Victorian terraced house, Battersea

Gabi, JP and housemates

JP and Gabi had been living in their house for seven years when they got the opportunity to renovate after their wedding. 

With single glazing, poor insulation and no central heating, the house was very difficult to heat. In contrast, they say they now have a house they basically don’t need to heat, and they put this success down to the advice they got. They also wanted to move a downstairs bathroom upstairs, and as an artist and music teacher have rooms where they could work at home.

 “I’m in love with how little we have to heat the house.”

While JP and Gabi wanted to have a low carbon refit, without a chance meeting with Russell, they say they wouldn’t have known that there were “companies that can crunch the numbers for you”. They got a whole house plan and specification, which showed what changes they could make and gave key details, such as size and positioning of radiators. As they were doing some major works anyway, they wanted to also do everything in their whole house plan at one time. They wanted to create a home they would enjoy, and also believed it was important to do what they could to make their home low carbon.   

At the time of their project in 2016, Ecofurb hadn’t yet been set up, and so they went on to find contractors themselves. They looked at 10 builders online, got four quotes and chose the contractor they felt would be the easiest to work with. But unfortunately it didn’t work out that way, with unreliable attendance, and more costs than were included in the original quote.

It has been experiences like these that showed us the need for a way to book vetted, well-qualified contractors, and for the quality assurance that Ecofurb can provide.

Asked what their single piece of advice for anyone doing a renovation would be, they say not to go with the cheapest quote, and to get recommendations, “There’s a reason the quote is higher: it’s because they do a better job, they are more reliable, they’re more efficient and they’ll save you money throughout the process”.

While their experience at the time was stressful, they are over the moon with the results.

They didn’t have a concept of how much difference the renovation could make and say they still pinch themselves. They are surprised to find that since the work they have not had to have the radiator on at all in some rooms as it doesn’t fall below 19 degrees even in winter. The changes made to their house mean it’s a place they want to welcome housemates and friends, and can work from home comfortably.

 

Work done:

  • External Wall insulation - on the rear projection walls
  • Internal wall insulation on the front wall
  • Suspended floor insulation
  • Loft insulation
  • New double glazed wooden framed sash windows in period style
  • High spec gas boiler and zoned heating controls
  • Solar PV panels for electricity generation
  • LED lights

"The insulation has been incredible - I'd recommend everyone to do that."