but there is no going back to put it in after we dump $5000 - $6000 worth of concrete. If recovery is an issue, we always have the "old" method....good ol Salamander heaters to help with the recovery.
We start pouring concrete next week so I can keep ya'll posted on our progress....my first go-round building a shop so it will be interesting.