The grant scheme advertised on this web site has now ended. A new scheme has started recently, details of which can be found on our main Free Insulation site: CLICK HERE to find out more.

The Cons of DIY Home Insulation


Insulating your home is the best way to improve the energy efficiency of your home and save you up to hundreds of pounds every year on your heating bills. It keeps heat in during the winter and lets it out during the summer, improving the comfort of your home, preventing condensation on walls and ceilings and even increases the value of your property. The cost of cavity and loft insulation pays for itself in about five to six years, unless you receive a grant to completely cover or help with the cost, and it also reduces Carbon Dioxide emissions as you will be burning less fuel.

You can insulate your own loft but this is not always the cheapest option as government grants are available to help with the cost and depending on your personal circumstances they may even cover 100% of the cost, but even if you are working you can typically receive assistance with about 70% of the cost. If you are attempting to do it yourself it will still cost hundreds of pounds, depending on the size of your home.

DIY cavity wall insulation is not even possible, unless you are carrying out a new build. All retrospective cavity wall insulation would have to be carried out by professional installers as special tools and knowledge are required to ensure the insulation has been installed adequately and correctly.

It could take you a full day to complete the loft insulation by the time you have cleared your loft and as a novice you will take longer to install it. Professionals can complete the job in a couple of hours. You will need to ensure that you are equipped with a dust mask, goggles and gloves as lofts can be very dirty and dusty. Furthermore glasswool fibres can be a skin irritant.

You should also have a reasonable level of fitness as accessing your loft can be awkward and dangerous and there are potential hazards such as cables and piping. You will need to get some planks to place over the joists. Never walk in between the joists as you may put your foot through the ceiling, or worse fall right through it. The insulation material may need to be cut to size, especially around any awkward fittings - be very careful not to cut through any electrical cables.

You will need to calculate how much and what depth of insulation is needed according to current building regulations and it is important to ensure the loft is ventilated to prevent condensation build up in the roof space. If this is not addressed this can lead to the timbers in your roof rotting. If you can`t locate existing ventilation spaces, such as spaces where the roof meets the floor, you will have to make sure these are created. Any loft insulation carried out through the insulation grant schemes will provide adequate ventilation if it does not already exist.

Another important task is to ensure that any pipes are lagged and if there is a water tank it will need to be protected with a tank jacket. Once your loft is insulated it becomes a lot cooler and there is a risk of freezing pipes. The smartest, safest and cheapest choice is to obtain a government grant and have a professional do the job. DIY may be more expensive in the long run, especially if you make any costly mistakes. If you are searching for houses to rent in Durham it is a good idea to check that the house has been properly insulated. Don`t forget to tell the landlord there are grants available if your rental does not already have this done.

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