How to Insulate & Raise the Basement Temperature

Insulated basements make appliances work less to heat during the winter.

Insulated basements make appliances work less to heat during the winter.

Yes, your basement can be warmer in cold weather. The temperature reading for the basement depends on how deep the room sits above the ground, how much of your heated house covers the underground opening, and the house heating system. If, after looking at these conditions, you still want to insulate your personal underground cave to make it toastier, the process is quite simple. You'll need some basic tools and a vehicle with space to transport the insulation.

Remove any old basement windows. Install new energy efficient model replacement windows following the manufacturer's instructions.

Spray the foam to seal around the edges of the window openings to eliminate any outside drafts.

Attach the nails to pairs of opposing ceiling floor joists. Wrap the metal wire around the nails to create a cradle holder for the basement ceiling insulation batting.

Stuff the insulation batting between the floor joists and above the metal wire until the insulation is locked in place.

Nail the boards horizontally to the basement sill plate.

Nail more boards horizontally around the base of the basement floor. Avoid resting the boards on the basement floor, but attach the boards as close as possible to the floor.

Nail additional boards around the edges of the basement windows. Avoid nailing into the replacement window trim.

Staple the rolls of wall insulation every 4 to 6 inches along the row of boards installed along the basement sill.

Use duct tape or the double-stick tape pre-attached to the sides of some insulation rolls to tape together the insulation.

Staple the wall insulation every 4 to 6 inches along the lower boards near the basement floor. Trim any excess for a neat look.

Staple the insulation as needed to the boards around the basement windows.

Cut the center of the window batting out to expose the window opening.

Sweep the floor to collect any dust and dirt. Use a mop to apply the sealer to the basement floor. Begin in one corner and work toward the exit door.

Apply a second coat to the basement floor after the first coat dries. Read the manufacturer's directions to determine the ideal drying times.

Items you will need

  • Hammer
  • Drywall knife
  • Spray foam
  • Paint mop
  • Metal wire and nails
  • Tape or laser measure
  • Staple gun
  • Double-sided and duct tape
  • Replacement windows
  • 9 inch wall insulation rolls
  • Ceiling insulation rolls - measure ceiling joists for size
  • 2-by-4 treated wooden boards
  • Floor insulation paint


  • Avoid applying any floor sealer to the wall insulation.
  • Repair any water leaks before insulating your basement. Insulation around water leaks may create mold problems.

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.

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