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Cotswold cottage transformed through retrofitting

About the home

This home transformation took place in an end-of-terrace cottage in the picturesque village of Hook Norton, located in the Cotswolds. The cottage is a mixture of ages and styles. The front half of the house is pre-1900, made out of solid ironstone, which historically had been quarried in Hook Norton and the surrounding area. The back of the house is much more modern, having been worked on between the 1970s and present day.

The homeowners had been aware for years that their home needed attention, mainly due to its patchwork nature, leaving parts without insulation and subject to cold draughts from single-glazed windows. However, they were well aware that this undertaking would be disruptive, and the thought of overseeing the process filled them with dread.

The front of the cottage
The back of the cottage

Motivations for the retrofit

The owners were driven by a strong desire to make their property completely independent of oil and wanted to help address the climate emergency. A decade ago, they had explored retrofit options, but their only option at the time was a more efficient oil-fired boiler, which still kept them tied to fossil fuels. With time, technological advances meant that an Air Source Heat Pump became a viable alternative.

Simultaneously, the home’s energy performance had become increasingly uncomfortable. Inconsistent temperatures plagued various rooms, with some being excessively cold in winter and overly hot in summer due to insufficient insulation and single-glazed windows.

Having served as a family home for many years, the departure of the couple’s children provided an opportune moment for renovation. The prospect was particularly enticing for a spacious downstairs room, once a children’s playroom, now primed for transformation into a larger kitchen.

The home transformation process

Trish and Tim had been putting off doing the work because they knew it would be difficult and time-consuming to coordinate. They’d even started researching tradespeople, but couldn’t find the right people for the job. When they came across Cosy Homes Oxfordshire, they knew that the whole house approach was right for them and that they wouldn’t have to worry about coordinating the work themselves.

“It was such a big job that it would be very difficult to live in the house at the same time as having the work done, so we needed to have people we could trust while we were away. We like employing local people and Cosy Homes came highly recommended.”

They first had a home assessment and Whole House Plan which allowed them to identify the best retrofit measures for their home, confirming that an Air Source Heat Pump was definitely a good option. Cosy Homes Oxfordshire then helped to coordinate the delivery of the chosen measures, working with a great team of contractors involving Cotswold Green Energy (for the Heat Pump) and Hook Norton Construction.

The impact of the retrofit

This home retrofit saves an estimated 3.2 tonnes of CO2 equivalent every single year, as well as making a huge difference to the energy bills and comfort of the home.

Installing an Air Source Heat Pump, alongside improving insulation and windows to reduce heat loss, has ensured the largest possible carbon savings. This is why the whole house retrofit approach which Cosy Homes Oxfordshire focuses on is so important.

Trish and Tim have also immediately noticed the difference the retrofit work has made to the comfort of their home. The new kitchen is now the coolest room in the house on hot days, rather than the hottest. The underfloor heating in the room also means it will be cosy and warm in those cold winter days.

They have also noticed how much quieter their home is – a happy side effect of the insulation work throughout!

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