NPDC reno tips give family warmer, healthier home over winter

Our Work Featured news People

Al and Caroline Den-McKay love their “pink room,” a cosy new guestroom taking shape with help from NPDC’s free sustainable design advice.

The pink insulation around the walls and ceiling will soon be covered with plasterboard, but already it’s made the room warmer and more comfortable.

The couple and their three children moved into the 1970s home before winter and asked NPDC Eco-Design Adviser Sam Rowlands in for a free assessment of the building.

Sam suggested some cheap and easy quick wins, such as a moisture barrier under the house and under-floor insulation, before they moved on to the bigger reno work.

“When we got the moisture barrier and insulation under the floor, it made a difference within a week – the moisture in the air came right down, and because the house was dryer, it was easier to heat and it was noticeably warmer,” said Mr Den-McKay.

“We were remodelling so we thought we might as well get some advice first and this was free, so we decided to do some futureproofing as well. Every time we put something new in, we go back to Sam’s report and ask how do we factor that in.

“His suggestions were made specifically for this home so it’s helped us look at how we can improve specific areas,” he said

The family are renovating their home in phases, taking the opportunity to insulate throughout, replace the 1970s hot water system with a new energy-efficient heat-pump water system and improve ventilation in the bathrooms among other upgrades.


Plan ahead

Sam says the warmer months are a great time to get started on some easy DIY jobs that will pay off in the winter.

“There are several simple DIY options available such as draught stopping, but you might like to take advantage of some free advice to ensure your efforts are not in vain.

Investing in a warmer dryer home will keep the whole family more comfortable, and reduce the energy costs too, so it’s best to get cracking as soon as possible,” said Sam.

“NPDC is committed to a more sustainable future. Our eco-home advice is free and tailored to your home whether you own or rent, so book an assessment now on or call me on 06-759 6060.”


FAST FACTS                                                                                        

Free sustainable home advice is available to renters and owners.

  • The best-value home improvements usually involve:
  • Ventilation/moisture
    • A ground moisture barrier to prevent moisture coming up through the floor
    • Bathroom and kitchen ventilation to extract moisture at the source
  • Insulation to keep heat in winter and keep heat out in summer
  • Thermal blinds or good quality curtains or to keep your windows cosy.


Caption: Al Den-McKay surveys the family’s cosy new “pink room”.