Using different elements from different EWI systems

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Using different elements from different EWI systems

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!

1 comment

  1. Octo­ber 2, 2012 11:59 am by Trish What a real dis­s­a­point­ment. I was hnpiog to have my house insu­lated and the out out­side ren­o­vated before the win­ter sets in but the end of Jan­u­ary laughable.Why the long delay? Is it so that com­pa­nies can get to grip with the new demands or to get every­thing into place?They have had well over a year to pre­pare for the Green Deal. I some­how don’t think this scheme is going to go too well but time will tell.

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