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2023 Retrofit Quote

  • 16-01-2023 5:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5

    Hi All,

    First post so shout if I'm in the wrong place, but wanted to bounce what I'm deeming a ludicrous quote from a very well known energy provider for a full retrofit.

    They sent a fella out to do the assessment on our recently purchased 110sqm detached house. We said we'd brave a winter and begin looking into energy upgrade bits, hence the appointment.

    The house has a F BER rating and it's a dormer bungalow. Without getting into too much detail, the quote I received seem bananas and leaves me thinking I could inefficiently blast the heating through the next 25-30 winters and still wouldn't spend the same amount.

    It was a whopping 134,000 euro AFTER grants. The external insulation alone was circa 80k! Biggest alarm bell being the attic insulation quote of 9k - sure I could do this for a small fraction myself or outsource it for 2k max I would have thought.

    I've read plenty to suggest the whole SEAI grant scheme is just lining approved supplier pockets, but this was a jaw dropping amount for me process. Would really appreciate advice from anyone else who has gone down the path recently, the do's, the don't, the cowboys, etc.




  • Registered Users Posts: 365 ✭✭Biker1

    While the price for the external insulation seems way over the top, 9k to insulate and airtight a dormer attic is far from expensive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    My guesstimate is

    ext insulation 35-40k

    air to water pump - 16k

    solar - 12k

    mech ventilation - 4.5k

    Windows/doors - 20k

    attic insulation -3k

    90k - grants (approx 17k) = 73k

    so how are they coming up with 134k?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Niall2188

    Is insulating a dormer considerably more than say a regular two story detached? Would that be down to the fact there is a considerably larger roof to insulate? As mentioned, I'm a rookie in this area but all my research has pointed to a fraction of that price but interested to get your take on it. Cheers

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Niall2188

    That's much easier on the eye alright. External insulation still seems very high but maybe the fact its a dormer is driving it up?

    I've heard of many cases of people getting quotes off vendors who are NOT SEAI approved and them coming in way cheaper than the ones who are approved by them. Are we being taken for a ride?

    Sounds like my best bet is to do it bit by bit and manage the grant process where applicable myself.

    Thanks for this!

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,248 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    It's very difficult to do a good job on a dormer airtightness without really pulling down finishes internally.

    I won't comment on price as we don't know what they were quoting for but if your property is only 110 sqm, your 1st floor is likely only 40 to 50 sqm so not a huge area.

    In general though, the retrofit grants scheme is a job and is likely pouring cash directly I to the pockets of these approved 1 stop shop companies. At a minimum, prices have inflated by the total grant amount from what I have seen. It's actually obscene and government if right minded should be shutting down this format of funding. Instead, they are pushing on with a poorly thought out scheme and burning funds.

    As usual, it's a great scheme to put public money into private hands.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,248 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    From you figures (which you would imagine are reasonable), their pricing strategy would appear to be to take the after grant price and double it plus swallow up the grant too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    Yea looks like that..scandalous price gouging….those one stop shops are a joke too….2k to project manage it !!

  • Registered Users Posts: 431 ✭✭WacoKid

    When I enquired and got a quote last year i found:

    1. The quote was outragous fro the One Stop Shops. IIRC the project management charge alone on my quote was 8k.
    2. They just really put you in touch with a builder and process your grants up front.
    3. It was totally inflexible if you wanted additional non-grant work done at the same time (i.e. extension).
    4. I was offered the services directly from the company behind the OOS quote when I said I was not proceeding.

    In summary, at time of enquiry it had not been thought through and it was really SEAI just transfering all the admin externally, and letting the providers quote as they please.

    I will pay now for the works upfront, get the certificates, and submit myself. Additional effort maybe but I feel it gives me better control. Who's to say the OOS effort would be easier anyway!

    My opinion is OOS is for people who do not have the money upfront to do the work and then claim afterwords. It is more targeted at people who want to upgrade but do not have the finances to cover the work upfront. The OOS scheme will allow you get the grants before the work commences so you only ever pay the difference.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,823 ✭✭✭MicktheMan

    From experience, when it comes to this type of issue I believe the 80/20 rule is applicable to most cases.

    My advice is to first live in your (new) house for at least all four seasons and learn how the house functions during the different seasons and different types of weather. Use this time also to learn about the various forms of heat loss (hint; there are 3, but insulation only really addresses 1) and also recognise that dormer bungalows suffer a particular issue which insulation alone generally does not address and needs to be understood properly to achieve a decent end result.

    Were you home when the house was assessed and was an air tight test done as part of this assessment? If so, do you know the result?

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,140 Mod ✭✭✭✭BryanF

    2k is less than ~40hrs Project management when company overheads and tax, travel etc is accounted for. OP can you provide the full details of the quote? (Minus any company name/details) thanks

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Niall2188

    I’ve attached the breakdown of the quote for those interested:

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    78k for ext insulation looks extremely steep…would have thought 45k max…..

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    Did you get any other quotes that were more reasonable?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 AcousticSteve

    Just jumping in here as I recently had an assessment carried out after around 3 months of researching. The OSS that carried it out quoted a desktop estimate of €102k after grants (€19.1k worth of grants). Another OSS quoted based on the same report came back as €58k after grants (€22.4k worth of grants). How can this be? It’s all based on the same report!

    it’s also worth noting the first one missed the fact the house has NO heating system, pipework or radiators, while I advised the second of this, they quoted accordingly and still lower.

    Spoke to a different OSS who refused to quote as they wanted to carry the assessment out themselves (even though the reports are standardised purely for the purpose of each OSS being able to accept and quote) and another wanted €100 just for a desktop estimate because they didn’t carry out the assessment.

    Another 2 still haven’t been in touch since I queried initially in early January and the rest apparently done cover my area yet even though it states on the SEAI website they do

    It’s an absolute joke to be fair. And to compare with OP mine is a 240m2 dormer built 2005. (Only in it a year) that’s an outrageous variance in pricing. Needless to say I’ll be in touch with SEAI to try get some clarification on this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,382 ✭✭✭1874

    Dormer bungalows suffer what? particular issue that insulation doesn't address? Is due to the dormers you are referring to,Id have thought if adequately insulated any property would perform the same as most other designs? I'm curious as to what it is?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,823 ✭✭✭MicktheMan

    Air tightness or more particularly, the lack of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭jack of all

    As regards dormers- air tightness is difficult to address due to all the penetrations and awkward junctions, requiring extra taping and extra care. Not to mention roof ventilation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,382 ✭✭✭1874

    OK, Well yes, more difficult for sure but not impossible. I think it depends on how deep a retrofit may be that will determine how difficult it would be to do. I've a (concrete block 2 leaves) dormer bungalow and I intend on doing a retrofit so I was wondering if there was something I hadnt considered. ,I've done a U value calculation and I wouldnt have enough rafter depth for insulation value I want. I'm thinking I either need aerogel material or possibly remove tiles/felt, beef up the rafter, integrate airtightlayer, insulate and fit a breathable membrane and tiles. Not sure yet where to get an appropriate structural engineer to ensure it will be structurally sound and to ensure a design plan is followed,or even how much it would cost,but Id plan to integrate airtightness if that work goes ahead. I've been told a doc called SR54 recommends cavity insulation if doing EWI,but calculating temps doesn't suggest there would be a risk,Id get it done for other reasons,potential for convection currents in the space.

    Regarding EWI I'm thinking of getting certified to install a specific system,not sure how it works out to get grants if doing own house or initial jobs elsewhere,did a course in Ireland,it's very much imo attention to detail. Given the costs, I think it could be cost effective for a person to do if they have certain skills,or hire individual trades to do certain taks. Id do base coats over EWI, but Id prefer get a plasterer to do the finish.

    One concern I have is insulated (over) cills don't seem to integrate into an EWI system/windows like existing cills. They appear to be butted up to Windows with expanding foam tape, I'm not convinced this will be effective for draining driven rain in the longterm, Id rather a replacement new/performance window fitted in a traditional manner on top of an insulated cill? Any opinions or links to insulated cills or fitment to permit drainage of water?

    If anyone can point me to the right profession for structural roof design, please do.

    regarding the OP, I understand there are different types of airtight membranes I plan to do my own,but some appear to diffuse water vapour back into a room rather than just repel it,but I think calculated EWI and MVHR would eliminate water vapour related problems, the structure materials would point to the type of insulation and airtightness.

  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭hydrus21

    I am also dubious about the over-cill design exposed conditions.

    A better job would be solid cills like concrere but made of styrene ( i think ).

    Google "passive cills" .

  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭hydrus21



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Saggart2015

    Hi, we are in similar position- just received quote from OSS and are completely deflated!!

    Net cost €118,500

    Grants €21,900

    Estimated cost from OSS website was €66k net

    We have also submitted an application for planning for an extension but the above quote doesn’t include any of the demolition/extension works.

    Interested to hear of anyone has successfully applied for grants themselves and is it worth the extra work?!

    Any other advise greatly appreciated.

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    What’s included in the quote..ext insulation, air to water pump, new windows?

  • Registered Users Posts: 142 ✭✭Jaymacc

    This looks more like it. What about floor insulation? Take down / block up chimneys? Install log burning stove for times when the power is out? I would suggest they avoid external insulation and go with insulation boards on the inside. It would give a nice finish and be far cheaper. If you want to have a better BER cert then you will need proof of the works so talk to BER assessor to see what they recognise. Some are decent and will do visual checks others will want certs for everything. Best of luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,793 ✭✭✭enricoh

    Get a plasterer to insulate the walls and insulation guy to do the attic. Leave the grants to the eejits that convince themselves they saved 20k!

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    If you insulate inside only can you still get an air to water pump…..I have a concrete floor and not keen on having it dug up…is there any alternative ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Saggart2015

    Yes, pump and new windows (€26k)!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    Got a quote of 300k to retrofit a detached house in south dublin (not including grants)/no ext wrap just internal dry lining…anyone think that is a bit high or had similar quotes or less….

  • Registered Users Posts: 316 ✭✭kevgaa

    Initial reaction would be thats very high but unless you can give a rough breakdown of the costs, size of house etc its hard to tell.

    Rough rule of thumb was 1500 a square metre for retrofit but that was a while ago so not sure has it gone up or down. I would expect it come down.

    Can you provide a rough breakdown of the costs?

    Is it via a one stop shop or an independent contractor?

    Have you only one quote or multiple?

  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭society4

    One stop shop - 130sqm house

    2 new bathrooms

    new kitchen.island

    dry lining/insulation


    PV panels - 8


    replumb air to water

    new windows/composite door aluclad

    only 1 quote so far….thinking of waiting until prices drop a bit….so expensive !!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 316 ✭✭kevgaa


    just wondering if anyone has got any recent quotes for work retrofit or extensions.

    Im currently finalising plans for renovation of existing 1960’s house in south county Dublin but seriously worried it will blow the budget..

    renovation of 4 bed semi circa 120sq metre, Looking at full renovation new windows doors, attic insulation, external wrap, air to water under floor heating full rewire and replumb etc

    demolish garage build 2 story extension to front 40sq metre

    kitchen extension out back 30sq metre single story extension

    any idea of what ballpark will be?