Beat the Summer Heat in an Rental

Living in a rented home or apartment limits your options when it comes to increasing the insulation value in your home. You can’t rip out our walls and install more insulation and replace windows and doors with new more efficient models. Even if you own your home, many of us don’t have the financial resources to do a major overhaul on the insulations in our homes. Fortunately, there are several great options to reducing the heat entering your home (or keeping the heat in in the winter). These are great options that can help lessen the burden on your thermostat and save money on the cost of heating and cooling in a rental or on a budget.

When insulating your rental home on a budget, there are a variety of solutions to improve including sealing windows and using sun blocking curtains. Even after implementing these options there was still one room in the back of our home that just wasn’t staying cool so we decided to take slightly more drastic steps to cool things down! By ordering a handful of supplies and spending an afternoon working on it, we were able to easily install a faux wall on in our daughters room to lock out more heat! Not only did this work noticeably well, but we also created an accent wall in her room that she loves.

The supplies for this project were pretty minimal. I decided to get a wood-grain, white wallpaper to keep the room bright while also adding some texture. My girls love all things unicorn so I also bought some oversized wall stickers. These added some magic to the room while also helping conceal some small bubbles of air I missed when installing the wall paper. Lastly there is the pink, 2″ foam boards which most home improvement stores carry. The 1″ boards may be cheaper, but they are less effective!

One of the things I love about the foam is that the height of the foam is 8 feet which is a standard height of a wall. This means that if you have carpet, you can push the walls into place and the fit is snug enough to hold the panels in place. If you don’t have a carpet or the fit is not snug, some double sided tape between the wall and the foam should hold everything in place. The last board was a little to wide so I used my table saw to cut it to width. Since it is foam, an exacto knife should work relatively well if you don’t have a table saw.

Once we had the foam cut to width and in place along the wall, my husband and I cut the wall paper in strips the length of the wall and mapped out where we would put each piece.


This wallpaper is waterproof which increases the effectiveness of the insulation and seal. Putting up teh wallpaper takes two people and it works best if you work slowly in 3″ segments to prevent bubbles and wrinkles.

After the wallpaper was up, we added the stickers. Not only did this turn out cute, but also our daughter’s room is much cooler!

The hardest part of this project was the self-adhesive wallpaper. If you try to get it on too fast, it is easy to get bubbles of air trapped between the wall and the wallpaper. We also found that having the wall paper perfectly level was critical to making sure that we didn’t have gaps or too much overlap..

What tips and tricks have you used to beat the heat and keep cool in the summer?

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