Our external wall insulation scheme for private homeowners is now closed to new applications…

We have been working in partnership with Plymouth City Council, British Gas and local installers to help private properties in Plymouth receive grants towards installing external solid wall insulation. All funding has now been allocated.

Watch our video about external wall insulation: find out how it renews the look of a home, keeps you warmer and stops you wasting money and heat through your walls. Hear from Plymouth residents; see what their houses looked like before and after.

What is External Wall Insulation?

Its ever such a simple idea, same principal as a tea cosy; like a blanket for your home, wrapping it from top to bottom. External wall insulation can be applied to any wall but its main application is for houses that are not suitable for cavity wall insulation. Usually, this a house with solid brick or solid concrete walls.

Before… …and after! (it’s the same house, promise!)

How does it work?

Solid walls (generally made of stone or brick) let twice as much heat escape as cavity walls do. If your home was built before 1919, its external walls are probably solid rather than cavity walls. Cavity walls are made of two layers with a small gap or ‘cavity’ between them. Solid walls have no gap, so they let more heat through.

External wall insulation involves fixing a layer of insulation material (either a polystyrene or mineral wool board) to the existing wall, then covering it with a special type of render (plasterwork) or cladding. The finish can be smooth, textured, painted, tiled, panelled, pebble-dashed, or finished with brick slips.

By wrapping the whole house in insulation the heat is kept where you need it: inside!

What are the benefits?

External wall insulation can:
✓ Help keep your house warmer and more comfortable
✓ Reduce your energy use for heating and bills, an average 3 bed semi-detached property could save up to £270^ a year
✓ Reduce your property’s carbon footprint
✓ Renew and improve the appearance of your property
✓ Improves weatherproofing and sound resistance
✓ Reduces condensation on internal walls and can help prevent damp (but will not solve rising or penetration damp)
✓ Increases the life of your walls by protecting the brickwork
✓ Give your home a maintenance free finish – most external wall insulation systems are guaranteed for at least 25 years meaning you can fit and forget and don’t have the worry of repainting
✓ Improve the energy rating of your property – recent government research suggests that it could improve the band from G to E or D to B, increasing your property value by up to £16,000

What will it look like?

You might need planning permission as it could change the appearance of the building, anyone giving you a quote will advise you if this is necessary or you can check with your local planning authority. There are a wide range of colours and finishes that can be applied, you can discuss these with your installer. They can replicate the existing finish to preserve the original appearance if you prefer.

Once installed, the insulation will obviously stick out further than your wall. Ideally your next door neighbours will get it done as well! If not, the installers blend it as much as possible.

You may also find that certain decorative features are lost unless you pay extra to replace them. Vents are obviously replaced and so are the window sills, please note that these will be PVC, unless you pay extra for a different type. Canopies, downlights, pipes, satellite dishes and hanging baskets will temporarily be removed and replaced afterwards (satellite dishes can be temporarily fixed to scaffolding during installation). The insulation will only going down as far as the damp course.

Wall join before and after…

Roof detailing…


Damp proof course and door detail…

Gutters & joins…


Before and after…

Happy customers…

One local resident who’s benefited from solid external wall insulation is Teresa. Her daughter has long-term health issues and every year she suffers from cold-related illnesses, including poor circulation. She had external wall insulation added to her Whitleigh home in February 2015 and is full of praise:

“For the first time in years my daughter and I haven’t had colds, we’ve been able to turn the heating down and switch off our small heaters. Before we got the insulation I was constantly painting over black mould and now we don’t have any damp or mould issues, even when it rains! Our home is quieter and we’ve noticed a good improvement on our bills; rather than dreading the winter now I’m excited about really feeling the benefits.

It’s quite remarkable and I can’t thank everyone enough; it really is life-saving.”

‘I can’t praise the workmen enough, they were polite and considerate to us and our home’
J. Stevenes

‘We had timber cladding with not very good insulation behind it, this was all replaced with this new render insulation and it makes our house look so much better’
N. Daley

‘Since I have had the External Wall Insulation done I have noticed that every room is a lot warmer, I can definitely feel the difference’
S. Shaw

‘The whole process went well and I’m really happy with the finished result, it should make the winters a little warmer!! I have also noticed it is a lot quieter, which is an added bonus! So very happy :)’ Plymouth resident

‘We found the whole process a better experience then anticipated. Questions were answered honestly and quickly. The work has been carried out to a high standard and the workmen were very efficient when on site and always cleaned up after the day was finished. Although we had to wait a week or so for the final finish to be completed due to weather, when this was done they completed it within a day and all our neighbours have spoken to us about how amazed they were by their speed and efficiency. We are very happy with the finish, however because the insulation only comes to floor height we do have a gap of about 60 cms at the front of the house but as we have painted it the same colour it blends in well. We were also told that the bottom could be added to with render for an extra fee if we wished to do that in the future. Any problems after the process were quickly addressed and we are very pleased with the final outcome. Internally my bedroom wall would be a bit damp in the morning and although we haven’t had cold nights yet this has ceased to happen since installation. The noise level from outside has reduced and I am hoping to see a real benefit when I start to put the heating on in the winter. Overall, we are very happy customers and would very happily recommend this to others.’ Plymouth resident

*£4200 based on an average 3 bed semi-detached (88m2) property, subject to assessment, technical survey and eligibility criteria. £2941 GDF available based on average savings of £270 per year.
^Savings figure source www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Insulation/Solid-wall-insulation, June 2014. Actual savings depend on individual circumstances.
‡Phone lines are open 8am-6pm Monday to Friday. Closed on weekends and Bank Holidays. Calls are free from a BT landline, however charges from mobile phones and other networks may vary. Calls may be monitored and/or recorded for quality assurance and compliance purposes.