Insulating your home

Insulating your home Cheslyn Building Contractors

Whether self building or renovating, the thermal efficiency of your home should be a prime concern – both for environmental reasons and the savings you could make on heating bills. With energy bills at an all time high, and sadly set to rise further, insulating your home could be a wise move, one which could help your finances and the environment.

Internal wall insulation

Internal wall insulation involves the application of insulation to the interior face of external walls in order to improve the thermal performance of the property. There are four main methods of installation – the most common (but not always the most effective) is building a new stud wall, to which insulation can be added.

  1. Fix insulation directly to the wall 
    The first option for installation is whereby the insulation is fixed directly to the wall with insulation bonded to plasterboard and with a vapour barrier and if the wall is relatively flat and in good condition, this can be an effective, quick method.
  2. Battening the wall
    The second option is to batten on the wall. There are two ways of doing this: Fixing battens to the wall to provide a more even fixing for the insulation or, fixing the battens over the insulation, known as the ‘warm batten’ method. Both would use 25x50mm battens. The first method is the more common and, when the wall is very uneven, can be the best option.
  3. Construct a new stud wall
    Option three involves constructing a new stud wall, generally 100mm thick inside the existing wall, with a 40mm cavity between the two. This option takes up more floor space than the other options.
  4. Apply insulating plaster
    There is a fourth internal wall insulation option: applying an insulating plaster directly to the wall. This is most useful on stone walls, where breathability is important. This would involve either a hemp or cork-lime mix (the hemp or cork providing the insulation) or layers of lime plaster sandwiching a cork or woodfibre board.

Insulating floors

Insulating your ground floor is a great way to keep your property warm. Generally speaking, you only need to insulate the ground floor. If you’re on an upper floor, you don’t usually need to insulate your floor space. However, you should consider insulating any floors that are above unheated spaces such as garages, as you could be losing a lot of heat through those.

Many homes – especially newer ones – will have a ground floor made of solid concrete. This can be insulated when it needs to be replaced, or can have rigid insulation laid on top. Older homes are most likely to have suspended timber floors, which can be insulated by lifting the floorboards and laying mineral wool insulation supported by netting between the joists.

Insulating roofs

A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home, so insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Installed correctly, loft insulation should pay for itself many times over in its 40-year lifetime and is perhaps the easiest of all the energy-saving home improvements. When it comes to insulating a roof, your choices will depend on:-

  • Your roof type (flat or pitched)
  • It’s structure (depth of the rafters)
  • Your willingness to invest

Flat roof insulation always requires professional insulation and damp roofs require professional assessment before work can be carried out.

For further information on insulating your home, please contact us here.