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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Professional thermal insulation advice (and maybe installation) ......

Hi, I am looking for someone to give unbiased advice on (and possibly install) insulation for my ground floor, 2-bedroom flat in Bounds Green. What I'm loath to do is get some insulation firm along who then tell me I need this, that and other because they want to install it even though it will be of marginal benefit to me and/or another type could be much more beneficial (but they don't install it)! For this reason I am prepared to pay a reasonable price for the audit and would want some clear and quantified advice in return. Happy if they can in addition install their solution at reasonable cost. Also interested (secondarily) in heat pumps and in govt subsidies for this kind of work. Realise this is a lot to ask, but does anyone have any recommendations? 

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We have just put up magnetic secondary double-glazing in our coldest room and it has made a huge difference (and also cut down street noise). You measure up the windows and order the plastic (3 or 4mm clear acrylic), then attach it to the frame with a special magnetic tape so that it can be removed easily for cleaning or to open them in summer. We got it from this company but there are many options online.

That's Brilliant Maddy. I think insulating the windows will be an excellent start. I'll check out your company. 

Brilliant idea- where did you get the magnetic tape from? 

From the same supplier as the acrylic.

There is a huge amount of information and advice online about improving insulation and heat loss in homes. Avoid the sites linked to particular firms or sellers of materials (eg Wickes). Lots of stuff from reliable energy-saving sites. Certainly installing secondary double  glazing is a good idea. You can make it yourself with strips of wood for a frame, and sheets of perplex, fixing it with hook-and-loop tape. Requires little skill, few tools, and is very cheap. If you are on the ground floor, you may be losing heat through the floor, especially if it is a wood floor supported on joists, with a space beneath for ventilation. If you have radiators on outside walls, you will be losing heat from the back of the radiator to the wall. Insulating behind the radiators is cheap, using foam-backed reflective foil. All of this, and plenty more, is online, including video tutorials showing you how to do it. Most of it is cheap if you do it yourself, but of course any "insulation firm" will charge you through the nose.

Hi Chris. Very useful advice. I did look briefly online. The problem is that you are then swamped with advertisers of the type to avoid, as you say. Sure there's also a lot of DIY advice too but is there one you could particularly recommend as trustworthy and sensible? What's the solution for aforementioned leaky floors by the way (if there is one...)? D

Have a look here David.

If you have a concrete floor, then you are probably not losing much heat there, but you could reduce it with good quality carpet underlay. If you have a wooden floor, supported on joists, you would need to lift the floorboards, and fit glass or metal wall between the joists. A thickness of 100mm would make a difference. You can also reduce draughts between floorboards by laying hardboard over the joists, and then fitting the floorboards above that. 

Look here: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk, or https://www.diydoctor.org.uk. Just look at websites listed for DIY advice on home insulation. It is easy to tell if they are just sites for firms, or suppliers of materials such as Homebase, Wickes, or B&Q.

Thanks for those websites Chris and Albert. I'll check them out. This freezing weather is making insulation seem ever more urgent! D

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