External insulation - worth it?

JohnJay

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Hi,
Currently getting quotes for external insulation. It seems expensive at min €6500 just do do the front and back wall of a terraced house. Is it worth it?

I need to get my house external plastered anyway, which will probably cost 3k.
 

noproblem

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Allow for the SEAI grant from that price and make sure whoever you get to do the job is "good". Yes, it's well worth doing but that is very expensive for what you're getting done.
 

JohnJay

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Thats 6500 after the grant, over 8500 before the grant. In fairness, that also includes full attic insulation, but that doesnt cost a fortune.
2 quotes so far from 2 companies, both around the same. Waiting for quote #3.

Plus another 400+ to the ESB to move their wires.....
 

noproblem

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Can you not pump insulation into the cavity?
In any case I think the builder sees that by doing the external insulation he's also covering the plastering job that you need. Although it is very expensive I can see he's almost as cheeky as yourself by pricing it as he did. ;)
 

galway_blow_in

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Can you not pump insulation into the cavity?
In any case I think the builder sees that by doing the external insulation he's also covering the plastering job that you need. Although it is very expensive I can see he's almost as cheeky as yourself by pricing it as he did. ;)
Pumping the cavity doesn't come close to external insulation in terms of improving heat retaining performance
 

Alkers86

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That's around the same ballpark figures we've been getting. IT's a no brainer if you were thinking about spending 3k plastering in any case.
 

JohnJay

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It's probably a solid or cavity block wall so not suitable for pumping
Correct. Its a cavity block wall, so pumping is not an option.
The area of insulation is not huge, my windows are pretty big, so not much wall left around them. The main reason I like the idea of external insulation is that it will provide a decent seal around windows and doors and it will also insulate the cold bridge where floors meet external walls.
I'm going to loose out on some of the benefit seeing as my neighbours wont be insulating there walls, so this will create another cold bridge. So thats part of the reason I am asking if its worth it for a Terraced house.
 

galway_blow_in

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its a tiny sum , i was quoted 25 k NET of the grant two years ago , id go for it too only we dont plan to remain here long term but that decision had not been arrived at two years ago
 

JohnJay

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yeah, but my gas bills are not huge anyway. I'd be a long time saving 6500.
I just wonder how effective it is on a terraced house.
Plus, the grants for external are not that great at present. I wonder if I'd be better waiting a few years when a) the materials might be better and give better results, and b) the grants might be better to persuade us to make our houses more efficient.
 

paper-folder

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We had our semi-d externally insulated as part of a larger project that included replacement windows, some cavity and internal insulation and upgrading the attic insulation. We reckon that we reduced our gas bill by 50%. However the big benefit that we see is that we typically run the central heating for a 1 hour boost cycle and that could do us for the night. Before this, the house was cold again 15 minutes after the heat went off. So the improvement in comfort is worth it even if the payback in purely financial terms is long. We have ours 9 years now and haven't had any problem, but the contractor does need to be careful with the detailing, like how they treat the interface with the neighbours and what is done with your windowsills. It seems like the techniques and materials have improved in that time. We were also delighted to get rid of our pebble-dash and get a smooth finish on the walls instead.
 

Coldwarrior

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yeah, but my gas bills are not huge anyway. I'd be a long time saving 6500.
I just wonder how effective it is on a terraced house.
Plus, the grants for external are not that great at present. I wonder if I'd be better waiting a few years when a) the materials might be better and give better results, and b) the grants might be better to persuade us to make our houses more efficient.
I've the same conundrum, was quoted 20k net of grant last year to do my (detached) house. My gas bills cost roughly 1000 per year so even if it saved me 33% as the installers usually claim, it'd take me 60 years to make that back. OK gas prices and carbon taxes will likely go up in the future but the ROI would still be extremely long. Hopefully they'll be better grants/incentives in the next few years to make this more viable.

If I needed to get the house re-plastered anyway though I think I'd probably go ahead and do it.
 

galway_blow_in

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I've the same conundrum, was quoted 20k net of grant last year to do my (detached) house. My gas bills cost roughly 1000 per year so even if it saved me 33% as the installers usually claim, it'd take me 60 years to make that back. OK gas prices and carbon taxes will likely go up in the future but the ROI would still be extremely long. Hopefully they'll be better grants/incentives in the next few years to make this more viable.

If I needed to get the house re-plastered anyway though I think I'd probably go ahead and do it.
More advantages to it than savings on heat bills, fitting external insulation will slow down the ageing process on a house, thus preserving value
 

Coldwarrior

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More advantages to it than savings on heat bills, fitting external insulation will slow down the ageing process on a house, thus preserving value
Do you mean aesthetically? It definitely improves the look of an older house (when done well) and I'd love to get it done, but the advantages don't justify the cost for me right now.
 

JohnJay

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The grants for external are quite poor compared to grants for other types of insulation. Its limited to 2750 for a terraced house, while the limit for internal/drylining is 1600. Its a much lower % of the cost compared to internal. The benefits of external are (said to be) much greater than internal, you would imagine the grants would reflect this and be an incentive for house owners to go this route.
 

odyssey06

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fwiw I think you will get more bang for your buck from new windows if that is not already on your list.

Also, just mentioning that some home owners have had issues with broadband installations etc after getting external insulation - the likes of Virgin Media etc are reluctant to 'puncture' the insulation. Not sure if the installers can leave an access duct or something to make such installations easier.
 

JohnJay

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I agree with you on the windows. Mine are already replaced and I know from a previous property that new windows and doors was the best investment made to reduce heat loss.
Its also interesting that the SEAI dont give some sort of grant for new windows and doors. It makes you wonder how well thought out their grant scheme is.
 
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