London, North Finchley, Cardrew Avenue
- Danish wooden high-performance windows in extension.
- Draft proofed all other windows.
- Insulated ground floor when extending to side and back, external cedar cladding on first floor.
- Improved roof insulation when building loft conversion.
- Floor insulation with lambs wool.
- Installed new highly insulated front door.
- Vaillant condensing boiler, digital radiator valves with timer installed.
- Other renewable energy technologies: Wood stove in living room Insulated all hot water pipes, Green roofs on side and back of house.
- Water saving shower head, water flow reducers in kitchen and bathroom and two water butts for garden.
The house is a 1930 built end of terrace property that I purchased in July 2006.
A major change made during the retrofit was insulating parts of the house such as the roof, floor and external walls as well as draft proofing and installing double glazing. Other key measures installed include a wood stove and a condensing boiler.Benefits:
The wood and aluminium composite double glazing has a 30% premium on PVC windows but they definitely make up for the extra cost because they are very efficient and beautiful.
The insulation has also made a big difference to the comfort of the house. The roof and floor insulation are very effective at getting the house warm and cosy and the roof insulation can easily be done yourself. The external wall insulation makes an amazing difference and my bedroom is much warmer without the radiators being on.
The wood stove installation used the existing chimney without additional lining which was great. I have found the wood stove very efficient at heating big rooms and for a longer lasting heating effect.
Although some of the LEDs (3000K) are too white and therefore too cold for most living areas, the new generation LEDs and warm white (2700K) ones give nice coloured light.
The heat exchange bathroom ventilator is fantastic, the bathroom is much warmer now and through the continuous exchange of air it gets fresh air to most of the upper floor. The condensing dryer with heat exchanger is amazing as it saves 2kWh per drying (from 3.4kWh down to 1.4kWh).
The water saving devices, such as the showerhead, have reduced my daily water usage from 266 litres to 200 litres and does not feel any different in terms of pressure.
It feels like the retrofit is actually more a journey than a project, as there are many small items that together make a big difference. Some small changes pay back very quickly, like the water saving shower head, others make a big difference in terms of quality of life such as external cladding, floor insulation and the wood burner.