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Expert advice on insulating your home

How to maximise energy savings and get the best value for money

By Staff writer | 20 May 2022

With energy prices on the rise, it’s a good time to consider how to insulate your house to keep those heating bills down. Insulating your home will help to improve its energy efficiency. The less fuel you use heating the building, the more money you save and the less CO2 emissions are produced, and with the recent VAT cut from 5% to 0% on insulation to help UK homeowners to save on energy, there’s no better time think about improving your home insulation.

Nik Nelberg, Managing Director of Earl & Calam Design & Build Ltd, and Alex Hunt, Managing Partner and Retrofit Coordinator at Bright Green Homes – both members of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) – offer some expert advice on how to insulate your house for maximum efficiency.

In partnership with the Federation of Master Builders

Plan how to insulate your house

Whether you’re taking on a home renovation project or planning an extension, taking a whole-house approach to insulation can help you to prioritise the jobs that give you maximum energy savings for your money. Getting a retrofit assessor to produce a survey for your property before you start will give you a detailed plan of where energy-saving improvements can be made.

‘A whole-house assessment is a must,’ says Nik. ‘Every house is different and working out how it currently performs and what might be possible is essential. A retrofit assessor can work out what’s feasible and how much insulation measures might cost.’

‘Each element works with the other elements within the building,’ adds Alex. ‘So for instance, if you improve the loft insulation and you improve the windows, do you really need such a big boiler?’

A retrofit survey costs between £100-£300 depending on the size of the property and where you live. A retrofit assessor will produce a detailed insulation improvement plan for your property, identifying problem areas and issues like ventilation, mould and damp. It sets out how to fix them, roughly how much it will cost and what to prioritise.

Whole house renovation by Bright Green Homes including a new storey, 2 new bedrooms, a new living/cinema room and two new bathrooms with lots of eco-improvements including MVHR, Solar PV, Solar Hot Water, Super Insulation, Triple Glazing

Bright Green Homes retrofitted this home with high-performing insulation and energy-saving measures. Photo: Simon Callaghan Photography

Insulating an extension or loft conversion

When you’re adding to the square footage of your home with an extension or loft conversion, your builder should include insulation materials in their quote, but how airtight the existing building is should not be overlooked.

‘Making sure any insulating work is done properly and that vapour control is addressed is very important,’ says Nik. ‘There isn’t much point in insulating a loft if the eaves are still letting air whistle through, so an understanding of the change in the way the new roof works is important.

‘As soon as you start making a house more airtight, then ventilation is important to ensure a supply of fresh air and remove any moisture that could cause mould,’ he adds. ‘This is where the whole-house assessment comes into its own.’

how to insulate your house: this loft conversion was shortlisted for a Don't Move Improve 2022 award

This artist studio conversion by VATRAA was shortlisted for a New London Architecture Don’t Move, Improve! 2022 award