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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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  1.  
    We will be renting a house for a year. It has CWI and good loft insulation, but the suspended timber floor is not insulated.

    We don't want to get into tangles with the landlord so will not make any permanent changes to the building.

    I had a slightly leftfield idea to lay out a temporary layer of insulation boards (25mm foil faced PU/PIR etc) covered with ply, on top of the existing floorboards, and put the existing carpet back on top of them. When we move out, I will remove the PIR and return the rental in the same condition as we found it.

    What does anyone think, any pitfalls?

    Objective is to improve comfort. Ideally it will be cost neutral, so energy savings over 1 year should just about pay for the materials. The floor void is ventilated but too shallow to get underneath.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeen
    What does anyone think, any pitfalls?
    Opportunity cost - you could be working on something much longer term or just letting your brain rest ready for a longer term accommodation project.
  2.  
    :-) good point!
    Actually we will be living in the rental while waiting for the previous project to sell, to raise funds for the next project. So my time will be 'free'.
    • CommentAuthorsnyggapa
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    doors won't close as the floor will be too high

    you might find the insulation turns to dust even if protected by ply

    I doubt any floor insulation would pay back in a year but I haven't done the maths. The only ones that would would be fluffy slippers and another vest :)

    -Steve
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenSo my time will be 'free'.
    Free as in beer (gratis), maybe... I realise you are living in it, I'm just questioning whether you should go to much effort for one year. Who knows, could be another warm one (unlike last year) and at the end of the day... it's just a year.
    • CommentAuthorsam_cat
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Talk to the LL (LandLord) before you do anything.. If I found a tenant in one of our properties had removed carpet etc without asking they would be getting a section 21 (kicked out) asap and a reference that discloses this.

    For a rented place dont waste your effort, save your pennies and energy towards your own place when you get it. Sit on the money.


    Our home is similar construction, suspended timber floor with a shallow void. One day it will all come up so I can insulate, but for now we fitted new carpets, decent underlay (cloud 9 cumulus - 9 tog and 11mm) which helped quite a bit.
    Biggest improvement to foot comfort in the winter months (when cold seems to seep in through the carpet) was buying a big rug. And in a rental this is a good idea anyway, protects the carpet from accidents.
  3.  
    Thanks all!
    Looking at some numbers: the existing floor is U = 2.1 (so it loses more heat than the walls and roof put together!). The area is about 50m2 and heating is electric and an ancient oil boiler.

    25mm of PIR board would improve it to U=0.6, saving £400/yr. The PIR would cost £350, plus ply covering, so it would take bit more than 1 year to payback.

    An extra layer of carpet/rugs would only get it to U=1.5. This would save £160/y but cost £1000+ depending how nice the pattern is, so would be more of a psychological improvement than a real one.

    Both the PIR and the carpet could likely be reused on my next home.

    The door height is a problem, it is mostly open plan but there is one internal door and one external. Plus there would be a small step down to a tiled area.

    We insulated the floor in the last place and it made a big difference as we spend much time sitting on the floor with young kids!
  4.  
    I think it is a good idea. Sometimes you have to express the payback in comfort, rather than money, but it may still have great value, especially as you will probably improve the air-tightness at the same time.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    I would say it's comfort multiplied by time.
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