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Installation is critical with ceiling insulation

Buying ceiling or roof insulation isn’t like purchasing a car. There’s no such thing as a standard model, and every house is different. It takes an installation team that knows what it’s doing to deliver a snug outcome. It’s worth getting things absolutely right, because badly installed ceiling insulation won’t keep your house as warm – and it could even cause some hazards.

Here is some tips for homeowners who are looking at retrofitting ceiling insulation:

Believe it or not, some New Zealand homes are built without a manhole in the ceiling. Others have one in an awkward space, such as a wardrobe or cupboard. If you are thinking about fitting roof insulation, check where the manhole is (or if you even have one). If you can’t find it, ask a builder or handyman to cut one – the cost should be around $250.

1. No access, no insulation

A professional assessor should never provide an insulation quote without checking the ceiling area. Likewise, the installers will need to get up there on installation day. They’ll need to carry a lot of bulky insulation materials into the roof space, so make sure they have decent access.

2. Watch out for recessed lights

These are the type of lights that are set flush with the ceiling. They can contain normal incandescent light bulbs or halogen lights, which can get very hot. It’s important to know where any recessed lights are in the house, as the roof insulation will have to be installed with a clearance gap. The same goes for unducted extractor fans – note them and let the insulation team know.

3. We’ve cracked it (or not)

It’s not unknown for older homes to have cracks in the ceiling. Nobody normally scrutinises their own ceiling, so these can go unnoticed for years. A professional insulation team will check your ceilings before getting to work, so you are aware of any cracks and can monitor whether the ones you notice following installation were actually there all along.

4. Assess your assessor

Even with a government insulation subsidy, new ceiling insulation is a big investment. You want to be sure you’re dealing with the best insulation team and getting good value for money. A smart way to do this is to see how various assessors treat the job when they give you an insulation quote.

Ask yourself: Did they turn up on time? Did they communicate well? Did they give your home a thorough assessment, including checking all the rooms and accessing the roof space? The quality of effort your assessor puts in should give you some pointers towards their attitude and workmanship.