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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

Don't let a leaky staircase freeze you out


O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


Don't let a leaky staircase freeze you out

Chelsea O'Donnell

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a love/hate relationship with your attic. On the one hand, it’s a great place to store away Christmas decorations and bulky suitcases that you don’t often use. On the other hand, it’s not the easiest place to get in and out of, and it’s also the single biggest pain point when it comes to heat and air leaks in the home.

Most people around this area access their attic through a pull down staircase or ladder. In terms of heat and A/C seepage, this huge hole in your ceiling is your number one problem. While it gives you access to extra storage, it can also cost you hundred of dollars in energy waste that you’ve probably never given a second thought to.  

I faced this problem myself many years ago, and recognizing the issue, I built myself an insulated box that I fit inside the attic and over the hole where the stairs sit above the ceiling. This simple barrier stopped the heat that was escaping out of the house and through the roof, and immediately my energy bill started to drop. Being in attics every day, I am surprised how many homeowners don’t realize that they have the same problem.

If you access your attic through a pull down staircase, do yourself a favor this winter and get it insulated. A simple box or tent, usually made from polystyrene, will close the space between your home and your attic, sealing the gaps where cold air gets in and heat gets out. The box itself is inexpensive and installation is quick and easy. It’s a simple fix that will pay for itself in spades over the course of this winter and for years to come.