External wall insulation
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Finding a Pro for external wall insulation
Insulation is a key part of modern home energy efficiency. While houses built in the last 80 years or so will have cavity walls, a number of older properties have solid walls, which cannot be insulated in the same way. They have to be treated by adding insulation to the surface, and the most feasible place to do this will be your home’s exterior.
An experienced local insulation specialist will be the ideal Pro for a job like this, but it will be important to screen your candidates. You’ll want someone reasonable, reliable and experienced; luckily, you can find this Pro in no time at all through Plentific.
Once you post a job with Plentific.com, some of the best insulation specialists in your local area will start getting in touch to offer quotes. There will be no pressure to accept, so you can take all the time you want to compare your Pros and discuss your options. Best of all, each and every job booked via Plentific is covered by the Plentific Guarantee.
What do you need to know about external wall insulation?
Since the 1930s, almost all homes in the UK have been built with cavity walls. It is quite convenient to install insulation in these cavities, but solid walls do not have this advantage. With solid walls, the insulation must be stuck to the outside of the wall itself. While this can seem like a setback, you should try to remember the many advantages of installing insulation. As well as improving your property’s heat retention and energy efficiency, it can also prevent issues like rising damp. Over time, the money you save on your bills will go towards paying for the insulation job on its own!
While you can install solid wall insulation both in and outside, an inside job comes with several disadvantages: the insulation will cover your walls, requiring you to relocate your power sockets and any other utilities and you will also have to redecorate the treated rooms. Worse yet, because the insulation will directly add bulk to your walls, you will also lose floor space. The only real advantage of internal solid wall insulation is that it can work out cheaper than external wall insulation.
One thing to keep in mind early on in this kind of project is that your external wall insulation will alter the look of your property. Insulation is not invisible, so say goodbye to your home’s bare bricks. If you already have rendering on the outside of your property, it will have to go if it cannot support the weight of the insulation.
Because external wall insulation will alter the appearance of a property, you will usually need to apply for planning permission before undertaking the job. Be sure to look around for your options: while there are simple rendering options, you could also go for something bold like a tiled, textured or pebble dashed finish. You will also need to ensure that your project complies with Building Regulations: if your property still has a thermal performance U-value of lower than 0.30 watts/m2k once everything has been finished, the job may need to be redone.
Depending on your situation, you may also be required to choose which insulation you want for your property. There are three main types: Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is the most cost effective and popular choice. Phenolic resin is more expensive, but you might not have a choice of space is a premium. Another choice is mineral wool, which is the most breathable option.
The cost of external wall insulation will primarily depend on the size of your property. Your tradesmen will not be able to start your installation off the bat: your guttering will have to be temporarily removed, as will any satellite dishes or other external units. Depending on the size of your home, you may also need to hire a scaffolding company so that the work can be completed safely. If you have current rendering that needs to come down, this will also add to the cost. Taking all of this into account, you should expect to spend around £5,000 as a minimum.
However, you should keep in mind how much the work will save you. Older properties with solid walls tend to have a poor energy efficiency rating, largely because they lose so much heat. Insulating your walls will do a great deal to prevent this and will save you a lot of money on your heating bills. Depending on your location, there may even be grants available from your local council for this kind of work.