This blog is not all about extensions – I am broadening out into other areas of home improvement now! This week I have been tackling the idea of improving insulation on a budget. My brother has an old house that gets really cold in winter, and cavity wall insulation is not an option (due to a lack of cavities), so we have been looking at alternatives. Inspired by my experience with the Celutex solid insulation board (PIR) I have been exploring the use of thin (relatively thin – around 25mm) battoned onto a wall with new plasterboard over.
Although older properties are ever-popular due to their period features and enduring charm, these sorts of buildings can be notoriously cold and prone to drafts. This is largely because older homes were built without cavity walls, which are double walls containing a hollow that prevents heat from escaping; these are used to insulate modern homes. Those living in old houses can often end up spending a fortune on their heating bills. Insulating an older home can be a hugely expensive task, but there are cheap and extremely effective options available for owners of older homes who are feeling the chill.
One affordable solution is fitting insulation backed plaster board to your walls, allowing your rooms to retain their heat. Various options are available on the market, but just one option is Kooltherm K17 Insulated Plasterboard. This is a premium performance insulation solution, which has a 12.5 mm plasterboard bonded to its front surface. This can be easily fitted to your walls (plug and screw), offering a far cheaper and less intrusive solution to insulating an older home. The only downside is that it is generally more expensive than buying insulation board and plasterboard separately – but you do save in labour time and effort.
As well as walls, it is also relatively easy to insulate a roof. Floor insulation is also available, but this is more expensive and fiddly to install.
He has a few period features in the property that we want to retain, and if you fit insulated plasterboard to your walls, then you do need to obviously redecorate your room. We are considering a plaster moulding that is in keeping with the age of the home. A cornice, coving or an elaborate ceiling rose would all look great in the property, as well as bringing the added value of sought-after ‘period features’. I have been searching this gallery for inspiration and ideas, although not sure my brother’s budget included these features ….. but we will get something in there.
Many ranges of paint designed especially for period homes are also available, meaning that it is easy to find a colour scheme to complement the vintage of your home. You and your family will then be able to enjoy your warmer home in style! Of course, you can also wall paper the walls too, which actually adds another layer of insulation, albeit, not very much, but every little helps!