How easy is it to make your home carbon neutral?

Getting your home equipped to deal with the eco-friendly challenges of the 21st century can seem a little overwhelming.

However, when you break it down, it makes the reality of the situation a lot more manageable. We've met with one couple who are taking on a mammoth project to their newly purchased property.

 

When Jim and Maria Watson bought their home in Liphook, they knew it was going to require a lot of work.

Now, they are making a huge array of changes to their home to reduce their carbon emissions and ensure it’s warm and comfortable all year round.

The property in Liphook is undergoing extensive work including an extension to create a new garage, utility room, bedrooms and an en-suite.

But the 1960’s home also desperately needs updating and the couple are planning to get the roof insulated to keep out the heat in the summer and retain it in the winter. The roof needs to be completely replaced.

Jim said: “There are phenomenal issues with the house and it’s all down to the roof. We are looking to do things to modernise the house, to make it fit for 21st century living and fix all these issues.

“We are losing a lot of heat in the winter and gaining a lot of it in the summer.”

 

Jim Watson pictured with the plans for his home improvements

The couple have also switched off all their gas appliances as they are having an air source heat pump with under floor heating fitted downstairs and new large radiators upstairs.

They are also planning to get solar panels fitted to reduce their electricity consumption and they will replace all their windows. In addition they have removed their gas fire and replaced it with a wood burner.

Jim added: “We couldn’t continue living here without sorting out the insulation. In the winter our bedroom gets cold and in the summer the ceiling in the bedroom is warm to touch because so much heat is coming through.”

The couple were always planning to modernise their property but they have been encouraged to take further steps to become carbon neutral as part of their building work.

The property as it used to look before building work started

It’s expected all the work will be finished at some point next year.

Jim said: “We were keen to do our bit to reduce the emissions within our home and in the end it will be worth it as there will be lower running costs.

"People should not be put off by the scope of work required to reduce their carbon emissions. There is a lot of information and help available to help you determine what you should do and how best to go about it.”