Can a Green Home Grant be used for a loft conversion?

6 January 2021 EcoTherm Insulation
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With dining rooms turned into offices, living rooms becoming playrooms and bedrooms filled with returning family members, homeowners will be exploring ways they can create more space in their houses. Loft conversions have long been a popular option, adding an extra room for living and storage without increasing the property’s footprint or requiring major building work. 

They can also be a way of ensuring the loft is well-insulated, keeping homes warm and reducing energy bills. As insulation retrofits are one of the measures covered by the government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme, it is now possible to get grants towards certain aspects of this work related to the energy efficiency improvements. This not only offers potential savings for homeowners and a clear business opportunity for installers who are TrustMark accredited (a requirement for the scheme). 

In this blog series, we will look at the benefits of installing roof insulation for homeowners, how to determine what insulation you need for the job, as well as some tips on things to check before you begin and how to carry out the installation. 

What are the benefits of a room in the roof?

Loft conversions remain a popular option for many homeowners, allowing them to extend without taking up valuable garden space. In addition, for most properties the work is considered a permitted development meaning there is no need to go through a lengthy planning permission process. In addition to adding valuable space, Nationwide has estimated that a loft conversion can add around 20% to the value of a property.

The benefits don’t stop there. Around 25% of a home’s heat is lost through its roof. So, making sure these spaces are properly insulated can make a significant difference. Unlike traditional loft insulation which is typically laid on top of the loft floor, room in the roof insulation is applied to the pitch of the roof, as well as any gable ends, dormers and in some cases dwarf walls. This creates a useable space at the top of the house, which can add value to the property when it is sold or rented, without having to make huge changes to the outside of the property or take any of the garden. This makes them cost-effective and ideal for properties with limited outside space or subject to strict planning laws. 

As well as adding an extra room to the house, it is estimated that a better insulated roof can reduce energy bills by up to £240 a year. This not only means that people can heat their homes for cheaper, but it could potentially help to raise the house’s value by helping it to achieve a higher EPC rating.

 

Is it worth applying for a Green Homes Grant before carrying out loft conversion?

Yes. Under the Green Homes Grant, homeowners and landlords in England can receive to £5,000 that can be used to cover two thirds of the cost of certain energy efficiency improvements to a property. Customers on low-income may also be able to apply for grants of up to £10,000 which will cover 100% of the retrofit costs. One of the improvements covered under the scheme is installing room in the roof insulation.

In order to get a Green Homes Grant, the homeowner will first need to visit the Simple Energy Advice portal where they can apply for a grant. As a TrustMark business, you will then be able to quote for this work. As the scheme is only set to run until March and is capped, if you have existing or previous customers who are looking to undertake a loft conversion, encourage them to visit the Simple Energy Advice website now.

Keep in mind that if the property is traditionally constructed and protected (typical example is a listed building) then the work has to be carried out by installers certified to PAS 2030:2019 and under the process in PAS 2035:2019. This includes appointing a TrustMark Retrofit Coordinator and creating a 20-30 year improvement plan for the property. Learn more about PAS 2035.

Additionally, as the TrustMark installer, you will need to guarantee the room-in-the-roof insulation for 25 years. You can read more about the financial protection requirements in section 10 of the TrustMark Framework Operating Requirements.

 

What can a Green Homes Grant be used for when carrying out a loft conversion?


All the work you quote for under the Green Homes Grant will need to be specifically related to the installation of the insulation and any preparatory work required to get the roof ready. This includes the cost of:
•    insulation materials;
•    labour;
•    waste removal;
•    VAT;
•    scaffolding;
•    moisture risk assessments;
•    identifying and repairing issues with damp or ventilation;
•    structural repairs to support the retrofit; and
•    any detail design drawings and calculations.

Aspects of the work which are not covered under the scheme include:
•    building surveys and architectural design not related to the retrofit (for example the design of the access staircase);
•    any work related to adding new windows within the roof;
•    asbestos removal; and
•    decoration or structural work not specifically related to the insulation.

You can read more about what is and isn’t covered by a Green Homes Grant here. By ensuring you only quote for the work covered under the scheme, you should be able to ensure there are no delays once the quote is submitted by the homeowner meaning the project can progress smoothly.

Still have questions?

In the next blog, we’ll look at how to pick the right insulation for your project and what to look for when carrying out the installation. If you have any other questions about how to fit EcoTherm insulation in any application then take a look at our Educate section, where you can find everything from how to videos to FAQs, or get in touch with our Technical Services team for some fuss-free advice.

EcoTherm Insulation Ltd

Harvey Road

Burnt Mills Industrial Estate

Basildon

Essex

SS13 1QJ

01268 591155