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:
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!