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Surprising result from the insulation survey

Usually when I invite tradesmen around to provide a quote for doing work on the house, they are practically falling over themselves to suggest things that I could or should get done. So I was rather surprised yesterday when, for I think the first time ever, the chap said it wasn’t worth having any extra insulation at all! I know I wasn’t going to pay him anything, but someone is presumably footing the bill, and yet there he was saying the job was unnecessary!

He started off by having a good poke around in the loft, though only going into the most accessible loft-hatch, the one which has a built-in ladder. He then went out to his van to fetch a ladder to go into the other two hatches, but first phoned his boss for a long chat. The upshot of which was a decision that the very old-fashioned construction of my roof (the house was built in 1872) means that it needs a large volume of air circulating in the loft-space. If they added another deep layer of insulation it would reduce the volume of freely-circulating air too much, and I’d start getting problems with condensation. So he said that I should just stick with the amount of insulation I’ve already got, and not add more.

Then he had a look into whether cavity wall insulation was possible or desirable. As I thought, the main body of the house is unsuitable, as the walls are solid granite with no cavity. My bedroom is a later extension, and does have cavity walls. However, two of the three external walls are also made of granite, whilst the third (at the back of the house) is brick. Apparently, the way they do the cavity wall insulation is to drill through from the outside every metre and inject “stuff” into the gap. But they wouldn’t consider drilling through granite. So that meant that only one wall in one room in the whole house was suitable for cavity wall insulation, and he said that the benefits would be so marginal as not to be worth the fuss.

So in the end he recommended that I have nothing at all done!

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Richard P | 17 May 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Sounds like excellent value for (your) money 😉

  2. paulD | 17 May 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    So the moral of the story is, in the old days they built houses properly (and not on flood plains) not like some of the rubbish they through up today.

    I both old houses I lived in as a kid had cold water tank in airing cupboard NOT the loft, and guess what in over 20 years of winters including the bad one of 63/64 we never once had a frozen pipe/tank !

  3. Carol | 17 May 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Sounds to me like you could count that as a trade-free event – merely a consultation!