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Warming Your Home On A Budget

Detached house with external property insulation

With rising energy bills putting a strain on household finances, improving insulation is one of the most effective ways UK homeowners can save money and increase comfort in their properties. Installing quality loft, cavity wall, external wall and other property insulation reduces heat loss which lowers energy use for heating and cooling.

Well insulated homes require less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. Proper insulation also reduces drafts, condensation issues and noise pollution. Upgrading the insulation in your roof, walls, floors and other areas can potentially cut your annual heating costs in half while making your home cosier.

This guide examines the main types of thermal insulation used in UK properties along with typical installation costs, available grants and funding options to offset costs, and the array of benefits better insulation provides for your energy bills, warmth and wellbeing.

Taking steps to improve insulation should be a priority for all homeowner as an investment that pays dividends through energy savings and better living conditions.

Types of Property Insulation

Loft Insulation:

Loft insulation is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to insulate your home. Installing insulation material between the roof rafters prevents heat escaping through the roof.

  • Installed between roof rafters in attic space
  • Typical materials: mineral wool, fiberglass, cellulose, sheep’s wool
  • Recommended depth: 270mm
  • DIY installation with rolls or loose fill insulation
  • Professional install avg. £250 for semi-detached house
  • Can also insulate sloping ceilings and flat roofs

Cavity Wall Insulation:

Cavity wall insulation involves filling the gap between the inner and outer walls with insulating material, reducing heat loss through the walls. It is a common insulation option for suitable properties.

  • Fills gap between internal and external walls with insulation
  • Typical materials: polystyrene bead, mineral wool, foam
  • Professional install avg. £450 for terraced house
  • Grants may be available through GBIS
  • Minimal disruption to inside of property
  • Not suitable for all cavity wall types

External Wall Insulation:

External wall insulation reduces heat loss through walls by adding insulation material to the outside of the property. It is more expensive but very effective, especially for solid walls.

  • Insulation boards or render fixed to outside walls
  • Typical materials: mineral wool, EPS, phenolic foam
  • Installed by professional tradespeople
  • Avg. cost £100-£150 per m2
  • Significantly reduces heat loss through walls
  • Ideal for solid wall properties with no cavity
  • Changes external appearance of home

Spray Foam Insulation:

Spray foam insulation involves spraying polyurethane foam into gaps and cavities to insulate and seal air leaks. It can be used in lofts, floors and walls for a seamless insulation barrier.

  • Polyurethane foam sprayed into cavities and gaps
  • Expands and seals cracks, preventing drafts
  • Used for loft insulation, floors, walls, roof
  • Avg. cost £800-£1000 for loft space
  • Provides airtight, seamless insulation
  • More expensive than other types per m2
  • Needs professional installation

Loft insulation being installed

Insulation Installation Costs

Insulating your home is one of the most effective ways to reduce your heating costs, improve energy efficiency, and increase the comfort and value of your property. Here we take a look at the costs involved in property insulation.

Typical installation costs for professional fitting in a semi-detached or mid-terrace house:

Loft Insulation:

  • Professional install: £250
  • DIY install: £100-150 materials if filling yourself

Cavity Wall Insulation:

  • Professional install: £450
  • DIY not recommended for cavity wall insulation

External Wall Insulation:

  • Professional install: £4,000 to £14,000
  • Costs depend on property size, insulation material, and labour
  • Must be installed by experienced tradespeople

Spray Foam Insulation:

  • Professional loft insulation: £800 to £1,000
  • Costs scale up for larger properties with more space to fill

DIY installation can reduce costs for loft and some other types of insulation, provided building regulations are met and work is done properly. Planning permission may also be required for external wall insulation.

Always check all regulations before undertaking DIY insulation projects. Using professional installers is recommended for cavity wall, external wall, and spray foam insulation.

Grants and Funding Options for Insulation

Installing insulation can require a significant upfront investment, but there are government schemes and grants available that can help lower the cost. Taking advantage of these can make home insulation affordable and accessible to more households.

Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS)

The Great British Insulation Scheme provides vouchers to help cover the cost of insulation measures. Homeowners can get up to £10,000 per household based on eligibility criteria.

  • Government scheme providing vouchers towards cost of insulation
  • Delivered by local authorities in England and Wales
  • Vouchers worth up to £10,000 per household
  • Eligibility based on means-tested benefits, Council Tax bands, property type
  • Must use voucher on approved insulation measures
  • Contact your local authority to check eligibility and apply

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

The Energy Company Obligation is an industry scheme where suppliers fund insulation improvements for lower income households.

  • Energy suppliers fund insulation for lower income households
  • Delivered through registered professional installers
  • Eligibility if receive means-tested benefits or low income
  • Covers cavity wall, loft insulation, etc for rental or owned homes
  • Energy companies identify eligible customers and arrange install
  • Worth on average £640 per household

Local Authority Grants or Loans

Many councils provide grants or loans to help their residents install insulation.

  • Some councils offer insulation grants and loans to residents
  • Eligibility criteria varies between councils
  • Often targeted at low income households
  • Grants typically £500 to £1,000 towards loft or cavity wall insulation
  • Loans can be repaid through savings on energy bills
  • Contact your local authority to see available schemes

Checking eligibility for these national and local schemes can significantly reduce the cost of insulating your home.

blocks spelling out grants for property insulation

Benefits of Insulating Your Property

Improving your home’s insulation comes with many benefits that make it a worthwhile investment. Based on figures from the Energy Saving Trust, a typical semi-detached home could save over £400 per year on energy bills with proper insulation.

Reduced Heating Bills

Insulating your home reduces heat loss, allowing you to save significantly on annual energy costs. Well-insulated properties require less heating to stay warm.

  • Well insulated homes use less energy for heating and cooling
  • UK households save on average £405 per year after installing insulation
  • Potential to reduce annual gas bills by 25% with full insulation upgrades
  • Lifetime savings of around £9,860 over 20 years for a 3-bed semi
  • Insulation reduces heat loss through roof, walls, floors, gaps, etc.
  • The better insulated the property, the more you will save

Increased Home Comfort

Insulation makes your home feel more comfortably warm in winter and cooler in summer by regulating the temperature.

  • Insulation keeps heat in during winter so home feels warmer
  • Can reduce drafts and cold spots that make home feel chilled
  • Also keeps house cooler during hot summer months
  • Allows homes to hold desired temperature longer
  • Creates more consistently comfortable living environment

Reduced Carbon Emissions

Improving insulation results in lower energy usage, reducing the carbon footprint of your home.

  • Lowers home energy use cutting carbon footprint
  • Typical home saves 1.9 tonnes of CO2 per year with insulation
  • Supporting UK 2050 net zero emissions target
  • Lower bills also discourage excessive energy use
  • Greener homes help protect the environment

Increased Property Value

Better insulation adds value to your property when it comes time to sell.

  • Improved insulation adds value when selling home
  • Energy efficiency important to buyers
  • Could increase property value by £10,000+
  • Shows investment in maintaining and upgrading home
  • Higher EPC rating makes property more desirable

Taking steps to insulate your property provides ongoing savings and benefits for years to come.


Improving insulation should be a priority for UK homeowners looking to save money, increase comfort, and reduce environmental impact. With rising energy costs, the savings and benefits of better insulating your loft, walls, floors and other areas are clear.

There are great options available from simple DIY loft insulation to professional external wall insulation that could potentially cut your bills in half. Take time to understand the different types of insulation and installation methods.

Check if you qualify for any government or local grants to help cover costs too. Installing thermal insulation is an investment that will repay itself many times over through lower heating expenses and a warmer, more liveable home.

With professional advice and proper installation, you can ensure your home has excellent insulation to benefit both your wallet and wellbeing. Check out some ECO and energy saving products here.

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