Installing a heater and insulation in a cold bedroom

Answered by Brett ~ January 12, 2012 ~ Comments

An add-on bedroom in my house has no heat, and I'm assuming no insulation, because it is so cold in the winter. I would like to use the room as a guest room, what should I do?

Lillian ~ Yakima, WA

Brett Kulina

Lillian, if your older home has a room that was added onto the original structure, but does not have any heat or insulation, then the obvious project would be to install some insulation into the wall cavity and install some sort of heat. You have a few options when it comes to installing the insulation, but if you are not willing to remove the interior walls to access the space between the framing studs and roof rafters, then you will need to hire an insulation contractor who can blow-in loose cellulose or fiberglass insulation from the outside. Most likely this process will require boring some small holes in the exterior side of the wall, which are then used to access the wall cavity and blow in the insulation, and later patched.

If your home has a central heating system (furnace or boiler) then you can consult an HVAC contractor to see if it is possible to extend the heating ducts or hot water lines into the room in question. If this is not possible, then you have the option of hiring an electrician who can install a stand-alone baseboard heater or wall mounted Cadet type unit. These types of heaters are great for remodeling projects, because they don't require venting or duct work, but simply connect to a dedicated 110 or 220 volt circuit. Most of these units are equipped with a thermostat, or they can be hard wired to a wall mounted thermostat.

Keep in mind that if the room, which was added on to your home, does not have adequate insulation or any heat, then it may have been a sub-standard construction job that was completed by a homeowner long ago (before building codes). So it might be worth your money to have the room inspected by an experienced contractor who could determine if the room is lacking anything else, such as structurally sound framing members, properly installed windows, or code compliant electric outlets and lights. Good luck with your project and enjoy the new guest bedroom!

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