Using different elements from different EWI systems
At Be Constructive we install lots of different solid wall insulation systems from different manufacturers, from EWI-pro, Insta to Sto – they all have their merits.
What is becoming clear though is that companies are using different elements from different solid wall insulations to carry out jobs, so for example the primers come from one manufacturer, while the renders come from EWI Pro. Remember, these systems have been developed and refined by the manufactures to work together providing you with a great energy saving, protective layer on your home.
Why are installers using different elements from different systems?
Well the main reason is price – as the industry has grown (and the Government backed Green Deal Home Improvement scheme has really helped with this) more companies have entered the market. This has brought some huge benefits to the industry because gone are the days that companies can charge through the nose for works to be carried out. Once example of this is a customer we had that originally received a quote for solid wall insulation 18 months ago for £27000 for just 100m2 of wall, we carried out this job for just under £10,000 which when you included the £6,000 grant took the final cost to the customer to just over £4,000. Obviously this is a good thing – more competition means that these uncompetitive suppliers will be history in the near future!
The bad thing though with lots of companies appearing in the solid wall insulation market is that obviously some of them have done so with very limited experience. They are selecting what they think are the appropriate materials and just getting on with the jobs since customers in truth don’t know what to expect from the finished result because not that many people have had the works done. Since the new companies are desperate to get a piece of the pie, they are mix and matching different elements from different systems to try and get the best possible prices, to help maximise profits.
Remember, when it comes to solid wall insulation, there are three elements to your quote – the first is the cost of the materials, the second is the cost of the labour who actually carry out the works and the final element is the profit that the install company wants to put on the job.
These new companies are trying to grab their market share, so they feel that they need to reduce the total cost of the three elements. What this means is one of the elements has to give and since labour tends to be fairly inflexible in what it costs, the logical thing to target is the cost of the materials.
This means that they are buying the cheapest insulation materials and attaching them to the walls with the incorrect adhesives or they are installing breathable mineral wool as the base insulation and then applying the cheaper acrylic render on top of it, even though this stops the system being breathable!
Our advice here at BeConstructive is to make sure the solid wall insulation systems being installed are all from the same manufacturer – if not there are going to be issues further down the line.
Remember, if the system is being installed as part of the Green Deal scheme then the installing companies are required to offer 25 year warranties. The issue is that things like the GDHIF grant has seen an explosion in the solid wall insulation market, and these new kids on the block are installing the systems with no experience of whether the systems will really last that long.
We are not saying that everyone out there is a bad installer, we are simply saying that some are better than others and the minute they tell you they are using different components from different systems that should set off alarm bells in your head.
At the end of the day, you have to live in the house that the insulation gets installed on, so it is not worth taking the risk! So regardless of the installer you use, try to ensure they are doing this as we can bet that if they aren’t the system will fail well before the 25 years is up!