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External Wall Insulation

Insulating your solid walls could cut your heating costs considerably, because solid walls let through twice as much heat as cavity walls do. The good news is they can be insulated.

If your home was built before 1919, its external walls are probably solid rather than cavity walls. Cavity walls are made of two layers with a small gap or ‘cavity’ between them. Solid walls have no gap, so they let more heat through.

Another way to tell is by measuring the width of the wall. Look at an external wall window or door and if the brick wall is less than 260mm, then it is likely a solid wall, while if it is greater, it is probably a cavity wall.

If you live in a house that is not made from bricks, such as a steel or timber-framed building, insulating will be different.

Solid wall insulation

Solid walls can be insulated – either from the inside or the outside. This will cost more than insulating a standard cavity wall, but the savings on your heating bills will be bigger too.

You might be able to reduce these costs by carrying out the work at the same time as other home improvements or by not tackling all the house at once.

Internal or external insulation?

Internal wall insulation is done by fitting rigid insulation boards to the wall, or by building a stud wall filled in with insulation material such as mineral wool fibre.

External wall insulation involves fixing a layer of insulation material to the wall, then covering it with a special type of render (plasterwork) or cladding. The finish can be smooth, textured, painted, tiled, panelled, pebble-dashed, or finished with brick slips.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

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