Perhaps we are somehow conditioned into always wanting or thinking we need ‘more’. However, making the best we can out of something we already have is often a more sensible and worthwhile approach….
Here in Ireland, all too often, when it comes to home renovations, we think we should ‘extend’ – we just presume that we need the extra space. However, it’s wise to think about what can be achieved within the space we already have. Much of the time we don’t actually need to extend – we don’t require as much space as we think we do. Wanting that extension is usually motivated by a dissatisfaction with the interior layout, piles of clutter and chaos or perhaps an old and dated kitchen. The result can be a fantastic new kitchen/diner and extra space (for the clutter in many cases!) but unfortunately the same collection of dark, dreary, cold, energy-inefficient rooms elsewhere in the house. And where really is the logic in that?
In many cases it is true that an extension is required – for a growing family, for instance, or perhaps to cater for the needs of an elderly relative moving in. Yet, it is sensible to look more closely at what we already have at our disposal and how we can improve it, before rushing to extend. Consider how the existing space can be cleverly reconfigured and how well-designed storage space can help to deal with clutter. Sometimes just knocking down a wall or adding a window can have a profound impact upon the overall space. If you do decide to optimise what you already have in your home instead of extending, you won’t have to apply for planning permission either. Plus, you won’t be encroaching upon any outdoor living space. Think about all the the money you’ll save too – building an extension is expensive and will add to the cost of heating and maintaining your home. Not to mention the extra space to clean!
Anyone who is considering investing in their home and improving its energy-efficiency should be aware of the concept of ‘Deep Retrofit’. A RENOVA Deep Retrofit involves stripping back to the bare blocks and timbers and re-building a highly insulated, air-tight, well-ventilated and consequently, energy-efficient home. This ‘Stripping back’ process presents the perfect opportunity to re-plan the layout of a house that hasn’t been functioning well. Through the use of clever design ideas, finishes and colours, you’ll be surprised by how your living environment and lifestyle can be enhanced.
Deep Retrofit takes an holistic view of the entire building – it links together all the retrofit elements of your home renovation. Therefore, ‘Deep Retrofit’ should be thought of as a single solution as opposed to a collection of solutions. As there are multiple elements to a Deep Retrofit, it cannot be approached in an ad-hoc fashion. For example; ventilation goes hand-in-hand with insulation, air-tightness is incorporated into dry-lining and plumbing pipework must be installed beneath the floor before it is insulated. The sequence of works is very specific and cannot successfully be deviated from.
A home renovation without Deep Retrofit could actually be looked upon as a missed opportunity. A lost chance to make your home more comfortable, warm, cosy, draught-free, well-ventilated and, of course, energy-efficient. It would be a shame to only learn about Deep Retrofit after having recently renovated or extended. This is why we, at RENOVA are passionate about promoting the concept of ‘Deep Retrofit’.
At RENOVA, we use our very own in-house designers who will ensure that your newly-renovated home works for you in the best way possible – from improved internal layout to clever storage solutions and attractive fixtures and finishes. Also, at RENOVA, we only use our own staff and trusted partners who are all committed to neat and tidy, professional workmanship.
Under the new building regulations all new houses are extremely energy- efficient, comfortable and healthy – both for the occupant and the environment. Through Deep Retrofit, existing cold, draughty, badly designed houses can be brought up to the same standards of energy-efficiency.
By having an energy-efficient home you’ll actually be doing your bit to help the environment and reduce Climate Change too. According to the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy, “High-efficiency Retrofits are the key to a low-emission building future.” You may be surprised to learn that over a quarter of the energy we consume is used in the home – even more than in industry and by cars.
Think twice, therefore, before presuming you need to extend your home. It makes abundant sense instead to make the most of the space you already have and to make it as energy-efficient and comfortable as possible. In financial terms, not only will the value of your home increase, you’ll also be saving on fuel bills and mitigating the impact of future fuel price increases. Don’t forget that since March 2015, the cash value of SEAI grants available to householders has increased by between 25-50%. A bonus payment has also been introduced for householders who avail of three or more energy efficient improvements on their home. As well as these grants, there are also tax breaks available under the new Home Renovation Incentive Scheme.
Click here to download our RENOVA brochure.
Tel: 01 2021122