I'm so glad to see the back of Winter and welcome spring - owning an old home certainly brings about its challenges during the winter period and keeping it warm and toasty is often easier said than done. Older homes weren't exactly designed with modern day insulating regulations, in fact - they weren't really designed to be insulated at all! Over the last year we've made a few steps to make our house a warmer cosier place - so I thought I would share ways we've insulated so far, and what we also plan to do in the future too.
So our home is a Victorian Terrace. It hasn't been renovated since the 50s, so it's incredibly outdated in many ways, including its insulation. One of the main reasons insulating our home is extra important to us, is because we don't have central heating. The house came with a 60s back boiler, which we've since removed - but sadly we don't have the funds to fit a whole new system. We do however have the funds to add or upgrade insulation, most of which can be done DIY-style without too much hassle and it's much more affordable too! It's not going to heat our home, but it's certainly going to help retain heat and make it a much warmer place to live.
In the Roof
When the word "insulation" is mentioned, roof insulation is probably the first thing to come to mind. It's probably THE most talked about insulation and for a very obvious reason - an un-insulated roof is one of the biggest sources of heat loss. You may already have an insulated roof and think the job had already been done for you - but actually many older homes roof insulation is now insufficient for current building regs. Over the years insulation has been fitted in varying thicknesses, and yours (like ours!) could be as little as just 50mm thick. Modern day regs recommend 270mm thickness(!) so obviously there's some serious room for upgrading here.
Our kitchen is a very very old single-storey extension with a roof above the ceiling. We already had insulation installed, but it was a mere 100mm thick. So obviously we had to change that! Insulation is so affordable and so easy to install, even for a non-DIYer. If you do have old insufficient insulation, like us, there's no need to remove it - you can just lay a "top-up" roll over the top - which is exactly what we did! It's so easy to fit, you simply roll it all out, making sure not to bury any electrical cables (and keeping it away from the underside of spotlights!) cut it so size if needs-be, and pad it into the gaps between joists. And that's it! If something costs virtually nothing and it's going to save you money - why the hell wouldn't you? PS - we got our insulation for FREE, which you can read about in this post!
On-top of Walls
I've done a whole post on this before, so if you've read that one - you'll already know about this! ;) Unlike modern houses with insulation in-between the walls, older homes have nothing at all. This means external walls are another source of heat loss (especially if they're single skin like some of ours!). Whilst older homes often don't have a cavity, so can't be filled with wall insulation that way, there's still a way to insulate those walls! Insulating plasterboard! It's basically a plasterboard with a rigid foam type insulation on the underside. It means you can insulate your walls internally, quickly and easily. We've used this in both the kitchen and conservatory. It can fitted just like any other plasterboard, either screwed to the wall with battons or fitted using 'dot and dab' as we have done. We've only used this on single-skin walls as it is quite pricey to buy, but these are the areas that really need it the most and we definitely feel its worth doing! You can read more about how we fitted it here.