How do you go about insulating your home?

When it comes to home insulation, we’ve got over 30 years of expertise. Here’s a guide to cover all the bases.

So you might be feeling extra cold this winter, or noticing drafts in your home. Even if you aren’t, if your home isn’t insulated then you are wasting energy and money heating your property. That’s why insulating your home is essential. Some fixes are very cheap and easy to do, but others are a bit more time consuming and expensive. However, it’s worth it in the long run for staying nice and toasty and keeping those energy bills down. We’ll go through some ways you can cut the cost of these essential improvements in this article.

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It’s important to insulate your home’s walls

Many people don’t realise that the most heat in a property is lost through the walls – around 35% to be precise. However, wall insulation is a big and expensive job. Most new build houses will have insulation built-in, but older properties will most likely not have any at all.

Luckily, cavity walls can be filled with insulation materials quite easily. Solid walls can be dry-lined with thermal plasterboard, but this does add a little thickness to the walls, decreasing floor space. Radiators, sockets and the like might need to be moved to accommodate for the dry lining too.

Our surveyors are well versed in all manner of techniques for insulating your walls. They’ll visit your home and carry out a full assessment to let you know in honesty what needs to be done.

Doors and windows – quick and not-so-quick fixes

The next highest amount of heat lost is roughly 25% through doors and windows. An easy way to keep the warm air in and the cold air out is by installing draught excludes. You can buy self-adhesive draught excluding strips from most DIY retailers, or our handyperson team can install some permanent ones for you, made to measure. Internal and external doors should have draught excluders to keep the heat in the room you need it in.

Most of us are aware of the benefits of double and triple glazed windows. These types of windows are manufactured with two or three panes of glass sealed in to a frame before it even reaches your house. A professional fitter will need to install these, and you can expect to get on average about 20 years out of your new windows.

You can also opt to have secondary glazing fitted over your existing windows, which is cost effective and can be a DIY job for someone with the right skills. However, they are a little more effort to clean and maintain compared to double or triple glazing.

The loft. Don’t mind the spiders, just think of the money you’ll save on your heating bill!

Up to another quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof, so you’d be wise not to neglect the loft when it comes to energy-saving improvements. Many homes already have insulation up there, which can last a good 40 years after being laid. But over time it may have degraded, been compressed by floorboards, or need extra laid down. New layers can be added on top of existing insulation, so it might not be as expensive a job as you’re expecting.

home loft insulation being laid
Loft insulation being laid

Floors lose a surprising amount of heat

Up to 15% of the heat in a house is lost through the floor. Modern houses generally have floor insulation in-built, but in older houses they are often uninsulated. If you’ve got a good carpet and decent underlay, this is often enough to stop the heat escaping.

Much like walls, floorboards can be lifted and a suspended floor can be filled with insulation material. A solid floor can have an insulated suspended floor built on top of it, but this is a fair amount of work.

Lagging pipes and tanks – key in insulating your home

Lagging is placing a jacket or sleeve of insulating material over tanks, pipes and cylinders. Cold and hot water pipes should have lagging to stop heat escaping or pipes freezing. This is particularly important in places like the loft or anywhere where there is minimal heating. Our handyperson and technical team can help you with this and identify the crucial pipes and cisterns that need it the most.

Worried about the cost? You don’t need to

Our handyperson service might be able to offer you a subsidised rate for the services we provide. If you’re living in Bristol and on pension credit, or you have a low household income and savings, ask us about how we can help.

There are some grants available to cover the cost of making your home more energy-efficient. Our partners at the Centre for Sustainable Energy are experts on the Green Homes Grant, so why not contact them on 0800 082 2234 to discuss your options. Alternatively, you can email our Information and Advice team who can look into things on your behalf.

Financial support is available for larger home improvements like insulating your home through our partners at Lendology CIC. You can find more information about their low-cost Home Improvement Loan Scheme by clicking here. Our Project Management team can support you through the entire process of updating your insulation, with your own personal Project Manager and our award-winning service.

Why not give us a call or drop us an email. We can have an obligation-free chat about insulating your home and your financial situation. For more about how we’re staying Covid Safe and protecting you during the pandemic click here. Don’t stay in the cold! We’re here to help you stay warm, healthy and independent in your own home.






    How can you tell if your roof needs repairing?

    It can be difficult to know for sure that your roof needs repairing. Here is a quick guide to some of the telltale signs that your roof has some issues that need to be taken care of as soon as possible.

    It’s not always easy to spot issues with your roof, but it’s certainly very easy to put off repairs when you’re worried about the cost or hassle. However, you should familiarise yourself with these signs that your roof needs repairing. If you delay any repairs that need doing, you could be faced with much more expensive problems further down the line. Let’s go through some simple checks you can make yourself before you give us a call.

    First of all, check the inside of your roof

    The very first sign that your roof needs repair is water leaking into your home. If you spot a leak, dark streaks on the walls or damp and mould on the ceilings, go into your loft and check the roof. Water can leak into the property because of broken tiles or flashing.

    Whilst you’re up there, check for any light coming from outside. A secure roof should not let any light in at all. Light shining through indicates that there are holes or cracks in the roof itself. If you can see that the roof is sagging then call us straight away. A sagging roof is a very serious problem that could suggest structural issues with your home.

    roof repair
    More roof repair advice below!

    Next, have a look from outside

    Some issues may not present themselves from the inside. You should also try to spot what you can from outside – which is also easier said than done sometimes! Some things can be clearly visible to you from below, whereas others won’t be. Any information you can pass on to us on your initial call will be helpful though.

    You might be able to spot any loose, cracked or missing tiles easily. If you see any moss or mould this would suggest moisture damage on the roof. Sometimes on flat roofs, you will see water collected on the surface of the roof, which can lead to moss and mould and later a sagging roof. As the roof continues to rot from the water damage, a sag can lead to it fully collapsing. Don’t let it get to that stage!

    Check your gutters

    If your guttering is coming away from the exterior of your house, this could suggest that the roofing is starting to come loose. You might also find pieces of tile or shingle in the gutters – another telltale sign that the roof is rotting or starting to deteriorate.

    Get in the habit of checking your roof

    You should check your roof regularly, both inside and outside, for any of the signs mentioned above. If you see any of these early warning signs then it’s time to think about getting your roof repaired. The best thing to do is to act quickly and call us to discuss how we can help. One of our expert surveyors can visit your home for free to survey your roof and determine what repairs need to be undertaken.

    Concerned about the cost of major repairs?

    You may be able to receive some financial help to meet the cost of repairing your roof. We partner with the not-for-profit lender Lendology CIC. Lendology offers low-cost Home Improvement Loans to homeowners across the South West. If you can’t take out a loan or you aren’t eligible, we can look into other funding options on your behalf. Our Information and Advice team will be happy to discuss your circumstances with you and help in any way we can.






      Roof repairs – how Lendology CIC and We Care Home Improvements can help you

      In this guest blog Ellie Lister, Service Delivery Manager for Lendology CIC, discusses why Spring is the perfect time to think about roof repairs

      scaffold scaffolding roof repairs
      Spring roof repairs in progress!

      If you are a homeowner, you will know that your roof is an integral part of keeping your home protected from the elements. A sound roof, guttering and fascia boarding will ensure your home stays dry, and prevent internal water damage to ceilings and walls. Spring is the perfect time to assess any damage that may have occurred over the winter and think about the repair needs and costings now the weather is dryer.

      We know that regular roof and guttering maintenance is not at the top of anyone’s to-do list, but it is critical to ensuring your home remains dry and effectively shields the rain. If you’ve been putting off repairing your leaky roof or replacing structural roof damage, Lendology CIC and We Care Home Improvements may be able to help.

      Funded by Bristol City Council, Lendology CIC support eligible homeowners with funding essential home repairs via the council’s subsidised loan scheme. As an additional incentive, Bristol City Council are currently offering successful loan applicants up to £1,000 towards the cost of works.

      Roof repairs and replacements can vary in cost depending on the complexity and size of the job, with the approximate cost of roof replacement being around £5,500. If you’re successful in applying for a home improvement loan, Bristol City Council’s loan leverage grant will reduce the cost of works by £1,000*. There are a range of repayment types and terms, and our team of expert advisers will work with you to find a loan solution that suits your needs and means.

      roof repair home adaptation surveyor survey
      We Care’s surveyor Fatima overseeing a client’s roof repairs

      We Care Home Improvements, a local not-for-profit home improvement agency, are also able to support you to manage the entire project from start to finish from engaging contractors. This can be invaluable for people who are unsure where to find a suitable contractor and want support with the project.

      For an informal chat about the loan scheme and eligibility, call Lendology on 01823 461099, email loans@lendology.org.uk or visit www.lendology.org.uk

      For more information on the services provided by We Care Home Improvements, call 0300 323 0700 or visit www.wecr.org.uk

      *Subject to eligibility. **A maximum reduction of £1,000 from an approved loan over £2,000. For loans £2,000 or less, the reduction will be 50% of the loan value. Budget is limited and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Typical Example (4% fixed interest rate, Typical 4.2% APR). Borrow £5,000 over 60 months. £92.08 monthly repayments. Total amount repayable = £5,544.96, including £20 fee for registering the Title Restriction. Missing payments could affect your credit rating and ability to obtain credit in the future. Loans are subject to status and are typically protected by a Title Restriction. This means that you may not be able to sell your home without our permission unless the loan is fully repaid. This is a financial promotion approved by Lendology CIC. Lendology CIC is a trading name of Wessex Resolutions C.I.C.: a community interest company limited by guarantee, registered in England, company number 4512225. Registered address: Heatherton Park Studios, Bradford on Tone, Taunton TA4 1EU. Wessex Resolutions C.I.C is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (675263) for credit regulated activities.






        Having problems with your roof? We can help!

         

        Everything you need to know if you are having problems with your roof

         

        Even if you look after your roof with regular maintenance, you will likely still need to replace it. If you’re having persistent problems with your roof it will need to be replaced at some point. Its lifespan will depend on the material it is made from and the weather conditions where you live.

        Problems to look out for with your roof include tiles that are missing or don’t lie flat, or if the roof is drooping or sagging, or you have a leak that cannot be repaired. A professional tradesperson will be able to assess any damage. They’ll let you know if the damage can be repaired or if you need a completely new roof.

        It seems daunting as it is such a large part of the house, but it’s actually a relatively straight forward process to replace your roof. To help, we have compiled a handy checklist of everything you need to go through in the process of getting a new roof.

         

        Here’s what you need to do

         

        • Assess the damage
          You will need a professional to come and assess the work that needs to be done. It may be possible to renovate the roof and avoid replacing the whole thing. For example, they might be able to fix the damage by retiling either the entire roof or a partial replacement. If the timber frames have been damaged then the only option is to have a completely new roof construction.
        • Home insurance
          You need to review your building insurance on your home insurance policy and check if the work needed is covered. Check your documents and speak to the insurance company to find out the process of making a claim. This will make an impact as they may have to sign off on any work.
        • Hire a professional
          From your quotes, you can decide which company you would like to complete the work. There are many factors to consider such as price, are they trustworthy and reliable, do they have good customer testimonials? Check their payment terms as well and make sure that you are paying some of the money upon completion of the work.
        • Money-saving
          Work with the company to consider ways that you can save money such as reusing existing roof tiles where possible or even a roof overlay, where the new roof is installed on top of the old one to save the cost of removing the old one.
        • Organise accommodation
          You will need to decide whether you want to stay in the house when the roof is being replaced. It is normally possible but if you are retired and at home during the day, it is not advisable. Perhaps you can organise staying with family or friends for a few days, or even book a holiday!

         

        How We Care Home Improvements can help you

         

        Roof repairs and replacing a roof is something that our Trading Standards Approved handyperson service is able to take care of. We can even advise you on the whole process. We are an approved supplier to Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and Gloucestershire councils. This means you can be sure that our work is always to the highest standard.

        So, if you need any help or advice with your roof or any other home repairs, please call us on 0300 323 0700 for a no-obligation chat with our team.

        Problems with your roof? We can help you stay on top

        It’s never a good time to have problems with your roof. We’re here to help, whatever the weather.

        Problems with roof

        How to know when you’ve got problems with your roof

        Your roof is your home’s first line of defence against the weather. It has to work harder than any other part of the house to protect the rest of it. That’s why it’s crucial to tackle any avoidable problems with your roof early on. Small issues that go unchecked can lead to big, and ultimately expensive, repairs.

        Often the first time you’re aware of problems with your roof is when you see evidence of water coming in. Other signs to look out for are:

        • Cracked and / or missing tiles
        • Loose pointing to chimney stacks
        • Damaged flashings (the covering on joints and angles)
        • Evidence of rot to wooden fascias and soffits (the boards that cover the ends of roof rafters)

        Perished roof felt is another common cause of problems and tiles may deteriorate with age.

        As well as maintaining your roof, guttering should also be kept clear. We recommend doing this once a year. Visit our Handyperson service for help with this.

        Have your roof assessed by a professional

        It’s very important to have your roof assessed by a professional you can trust to ensure you’re getting the right job done. Sometimes a smaller repair such as repointing the chimney stack or replacing the felt at the roof edge is all that’s needed. However, depending on the condition of your roof more extensive work or a complete roof replacement could be a better solution and prevent more problems further down the line.

        Getting the right roofing contractor for the job

        When you are asking contractors to quote it’s important to do some research to find the best contractor for the job. Look for reviews or testimonials from other customers who have used them or you can visit the National Federation of Roofing Contractors for a list of approved contractors.

        Worried about costs?

        An assessment of your roof will help you to determine the best course of action. You should also:

        • Check with your insurance company whether your policy might cover any of the costs. If there is storm or water leak damage there may be some assistance available. If it’s just wear and tear however, it’s unlikely they will be able to help.
        • Ensure quotations are itemised so you are clear on what is included in the price and that quotations obtained are comparable.
        • Ask questions – it’s important that you feel comfortable with and can trust the contractor you choose.
        • Check if there are different options according to your budget.

         

        How We Care Home Improvements can help

        We are specialists in major housing repairs in the Bristol, Bath, North and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire areas. Plus financial options for roofing works may be available.

        If you think you may have problems with your roof or you haven’t had it checked for a while, please get in touch by:

        Let us keep on top of your roof so you don’t have to.