We’ve all heard about curb appeal – the visual impact your property has when viewed from the curb, but carbon appeal – a property’s environmental performance – is also increasing in importance. Energy Performance Certificates are a requirement for any house being sold and having a poor rating can affect the asking price. By choosing features that will appeal to future buyers, owners may also reap immediate cost savings while waiting for the right moment to put the property on the market.
There are a number of cost-effective ways to make a house more energy-efficient, beginning with ensuring walls are well insulated. Cavity walls can be easily filled, whereas solid walls can have extra insulation added either internally, depending on the size of the room, or externally. It is also important to ensure roof insulation remains at the recommended thickness, as up to 25 per cent of a home’s heat can be lost if it is poorly insulated.
Installing double-glazed windows may be a little more costly, depending on the age of the building. It is possible to get permission to install double-glazed windows in listed properties, but it is important that a good quality product that is also in keeping with the style of the property is used.
A new boiler is a more expensive investment, but up to 30 per cent of the initial spend can be recouped in one or two years. If the budget is tight, replacing an old water boiler jacket with a new thicker one is a minor change that has a significant impact. At the same time, installing thermostatic radiator valves allows you to regulate the heat in individual rooms. If you have an open fireplace. installing a wood-burning stove will be more efficient and still provide the attractive ambience of a winter fire. Another simple change is to replace old light bulbs with newer energy-efficient ones.
There is a range of external environmental considerations that potential buyers are seeing as important. The quality of air and water has begun to have an impact. While these can’t be controlled by individual property owners, there are measures that can be taken to alleviate any potential problems. Water quality is generally at a safe drinking standard across the UK, but the installation of water filters removes chlorine and chemicals that can give water an unwelcome taste and odour. Air quality can be improved by vegetation and the visual impact of greenery has a positive effect on health and wellbeing.
Even if you are not considering environmental upgrades per se, it is worth taking energy performance into account during general refurbishment. Curb appeal has met its match with carbon appeal.
Whether you are actively looking to downsize, or you wish to prepare for this in the future, our agents are available to help. Contact your local Fine & Country office today.