Turn your home into an Eco-home
Plan for Perfection
So you’ve decided to turn your home into an eco-home? It isn’t as difficult as you might expect: with some careful planning, you can create a beautiful home which is easy on the environment too.
The even better news is, you don’t have to do it all in one go. If time or money are in short supply, you can do some work now and some later. If you’re planning to decorate or add an extension, now is the perfect time to start visualising your dream home. Create a pathway to your vision, step by simple step.
Most renovations happen piecemeal; likewise, eco-renovation or retrofit. If you’ve decided to decorate, or change a kitchen or bathroom, this is the perfect time to get advice on how to make your home more snug and eco-friendly.
You might need a full survey or assessment, or a simple conversation might be enough to get you started. Either way, we can help you decide on your best course of action.
Have clear objectives
Deciding what you want before you start will save you time, money and heartache. Imagine getting to the end of your building journey and realising you haven’t got everything you wanted.
Do you want a higher comfort factor? Increasing the insulation around your property might be the answer. If you’re plagued by cold draughts, then making your home more airtight and adding a ventilation system could be the answer. (This has the added benefit of making the air in your home cleaner and less polluted too.)
Maybe lowering bills is your goal? By adding solar panels and a battery wall you could dramatically lower your bills, and become less reliant on the grid.
Whatever your goal we can guide you through the many options available; with a wide range of assessment tools to help us, we can create your ultimate snug space.
Give yourself enough time
As anyone in the Army can tell you, proper preparation prevents poor performance. So, planning and preparation are vital for any successful renovation. The more time you can give to this stage of the project, the better. Whether your aim is full Passivhaus status or a simple kitchen extension, making sure you have enough time to gather all the necessary information and the right people to do the work is critical.
All too often we’ve seen people fall foul of being too impatient and beginning too soon. If you are planning on creating a low energy home, planning is of the utmost importance.
It’s this stage which will guide you in the months ahead. Assessing your property will determine the key factors you need to deal with and what possibilities are available. It will also help you further down the line when you’re ready to go.
Property assessments can be done via several routes. The basic Energy Performance Certificate that most houses have these days is a start, although it’s not the best tool to evaluate the energy efficiency of a home.
There are various organisations that provide good quality assessments, designed to help homeowners work out what is possible for their home – for example, the Home Energy Planner, a Passivhaus assessment tool.
You could also try a thermal imaging report or a blower door test.
Once you’ve got all the available information, you’re ready to decide on the best course of action.
If you’ve decided on an extension or changing your home’s exterior with insulated render, you might need planning permission. The best thing to do is to email your local planning office and tell them about your plans, and they’ll tell you if you need planning permission. In some areas you might only need building regulation certification.
An architect can help you get through the planning application process. Ask the architect if they have any knowledge about making homes energy efficient. To get the best performance from your home, it is crucial to have the right team on board – that includes architects, project managers, builders and other installers.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Get more than one quote.
Ask about the person’s experience.
Snug Spaces has experience in all manner of eco-renovation, from installing low energy heating systems to full wrap-around wall insulation. With years of knowledge and experience of the sector, we know the best people to speak to – so if you want to create an eco-home, we can find you the perfect person for your project.
Once you know what you require from your retrofit, it’s time to put it to the planners. If you’re extending your property you might need planning permission; if you’re only renovating internally, you might only need building regulations’ approval.
Make sure you take good advice on your local rebuilding regulation and planning requirements. Corrections can be costly to sort out.
If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, make sure you have a party wall agreement in place. If something goes wrong and there’s any damage caused on the other side of a part wall, you could end up with serious problems and a large bill from your neighbours.
It can take up to two months for planners to make their decision; in some instances, it can take longer. Allowing time for this in your schedule will ensure you’re not feeling pushed if the planners take their time to make their mind up.
Finally, everything is in place: you’re ready to put a team together to begin the construction phase – your eco-home is becoming a reality.