Have you got an uncomfortable room above your garage?
It seems that we’re performing at least two bonus room insulation makeover jobs every week! And our clients are immediately happy and grateful to have the space above their garage more comfortable and usable any day of the year.
Your bonus room is like your ear, exposed on all sides. It has perimeter exterior walls, it has no conditioned space underneath, and typically, it’s furthest from the air handler.
Here are the steps to solving uncomfortable bonus rooms
When they call, and I discuss their bonus room, I tell them we’re going to address four areas:
1. The thermal barrier under the room is vitally important. In other words, we have to fix the broken thermal barrier in the floor system between the room and the garage. We use our Drill-and-Fill technique to pump hundreds of pounds of cellulose insulation into the vast network of voids and cavities between the sheetrock garage ceiling and the floor of the bonus room. This is a top priority!
2. The thermal boundary above the room needs to be super-charged to protect the air ducts and ceiling from the (summer) inferno-like temperatures in that tiny, confined tunnel. We add several inches of cellulose insulation to the flat part of the bonus room ceiling. If accessible, we bury the HVAC ducts beneath a few inches of cellulose insulation above this bonus room. It works! If the duct(s) are suspended, we spray these ducts with closed cell foam. This rewards our client with colder AC from his vents and warmer heat.
3. Those vertical kneewalls need help. We improve the kneewall insulation and seal them against uncontrolled air infiltration.
4. Finally, we modify the air ducts that serve this room. The Supply-Air duct(s) are re-designed for high velocity, efficient airflow. If there is no dedicated Return-Air vent in this room, we add one. And we use our Flowhood test to prove our improved airflow.
5. And I tell them, for an average room above a 2 car garage the invoice will probably fall between $3500 and $4500 for those bundled services.
This is where I shut-up and listen to their response. Either they want it, or they don’t.
I Remember The First Time We Solved A Cold Floor
In our 2nd year of business, I remember the first house where I performed a Drill-and-Fill in the sheetrock ceiling of the garage. It was a beautiful lake house east of Atlanta. The young couple had a 2 year old daughter who’s bedroom was freezing cold. Her room was above the two car garage.They asked if I could help.
Eager to try my hand at dense packed cellulose insulation, I eagerly quoted the job and won the work. I was nervous like crazy!
I drilled the network of 2” diameter holes to gain access to the floor system. Carefully I began pumping my cellulose insulation into the floor system, puckered up so nervous I was sweating in December. Would the sheetrock crack from all the pressure?
Abbey was 16 and Beau was 12. One was upstairs in the bedroom with a walkie talkie ready to shout if we had cellulose blowing everywhere. The other was with the rig, loading the hopper with cellulose. I was in the carport, standing on the ladder with our drill-and-fill hose set-up.
We slowly worked our way across the ceiling, and finished the job without incident. We plugged our holes, and hopped into the attic to add a few inches of cellulose attic insulation. About a month later, I received a beautiful handwritten note from Ms homeowner. “Bob, for the first time since her birth, _____’s room (I forgot her name) is just as comfortable as any room in the house. And for the first time ever, she is able to sit on the floor and play with her toys! Thanks so much for your work, and please tell Abbey & Beau thank you for all their help.”
After that job, I was convinced we had a solution for cold floors above garages! And for almost 20 years we’ve been solving comfort issues in these uncomfortable bonus rooms for clients. In fact, I’m still learning a few more tricks to get bonus rooms comfortable!
Your Home Comfort, Re-imagined…. That’s Bird Family Insulation!
– Bob Bird