If you are installing insulation in your home it is probably because you want to reduce your energy consumption and save money on your heating bills.
Effective insulation can save several hundred pounds a year, and with all the grants and offers available, it makes sense to improve the efficiency of your home wherever possible.
You can insulate your home in a variety of different ways; loft insulation will prevent heat escaping through the roof, cavity wall insulation will vastly reduce heat loss through the walls, floor insulation will prevent cold air form entering the house, while draught proofing will stop the flow of cold air through the house and reduce the loss of warm air.
Many of these things can be undertaken yourself if you are a keen DIY enthusiast, and you can save a lot of money by insulating your own home. The advantage of using professional installers is that they will be familiar with the regulations surrounding insulation, and should ensure that their work meets any relevant industry standards.
If you are doing it yourself you should get to know the regulations regarding the insulation you are fitting, and make sure you complete the work to the highest standard. The insulation will be far less effective if it is not fitted properly, and it may be more difficult to sell the house without industry standard insulation.
You would not normally need to apply for planning permission to fit insulation, as long as it doesn’t affect the exterior appearance of the property. Although if the building is listed or sits in a conservation area, it is best to contact your local planners before commencing any work. Insulation must adhere to building regulations, however, regardless of whether it is fitted into a new building or installed retrospectively.
Loft Insulation Regulations
Insulation in a loft area must meet the minimum standards and minimum energy efficiency values laid out in the roof insulation regulations. If an upgrade to meet requirements is not viable then the insulation should be fitted to the best possible standard with a payback period of no more than fifteen years.
Any insulation which is being installed as part of a roof renovation should meet targets in the roof insulation building regulations if more than 25% of the roof is being replaced.
Cavity Wall Insulation Regulations
Cavity wall insulation is defined in building regulations as building work which requires notification. It is necessary to submit a building notice to the relevant building authorities in the area to inform them that cavity wall insulation is going to be installed.
Most local authorities will not charge for the submission of the notice, and if you are using an installer registered to the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA), then they will submit the notice for you.
Building regulations state the correct type of insulation should be used for the specific type of wall; and where foam is used, a risk assessment should be carried out due to the risk of emissions of formaldehyde gas.
Solid Wall Insulation Regulations
If you are upgrading a solid wall with insulation, be aware that by doing so you must ensure that it meets the energy efficiency values listed in the building regulations approved documents.
As with loft insulation, if an upgrade to those standards is not possible, the insulation should be installed to the best possible standard with a payback period no greater than fifteen years.
If more than 25% of a solid wall is being renovated then it should adhere to all requirements for walls in the building regulations in terms of thermal insulation.The regulations refer to renovation as the provision of a new layer or the replacement of an existing layer of the wall.
Insulation Building Regulations
Floor insulation is subject to the same rules, in that it must meet energy efficiency values and thermal insulation values, whether installed into a new house or fitted retrospectively.
If this is not possible the same legislation applies that it should be finished to the best standard with payback of no longer than fifteen years.
If more than 25% of a solid or suspended floor is renovated and it involves the replacement of a timber deck or screed, it is required to meet the values laid out in building regulations.
Other Types of Insulation
The insulation of your hot water tank and water pipes is not specifically covered by building regulations, as they state that the insulation should be no lesser standard than that laid out in the Domestic Heating Compliance Guide.
The price of energy in the UK is soaring and many of us are looking at practical ways in which we can reduce our energy usage and save money on our heating bills.
The government has the overall task of reducing carbon emissions, and must meet several staggered targets over the next few decades as Europe aims towards being a carbon zero society by 2050. Reducing the amount of CO2 we release from our homes is a key area, in which improvements can be made to help meet these targets.
There has never been a better time to invest in energy saving home improvements, as the government has obliged energy companies to offer grants to consumers to help with the cost of installing energy saving measures.
If you are having any insulation installed it isn’t necessary to apply for planning permission, but you are responsible for making sure any work adheres to building regulations.
If you are employing a professional installer to carry out the work, they should be well aware of all the relevant regulations and make sure that the insulation is fitted to meet with building regulation requirements.
They should also submit any necessary building notices to the relevant local authority on your behalf. If you undertake any work yourself make sure you are familiar with the regulations on that type of insulation, and ensure that it is fitted properly and in line with the building regulations approved documents.