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Conversion of single storey cottage advice.

Postby J.Thompson » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:51 pm

Hi there i am currently in the process of renovating an old cottage and wondered if i could get some advice on some steps to take etc.

I am looking to renovate the property and make it energy efficient aswell as sustainable while ambitiously aiming at getting as close as reasonably possible to an overall u-value of 0.1 W/m2K and surpass regs.

The building is not listed or in conservation area so that should open up a lot more avenues especially in terms of adding double or triple glazed uPVC windows.

Just an overview of the building:
Single storey cottage on a 2 acre slightly exposed site in Yorkshire.
Solid external walls of 600mm thick random rubble stone construction bedded on clay with lime mortar pointing.
The internal finish as lime plaster mixed with horsehair
All the windows are single glazed wooden frame

Roof Design:
Heavy oak rafters trusses and purlins with a traditional Yorkshire stone slate roof at 30 degree pitch there is no sarking felt or insulation.

The main worry for me is possible condensation and damp problems from inhabiting the building (there will be 2 inhabitants only requiring basic amenities) so i wondered whether to have
External Insulation
Internal Insulation; Or,
no insulation at all?
My thinking is that the building is quite breathable at the moment so there are no current damp problems and introducing any insulation could create damp problems.

My current idea is to not insulate the external walls which seems to me like it would let the walls breathe naturally, introduce mechanical extraction in kitchen, bathroom. Seal all windows and openings properly while introducing trickle vents into windows.
I think it would be best to install insulation into the roof to prevent heat loss. Again with this, would having roof insulation cause damp problems in the living areas as the external walls may be susceptible to condensation?

Any help and advice is greatly appreciated

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Postby proptech » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:14 pm

Hi John
I totally agree with your proposals, sounds a really lovely project. I would think insulation to the roof space essential, and as much as possible. I would think the roof itself has plenty of ventilation, this itself should not cause any condensation. As for the walls, I guess you would want to keep the original appearance, ruling out any insulation. I don't think you will be able to obtain quite the values you would like, could be a bit of a compromise! The very best of luck with it.
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Postby welsh brickie » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:21 pm

any renovation to a property will have to be approved by the local authority.
All renovations will have to be passed by building control,so I suggest you give them a call first to ask advise before starting your project.They are usually very helpfull ..
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Postby J.Thompson » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:09 pm

Hi guys, thanks for the replies and advice. I'm really looking forward to this project once i can get a solid plan of action sorted and consulted with the yay or nay officials. I've had a few more feelings in relation to this and i think central heating would be awkward and compromising to install into a property like this and hard to install without causing damage and damaging the integrity of the i'm thinking that underfloor heating will be a better option as it would allow a constant temperature in the property which would hopefully prevent drastic temperature changes which obviously could be bad for creating condensation etc.
Also use of the typical sustainable energy sources, ground source heat recovery, rainwater collection etc. and i think once completed this can be a very successful project and show that old, beautiful buildings can be modernised whilst still keeping character and keeping to its heritage!

Thanks again

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