The major work on our home was finished almost five months ago, with most of the little bits and pieces completed a few weeks ago, and only the inevitable final bits of re-decorating waiting to be finished.
Now that memories of the disruption of the renovation work are less vivid, it's a good time to write about just how pleased we are with the changes. To start with - the energy and carbon savings have been substantial. Comparing the first two months of this year with last, we have saved 20% of our gas consumption, which I would estimate means the insulation work has resulted in a heating energy saving of 30%. This is probably a conservative estimate, in that this year was colder than last (so more heating energy needed to achieve the same internal temperature) and I haven't corrected for that in the 30% figure. We'll keep monitoring over the coming months and see how that figure develops next heating season.
Secondly, I would say the house is definitely more thermally comfortable - even though we've ensured we haven't raised our internal temperatures. The walls aren't cold any more, there are no draughts from the floorboards and the temperature stays very constant. Even at the coldest part of the winter, when our heating was off overnight, the room temperatures only dropped by at most 3 degrees Celcius.
Thirdly, when we walk back into the house after being away for a couple of days it smells faintly of new wood. Prior to the work, it used to smell slightly of depressing damp. The eco-renovation work (and associated work) has definitely resolved our damp and condensation problems.
Another benefit, almost beyond price, has been the total lack of slugs since the work! Given how well the floor insulation was detailed, this is not really a surprise. Although, I wouldn't really put anything past slugs...
On to cost - this has not been a cheap exercise. If we add together the cost of external and internal wall insulation and the underfloor insulation, and compare it with the energy savings, the payback period is greater than one hundred years. That is assuming no addition to the capital value of the house, present day gas prices etc.
The cost of the external wall insulation worked out at around £150/m2. Internal wall insulation may have cost as much as twice that - but those figures are very difficult to work out as we had a lot of other work done at the same time by the same people, and most of the cost was related to labour and not materials. I think our internal insulation costs were particularly high because of the period features we retained, and the fact that this was a fairly new area of work for some of the people involved, and they were having to learn as they went along. The good thing is that I am convinced the work was extremely meticulous and of very high quality - but we have had to pay for that attention to detail. Hopefully, as expertise in the sector grows, prices will fall.
Overall, we are very happy with the work that has been done. Of course it would have been great if it were less expensive - but the cost was in line with our expectations - and it has had important benefits beyond just the energy savings which were our main goal. We are hoping others can learn from our experience and will be opening our home as part of Heritage Open Days, 11 and 12 September 2010.
Posted by home_insulation on 11th Jul 2012 16:46 (10 months, 2 weeks ago):
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