Home Energy Upgrades: Attic Insulation


We bought a 70’s house with a very poor energy rating of E2 and absolutely no attic insulation ( as you can see from the photo, there was nothing in the attic…it was a clean slate) and as expected the first floor was freezing cold. So, we read up a little bit on the SEAI website and came to a conclusion that attic insulation would be the first logical step, considering we didn’t have loads of money to do a complete home retrofit, which could bring our home energy rating to B2 or higher. And there is a substantial grant of 1300 for a semi detached house. It all made complete sense until we actually starting looking for people to do the works.

In order to qualify for the grants, the works have to be done by SEAI approved contractors and finding one who was not “busy” turned out to be the biggest hurdle. Some of them said they were busy for the next 6 months and some even responded saying they simply can’t do it.

Then, there were other people who were ready to do the works , but were not approved by SEAI, which meant the grants couldn’t be claimed. We could not wait until the next winter as it was simply impossible to use our upstairs.

So, I decided to take things into my own hands. I looked up some videos on youtube and got some insulation rolls and the necessary equipment like mask, goggles and knife. Then cleaned up the attic and started laying the rolls on the ceiling one after the other. It took several weekends to complete, but the difference it made could be clearly felt in the upstairs bedroom , with the rooms already insulated being way more warmer than the ones without. Kept going until one layer of 200 mm insulation was laid all over the ceiling, just in time for the winter.

Although, another 70 mm of insulation is needed as per regulations, my plan is to take it a notch higher and lay another 200 mm above the existing 200 mm layer.

So, overall it came in at around 600 EUR for the material and off course several weekends spent in crawling in the attic. But, it’s much better than either waiting for a SEAI registered contractor to show mercy on us or spending another harsh winter with no insulation.

At the end of it all, I have started to feel that the SEAI grants are geared more towards those who have money to spend , rather than those who are almost there and not there yet…You know what I mean.


Quote from an SEAI registered contractor - 3200 EUR
Quote from a non registered contractor - 1500 EUR
DIY - 600 EUR