10 Steps for Renovations in Green Homes

Without a doubt, building new eco-friendly homes is a great first step toward making our nation carbon neutral, but since over 80% of the homes that will exist in 2050 have already been constructed, retrofitting our current homes is also an essential step.

Even while the government acknowledges the critical need of eco-retrofits, it is still your responsibility as the homeowner to see that the work is completed. Here are our top 10 recommendations if you’re eager to improve the efficiency of your house:

1. Improve the insulation in your house

It makes no sense to add renewable energy to your house if the insulation is so bad that heat escapes through the walls.Any eco-renovation must include insulation because a home’s insufficient insulation can account for up to 40% of heat loss. Cavity wall and loft insulation is very easy.A variety of materials,such as expanding foam or sheeps wool, can be used for this.Both will cost approximately £250 to insulate,and the savings on energy costs alone might exceed £150 annually.

Solid walls are more difficult to insulate. You could use thermal lining internally. Externally, render can be applied once an insulation layer has been bonded to the current walls. But be advised that in order to prevent damp issues, you will need to ensure that the building fabric remains breathable if you are dealing with a heritage home. See our tutorial on how to insulate a period home for additional details. Prices differ greatly; get a reasonable price by contacting the National Insulation Association.

2. Select triple or double pane windows.

Windows can lose more than 10% of a house’s energy, therefore it’s critical that they function properly.

Heat transfer will be slowed when single-glazed windows are replaced with double- or even triple-glazed ones. Take into consideration a product that is filled with argon or another low-conductivity gas to further lower this. Low-emissivity (low-e) glass is also available; it has a unique coating that allows heat to be reflected back into the space. For further details, see our post on energy-efficient windows.

3. Make solar panel system purchase

Solar panel systems function well with financial incentives like FITs and can be used to generate energy or hot water. Solar photovoltaic (PV) devices use light from the sun to create electricity. You can generate on a cloudy day because they don’t require direct sunlight to function, but you will need to mount them on a wall or roof that faces southward by at least 90 degrees. Prices range from £8,000 to £14,000.

Water-based systems use solar energy to heat domestic water through evacuated tubes or flat plate collectors mounted on your roof. If necessary, you can raise the temperature using a backup boiler. The majority of hot water cylinder and boiler systems work together. The starting price is £3,000. Depending on the system’s size, you won’t require planning clearance unless you reside in Wales or Northern Ireland.

4. Take into account energy-efficient heating systems

Nothing is more environmentally friendly than heating your house with natural gas. Although we’ve already discussed solar thermal, there are additional alternatives to think about, such as biomass boilers and heat pumps, which function similarly to refrigerators but in reverse.

Ground-source heat pumps use buried pipes to extract heat from the earth for your home’s heating and hot water circuits. You won’t usually need planning permission, but you’ll need to be prepared for the disruption of digging up your garden. Air-source systems use a similar principle, but extract heat from the air. They can be fitted to an external wall or sometimes in roof space, making them ideal for retrofits. Air source heat pumps cost from around £2,000. Wood-fuelled heating systems burn pellets or logs to power central heating or warm a single room. A biomass boiler (from £9,000 including installation) feeds your central heating and hot water. It should provide for all your heating needs, but requires plenty of space; a spacious utility room should suffice. A standalone stove (around £3,000) heats one room and can be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating.

5. Reclaim and repurpose construction supplies

Reusing building and demolition materials can help the environment by keeping them out of the garbage stream. Reclaimed materials are best obtained directly from the site of a remodeling or demolition project. In order to sell the materials, buildings are frequently disassembled with extreme caution.

Salvage yards are another good place to find helpful goods; they sell anything from ancient bricks to luxury materials and heritage products. It might be advantageous to use salvaged building materials, particularly when renovating a historic house. When purchasing materials, make sure they are appropriate for the intended use.

6. Use eco-friendly finishes while decorating.

It goes without saying that you will use a lot of paint to decorate your house. Thankfully, there are lots of eco-friendly items accessible. The majority of eco-paints are water soluble, with pigments derived from minerals or plant dyes, and a solution made of plant oils and resins. Green alternatives for wall preparation and cleaning are also available, as are wood varnishes and waxes that are less harmful to the environment. Natural wallpapers composed of textiles like wool, cotton, and hessian are examples of sustainable wallpaper.

7. Install underfloor heating

If you have always used radiators, it might be time to switch. As part of the renovation process, underfloor heating (UFH) is a superb substitute that should be simple to install if floors need to be lifted.

It circulates warm water through a system of cross-linked pipes that are installed beneath your flooring to operate at a temperature that is only a few degrees warmer than the ambient temperature. Because of its low operating temperature, it may be connected to other heating sources like heat pumps or solar thermal that have low temperature outputs with ease.

8. Upgrade heating controllers and thermostats

Space heating accounts for more than 60% of the energy utilized in the typical household. This can be lowered by up to 35% with clever HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) controls. The secret is controlling temperature; a one-degree drop in temperature results in an overall ten percent energy savings. Unused portions of the house can be heated at a lower temperature by using HVAC controls to run various zones or rooms at different temperatures. Wireless systems start at about £250 and are quite simple to install.

9. Use natural materials for your floors and walls.

Choosing natural items will contribute to a chemical-free home. Interior walls and floors are your top priorities. To allow moisture to escape outside, walls need to be both airtight and breathable.

Keep your natural insulation visible by not concealing it behind man-made walls. Plasters made of clay or lime are both organic, pliable, and breathable substitutes. Although there are many other types of natural flooring, wood is the most widely used. Verify the supplier to ensure sustainability (the FSC mark is a strong indicator). If wood isn’t your thing, you could want to look into 100% natural materials like rubber, marmoleum, or cork, but always be sure to look into the supply chain.

10. Reuse water

Why not collect the thousands of liters of rainwater that fall on your roof every year? This water can be used to water gardens, fill washing machines, and flush toilets. Take into consideration a rainwater harvesting system that uses a drainpipe to collect rainfall, a filter to remove trash and leaves, and a tank to store the usable water. Consider replacing your shower and toilet as well. Less than four liters are used by a low-flush toilet and less than 10 liters are used by a low-flow showerhead each minute. George and Rosie Woods were eager to make their ancient Victorian home into a comfortable, functional family home when they purchased it. Learn the methodology they used for their eco-remodeling project.


How to renovate eco house?

How to renovate your home sustainably
  • Insulate your home. …
  • Buy reclaimed furniture. …
  • Install water-saving taps. …
  • Swap traditional bulbs for LED lighting. …
  • Use eco-friendly paint. …
  • Get a heat pump. …
  • Install a green roof. …
  • Install sun tunnels.

In what order should you renovate a house?

Generally, most renovations will follow this order of work:
  • Strip out and removal.
  • Structural work – floors, ceilings, walls.
  • First fix work – plumbing, heating wiring.
  • Plastering, flooring.
  • Second fix work – plumbing, heating, wiring.
  • Bathroom, kitchen fit-out.
  • Decoration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *