How can I super insulate my floor – part one: digging

With a solid concrete floor we faced a real challenge of how to install a high level of insulation.  Our three main options were:

  1. Do nothing and accept the floor would be cold and we would lose heat to the ground.
  2. Insulate around the outside of the house below ground to form an insulating ‘skirt’ to stop the heat going outwards from under the house.
  3. Dig up the floor.

As the original floor had no insulation at all beneath the concrete slab we decided to dig up the floor to install 20cm of polystyrene insulation (EPS).  Having decided to lay a new floor we could also install under floor heating which is better suited to work with our the solar thermal panels than radiators.

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The first step was to take up the 1960′s wood block floor. We wanted to have the option of re-using the wood blocks although they would require a lot of cleaning to be in a fit state to re-lay.

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With the wood blocks taken up we got on with the noisy, dusty job of digging up the concrete floor slab.

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We used electric breakers hired from Travis Perkins …

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… and wheel barrows.

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We took the concrete and brick rubble to a nearby farm to improve the entrance to one of their fields.

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It took a long time and a lot of digging to get down the six courses of bricks …

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… and then we needed to dig trenches for the drain pipes.

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