Tag Archive for: insulation

5 reasons renovating shouldn’t be stressful

renovations shouldn't be stressful

 

Making the decision to renovate your home can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider, from the scope of the project to your budget. Deciding the smallest details down to what door handle to choose can be challenging even for the most experienced professionals. But renovations shouldn’t be stressful. In fact, with a little planning and forethought, renovating can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are 5 reasons why:

ITS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET CREATIVE

This is your chance to really let your creativity shine. Renovations give you a chance to customize and update your space. Maybe to better suit where you are in life now.  This can involve adding new features or design elements or reconfiguring the layout of a space. The process of renovating a space can be an opportunity for homeowners to be imaginative. A chance to come up with unique solutions to problems or challenges they are facing with their existing home. Renovations can also be a chance for people to express their personal style. A chance to create a living space that reflects their tastes and interests.

IT CAN SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN

Although renovations can be costly upfront, they can actually save you money in the long run. Upgrading the insulation, windows, or HVAC systems can reduce your energy bills, saving you money in the long run.  If you have old or malfunctioning plumbing or electrical systems, it can be more cost-effective to repair or replace it during a renovation rather than waiting for it to fail completely.  Beyond the financial savings, a renovation can improve the functionality of your home, increasing your overall enjoyment of living there.

REMEMBER, ITS YOUR SPACE

This is an opportunity for you to create the home (or room) that YOU want. So don’t get too caught up in what other people might think — focus on what would make YOU happy. A renovation is a chance to have your home reflect you rather then it being the shell you moved into when you first purchased your home ​

SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Remember, Renovations shouldn’t be stressful. They can be an exciting and fulfilling process, but it’s important to note that they can also be time-consuming and sometimes unpredictable. It’s common for there to be some setbacks or challenges that arise during the renovation process, but setting realistic expectations can help you stay calm and focused. When you’re expecting some bumps in the road, it’s easier to roll with the punches and not get overly anxious or frustrated. By keeping a realistic outlook, you’ll be better equipped to handle any hiccups that come your way and enjoy the renovation process to the fullest. So, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and remind yourself of the end goal, knowing that the renovation will ultimately bring you closer to the home of your dreams.

YOU DONT HAVE TO TAKE IT ON ALL ON YOUR OWN

The unique selling point for hiring a renovation company (like Renova) is that we will take care of everything. Remember, Renovations shouldn’t be stressful. We cover everything from the initial consultation to the BER ASSESSMENT, through to the removal of your possessions into storage, the complete building works and even down to the final clean! This in turn means that you can focus on the creative elements of your home and you can be sure that you can get back to your home faster to enjoy your newly-renovated, warm, cosy house sooner.

Renovations can be a great way to improve your home but they can also be very time consuming and difficult to manage. With some assistance and a positive outlook, however, they doesn’t have to be as stressful. If you’re considering a renovation, reach out to us. We would be more than happy to help you through the process and avoid any unnecessary stress.

Web: www.renova.ie

Tel: 01 2021122

Email: info@renova.ie

Project Management for Renovations. What is it?

 

 

The Importance of Management in Construction

 

Construction projects are complex and require a great deal of planning, coordination, and communication. The importance of good project management in renovations should not be underestimated. In this blog post, we will discuss five reasons why effective project management is essential when managing any type renovation or deep retrofit.

WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

Project Management can be defined as ‘The discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific criteria’. The responsibilities of a project manager in construction include

  • Defining project objectives and plans, including outlining the scope, budgeting, scheduling and setting performance standards.
  • Maximizing the efficient use of resources by procuring labour, materials, and equipment according to the planned schedule.
  • Coordinating and controlling the planning, design, estimation, contracting, and construction process to properly implement various operations.

Building projects can be quite stressful and challenging – even for seasoned project management professionals. There are multiple factors to consider in any retrofit or renovation. From finding the best quote to making important decisions -a project manager is an essential link. They ensure the smooth running of your building project. Efficient project management will ensure that the client receives a finished product that meets their expectations.

WHAT IS MAKES A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGER?

The importance of good project management in Renovations requires a wide range of qualities and skills. Projects must be finished on time and within budget. Projects need to adhere to specific building regulations. Strong communication skills are vital, as is the ability to make decisions, problem solve and resolve conflicts. Time management, knowledge of health and safety and experience of the building process – these are all necessary prerequisites in a manager.

The benefits of working with RENOVA is that we plan, budget, design, and monitor costs during your renovation project. We offer a single point of contact for our clients throughout every renovation. We are your project manager.

PLANNING IS KEY

Early investment in planning, programming and design can deliver benefits and avoid unnecessary costs and delays. The first part of our project management process at RENOVA is agreeing upon the budget. As Chartered Quantity Surveyors we will adhere to this budget. The control of costs requires continual cost management and monitoring throughout the building process.

Renovation work and in particular deep retrofit, requires good project management. Deep Retrofits have several components parts that have to be ‘stitched together’ for a successful build. For example – air-tightness is incorporated into the dry-lining, ventilation goes hand in hand with insulation, plumbing pipework is installed underneath the floor before it is insulated. The sequence of events is specific and cannot be successfully deviated from. There are also a host of jobs and tasks in any building project that are not the responsibility of any particular trade – preparatory works, purchasing materials, ordering skips, filling holes, tidying up, and snagging to name but a few. These jobs are known as ‘builders’ works’ and will become your responsibility if you decide to build by ‘direct labour’.

AVOID ANY RISK

Your project manager should be fully insured with Public Liability, Employer’s Liability and All Risks Insurance cover. If an accident occurs on site and they are not insured, then you, the homeowner are liable. It is also now legally required of clients to notify the Health and Safety Authority if any work is being carried out on a private, domestic dwelling. The client is obliged to keep a Safety File for the duration of the build. It goes without saying that RENOVA is a fully competent and insured company. We employ our own staff to carry out the works, but subcontractors are needed we ensure that they are reputable, fully registered and insured. As your project manager, we will notify the Health and Safety Authority on your behalf and supply you with the Safety File.

The Health Benefits of a Deep Retrofit

Do you want to improve your health, safety, and comfort in your homes? An investment in home retrofits could be just what you need! With an increased focus on energy efficiency and comfort control, homeowners can realize enhanced living conditions through this renovation process. Deep retrofitting goes one step further by tailoring upgrades according to an individual person’s needs while also optimizing energy use beyond basic insulation installations. Investing in deep retrofit technologies comes with numerous health benefits that can result in physical, mental, emotional well-being. In this blog post we will explore the potential health benefits associated with a deep retrofit in your long-time home.

HOW OUR HOME CAN INFLUENCE OUR HEALTH AND QUALITY OF LIFE

There is plenty of scientific research to prove that our environment affects our physical and mental health in many ways. The relationship between our surroundings and our well-being is important.

For example – it is suggested that looking at a beautiful view results in a rush of endorphins which in turn leads to a feeling of peacefulness and well-being. By paying attention to the place and space around us, we can feel better. Therefore, living in a well-designed and healthy home can do more than improve our mood – it can affect our immune system and physical health too.

Health benefits of Renovation

A WELL DESIGNED KITCHEN CAN TRANSFORM THE WAY YOU LIVE

According to a recent survey carried out by Houzz, a well-designed kitchen can transform the way you live and promote a healthier lifestyle. It found that more people are encouraged to cook and bake at home, with fewer takeaways being ordered in. Not only is this good for physical health but it’s great for mental health too. A well thought out kitchen not only fosters an interest in home cooking but inspires the kids to get involved. This all contributes to more quality, family time.

Not only does living in a cold, draughty, damp, badly lit and poorly designed house feel depressing, but it can make you less inclined to look after it and invite people around. This lessens opportunities for social interaction, which can lead to further feelings of isolation and depression. Your newly improved home can influence not only how you feel individually but how you interact with others. A welcoming, well-designed and organised home will encourage you to invite friends over which will enhance the social side of your life.

AIR QUALITY AND HEALTH

A properly renovated home will be ‘airtight’. However, it will also be well ventilated. Living in a well-ventilated, damp free home results in better health all round.

The air inside an older home may be affected by damp, mould and condensation. This is especially true if we block up vents and shut windows to keep draughts at bay. This means that moisture-laden air can’t escape, which leads to the formation of damp and mould. Moisture can easily build up in a badly ventilated home – from showers, kettles, bubbling pots and pans and even our own breath. Damp manifests in wet patches, mould growth and often a musty smell. If left untreated, it can result in the corrosion of internal finishes and cause health problems, especially in very young and elderly people and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma.

For optimum health, fresh air should constantly be flowing through our homes to replace stale, moisture-laden air. Condensation, which is exacerbated by poor insulation, inferior windows and inadequate heating, will be a thing of the past if you choose to retrofit your home.

HOW WE CAN HELP AT RENOVA

When we carry out a RENOVA renovation, first we strip right back to the bare blocks and timbers. This is the perfect opportunity to re-configure the layout of your home. By making clever use of the space you already have through design, finishes and colour, you’ll be amazed at how your surroundings are enhanced. Our designers ensure that your renovated home will not only be well-designed, comfortable and healthy, but that it’s good to look at too.

The feeling of comfort is the most noticeable part of a RENOVA renovation. Your home will be at a comfortable temperature all year round and draughts will be a thing of the past. Proper ventilation eliminates condensation and improves air quality. Increased sound-proofing blocks out traffic or noisy neighbours. Relax in the knowledge that your monthly energy bills won’t break the bank. All in all – less stress, more comfort, better health and improved quality of life!

Home renovation – budget wisely

how to budget wisely for a home renovation

When it comes to upgrading your home, the first thing that many people think of is budget. Whether you are looking at a small update or a full-on Deep Retrofit, it’s important to plan ahead and budget wisely so that you can ensure the project goes according to plan.  In this blog post we will take an in-depth look at how you can budget wisely for a renovation. No matter the size or scope – its important to take into account anticipated expenses as well as hidden costs.

WHAT TO PRIORITISE

First of all, it is very important to establish your priorities. Be clear about what you want to achieve from your home renovation. What are the main reasons for your project? Are you uncomfortable or cold in your home or are your fuel bills excessive? Perhaps your house is damp or draughty? Or your main concern may be a badly designed, old-fashioned home that doesn’t work well for you and your family. A great starting point in any home renovation project is to make a list of all the aspects of your home that don’t work well for you.

HAVE A PLAN

Be sure about what you want to achieve. This means that all decisions can be finalised well before your home renovation begins. When you are well-organised beforehand you will avoid the stresses of making important decisions under pressure while the works on site are ongoing. This will speed up the whole building process. You will be able to occupy your home sooner which in turn prevents extra costs.

EXTEND OR RENOVATE

Don’t rush into building an extension. Here in Ireland, we tend to ‘extend’ as part of a home renovation. This is motivated by a dissatisfaction with the internal layout. The result can be a great new kitchen and dining room but the same old collection of cold, dark rooms elsewhere in the house. Extensions are expensive. Many people don’t consider that they will actually add to the cost of heating and maintaining your home. If your home isn’t functioning well for you, an interior architect/designer can help you to make the most of the space that you already have, which will also save you money.

THINK ABOUT THE BENEFITS

When planning your home renovation, try to make decisions that provide both tangible and financial benefits. A good example of this is adding insulation. This not only will make your home feel more comfortable but will also reduce your heating bills. Also, prioritise works that provide the greatest return on investment. Again, attic insulation is relatively inexpensive but very effective.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Keep your home renovation specifications simple. By doing this you will avoid over-stretching your budget. It is always better to reduce your scope of works and to complete the works properly using quality, energy-efficient products.

STICK TO A BUDGET

Your finances should also be arranged well in advance of your home renovation. Establish your budget and stick to it. The budget is an essential component of any plan. It dictates the scope of works that will be carried out. Your bank must also be informed in writing of the start and finish dates of your home renovation and the dates on which you are contracted to make payments. By doing this you will avoid a possible scenario in which the builder has to cease all works whilst waiting for a payment. This will cost you money in the form of ‘standing time’. So properly arranged finances can actually save you money.

HOW WE CAN HELP

At RENOVA we will establish the overall time frame for the works. The time frame is inclusive of the whole process from design stage through to the final handover. Planning everything and ordering in advance of your home renovation will reduce time frame. This results in less time on site and less time spent out of your house, which saves you money.

A lot of people expect to going over budget when they start a renovation project but this does not have to be the case. If you are strategic about your planning and meticulous with your research you can stay on track and even save some money. You will not only end up with the home of your dreams but also peace of mind knowing that everything came in under budget. So, if you want to make the most of your home through Deep Retrofit contact us today and let us help you turn your vision into reality.

 

Web: www.renova.ie

Tel: 01 2021122

Email: info@renova.ie

Why older homes are less energy efficient

Owning an older home can bring with it certain challenges. Generally older homes are less energy efficient. With advances in technology, a newer built home is much more likely to be up-to-date on the latest insulation techniques. But what about existing homes? If you’re living in an older property, then upgrading its energy rating may seem impossible. Not to worry, there are several easy ways you can save money by improving your older abode without compromising its charm. In this article we will discuss why older properties may find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to energy efficiency & cost savings and how you can make improvements that will keep your house running efficiently for years.

Older homes, can they be updated…

As a general rule it costs about 3 times as much to heat a 1980’s house as opposed to an energy efficient modern house. Even then they are still draughty and miserable.  The good news is that any older home can be improved to be as good as an energy efficient modern home, through Deep Retrofit. So don’t be afraid to buy an older home, but do make yourself aware of what you need to do to improve it, and what this will cost before committing to a purchase. To understand the potential of that run down old house you should first of all get an understanding of the many reasons why older homes are not energy efficient:

Insulation, and the lack of it …

This is the major problem in older homes. Heat is generated, put into our homes … and it immediately escapes, so we need to generate more heat, and so on and so on …

In order to be more energy-efficient, our homes need be insulated in three different areas – the external walls, the ground floor and roof/attic. By and large the levels of insulation in older houses is hopelessly inadequate or worse still it is non-existent . Many of these older homes have no wall insulation at all. Homes that do have it are insulated to a very poor standard. Newer homes may be insulated, but unfortunately also to a very low level. These houses are often insulated within the cavity between 2 skins of blockwork external walls. The major problem with this cavity wall insulation is that it was installed during the build by block-layers. Getting a block-layer to insulate your house ‘while he’s at it, laying blocks’ is no way to insulate a house. Yet, this is the way it has been done for years.

No Insulation under the floor

No insulation underneath the ground floor is another problem which makes older homes less energy efficient. Particularly in relation to houses with suspended timber ground floors. On average 7 – 10% of heat escapes through an uninsulated floor, but worse still, coldness enters our homes through the floor and draughts whip up through unsealed floor boards. No wonder it’s cold and less energy efficient in a house with nothing at all between you and the cold earth beneath. This ground floor arrangement is common place and people don’t realise just how bad it is – carpet covers a multitude.

Attic Insulation

With regard to attic insulation, the acceptable thickness for attic insulation just 10 years ago was 100mm. Today, the minimum is 300mm thickness. Unless you’ve had your insulation upgraded in the last few years, chances are you are living under a couple of inches of ill-fitting attic insulation, which means that your home less energy efficient because heat is escaping. As approximately 30% of the heat in a home escapes through the roof, attic insulation is of utmost importance. To make matters worse, the typical old ‘attic hatch’ is a weak point too, as it allows heat to escape and draughts to flow in. Sometimes these even ‘flap in the wind’ on a windy night. Replace this with an insulated draught-proof attic door to make your home more energy efficient.

Old windows & doors … heat escaping and draughts getting in.

Rattly old windows and doors are another very common feature of older, less energy efficient houses. Even relatively ‘modern’ windows have poor U-values and draught seals compared to good quality, modern ones. The U-Value of a window represents the degree to which a window retains heat. The lower the U-Value, the better the window. Approx 15% of heat escapes through bad quality windows and doors. Install energy efficient windows with a value of 1.0 or less to fix this problem.

Old appliances and lighting

Believe it or not, the energy required to light an older home can be 80% higher than lighting a modern home with energy efficient lights. All you have to do is replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient LED lighting to save up to 80% of the cost of lighting your home. Also, the ambiance and atmosphere of your home can be greatly enhanced with the clever use of bulb and lamp types. Likewise, by replacing household appliances with new, energy-efficient A or B rated ones, running costs can be reduced by 50%.

Open fires … money up the chimney!

Open fires are the norm in an older home, and very often there are several. They are not energy efficient and are a significant cause of draught. Open fires can be as low as 15% efficient, meaning that 85% of the heat generated is lost up the chimney! A stove, in comparison is more than 80% energy efficient. A stove will also help to eliminate draughts as it will seal in the chimney flue, thus minimising ‘up draught’ which draws draughts into your home. A ‘room sealed’ stove will completely eliminate ‘up-draught’.

Inefficient Heating Systems

Old boilers are not energy efficient. Typically, just 65% or less of the energy in the oil burned in an older boiler is transferred into heat in the house. 35% of energy purchased in the form of fuel is just wasted. Or, 35c in every Euro spent is wasted. By comparison, modern condensing boilers are 95% energy efficient, meaning that 95% of the energy is converted into heat in your home.

To make matters worse older homes tend not to have ‘heating controls’. This means only one heating circuit for the whole house, making a typical older home less energy-efficient. The result, the whole house is heated even if just part of the house is in use. Installing heating controls reduces the amount of heat used in the home, which in turn saves money. Heat only the rooms/floor levels you are actually using. Use a thermostat to control the temperature. These simple methods will save you money on heating bills and use energy more energy efficient way.

The solution to all of these inadequacies lies in ‘Deep Retrofit’, the complete upgrade of the fabric of your building.

 

Web: www.renova.ie

Tel: 01 2021122

Email: info@renova.ie