For many builders, sooner or later the question arises whether it makes sense to insulate the house they have bought or not. Especially with buildings from the 1960s and 1970s, the question of energy efficiency and long-term cost savings arises. Constructing an individual building with body and soul according to your own wishes is a project that many builders want. But it is not easy to find a suitable bargain, especially in the trendy residential areas. Therefore, one or the other building owner is on the way to the dream house, sooner or later in front of an aging building that is in need of renovation.
The question of whether the renovation path is the right one is due to the upcoming investments of all kinds. Wouldn’t it be easier to get a modern and finished building? Anyone who decides on the renovation project should be clear in advance that the knowledge of the procedure and basic substance of the building is crucial for a successful renovation.
Renovating an old house is only for experts!
Many builders believe that old houses can only be renovated if the buildings have a special historical background and if they themselves have enough specialist knowledge. An important aspect when renovating old buildings is the combination of old and modern elements. You don’t have to be an architect to do this. With the right instinct, even builders who are not professionals in the field of architecture can recognize and maintain the structures and architectural elements that are worth keeping and that ultimately make the house so charming. The structural implementation is always based on the opinion of the client, as the structural elements develop their own, very individual character during the renovation according to personal ideas.
The most important thing is either to try to create a harmonious unit from different components or to look for a clear contrast. The key to success lies in striving for harmony or a sharp contrast between modern and old charm. CAD software is ideal for trying out various visual and structural aspects, as the house can be viewed from different angles and various alternatives can be tried out.
Renovating an old house is energetically unwise!
The construction of a new building alone causes 50 percent more energy costs than the renovation of an old building. With the latter, the work is much more complex, but still more effective. In addition, work such as the insulation of a roof is financially subsidized. In addition, from an ecological point of view, renovating old buildings is a good balance. Because by removing old materials, which are often rich in pollutants, and providing high-quality alternatives, the overall energy balance of the house is also improved. In addition, less material is bought and transported compared to the new building. This also has a positive effect on the ecological balance of the renovation project.
First, new exterior walls!
Many builders fear that, above all else, they will have to renew the entire facade in order to implement the project. Sure, the external appearance is important, but only in rare cases absolutely necessary. A new insulation of the outer walls comes into question above all if energy costs are to be saved in the long term. Best if work is to be done on the facade anyway. Because then not only can energy costs be saved by high-quality insulation of the outer wall, but noise emissions can also be improved.
If more than 10 percent of the total area of the outer wall has to be re-plastered, the client has to re-insulate the outer wall. The building owner must then design the outer wall in accordance with the applicable energy saving regulations. If this step does not fit the schedule, work can be suspended. The renewal can then be implemented later. Renewing the external facade is particularly suitable if the budget is limited if it is to be changed visually anyway.
A new heating system is unnecessary!
From an ecological point of view and possible long-term cost savings, energy costs are important for many builders, especially if the house is to be sold again at a later date. Because with an innovative heating system the fixed costs can be reduced considerably in the long run. Based on the assumption that an old house cannot realize this savings potential, the client can conclude from this that the old house is not suitable from an economic point of view.
If the building requires little heat, but from an energetic point of view, modern heating systems make more sense, but this does not automatically exclude old buildings. The heating requirements of buildings can be reduced considerably by using suitable insulation materials. From an energetic and ecological point of view, the combination of new insulation materials and innovative heating technologies is a good way of designing houses in an energetically sensible way.
Energy efficiency? Not in an old building!
This mistake is also based on the assumption that an innovative heating system has no place in the old house. However, since this prejudice has been broken down, the homeowner must be aware that the standard of a passive house can be achieved with suitable measures. Of course, this not only requires new insulation materials and appropriate heating systems, but also the optimization of doors and windows. This aspect certainly represents another cost factor, but is not a direct obstacle.
It should be noted, however, that dynamic retrofitting measures help reduce monthly costs. As a result, this improvement can be rewarded quickly and is usually self-sufficient.
Insulation in old buildings = mold!
This prejudice is based on the experience of houses that were renovated around the turn of the millennium. Because in this phase, many building owners concentrated on falling energy costs, but not on intact masonry. So an important factor in thoroughly renovating old buildings is carefully inspecting the existing masonry. If the house uses standard modern insulation, it can cause the building structure to be too tight. However, this is not a specific problem of old buildings, but a general fact. Nowadays the tightest windows or insulation materials are no longer used because it has been proven that the house must be able to breathe.
This respiratory exchange also ensures that there is no heat and associated moisture build-up that lead to the formation of mold. When the right materials are used, good quality insulation can make sense so that builders don’t have to worry about mold.
Individual requests cannot be realized in the old building!
Another difficulty with old buildings is that, as a rule, it must first be found out how they can be changed according to static and structural specifications. Due to the structure and the architectural requirements, there may be restrictions in the structural implementation. However, this fact does not mean that a renovation request in the old house cannot be fulfilled. Only the general structural conditions differ from municipality to municipality and the framework conditions for the realization of wishes are therefore different.
The advantage is that the structural specifications on the one hand clearly show what needs to be improved and, on the other hand, can point out deficiencies in their own implementations, because developers usually choose a building whose basic structure corresponds to their own visual ideas. Of course, houses can also be completely demolished and rebuilt, but this approach is even more economically demanding. In such a case, the should be rebuilt using the available architectural elements of the old house.
Listed buildings may not be renovated!
Many builders appreciate the charm and uniqueness of listed houses, but think that it is impossible to carry out an energy-rich renovation on a listed house. That is not true. However, the fact is that it is more challenging to renew such houses again. Because many elements must not be changed visually or structurally. This means that many building materials that promise a higher energy value cannot be used. However, the thermal insulation performance can be improved and the heating, doors and windows can be replaced. Only the visual options are limited. In principle, an energetic improvement of up to 60 percent can be achieved by using suitable components and materials.
Does it make sense to insulate an old house?
In principle, this question can be answered in the affirmative. Because good thermal insulation can not only make the house more ecological, it can also reduce fixed costs. However, it is important that construction personnel and energy experts, such as energy consultants, carefully assess the building structure before insulating it. These experts also provide support with applications for financial subsidies. The right insulation material for the building in question can only be found with well-founded information from the technical experts. Even if this step causes additional costs (for example, for expert opinions on building materials), it can prevent problems such as mold or heat build-up in the future.
In addition, proper insulation combined with windows and innovative heating technologies can significantly reduce energy costs. This has the advantage that the monthly costs can be reduced considerably. As a result, most of the costs are self-borne and builders can take advantage of various structural support measures. This advantage significantly reduces the cost share of the renovation measures. The client can also agree on an appropriate and individual time for work on the house. Therefore, it is not necessary to complete the work before moving into the house. This approach has some advantages: In the future, the client will no longer have to stand on the construction site and the construction process can be implemented step by step. This means that costs can be planned more efficiently.
However, it is necessary to consult several construction or refurbishment companies for information and quotes on energy efficient renovations including innovative heating, as this is the only way to make a good decision.
Refurbishing an old house is always useful if it is combined with a suitable heating system as well as doors and windows so that the full potential can be exploited. In this way, an old property in need of renovation becomes a building with charm that leaves nothing to be desired from an ecological, economic and individual point of view.