When considering options for insulation, homeowners have to decide between external wall insulation and internal wall insulation. External wall insulation involves adding insulation to the outside of a building, while internal wall insulation involves adding insulation to the inside of a building. Both options provide benefits such as increased energy efficiency, reduced heat loss, and improved comfort, but the decision of which option to use is dependent on various factors.
External wall insulation offers several advantages, including improved external appearance and increased thermal performance. This type of insulation system is highly efficient, eliminating gaps, air spaces, and cold bridging, whilst delivering better insulation than internal insulation. It also saves valuable floor space, which cannot be saved by internal insulation.
However, external insulation may require additional costs due to external fittings and special fixings like brick slips, which mimic the brick pattern of the original wall. In contrast, internal wall insulation preserves the external appearance of the property and may be less costly to insulate.
External Wall Insulation
External wall insulation is a fantastic option for homeowners looking to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their heating bills. This method involves adding insulation to the outside of a building, rather than the inside. This means that the thickness of the walls will be increased, which can improve thermal performance.
One of the benefits of external wall insulation is that it doesn’t take up any interior space. Internal insulation, on the other hand, can take up valuable space inside a room. By adding insulation to the outside of the building, you won’t lose any floor space or reduce the size of your rooms.
Another benefit is that it can improve the appearance of the building. There are a variety of different finishes available, including brick slips, which can make an older building look more modern and updated. Additionally, adding external insulation can help to maintain the structural integrity of the building and protect against damage caused by weather and environmental factors.
It’s important to note that external insulation can be more expensive than internal insulation, particularly if you have a lot of external fittings that will need to be removed and replaced. However, the long-term savings in terms of reduced energy usage and lower heating bills can make it a worthwhile investment.
One thing to consider before committing to external insulation is whether you will need planning permission. In some cases, external wall insulation can alter the appearance of a building, and local authorities may require permission before the work can be done.
Overall, external wall insulation can be a great option for homeowners looking to improve their energy efficiency, reduce their carbon footprint, and update the appearance of their building. It’s worth weighing the costs and benefits before making a decision, but for many homeowners, external insulation is the way to go.
The Pros of External Wall Insulation
External wall insulation is becoming an increasingly popular option for homeowners. The benefits are many and varied. One of the biggest advantages is the increase in thermal efficiency, which leads to lower energy bills. This can save property owners a lot of money in the long term.
Another benefit is that it can significantly improve the appearance of the building. It can be used to rejuvenate old properties, or to give new buildings a more modern, contemporary feel. Additionally, installing external insulation can reduce the need for future maintenance, making it a valuable investment.
Sound insulation is another benefit of external wall insulation. By adding insulation material like rigid insulation boards or brick slips, you can improve the acoustics of the building and reduce noise pollution from the outside.
External insulation can also reduce carbon emissions and the building’s carbon footprint. This is because it reduces the amount of heat escaping from the building, which in turn means that less energy is required to heat the building.
Special and mechanical fixings are required to hold the insulation layer in place. This ensures that the insulation stays in place and doesn’t slip or become damaged over time. Overall, external wall insulation is a smart investment that can add value to a property while saving on energy bills for years to come.
The Cons of External Wall Insulation
External wall insulation has various benefits, such as improved appearance and sound insulation, but it comes with some downsides too. One of the major cons is its expensive nature. The installation process involves extensive work, which can disrupt the exterior of your property and may cause inconvenience during the installation period.
External Wall Insulation can change the outward appearance of your home, which might violate local council planning regulations. This could result in the need for approvals and special permits, adding another layer of expense to the process.
Another issue is that the insulation material needs to be weather-resistant to prevent any damage from weather conditions, which can add to the overall expense. Also, special care must be taken to ensure that the insulation layers don’t peel off with heavy items, as it can cause additional costs for repairs.
Moreover, external insulation can change the outward appearance of your home, which might violate local council planning regulations. This could result in the need for approvals and special permits, adding another layer of expense to the process.
Lastly, the installation of external insulation requires special fixings to attach the insulation material to your home, which can be a sticking point in some areas with traditional or historic homes, where drilling is not allowed.
Considering the expense, extensive work, weather-resistant material, heavy item issues, and potential conflicts with planning regulations, it is essential to evaluate the pros and cons of the type of wall insulation that best suits your home.
When to have External Wall Insulation
External wall insulation can be a great investment if you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home. It’s especially useful if you have solid walls that don’t have a cavity that can be filled with insulation material. This is because, with external insulation, the insulation layer is applied to the outer walls, therefore reducing heat loss.
In terms of the external appearance of your home, external insulation can be a better option if you don’t want to lose valuable floor space inside your home. By insulating the outer walls of your home, you won’t need to sacrifice any square footage to create an additional insulation layer.
However, it’s worth noting that external wall insulation can be more expensive than internal wall insulation. This is because the installation process requires special fixings and additional insulation material that can add to the overall cost. You’ll also need to check whether your walls are suitable for external insulation and if any planning permission is required before starting the installation process.
Overall, external wall insulation can be a great solution for homeowners looking to improve the thermal efficiency of their home while maintaining its external appearance. It can be an especially good option for homes with solid walls or for homeowners who want to avoid losing valuable space inside their homes.
Internal Wall Insulation
When it comes to reducing heat loss in your home and cutting down on energy bills, internal wall insulation can be a great option. It involves adding an extra layer of insulation to the internal walls of your home, which can improve thermal performance and reduce energy usage.
One of the advantages of internal wall insulation is that it usually doesn’t require any planning permission, making the installation process simpler and quicker. It’s also a great option if you have solid walls, as it can be difficult to insulate them from the outside.
Internal wall insulation can be done in a few different ways. You can use rigid insulation boards that are cut to size and fixed directly to the walls, or you can use mineral wool insulation that is fitted between studs in a stud wall. Both methods can be effective at reducing heat loss and improving thermal efficiency.
Another benefit is that it can improve the overall aesthetic of your home. You can choose from a variety of finishes, such as plaster or drywall, to create a smooth and seamless look that blends in with the rest of your home.
However, it’s worth noting that internal wall insulation can also come with some downsides. It can take up valuable floor space, which can be a concern if you have a small home or need every inch of space. It can also require heavy items to be moved out of the way during installation, which can be a hassle.
Ultimately, the type of wall insulation you choose will depend on your specific needs, budget, and the type of walls you have in your home. Internal wall insulation can be a great option if you’re looking to improve energy efficiency without sacrificing the exterior appearance of your home.
The Pros of Internal Wall Insulation
Internal Wall Insulation can help reduce heat loss through walls, which can lead to significant savings on your heating bills over time. In addition, by reducing energy usage, internal wall insulation can also help to lower your carbon emissions, making your home more environmentally friendly.
When it comes to materials, there are a few different options to consider. Mineral wool fibre and rigid insulation boards are both popular choices, and can provide effective thermal performance when installed correctly with special fixings. Regardless of the material, it’s important to ensure a continuous vapour barrier is installed to prevent any condensation issues.
One of the key benefits of internal wall insulation is its ability to improve thermal performance. This can help to create a more comfortable living environment by reducing cold spots and drafts. Additionally, by reducing heat loss, internal wall insulation can help to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your heating bills. Overall, internal wall insulation is a great investment that can provide both short-term and long-term benefits for your home and the environment.
The Cons of Internal Wall Insulation
Internal wall insulation offers many benefits, but it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before deciding if it’s the right choice for your home.
Internal Wall Insulation can worsen existing condensation issues if not correctly installed with a continuous vapour barrier. If you already have issues with damp or mould, internal insulation may not be the best option.
One disadvantage is the loss of valuable floor space required for insulation boards or battens. This can be a significant issue in smaller properties where every inch matters.
Another consideration is that internal insulation can worsen existing condensation issues if not correctly installed with a continuous vapour barrier. If you already have issues with damp or mould, internal insulation may not be the best option.
In addition, internal insulation can cause thermal bridging around external fittings such as windows and doors, reducing the overall thermal efficiency of the property.
Lastly, internal wall insulation may not be sufficient to achieve the desired level of thermal insulation, especially for solid walls. It may be necessary to combine internal insulation with other measures, such as external insulation or cavity wall insulation.
Overall, internal wall insulation can be a great option for improving energy efficiency and reducing heating bills, but it’s important to weigh up the potential drawbacks before making a decision.
When to have Internal Wall Insulation
Internal wall insulation is an excellent solution in certain situations. For example, suppose the external appearance of a property needs to remain unchanged. In that case, internal insulation may be the only viable option, especially for listed buildings or those in conservation areas. Additionally, if external walls cannot be externally insulated, internal wall insulation is a great alternative. This may be the case in areas where planning permission restricts the external appearance of the property, or if it’s a semi-detached property with no access to the neighbour’s wall surface.
Another reason to choose internal insulation is when you cannot afford to lose valuable floor space. This can be a significant consideration in small properties where every inch counts. Another factor to consider is when there are restrictions on external fittings like windows and doors. It may be simpler to install internal insulation that does not interfere with these fittings.
Lastly, internal wall insulation can help alleviate condensation issues. However, it’s worth noting that this is only true if the insulation is correctly installed with a continuous vapour barrier. Only with this vapour barrier can you prevent the build-up of moisture in the walls. Overall, internal wall insulation can offer an efficient and practical solution to several home insulation problems.
The Main Considerations
When it comes to insulating your walls, there are a few factors to consider before making a decision between internal or external insulation. Firstly, it’s important to identify your wall type. If you have solid brick walls, then you’ll need to either opt for internal insulation or external insulation with brick slips to maintain the external appearance of your home. On the other hand, if your walls are hollow, then you may be able to undertake cavity wall insulation.
Another thing to consider is building regulations. If you are considering internal insulation, you will need to ensure that it meets the required thermal performance standards set out in building regulations. It’s also important to check if planning permission is required for either option, as this could add additional cost and time to your project.
But what if you’re still torn between the two? In some cases, it’s possible to do both internal and external insulation, known as “hybrid insulation”. This can provide additional thermal efficiency by creating an insulation layer on both sides of the wall, helping to reduce energy usage and heating costs.
In summary, assessing your wall type, building regulations, and cost implications are key considerations when choosing between internal and external insulation. And remember, in some cases, combining both options could be the best solution for your home.
Work Out Your Wall Type
When it comes to insulating your home, it’s important to know what type of wall you have. The three main types of walls are solid, cavity, and timber frame.
Solid walls are easy to identify as they are made entirely of bricks, stones or blocks without a cavity or insulation layer. This means they can be very difficult to insulate, but there are solutions available such as solid wall insulation.
Cavity walls have an air gap between the inner and outer walls, and insulation is usually installed in this gap. To see if you have cavity walls, look at the thickness of the wall or check for any cavity insulation.
Timber frame walls are another common type of wall, typically found in newer homes. Unlike solid walls, timber frame walls include a wooden frame with cladding on the outside, insulation between the studs, and plasterboard on the inside.
To determine the type of wall in your home, you can check building plans if available, or look for signs of insulation or thickness of the wall. By knowing your wall type, you can make informed decisions on which insulation method is best, such as cavity wall insulation or solid wall insulation.
What Building Regulations Apply for Internal Wall Insulation?
When it comes to internal wall insulation, there are specific building regulations that need to be followed. These regulations promote energy efficiency, reduce heat loss, and keep those heating bills low.
Building regulations require a minimum level of thermal performance, and it’s essential to ensure that when insulating internal walls, you do not create condensation issues. Regulators recommend using a continuous vapour barrier to prevent thermal bridging and maintain the temperature of the space.
Special fixings must be used for any heavy items attached to insulated walls, and the insulation material used should align with the building regulations provided.
There are many types of insulation materials that are allowed for internal wall insulation, including rigid insulation boards and mineral wool. Methods for insulating internal walls can vary, but they are generally achieved by fitting a layer of insulation material to the inner face of the external wall or creating a room within a room with insulated stud walls.
Before starting any insulation work, it’s vital to comply with relevant planning permissions and building regulations. This will ensure that you remain compliant when undertaking internal wall insulation.
Can you do Both Internal and External Insulation
When it comes to wall insulation, some homeowners wonder if they can do both internal and external insulation. Technically, it is possible, but it’s not a common practice.
External insulation is generally preferred because it tends to be more effective. It also doesn’t cause the same condensation issues that internal insulation can. Another benefit of external insulation is that it shouldn’t change the appearance of the property from the outside.
In some situations, however, it may be necessary to use internal insulation instead. For example, if the property is in a conservation area, external insulation may not be allowed. In these cases, internal insulation could be the ideal solution to increase thermal efficiency and reduce energy bills.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of both internal and external insulation depends on the type of wall insulation used, the level of insulation, and the type of wall. Both methods can significantly reduce heat loss and carbon emissions, as well as lower heating bills. Regardless of the chosen method, it is essential to follow building regulations and ensure that any insulation material used is suitable.
Lowering the Costs of Installing Solid Wall Insulation
Installing solid wall insulation is a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce the cost of heating bills. However, the cost of installation can be a bit of a challenge. The good news is that there are ways to lower the cost of installing solid wall insulation.
One way to reduce the cost is by choosing the right insulation material. There are various insulation materials available, such as mineral wool, rigid insulation boards, and insulation boards. The cost of these materials varies, so it’s important to compare their cost and effectiveness. For example, mineral wool insulation is cheaper than rigid insulation boards, but it has a lower level of insulation.
Another way to lower the cost of solid wall insulation is by taking advantage of government grants and subsidies. The UK government has various grants and subsidies available to help homeowners with the cost of energy-efficient improvements to their homes. These grants can help you cover many of the costs of installing solid wall insulation and other energy-saving measures.
You may be eligible for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. This scheme is aimed at lower-income households or those living in areas with high levels of fuel poverty. The scheme covers the cost of insulation, along with other energy-saving measures such as boiler replacement.
Another government scheme is the Green Homes Grant, which provides homeowners with up to £5,000 to cover the cost of insulation. The grant covers up to two-thirds of the cost of the insulation, with the remaining third having to be paid by the homeowner.
In conclusion, while the installation of solid wall insulation may be costly, there are ways to reduce the cost. By choosing the right insulation material and taking advantage of government grants and subsidies, you can significantly lower the cost of installation. Why not use our Eligibility Checker to see if you are eligible for one of these schemes, we can advise you of the various grants available, as well as advice on the installation process.
So, which is better for your home – external or internal wall insulation? Ultimately, it depends on your specific circumstances and priorities.
If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior, external wall insulation may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution that won’t require extensive planning permission and construction work, internal wall insulation may be a better choice.
Whatever you decide, make sure to consider the main factors such as the type of property you have, your budget, and the level of insulation required. With careful consideration, you can make an informed decision that will improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.