When I was a student, I lived in a house that is built in the 1920s. In the winter the heating was full-on, and I always wore a thick jumper. But still I didn’t feel comfortable. In the summer, I studied in the living room because it was too hot. For many of you, this is what it is to live in the Netherlands.
When we considered buying a house, 7 years later, one thing was important: comfort!
Insulating your house
With cold winters and hot summers, insulating can help to make your house more comfortable. But how to start? In this blog, you find some steps. But first, the advantages and disadvantages.
– Less use of energy. And energy is costly.
– More comfort, because the temperature in your house is constant.
– Future proof.
– House value will increase because the energy label will be more positive.
– You will earn the investment back, by a lower energy bill. In most cases within the next 10 years.
– There will be less natural airflow in the house. So, be aware to take care of enough ventilation in your house.
– You need money to do the investment of insulating your house in the Netherlands.
– Problems can appear when the insulation is not applied the right way.
Step 1: Research
If you bought your house in the past years, there will be an energy label of your house. In this energy label, you will find which measures you can take to make your house more sustainable.
Example: If you have an A-label house, you will find the advice for adding solar panels. Insulation will not bring so much.
But when the house has a C, D, E, F or G label, there is work to do. G means no insulation at all. With a C-label, maybe your roof or floor isn’t insulated. So you can consider improving the insulation. When the house you bought is having a G-label, probably the whole house needs a big renovation.
Note: if your energy label is not from 2021, the label is not as reliable as a new one.
Most likely, you received the technical drawings and documents of your house when you bought it. I recommend taking a look. You will find information about the construction and state of maintenance. In this, you need to prevent considering the wrong kind of insulation.
If you have the chance: take a look in the cavity wall, construction of your roof or under the floor. Also, take some good pictures. What do you see? Does it feel humid? Do you see dark spots? Which layers of material do you see?
Step 2: Advice
Insulating your house is not without risks. Especially problems with humidity. So always ask for advice. Every house is different, so you need information specific to your house.
Do you want advice? Just send a message.
Step 3: Budget
Insulating your house is an investment. But in most cases, you will earn it back in the next 10 years. And, it helps to keep the value of your house up. Most insulated houses sell more easily, even when the market is not so good.
Do you want to insulate the outside of your house or the inside? Inside the house is cheaper, but not always possible. For example, the cavity wall can be too narrow.
When you want to insulate on the outside, think about possibilities. Maybe you can change your roof into a sedum roof or green roof. But always, check the condition first. That will make a huge difference in the summer. Up to 5 degrees cooler than a “normal” roof. And no air conditioner needed.
Are there other things that need to be done at your house at the same time? For example, repair the roof. Then it is time to think ahead! So you can save money in the future.
Nowadays, the Dutch government gives subsidy for insulating your house. Let’s use it.
But maybe, insulating your house is not enough for you and you want a zero-energy emission house?
Step 4: Your wishes
What is more important to you: your money, nature, time or energy?
If you have enough time, you can think of insulating your house yourself.
Insulating the roof on the inside is normally the easiest thing to do yourself. The cost for materials to do it yourself starts from €1.000,00 for a small house.
Some customers asked to make a plan for insulating their roof. They bought the house a few years ago and needed the space on the attic to work. The house has a slanted roof.
At first sight, there was no insulation applied at all. But with removing the plasterboard, old insulation material was visible. And, there were signs that the surface was too wet in the past. Under the roof tiles, there was only wood visible.
The occupants want to do the insulation of the roof themselves but didn’t know what was the best method. And if possible, do it the most environmentally friendly way.
We made a plan.
– They will first remove the old 5 cm thick insulation.
– Then add a special foil, apply 15 cm thick insulation. This foil will prevent moisture to accumulate in the construction.
– Applying the new flax insulation, 15 cm thick. Flax will grow back and has very good properties.
-After that, add another foil, to prevent moisture from the inside to accumulate in the construction.
– Then finish it with wooden slats and plasterboard.
The total costs for materials are €1.700,00 for a 70 square meter roof.
The cavity wall is a specialism. And, not that expensive to outsource. The cost will start at €1.500,00. Not all cavity walls are suitable for insulation. If that is the case, you can insulate on the outside or the inside of the walls of the house.
Floor insulation is also something you can do yourself. But if you choose to change the way of heating in floor-heating, it is a totally different job. Outsourcing can be wise in this case.
Another way of insulation is changing single or double-glass windows into HR++ glass. HR means high efficiency. The difference with normal double glass is that an extra foil is applied to the glass. Also, gas is used within the glass panels. By doing this, the glass is insulating much more. But also think about applying rubbers around door- and window frames.
Another thing to think about: what material is my preference and why? How large is the footprint? For now, it goes too far to tell you everything about all the materials.
Step 5: Implementation
Now is the time to ask for quotations or make a calculation for the materials needed and order them.
As a planner, I learned to think of every detail. In the beginning, I always forgot the little things like screws, blades and tape. But that will cost a lot of time while doing the job. Take your time for a making a material list and time schedule, and it will pay out.
Step 6: Subsidies
Now, the good part of this blog. Every municipality has its own subsidies. And some are nationwide. On this website you can find which subsidies are available in your case.
In some cases, you need to take two energy-saving measures and outsource the work to get the subsidies. Do it within a year after you took insulation measures.
Insulating your house is a good investment. Depending on your specific situation, you can research the possibilities. By improving the insulation, you also improve the energy label of your house. Which helps you to remain the value of your house.
When you insulate your house, investigate what the best method for your house is. And if subsidies are available.
Let’s start today with making a good plan for insulating your house together! Start by planning a kickstart!