Our house is a solid-walled house built around 1905.  Being end-of-terrace, it used to be very cold in winter.  We’ve gradually insulated over the past three years.  In terms of thermal performance, the house should now perform roughly on a par with a new build.  The majority of the work has been insulating the walls.  I did the bedrooms, living room and dining room and we used builders to do the bathroom.  In total, the energy-saving measures now installed include:

  • 65-80mm of rigid-foam insulation on all external walls (mostly DIY; some done by builders during other work)
  • at least 270mm of glass-wool insulation in the loft (DIY)
  • insulated the suspended timber floors in the living room and dining room (DIY)
  • we worked with a local sash window maker to put high performance double glazing units into wooden frames for the front of the house
  • lots of draught proofing and a focus on airtightness during the DIY refurbishment
  • mechanical ventilation with heat recovery in the bathroom (it works very well)
  • fitted wet underfloor heating in the living room (DIY).  UFH is wonderful!
  • solar thermal (evacuated tube) fitted professionally (would have done it DIY if it weren’t for the new regs)
  • light pipes to bring natural light into the kitchen and corridor (installed by builders)
  • home-made 450 litre rain water tank in back garden, with piping running under living room floor to bring rain water to front garden
  • thermostatic radiator valves on all radiators; new condensing boiler with walk-about thermostat (which is great)… plan to install room-by-room digital radiator controls

Overall it has been a lot of work and at times it’s felt overwhelming.  But we’re pretty much finished with the insulation and there’s absolutely no question that the house is considerably easier to heat and more comfortable than it was.