Online House Hunter: Improve, then move
YOU know when your neighbours are preparing to move house – they suddenly start decorating and carrying out those long-awaited repairs to their house. Mind you, it’s not just the neighbours. We finally got round to getting a decent kitchen and replacing the carpets only because we were putting our house on the market. We enjoyed our perfect home for just a few weeks before moving house. And to really rub salt into the wound the first thing the new owners did was rip up the carpets preferring instead the bare floorboards!
Property writers often talk about “don’t move, improve” when the property market stutters but for many people it’s a case of “we’re moving, start improving”. There’s always much discussion about which improvements put the most value on your home and there’s no doubting that the surging rise in energy prices has put the ‘greening’ of a home at the top of that agenda.
So I’m grateful to the National Association of Estate Agents for listing their top tips for insulating a homes – with an eye of course on the arctic winter predicted for this year (that’s the one following the barbecue winter we’re currently experiencing!).
· Cavity-wall insulation – Although this involves a rather noisy installation process, the benefits can be felt instantly and can mean substantial savings on your energy bills. A specialist installer should always be sought for this type of job so ensure you choose a member that is Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency qualified.
· Draught-Stripping – Installing specialist strips of foam around windows and doors will, say the NAEA, significantly reduce draughts and air permeation in your home, helping to retain the heat and ultimately saving you money. Costing around £50-£80 depending on whether you install it yourself or not, draught-stripping can save up to £20 per year for a gas-heated semi-detached house.
· Replacing your boiler – Replacing your old boiler with a new one can certainly help to reduce emissions and reduce your bills at the same time. Although the boiler scrappage scheme has now come to an end, trade-in incentives are still available for this kind of purchase. It is worth checking out the funding database on the Energy Saving Trust site for specific details.
· Loft Insulation – A cheap and easy way to top up insulation already installed. Boosting the thickness of the insulation to between 250 and 300 mm thickness is recommended for optimum efficiency.
· Pipe Cladding – Ensuring any external pipes are well insulated minimises additional heat loss and can reduce the risk of freezing if a property is left unoccupied during a cold period.
- Independent online property search
- Independent House & Home section
- Independent Property section
- Homes & Property area guides
- DirectGov: Insulation and Heating
- Energy Saving Trust
- Top Ten energy saving tips
- Act on CO2
- Landlord Energy Saving Allowance Scheme
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