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Domestic Retrofit

Domestic retrofit is the term used to describe works done to a home to improve energy efficiency, warmth, comfort and air quality.  It also refers to the national agenda to reduce the carbon emissions associated with heating Britain’s homes by reducing energy required, and replacing existing heating systems (a gas or oil boiler) with low carbon renewable systems (a heat pump or infra-red panels for example).  

There are four stages to complete retrofit:


Resolving current issues that affect the ability of the house to perform despite any measures implemented in the next three stages. This could be cracks that let moisture in, blocked gutters, or other causes of existing drafts or moisture issues such as mould.


Making the fabric of the house – the walls, floor, roof, windows, doors - as thermally efficient as possible is essential to ensure that the house requires the least energy to heat it, and so it retains the heat put into it (and resists it in the summer too). Typically this involves additional insulation, and upgrading to more thermally efficient windows and doors.


Sufficient fresh air is essential. A well insulated but sealed house will have poor air quality and be susceptible to damp and mould. This could be as simple as fitting trickle vents or the right capacity extractor fans, to installing a mechanical ventilation system.


Improving the efficiency of the heating in a home ranges from fitting thermostats to radiators, adding smart zoned heating controls, all the way through to a new low carbon heat source, powered from renewable electricity generated by solar panels on the roof.

A home will need one, some or all of these, done in the right order depending on individual circumstances.  No two houses are exactly the same.

Where Do I Start?

Getting retrofit measures right for any home starts with a bespoke assessment of the property.  Without this, it is possible that despite good intentions, measures implemented may cause subsequent unwanted consequences.

At Bradfords we have partnered with local retrofit experts, Target CO2 to offer a home energy saving pack, the perfect start point for any retrofit journey.  To find out more check out the below section for Home Energy Savings Packs.

For more detail on retrofit, the UK retrofit standard, PAS2035, and aspects of the retrofit process check out TargetCO2’s guide here.

Trustmark are the UK's quality assurance scheme for construction and we have collaborated on a number of occassions with them to help our customers understand retrofit. Their handy guide is worth a read.

Home Energy Savings Packs

Working with our partners at Target CO2, we can offer a home energy saving pack - the ideal starting point if you're considering retrofitting a building.

This includes:

- A condition report -  Assessing the condition of the house, and identifying any snags that need fixing before installing retrofit measures

- An up to date EPC assessment -  Get an up to date EPC for your home, and assessment of what it could be improved to if suggested measures are improved, complete with estimated carbon and cost savings.

- Retrofit assessment and recommendations conducted to PAS 2035 standards -  A bespoke programme, tailored to the individual property, of recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

- Government grant eligibility assessment -  An indication of whether you and your property qualify for government grants to offset the cost of measures recommended.

We’ll also provide you with a quote for all the measures recommended. 

At Bradfords, we will also prepare you an indicative quote for any of the materials required for the improvements suggessted in your personalised report.  

Retrofit Case Studies

We offered retrofit assessments to a number of the team at Bradfords to help us understand retrofit better.  Below are a few examples - typical of the sort of housing we see all across England - from this exercise to give you a flavour of what the assessments highlighted, the measures recommended, and the potential improvements that could be achieved if the recommendations are installed.

A typical Cornish stone built end of terrace, this property in Camborne demonstrated some typical issues that proper retrofit can address – black mould in cold spots, and thermal inefficiency due to the original method of construction, and a loft conversion completed without the modern level of roof insulation installed.  Adding internal wall insulation and upgrading room in roof insulation in the loft conversion could deliver a 33% improvement in energy efficiency.


Cost saving associated with the reduced energy usage*:

£120 per year

This semi-detached house in Chard could meet the criteria for an EPC A rating with the addition of solar and a low carbon heat system, reducing it’s carbon footprint to a negligible level, and axing energy consumption costs at the same time.  But it was also a great example of where small measures could make a material difference to air quality and moisture through the installation of extractor fans and increasing the gaps beneath internal doors to allow airflow.


Cost saving associated with the reduced energy usage*:

£930 per year

A classic Edwardian terrace, this house in Dorchester provided the perfect example of previous retrofit measures having failed, and of the requirement to fix a few basics before starting any retrofit works.  Simple steps can make a significant difference; in this case the simple clearing and fixing of a leaky gutter stopped a persistent damp exterior wall, and the inevitable degradation of the brick.  Original retrofitted cavity wall insulation had got wet, shrunk and left huge gaps in the cavity, creating cold spots that are so bad for encouraging condensation (leading to mould) on internal walls.  Following the retrofit recommendations, this house would jump from a low EPC D to a B, and slash energy consumption by 80%.


Cost saving associated with the reduced energy usage*:

£384 per year

EPC Before – D63

Potential – B85

Potential CO2 savings: 3972kg/year

Potential energy savings: 21500kWh/year


Measures recommended:

  • Room in roof insulation
  • Renewable heat system – ASHP
  • Zone heating controls
  • Internal wall insulation
  • Solar PV



Cost saving associated with the reduced energy usage*:

£120 p/y

EPC Before – C74

Potential – A94

Potential CO2 savings: 2705kg/year

Potential energy savings: 15300kWh/year


Measures recommended:

  • Renewable heating – ASHP
  • Solar PV
  • Extractor fans





Cost saving associated with the reduced energy usage*:

£930 p/y

EPC Before - D57

Potential - B88

Potential CO2 Savings - 3700kg/year

Potential Energy Saving - 20,000kWh/year


Measures recommended:

  • Renewable Heating
  • Solar PV
  • Replace cavity wall insulation
  • Additional loft insulation
  • Block unused chimney
  • Replace windows
  • Extractor fan install.

Cost saving associated with the reduced energy usage*:

£384 p/y

*Energy cost reduction based on worst case scenario: majority energy before retrofit coming from gas heating at 7.4p/kWh, and energy after retrofit coming from electricity at 28p/kWh.

Retrofit Heroes