What is the cost of Cavity Wall Insulation

As people care more about the environment, homebuyers and renters want sustainable properties. To make homes energy-efficient, insulation is crucial. Landlords and property investors are thinking about ways to meet this demand. Cavity wall insulation is one solution. So, how much does it cost? We’ve created this blog to guide landlords and investors. It explains how cavity wall insulation boosts a property’s efficiency and breaks down the costs. Understanding this helps property investors make smart choices to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly homes.

What is cavity wall insulation?

Wondering about cavity wall insulation cost? First, let’s understand what it is. Cavity wall insulation is a simple way to cut heating bills and make a home more energy-efficient.

For homes built after the 1930s, they might have two walls with a gap in between. Fill that gap with insulation, and it keeps warmth inside, making your home energy-efficient. Cavity wall insulation can save money on heating bills and has grants to make it affordable for property investors.

Choosing the material for cavity wall insulation affects the cost. Each material comes with its own price.

Before starting a cavity wall insulation project, property investors should decide on the best insulation material for their property. This choice impacts the overall cost of cavity wall insulation.

So, what are the different materials available, and what are their pros and cons?

Mineral wool

Mineral wool, used since the 1950s for cavity wall insulation, is derived from igneous rocks. It can also be made from recycled glass or sand.

Pros: Mineral wool is an eco-friendly insulation choice, readily available and budget-friendly. It’s easy to install and offers good efficiency, making it a practical option.

Cons: Mineral wool insulation needs a clear and roomy cavity, which might involve costly cleaning and professional help. Not suitable for small spaces, it could lead to problems like clumping and dampness, potentially harming a property’s structure or causing cracks in the building’s rendering.

Costs (approx. excluding labour): £10-15/m²

Polyurethan foam (PUR)

Polyurethane foam, or PUR, is commonly used in newer buildings. It’s created from carbon-based organic units that join together to form a polymer.

Pros: Polyurethane foam, or PUR, is the best material for insulation as it efficiently keeps a property warm and is cost-effective. Unlike mineral wool, PUR doesn’t retain moisture, preventing the formation of mould in a property.

Cons: Polyurethane foam, or PUR, may shrink over time, creating gaps that allow water to enter the building.

Costs (approx. excluding labour): £20-25 to install Polystyrene beads

Polystyrene beads

Expanded polystyrene beads, or EPS, are carbon polymer-based insulation installed in a property’s walls using a bonding agent.

Pros: EPS is durable, lightweight, and easy to install, making it a cost-effective choice for cavity wall insulation. It is resistant to water and recyclable, adding to its appeal.

Cons: Again, a clean, spacious cavity is necessary for EPS insulation, which can increase costs. Moreover, gaps can appear in the cavity when using this material, especially if the bonding agent starts to wear. As such, mould and dampness can occur, while heat might begin to escape.

Costs (approx. excluding labour): £10-15/m²

Cavity batts

Cavity batts, made from compressed mineral wool, are commonly used in new builds and have been around for about 30 years. They come in slabs of different thicknesses, typically ranging from 50-150mm.

Pros: Cavity batts are light and easy to handle, less prone to clumping than regular mineral wool, reducing the risk of damage. They should be installed close to the inner wall, leaving space for ventilation and preventing water buildup, minimizing the risk of dampness. They are also rated A1 for fire safety, making them a safe insulation choice.

Cons: However, it is not necessarily the best insulation material, and can only be installed in the process of building a property.

Costs (approx. excluding labour): From £6/m² (50mm thickness) up to £16/m² (150mm thickness).

How much does cavity wall insulation cost?

Insulating a property typically costs around £200 per two-storey wall. For mid-terraced houses with only two external walls, the cost is on the lower side, approximately £400.

Detached properties can cost around £800 or more for cavity wall insulation, while bungalows, being shorter, are usually cheaper at around £400.

How much can I save with cavity wall insulation? Is it worth the costs?

Having explored the costs of different cavity wall insulation materials, let’s delve into the potential annual savings these installations could bring.

The following table provides estimates from the Energy Saving Trust, reflecting average savings in gas-heated properties without subsidized insulation installations.

Property Installation cost Energy bill savings
Detached house £1,800 £690/year
Semi-detached house £1,000 £395/year
Mid-terrace house £580 £235/year
Detached bungalow £800 £310/year
Mid-floor flat £395 £180/year

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