Oct 20, 2010

Radiator Covers

The master bedroom radiator cover in progress.  Please note the screens are just stuck on for effect

Our next big project involves every room in the house: radiator covers.  While we were lucky enough to buy a house with a new furnace/boiler, our 1920s colonial has steam heat through the original radiators in every room.   These radiators get boiling hot when the heat comes on.  All our neighbors' houses have covers.  Apparently the ones from the previous owner were thrown out.  Georgia's already singed her paws and I am extremely clumsy, frequently injured and a prime candidate for a burn.

We meant to start this project much sooner, but 1) the kitchen took longer and 2) we are easily distracted by other projects.  We have 11 radiators in the house, 4 of them prominently placed enough to cause problems. These are the ones we are tackling first, starting with the one in our master bedroom.

We found a great tutorial on ThisOldHouse.com complete with video, shopping list for supplies, and step by step instructions.  Luckily this is a fairly easy project and we have all the necessary tools, it's just time consuming.  The experts said each one will take about 6 hours - which for us means that the first one will take 10-12 hours, the second one 8-10, and so on until we get it down to 6 hours each with practice!

The construction itself is pretty simple, and luckily we are well versed now in the art of jigsaw cutting.  The cover itself is basically 3 pieces of MDF pieced together to form the sides, with holes cut out for the screen to let the heat through.  The top is another piece of MDF that comes off for radiator maintenance, and in the back we insert a piece of sheet metal to reflect heat back into the room instead of heating the balloon frame behind the wall.

Around here there's going to be a lot of radiator coverage until we're finished.  We are pretty much building a custom piece for every room in our house (and 2 for the living room), so it's going to be a radiator-centric for a while.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your creativity, thanks for sharing these great ideas.