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roobarb

Anyone have experience of external wall insulation?

We've been offered a grant to get our solid wall house insulated externally, which includes being fully rendered. As we are on solid fuel the grant is 100%, so seems a really good deal. It is not a scam as it has come directly from the Energy Savings Trust, and is fully guaranteed for 25 years. There is one house having it done in the village near us, and they seem to have done a good job. But has anyone got any experience on here of getting external wall insulation?

How did the outside look after it was done? What affect did it have on your heating/comfort levels? Are there any questions we should be asking the installers?

Our main concern is what it will look like externally, as at the moment our house is half rendered and half exposed stone work with detailing around the windows, which we would lose if it was fully insulated and rendered. But we know that these types of grants aren't going to be around forever, and the cost of heating homes is only going to go up. It will also hopefully make our house a lot warmer, which we struggle with at the moment. So its a trade off between looks and warmth Confused
Ty Gwyn

Presume this is the 65-70mm insulation board secured to wall and rendered over,one of these Green energy guy`s was trying to sell me that under the Green Deal,till i pointed out to him the type of soffits fitted to an 1840`s house,which after having a grant on,now has air vents in soffit.

I would say go and have a word with the person having/had done in the village.

When you mention a 100% grant because your on solid fuel,don`t you have to change to a green/bio fuel to gain this grant?

Personally from my experience in the building trade,i would`nt bank to much on the 25yr guarantee,i reckon the render will crack way before that.
12Bore

Chap round the corner had it done to his 1840's cottage earlier this year, took about three weeks, inc new render.
He could tell the difference immediately and reckons that his bills have plummeted.
Cosmetically, if you didn't know, you'd never tell. Wink
Hettyb

Our neighbours had it done and it looks well. They say the house is warmer too
roobarb

Thanks for the replies. We had heard similar comments about bills falling and the warmth of the house, which is really what is driving us to want to take up this offer.

Quote:
When you mention a 100% grant because your on solid fuel,don`t you have to change to a green/bio fuel to gain this grant?

The grant, through Energy Savings Trust Wales, is available for anyone who lives in a solid wall property, and doesn't have access to mains gas (don't need to be on benefits etc.). My understanding is if you use solid fuel as your only source of heating (coal or wood, but not biomass boilers), which we do, then you would get 100% grant, while if you use oil or LPG you would get a 50% grant. I suppose it has been made available as "they" realise that many of the people stuggling with fuel bills and keeping their houses warm are those in solid walled properties and are off mains gas, and haven't been able to take advantage of the generous offers for cavity wall insulation.

Quote:
,i would`nt bank to much on the 25yr guarantee,i reckon the render will crack way before that

I had assumed both the insulation and render were guaranteed, as they kind of work together. But I will check this Question
welsh veg grower

My daughter works in Ceredigion and is heavily involved in the external wall insulating happening to housing association housing she also did her dissertation on it. My husband also works for a housing association Tai ceredigion and they are putting it on a lot of their properties they talk about it being a good option in exposed areas of the coast and wet areas such as ceredigion and carmarthen. if you have any specific questions let me know I'm sure they will help if they can.
Ty Gwyn

Thanks Rhubarb that was my understanding.

Are there many Solid Wall properties with Tai Ceredigion?

Someone i know living in Newquay in a Tai Ceredigion house was telling me that a lot of the houses had either Air or Ground heat source pumps fitted which are now being taken out as the residents are complaining about the electricity costs to run these,
My friend not has Solid/Multi fuel as i supply her with logs sometimes.
welsh veg grower

No idea Ty Gwyn, I don't take much notice about there work hence I said I can ask them if it helps.
pollyanna

I think it is an exaggeration to state that a lot of the houses in Ceredigion have had what is an expensive system fitted for heating their houses.

And yes, there are very many properties in West Wales without cavity walls.

Most of us are too poor to even contemplate such a heating system. We mainly put on another sweater and soldier on.
Nick


Personally from my experience in the building trade,i would`nt bank to much on the 25yr guarantee,i reckon the render will crack way before that.


That's the point of a guarantee.
Ty Gwyn

I think it is an exaggeration to state that a lot of the houses in Ceredigion have had what is an expensive system fitted for heating their houses.

And yes, there are very many properties in West Wales without cavity walls.

Most of us are too poor to even contemplate such a heating system. We mainly put on another sweater and soldier on.



Pollyanna if this post is referring to my post above,have another read,it states a lot of the house`s fitted by Tai Ceredigion,which were Council house`s prior to Tai Ceredigion,so Brick and Block cavity construction,
Whether they have purchased any old stone properties and converted these for rental,i do not know.
Ty Gwyn


Personally from my experience in the building trade,i would`nt bank to much on the 25yr guarantee,i reckon the render will crack way before that.

That's the point of a guarantee.

How well proven is this system,how long has it been on the market to prove its worth,

Many people who have purchased new builds have found out how good their guarantees have been when problems arise.

Those that have seen these houses insulated with this process,did you notice whether the window sills were changed?
Cathryn

My daughter works in Ceredigion and is heavily involved in the external wall insulating happening to housing association housing she also did her dissertation on it. My husband also works for a housing association Tai ceredigion and they are putting it on a lot of their properties they talk about it being a good option in exposed areas of the coast and wet areas such as ceredigion and carmarthen. if you have any specific questions let me know I'm sure they will help if they can.

WVG - Jack is seeing you on Monday. I know he will have questions.
pollyanna

Apologies, Ty Gwyn, I realised I had slightly mis-read your post as soon as I replied.

As it happens my neighbour who has a house without cavity walls had it clad some month's ago. The work took just over a weekend and looks good. But whether it really is the solution for stone walls which were designed to 'breathe' is another matter. But then, it must be a better solution than cement render.
Ty Gwyn

No problem Pollyanna,easy done.

I`m sceptical if this method really does make a difference,take note comments on here,had it done recently and have noticed a difference,

It is Very Mild,and has been for a good while,how have these people seen a difference.?

This phallacy about rendered houses,why were they rendered in the first place?
Because of penetrating damp through the walls from driving rain,yes good pointing is adequate,but in exposed area`s you cannot beat good rendering.

Drainage is the main problem with damp walls in rendered properties.
stumbling goat


Personally from my experience in the building trade,i wouldn't bank to much on the 25yr guarantee,i reckon the render will crack way before that.

That's the point of a guarantee.

What is any guarantee worth though?

The guarantee is worthless if the company folds and then re-emerges the following day under a new name and proprietorship.

So, pay for at least 100 of the work with a credit card and then the credit card company are liable for the guarantee and making good any problems.

Worth having done IMHO as when I had cavity wall insulation I noticed the difference straight away.

sg

Edited to add, you may only have to pay 1 on the credit card to make the credit card company liable, check the consumer credit act to make sure.

Consumer Credit Act 1974 s75. Have a read up.
Cathryn

Apologies, Ty Gwyn, I realised I had slightly mis-read your post as soon as I replied.

As it happens my neighbour who has a house without cavity walls had it clad some month's ago. The work took just over a weekend and looks good. But whether it really is the solution for stone walls which were designed to 'breathe' is another matter. But then, it must be a better solution than cement render.

I get your point here but feel that quite a lot of the old houses round here were put up to live in, by builders who built them in the way they had learnt. They looked like all the others just like houses built today, in our case with handy local boulders and quite probably beach sand although its hard to be sure as everything is salt soaked. We hadn't considered insulating from the outside and probably won't in the end but it's worth considering.
pollyanna

Sadly cement render develops hair-line cracks after a time and lets the wet in. Conversely it also will not let the moisture in the house out.

Old stone houses should be rendered in lime mortar which breathes.

In the main stone houses were meant to be rendered. The current fashion for exposing the stone is incorrect, unless the stone was especially designed and dressed to be exposed.
roobarb

Quote:
Those that have seen these houses insulated with this process,did you notice whether the window sills were changed?

From what we have seen, and the photos of previous work by the installers, shows that new window sills have to be added to allow for the extra depth of the insulation/render. Similarly if there is not enough over-hang from the roof/fascia then a "lip" has to be added at the top of the insulation/render. This appears to be in UPVC, as is the way these days. These are again reasons we were concerned about how this installation will affect the look of the property.


Quote:
In the main stone houses were meant to be rendered.

Couldn't agree more... our neighbours took away their render to expose the stone work, and have had no end of problems with penetrating damp, frost damage to the stone and brick etc. They are now paying someone to re-render the entire house!
onemanband


Personally from my experience in the building trade,i wouldn't bank to much on the 25yr guarantee,i reckon the render will crack way before that.

That's the point of a guarantee.

What is any guarantee worth though?

The guarantee is worthless if the company folds and then re-emerges the following day under a new name and proprietorship.

sg


If it's an 'industry association' (I think that's the right phrase) backed guarantee then it shouldn't matter if a company folds.

http://www.ciga.co.uk/
roobarb

Thought I would write an update on this posting...we bit the bullet and agreed to have the external insulation done, after having received a full grant.

We're in the middle of getting it done - the insulation (90mm board) went up over 3 days, and now the next team are doing the rendering. We've already noticed a difference to the temperature of the house (although I realise it has been relatively mild and sunny), so the test will come next week when it is forecast to get colder. The house is heating up quicker and warmer in the evening (when we light the woodburners), and is definately retaining the heat overnight. The hallway was 18C when we went to bed, and had dropped to 16C by the morning, usually this would be around 13C. The kitchen, which is probably one of the coldest rooms, was 19C and also dropped to 16C. Both these rooms have outside doors, so are usually the coldest areas in the morning.

Although the render is not finished, I think the house is going to look good after it's all finished. We're getting quite a few enquiries from our neighbours about it, so we're kind of the guinea pigs for the neighbourhood at the moment.
vegplot

Thanks for the post. It's really useful feedback. Colin & Jan

This thread triggered me into action and I have talked to the energy savings trust, EoN (suppliers) and others but have lost the will to live.

Background: 17th century listed farmhouse with back wall and 1 gable end rendered (assuming soft red bricks poor) probably in the 20's - 40s. Front elevation painted brick and part of listing. Back of house and gable end, cold and damp.

I have priced to cover the back and gable end (70m2 approx) with 50mm SW 3000 celotex and cover with silicone based thin coat render. Can't use anymore than 50mm because of brick dentals and roof. The materials cost 1800+ the dreaded and I will do the work myself.

I thought that maybe I might be able to obtain a grant under one the schemes but it appears that unless I am receiving benefits; which I'm not, then I've no chance. And I think I need to polish my tools up as the chap from Eon said that I'd be lucky to get anyone to undertake the work for less than 12k.
roobarb

Colin & Jan, I am under the impression that there are now grants available even if you are not on benefits/pensioner etc., which is how we managed to qualify. Ours was through the Energy Savings Trust Wales, but I found this site www.freeinsulation.co.uk/solid-wall-insulation/external-wall/index.html, which covers England. I wonder if your issue is more the fact that you have a listed property, which I assume would mean you would need planning permission to alter the outside of the house. The other crucial thing is that you need to be using solid fuel or electricity to heat your house to get the full grant, even so you could still get a 50% grant.

Given what we have seen the builders do, I don't think it would be beyond a competent DIYer to install it, if you have the right tools/equipment.

Good luck!
Colin & Jan

Colin & Jan, I am under the impression that there are now grants available even if you are not on benefits/pensioner etc., which is how we managed to qualify. Ours was through the Energy Savings Trust Wales, but I found this site www.freeinsulation.co.uk/solid-wall-insulation/external-wall/index.html, which covers England. I wonder if your issue is more the fact that you have a listed property, which I assume would mean you would need planning permission to alter the outside of the house. The other crucial thing is that you need to be using solid fuel or electricity to heat your house to get the full grant, even so you could still get a 50% grant.

Given what we have seen the builders do, I don't think it would be beyond a competent DIYer to install it, if you have the right tools/equipment.


Good luck!

Thanks Roobarb

I didn't even discuss the listed aspect, which I don't think will be an issue as it's already rendered. Our heating/hot water is all wood so hopefully that won't be an issue.

I can do the work OK as I'm a competent plasterer. Thanks for the link, will update if any progress.

Colin
dpack

when i was visiting the vets i noticed that quite a few of the brick terraced houses had been done.

the brickwork and dpc of these are rather shabby and most have exfoliating salts even if injected

my feeling is that if the outside is covered in rendered insulation any moisture will have to go inside rather than drying off by evaporation outside.

they look ok with new pebbledash render but i expect there will be a much wetter interior surface as they are not cavity walls
Ty Gwyn

If these brick built terraces are not cavity built,what is their construction?
I have seen old brick built extensions built in Rat Trap bond,and even 9in solid of various bonds,but not whole houses.
onemanband

If these brick built terraces are not cavity built,what is their construction?
I have seen old brick built extensions built in Rat Trap bond,and even 9in solid of various bonds,but not whole houses.

All the victorian-1940ish terraces round these parts are 9nch solid brick.
They work fine until you double glaze, add central heating, block the fireplaces, add showers, dry clothes inside and cement render the outside.
dpack

9 inch solid ,small,cheap ,victorian bout 1880 ish maybe

the bricks are very porous and spall at a hint of weather and the mortar is more sand than anything else, they flood as well.

most places they were pulled down in the 60's slum clearances but there are quite a few patches of such streets in york .these ones are mostly a mess.

i think they were built for the rail depot workers but they are now a mix of cheapish rented and" a bit done up " often badly by the owner occupiers

our house is a bit later and has a small cavity at the front but the kitchen(originally the scullery)is 9"solid
Ty Gwyn

If these brick built terraces are not cavity built,what is their construction?
I have seen old brick built extensions built in Rat Trap bond,and even 9in solid of various bonds,but not whole houses.

All the victorian-1940ish terraces round these parts are 9nch solid brick.
They work fine until you double glaze, add central heating, block the fireplaces, add showers, dry clothes inside and cement render the outside.

That`s interesting,i done my trade as a brickie with a small builder starting 1970,in the Swansea Valley,but to be fair the majority were stone built,with only later extensions added in brickwork,
The early built council houses used the black mortar,i`m not absolutely sure,but think it was ground down waste from the steel works at the time.but they were all cavity built.

Them 9in solid brick terraces did`nt have much reveal`s inside or out with sash window`s,and were the rafters running from the terrace dividers or was the notched method used were they would run from back to front ,but notched into a rafter running from the dividers?as in 9in brickwork they would seem liable to rot at the ends in time.
onemanband

London and surrounds we don't have stone or weather like you do in Wales. We used to have brick factories tho, hence everything used to be built 9inch solid.
I suppose the terraces round here were put up for workers but I guess not on the scale as terraces up north, so most are good solid homes.

Some early council house round here used fuel ash in cast in situ walls. Horrible things to work on - sometimes only 2 or 3 inches thick, fragile, horrible dust.
Fuel ash is still used to make 'concrete' blocks.
Cavity walls came about because of Portland cement. Lime mortar didn't have the adhesive strength to build 4 inch brick walls.
Behemoth

All terraces around here are 9 inch solid. Unusually my 1885 house has a cavity and steel ties the size of spanners. Well ahead of its time. Ty Gwyn

All terraces around here are 9 inch solid. Unusually my 1885 house has a cavity and steel ties the size of spanners. Well ahead of its time.

What kind of mortar is between the brickwork Behemoth?

The steel wall ties you have i presume are the twisted split end types the same as the galvanized we used in the 70`s.
Ty Gwyn

You`d be surprised how many brick works there were in South Wales,in-fact most coalfields had them to utilize the fire clay and pit waste.
I`ve layed 1,000`s of them LBC`s in my time,but they were never used in footings on sites i worked,the local bricks were.

I take it you have not worked on these 9in solid house`s to know of the rafter situation.

Regarding cavity built,as i said earlier,the early council house`s were built with black mortar/flue waste,and later with lime mortar before portland cement was used,in South Wales anyway,
My Aunty had a bungalow built late 50`s early 60`s,lime mortar cavity built,the square type,with the roof pitching from all 4 sides with the narrow crest,using them small tiles,one heavy roof on the walls,and no pre stressed trusses then.
Behemoth

All terraces around here are 9 inch solid. Unusually my 1885 house has a cavity and steel ties the size of spanners. Well ahead of its time.

What kind of mortar is between the brickwork Behemoth?

The steel wall ties you have i presume are the twisted split end types the same as the galvanized we used in the 70`s.

Portland as far as I know (developed by a leeds lad)..
The ties are like metal straps with Y shaped split ends.
dpack

up to about 1880 york is lime /sand after that cement/sand(how much cement depended on how posh the house)

in huddersfield foundry/boiler ash was sometimes used from early victorian to the thirties instead of sand but most of that was using gritstone or slabbing sandstone as the blocks.pre industrial revolutionit was lime or drystone with lime plaster inside

as late as the sixties the inner and party walls of cheap build was often cinder/cement block,
even in quite posh buildings ash was used for pugging etc from 1800 ish
Ty Gwyn

Clinker blocks were used up to the mid 70`s with us on internal walls,4in down stairs,and 3in on upstairs partitions.
One site of bungalows in the Upper Swansea Valley were built entirely out of clinker blocks,internal and external walls.
dpack

joists on the northern terraces usually go front to back with sleeper walls under any internal wall ,handy for wire if you work the placement of plugs right

upstairs is same lay for the floor and across for the cieling

the joists do rot at the ends and as many of the old ones have no air bricks the damp is perfect for wood worm .in york cos the clay is usually damp many of the terrace wood floors downstairs have been replaced with poured concrete

for some reason there is less dry rot up north than in london terrace houses which seem very prone to it .
Ty Gwyn

The reason of the rot on joist ends was my thought of the notched pattern into a joist going from side partion walls,on some older houses i`ve seen timber built in the wall as a wall plate to take the rafter ends,this is in stone house`s ,

This being an 1840`s house,the downstairs wood panelled partitions are erected on oak footplate`s,with the door frames in oak also.
Mistress Rose

Our first terraced house in Hampshire was built of local brick in about 1860-70 and had cavity walls. Sadly they didn't understand the damp course system very well, as it was single layer slate, and the fire wall between us and the next house had holes in it, which looked original. Think the ones further along the terrace may not even have had fire walls. The ground floor joints had all rotted ends and a lot of wood worm when we moved in, so we had to have silicone injection damp course and woodworm treatment as well as a new floor. Think most of the terraces built round here have cavity wall and are still doing very well after 150 years or so. The worst slums were pulled down after the war, although some of them got flattened during the war. Ty Gwyn

2 layer`s of slate over lapping the joints is fine,as is 2 courses of Staffordshire Blue bricks.

Bet the mortar was`nt Portland?
Mistress Rose

There was only one row of slate and that was it. That's why I don't think they had a lot of idea about damp courses. The outside path was above the level of the damp course at the back of the house too, but hard to tell at which point in the 100 years of so between it being built and us buying it that that happened. I think it was lime morter, but can't really remember. I know we repointed it using bucket handle pointing. dpack

ive worked on georgian houses where they didnt have an idea of foundations let alone a damp proof course Laughing

oak plank=footing was common in georgian london
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