The rise in the cost of living is sweeping the nation and as it’s a global phenomenon, it looks set to be here for a while. But rather than sit back and hope for the best, we look at improvement wins you can make to your home now so that you can make the most of life today while taking care of future accessibility concerns.
We are certainly living through unprecedented times. No sooner has the world emerged from a pandemic, the war in Ukraine then tips finely balanced global markets off their axis causing fuel price and inflation increases alongside a host of other issues such as wheat shortages. While we can’t influence these world events we can focus on things within our control to create resilience for the future.
The best place to insulate ourselves from the effects of rising costs is at home. Begin to take control by looking at areas which cushion us from spiralling energy prices and investigate other cost-saving measures not previously considered.
Start with the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). It’s a helpful snapshot of our home’s energy efficiency and an indicator of where improvements can be made. A property will be ranked from A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). Here’s a fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust “Most of the UK’s housing stock falls somewhere between the two, with the average energy efficiency rating of UK falling into in band D. So there is room for improvement.
The first place to look is in the loft! Recommendations for insulation thickness have increased significantly. In the ‘80s between 25-50mm was the norm but now it’s between 250-270mm. That’s quite an increase and a quick and easy win.
Cavity wall insulation, effective double glazing and an energy-efficient boiler can also help provide financial savings once winter kicks in.
Now, more than ever, there’s a compelling economic reason to stay put and continue to invest in our properties. Low housing stock, alongside a predicted stagnation in house prices, means seeking out alternatives to moving could be the best long-term investment. This is especially relevant when looking at future-proofing for the mid to long term.
A common problem to overcome is using the stairs and therefore many people turn towards having a ground floor extension. It’s a well-trodden path for solving the dilemma of the stairs but there are two important things to bear in mind if you chose this option. Firstly, you will be cutting out using the upper floor of your home, and that does end up being a lot of potentially wasted space.
Secondly, the price of materials and labour has risen sharply since the pandemic and the scarcity of many of the supplies needed has also meant waiting times for work to be done have been increasing. A small 15sq metre extension is averaging at least 30 thousand pounds and that’s before you’ve factored in the fixtures and fittings. In addition to the cost of the build, you’ll need to consider the increased energy costs added to your already rising bills.
A cost-effective way of continuing to use the existing upstairs space that offers limited disruption and has the capacity to offer proper longevity if your mobility situation changes further is a Stiltz home lift. Quick to fit and cheap to run a Stiltz domestic lift solves the issue of the stairs in one neat package and addresses financial concerns of huge builds or moving costs. With a product manufactured by Stiltz Homelifts, you will be able to continue to use your existing bedroom and bathroom space all while staying safe and independent. For many, it can be the difference between living independently and needing to instigate the need for expensive and scarce in-home care.
Soaring costs don’t have to mean soaring anxiety. As the late, great Robin Williams said in his film Dead Poets’ Society, carpe diem. Seize the day. Any improvements added now should aim to lessen the financial burden, not add to it. Take control, make small step changes for the better and find it is possible to live well right now, while safe in the knowledge any future storms can be weathered.