Planning permission is not normally required for fitting insulation (where there is no change in external appearance).
However, if the building is listed or is in a conservation area you should consult your local planning authority.
Did you know that current Building Regulation standards require loft insulation in new homes to be a minimum of 200mm (8") thick? In older properties in particular, it is likely that if loft insulation was provided at all, it may only be a minimum of 25mm (1") thick. Insulating your loft can save up to 20% on your heating bills and if you really wanted to do your bit for the environment, try visiting the Green Building Store which can offer products made from 100% recycled material.
Did you know that most heat loss from traditionally constructed homes is via the walls? It is estimated that up to 33% of heat is lost through walls but this can be addressed by fitting cavity wall insulation.
When considering either installing or indeed upgrading the level of insulation in your loft, you must aim to meet the minimum energy efficient values set out above; that is, 8" or 200mm.
If this is not possible, the insulation should be upgraded to the best standard which can achieve a simple payback of no greater than 15 years.
If you are installing loft insulation as part of a roof renovation project where more than 25 per cent of the roof is being renewed, then the level of insulation should meet the standards required by building regulations Approved Documents. Care should be taken not to block any ventilation at the edges (eaves).
Cavity Wall Insulation
Within the Building Regulations, cavity wall insulation is specifically defined as "Building Work" which means you will require approval from a Building Control Body. This is to ensure that the insulation material is suitable for the wall construction, and that in the case of some foam insulants, the risk of formaldehyde gas emission is assessed.
However, worry not, building regulations approval is not usually required if the work is being carried out by an approved installer using an approved fill in accordance with the product's current British Board of Agrement (BBA) certificate. You can if you wish have the work covered by The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency.
As much as 25% of radiant heat from a radiator placed against an outside wall is lost to the wall behind it? A simple solution that can reclaim possibly 50% of this wasted heat is by applying a foil-face expanded polystyrene lining to the wall behind the radiator to reflect the heat back into the room.
Doors and Windows
It is astonishing that approximately 20% of energy is lost through draughts.
A simple solution of fitting seals or brushes to your doors and windows can save you approximately £30 per year in energy costs. Not bad for an approximate £100 outlay.
Lag Your Pipework
Not stopping there, when was it that you last inspected your hot-water cylinder? Fitting a new 75mm hot-water jacket can save you approximately £40 per year. The jackets cost less than half that amount meaning that you can look forward to reclaiming your initial outlay in around 5 months. For those exposed hot water pipes, insulation will cost you between £5 and £10 and can save you around £10 a year in energy costs. This would mean that you should recover your costs of fitting within a year.
Two easy solutions to improving your home, saving you money and the planet!