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  • Writer's pictureWayne Holmes

Keeping the cold out – retrofitting insulation

Winter is well and truly on the way. As temperatures being to fall, you’re probably starting to think about the quality of insulation in your home. While insulation in your ceiling and underfloor is relatively simple to improve, insulation in your external walls takes a little more thought and consideration.



Do you need building consent?


It’s not widely known amongst home owners that any form of retrofitted insulation in the external walls of your home will require building consent. Alternatively, specific approval from your local council that a building consent is not required.


The greatest unknown, and potential risk, when insulation is installed is the effect on moisture transfer within walls. Not to mention the effects any increase in moisture will have on fungal growth.


So while it may seem like just more bureaucratic red tape to make life more difficult, it’s in fact protecting you from future catastrophic problems with possibly your largest asset.


Holmes Renovations have identified that going through the building consent process is a major obstacle for most home owners wanting to insulate their homes. So, we can manage the whole process for you. From lodging the consent application, installing insulation, replacing all wall linings to your desired finish and taking care of all the council inspections along the way. It couldn’t be any easier.


Things to consider when installing insulation into older homes


Retrofitting insulation into walls involves more than simply installing insulation bats. All the associated work must be assessed to see if it complies with the Building Code. Effects on the existing building may be complex and potentially problematic. Some things to consider are;


Moisture barrier – Older houses often have no building paper between the cladding and framing. This must be rectified before insulation can be installed to avoid moisture transferring to the internal wall linings.


Sarking – Houses built pre 1930 often had sarking on the walls. Not only did this provide a lining for wallpaper to be adhered to but it provided lateral bracing to the walls. When retrofitting insulation any sarking removed needs to have the equivalent amount of bracing replaced.

Electrical cables – Various cabling used in older houses can react badly to certain types of insulation. Cables that are encapsulated in insulation also risk overheating causing fire or overloading the circuit.


Where to from here?


There is no disputing that an insulated home is much warmer, drier and economical to heat. While it’s not a simple process to undertake, with the right help and advice it doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Contact Holmes Renovations to arrange an obligation free consultation about what could be right for your home.


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