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Nicky’s DIY Retrofit Journey

With a background in environmental sustainability, Nicky took on the challenge of improving the energy efficiency and overall condition of her terraced house in Plymouth by learning multiple trades and carrying out much of the work herself.

When she first moved into her new home, in April 2021, Nicky discovered several issues with the building including rising damp, leaning floorboards and crumbling internal walls.  

Taking a ‘fabric first’ approach, Nicky prioritised insulating the walls and floors of her house to address damp issues and improve energy efficiency.

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Nicky standing outside her home in Plymouth

Retrofitting Rental Properties

In 2018, James Jacobs, a property Agent based in Devon, took on the renovation of a Victorian house divided into four flats. His tenants were finding that the property was excessively warm in summer and cold in the winter.  To address this, James started retrofitting the property to make it more comfortable to live in and cheaper to heat.

Through James’s dedication to retrofitting and energy efficiency, his property portfolio has transformed into a collection of comfortable, cost-effective, and sustainable living spaces.

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Retrofitting a traditional building

Simon and Rowena moved into a former agricultural cottage in Crediton eight years ago. In this time, they have transformed the energy consumption of the property to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

Over the past few years Simon and Rowena have installed solar panels and storage battery, secondary glazing, internal wall insulation and, most recently, an air source heat pump.  The house has a mixed construction building fabric of traditional brick and cob and a modern extension.

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A homeowner in Devon stands outside his house with his new air source heat pump

Upgrading a three bed semi-detached house in a conservation area

When Alastair, Lizzie and their two daughters moved into their home in 2019 the property had an energy efficiency rating of D. 

With the potential to improve this rating to C or above, they set about making improvements to the property that would improve its energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint, reduce damp and improve indoor air quality. 

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Work being done on a homeowner's property

Supported by

Devon County Council
Torbay Council
North Devon Council
Plymouth City Council
South Hams District Council
Torridge District Council
West Devon Borough Council
East Devon District Council
Exeter City Council
Mid Devon District Council
Teignbridge Council
Devon Climate Emergency