One of the biggest flaws in DIY home renovations, in Perth and across Australia, is that people are choosing not to insulate their projects. For some reason, DIY-ers seem to think that insulation is “not important.” They see it as “too much work” and decide to take one of the most ill-advised shortcuts they could possibly take when renovating their homes.
Recently, a heating systems provider went on the record as saying that, not only are DIY-ers not using insulation, but neither are builders. According to the provider, “…builders aren’t suggesting it.” Builders have actually asked the heating systems provider if they should insulate, which infuriates the heating provider because it should be a foregone conclusion.
Why Has Insulation Become a Forgotten Step in Building?
Sadly, insulation has become a way for builders to cut costs. It costs money for both the materials and the labour to insulate a home. Much like the DIY-er who wants to take a shortcut, builders don’t want to take the “extra” money off of their bottom line to provide insulation.
In addition, home improvement shows on TV tend to teach about everything but insulation. This causes the average consumer to think it isn’t important.
Materials play a large role, too. Timber, bricks and special e-glass are great insulators, along with various window treatments. A lot of builders and consumers think those materials are sufficient to thoroughly insulate a house. Consequently, they don’t think insulation is important.
Why Insulation Should Never Be a “Choice”
There is some simple “math” at play here. It goes like this: the more insulation you use in building or renovating your home, the less money you will spend on heating and cooling. The more energy-efficient your home is, the less you will spend in the long term on heating and cooling. While it looks like you are “saving money” by skipping the insulation, you are actually costing yourself long-term in heating and cooling costs.
While we like using materials with great insulatory properties, we also make sure to use insulation wherever we can put it. That way, you get a combination of insulative construction materials and added insulation.
The Great Fallacy
In Australia, many builders and homeowners fall victim to one of the greatest fallacies in building. They believe that insulation is “only for cold areas.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In a worst case scenario, in the brutal summer climate, uninsulated walls become like radiators, transferring in huge amounts of heat from the sun and the environment during the day.
This fallacy is so powerful that Tasmania has become the only state where everyone takes insulation seriously, with the exception of the colder parts of NSW.
Another consideration: people think that insulation will prevent them from the benefits of the cooling that happens at night in Australia. However, they fail to realise that they are far better served by using insulation because the effect of heat in the daytime is much more intense than the effect of cooling at night.
Basically, if a home doesn’t absorb all of the heat in the daytime, it will operate more efficiently throughout the day and night.
Insulation improves the efficiency of a house whether the weather is hot or cold, because it slows the transfer of heat. Heat moves from hot areas to cold areas to equalise them. If you are heating your home in the winter, insulation keeps the heat from transferring to the outside. If you are air conditioning your home in the summer, insulation keeps the heat from transferring to the inside.
Of all the “shortcuts” taken by both DIY-ers and builders, failing to adequately insulate a home is one of the worst. It costs much more in the long run than it saves in the present.
Call Next Level Extensions for the Best Home Renovations in Perth
If you want your home renovation done right, call Next Level Extensions today. Led by Max Sardi, our award winning home renovation designer, we have more than 70 years of combined experience providing home renovations in the Perth area. To learn more or for a free consult, call us today: 1300 948 094.