insulation

Insulating our bedrooms


Back in February, we insulated the two bedrooms in our end-of-terrace Victorian solid-walled house. This blog post attempts to document the process, including lots of photos. The detailed plans for this project (including some CO2 calculations and a complete shopping list) are described in a previous blog post. A quick re-cap of the plans:

  • Our upstairs walls are not damp so we can just attach the insulation directly to the plastered wall, we didn't bother with wooden battens.
  • Use Fermacell instead of plasterboard. Fermacell is much stronger than plasterboard, so it should be possible to hang shelves directly from the Fermacell.
  • 65mm insulation + 12.5mm Fermacell
  • Use 160mm "frame-fixing" screws to mechanically secure the Fermacell to the brick. These come with their own wall plugs. To use, just drill straight through the Fermacell + insulation + brick, then hammer the wall plugs into place and screw in the long screws (i.e. you don't need to pre-drill the wall and then try to align holes in the insulation with holes in the wall).

In total it took about three weekends to install the insulation for both our bedrooms, MUCH less time than it took to insulate our living room. (This time does not include the time taken to plaster and decorate, which we had done by some excellent local decorators - I just installed the insulation & Fermacell.)

On to the details...

Gas consumption 2007-2011

I've finally gotten round to plotting our gas consumption on a graph. I'm not expecting a measurable drop in our consumption yet. We finished insulating our living room in July 2011 and I'm only just getting round to insulating our bedrooms (Feb 2012). We installed a new condensing gas boiler and solar thermal in July 2011. But we also had a baby in August 2011 so we've had the heating on far more than normal for the last quarter of 2011!

Temperature data from the Heathrow MetOffice weather station

What does this data tell us? And why did it take a fair amount of effort to plot our gas consumption?

Planning to insulate bedrooms this weekend

This weekend my wife and 5-month old daughter are going up North so I'm going to take the opportunity to insulate our two bedrooms. In this post I describe in detail my plans for insulating the walls of our bedrooms and also attempt to calculate how much carbon and cash the insulation will save us.

Insulating our Victorian living room part 2

We live in an end-of-terrace Victorian house, built around 1905.  I've spent the last few years insulating our living room.  This blog post is the second in a two-part story.  By the end of the first part of the story, our living room looked like this:

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I'm pleased to say that our living room now looks like this:

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One big design change since my last blog is that we decided to install wet underfloor heating ourselves.

So, let's start the story...

Insulating our Victorian living room

A quick health warning: the blog below makes it sound like it's a huge amount of effort to insulate a Victorian property.  And it was a huge amount of work to do our living room!  But I'd say that 90% of the work we had to do was correcting mistakes made by previous owners / the original builders.  If we had started with a healthy Victorian house then it would have taken a fraction of the time.  OK.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Let's start the story...

We have a draughty, poorly insulated Victorian end-of-terrace house.  Back in January 2009, the weather was freezing and work was quiet so I decided to take the plunge and insulate our living room.

Here's what the living room looked like before I got stuck in:

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Not only did I want to reduce our gas consumption but the room was also decidedly uncomfortable on cold winter days: even if we left the heating on all day, the living room would still be uncomfortably chilly.

The original plan: On the floor, I planned to pull up the floor boards, install chicken wire under the joists, lay glass fibre insulation between the joists and re-lay the floor boards.  On the external walls, I intended to glue 60mm Kingspan K17 insulated dry lining board directly to the walls.  Before starting the project, I expected it to take a month (i.e. January 2009).  At the time of writing (July 2010) the project still isn't finished, largely because the room provided plenty of surprises once we started revealing the underlying structure.

And here's what it looks like after 18 months of work!

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