Jul 19, 2012

Easy Steps to Laying Underfloor Insulation

To set the scene, our house is semi old (built in the 1940’s) and so had no insulation at all when constructed. As a result we get windy cold gusts of air coming up between the floorboards, which are bad enough that you never walk around without ugg boots on and rarely bend down! With energy prices going through the roof here in Australia (they seem to go up by 20% each quarter), we decided it was time to do something about it.

Underfloor insulation was the answer, the main problem we have is that there is very little room underneath our house to move around so no paid professionals will help us.

Bats are easy to get at Bunnings

So Mr L’Orange has been impressing everyone by laying the underfloor insulation for our house himself - what a legend! The whole project has actually been far easier than expected and the 1.4R floor insulation didn’t cost a fortune (just $60 for 5 square metres) and can be purchased from the likes of Bunnings. However beware, despite it being a core product they tend to run out quite regularly at our particular rather useless Bunnings store.

Cutting the bats to size

For anyone else thinking of jumping on the underfloor insulation band wagon here are some hints:

Step 1 – wear appropriate safety gear and old clothes/overalls – you will get filthy. This is definitely a 2 or 3 person job as it takes too long with only one person involved.

Step 2 - cut a hole in the brickwork so you can gain access to the underneath of the house. Once the underfloor insulation is complete simply block up the gap with a wooden door.

Step 3 - the main task involves crawling around underneath the house and sticking polystyrene bats in between the wooden joists. The bats are the perfect size for the joists and can easily be cut to size if required.
Not for the faint hearted, it is dirty, crampt and dusty down there but in a few short hours and with the help of our friends Phil & Martin, our lounge room was finished. 

One of the bats covered in glue
My role was to make sure the boys had a good lunch to keep their energy levels up and to give lots of encouragement and help pass through the bats covered in glue. 

We are not totally sure whether we can feel a big difference with the floor insulation as yet or whether it is purely psychosomatic. However we know that once the rest of the timber floor is insulated it will make a huge impact. Combined with our new double glazing, we should be able to vastly reduce our heating bill and retain a lot more warmth in the house.

Mr L’Orange has decided to do a room at a time over the next few weeks until it is all finished so only 5 more rooms to go!


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