As much as I love our upstairs bonus “everything room,” it does have its flaws. Yes, it provides us with the extra space we really need for our office, playroom, guest room, extra storage, etc. But because it was an attic conversion that (we have discovered) was not done very well, we’ve got some issues. I’ve mentioned before that it lacks lighting (something we’re hoping to address more fully in the next year or two but for now we’re dealing with with lots of lamps…). However, I’m not sure I’ve mentioned much about the fact that it doesn’t heat or cool very well. In the summer it is HOT, and in the winter it is COLD. Not just warm and chilly, but we’re talking serious heat and cold issues. We’ve had several experts of different kinds (heating/cooling, insulation, etc.) out to give us some advice, but no one is 100% sure why this room is so terrible. I suspect this will be an ongoing project for us over the next several years.
One thing we knew would help in the summer would be to install a window air conditioner unit. The problem? The windows that were installed when the attic conversion + dormer was done were old crank-style windows that a) can’t accommodate a window air conditioner and b) were broken so the wouldn’t open or close well. While we would love to eventually replace all the windows upstairs with new ones, we’re trying to be smart about where we spend our dollars and make sure we’re getting the most enjoyment bang for our buck. So we opted to just replace the larger set of windows so that we could both have working windows to get a nice breeze and have the option to put an air conditioner in.
I didn’t get a great “before picture” but you can sort of see the old windows I’m talking about in this pic (the ones on the left):
I didn’t realize until we replaced the windows what a huge difference they made the view to outside! They let in way more light and really open up the whole space so much more. Here’s a shot of the huge bank of windows:
Nice, right? I love that the new windows have mullions and beefier casings around them – they really make the space feel more like it relates to the rest of the house. Since the attic conversion was done on the cheap back in the 80s, there was not an attempt to make the space feel connected to the rest of the house stylistically. One goal DH and I have for the house is to work to reconnect the upstairs with the downstairs style-wise. But it will definitely be a process!
In full disclosure, this was actually done last fall around the holidays and no, we still have not yet painted the trim. And yes, we have a million pieces of trim to paint and yes if you’d like to help please come over and bring a paint brush.
I’m actually looking forward to summer a bit to see if we can keep things a bit cooler now that we’ll be able to have some amount of air conditioning in the room. My eventual plan involves more insulation, integrated lighting in the vaulted ceiling, and a big beautiful ceiling fan. We’re not there yet, but hopefully we will be before too long!