So today Hub and I started a job that we have been putting off for AGES.  We live in a ground-floor flat and storage has been a challenge from the start.  Then we discovered there was space underneath the flat, so we had a door put in and now we can put things like gardening stuff and paint tins down there 

Then we noticed something.  The back of the flat gets the sun all afternoon and so the rooms are usually nice and warm.  The lounge on the front, which doesn’t have a door into the corridor, is much colder and we were finding we were putting on the heating last year just to get warm in that room.

Two-pronged attack called for.  Recently a Very Nice Plumber came and fitted thermostatic valves on our radiators, which means we can have some on – in the room where we’re sitting – but don’t have to heat the whole flat.  
And also, we decided to insulate the basement, underneath the living room floor … 

So we had lots of discussions with people about it – how to do it? – because of course we have to find a way of fastening the insulation UP to the beams under the floor.  All sorts of weird and wonderful things were suggested and we got some quotes too … which were  – but after all, I don’t blame people – it’s no fun crawling about underneath in a dark cramped space where there’s no room to stand upright 

So in the end we decided to do it ourselves.  And we’ve done half the job this morning.  And our backs are absolutely KILLING us.  I’ve tried crouching, kneeling, bending and lying … in-between staggering outside just so I can straighten up and groan … and I think I’ve cracked it.  If I use Hub’s archaeology kneeler thing, and sit on it, then it’s the least uncomfortable way of getting the insulation stapled on to the beams above our heads, and the tape in place which fastens down the overlap between one sheet and the next.

What I really fancy is one of those things with wheels that mechanics use to lie on, then they can slide under cars and tinker with engines 

Can’t say we’re looking forward to doing the other half … :no:  

BUT.  We Shall Prevail … 



  1. Simple solution: Child Labour – they are only short so they wouldn’t have to bend much, and their backs are so young and flexible that they won’t get backache, AND you can pay them in sweeties.


  2. You should be nice and warm and cosy after all that. I would like to have insulation under my floor but the gap underneath is not deep enough. So until I can get all the carpets taken up and plywood put down over the gaps in the floorboards, it’s going to be draughty !
    Hope you don’t suffer from too many aches and pains after all your efforts. Well done. I’m impressed :yes:


  3. Oh gilly, watch that back and arms and legs in that cramped space. Hope you soon get it all done. I’m sure tomorrow you may feel a little uncomfortable after all that – you take care 🙂 xx


  4. Oh gilly, watch that back and arms and legs in that cramped space. Hope you soon get it all done. I’m sure tomorrow you may feel a little uncomfortable after all that – you take care 🙂 xx


  5. It is an amazing task to do. I am really good at bringing up my head too soon on a concrete beam not far from the entrance to our underfloor space. A skateboard on big wheels would be a great tool for the purpose. :yes:

    Hubby did a similar underfloor flat on back space job a half at a time. I was glad the remaining 50% was a long time in completion as I felt we were becoming over-insulated. Then in time loft insulation recommendations increased, so, already thinking we were too cocooned, the loft was done, a bit differently from the official manner, but in a way that suited our storage arrangements and the ceiling lighting wires in the loft space. We can get at these wires if needs be, without having to lift the additional insulation and the original stuff. Meantime, the other 50% of underfloor insulation stapling and covering was done.

    Congrats to you both for taking on that job! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Menhir. We’re certainly saving ourselves a lot of money! Yes, the wires are a problem – we’re having to take care not to staple the insulation to them 8| We’re going to have to ‘patch’ some of the space because of that.


      1. When you say ‘patch’ what do you have in mind; are you dealing with big gaps or wee spaces? The wiring is all for your apt is it? It is a performance.

        We’re now loft insulated up to new thicker standards with an effective approach to the laying of the extra layers that we would not have had if the ‘professionals had done it their way. The underfloor was done autodidactically – like yuourselves – by hubby. CH pipes were already lagged, so they only needed checking. I think ours is the only house fully ‘done’, walls and all. Our house was suitable for it, not all homes are suitable for wall insulaion, as you probably know.


      2. Yes, we had our big Edwardian vicarage in Birmingham ‘done’ with wall insulation – it made a huge difference to the rate the heat disappeared from the rooms. Unfortunately here, although we are only three flats, the third (currently empty) flat is owned by someone who refuses point-blank to put any money into the management and upkeep pot, so we are stymied on that. Oh the joys of sharing a building …

        We got most of the other half of the basement done today. A beam runs down the middle from front to back, over a half-wall with uprights, so it’s not possible to simply staple the insulation from back to front, which is what we were doing. We’re going to measure the middle gaps and cut the insulation to fit, then staple what we can and tape the rest. We’re getting there …


      3. I won’t go into Edwardian wall insulation. I had experience of that a lifetime ago; it was very different to the method we used for our family home. The old place was an very interesting bit of architecture though.

        You’ve sort of got insulation with the upstairs neighbours, who don’t have the luxury of it one floor above them.


  6. Oh my goodness me! HATS off to you both! I can imagine how ‘ORRIBLE it was creeping around in the dark and being all cramped. Whenever I kneel for a while I can’t get me legs to straighten out either. You have my deepest RESPECT! Bloomin’ well done, and just think how much you will have saved……go for the ginger wine, you have EARNED it, and the ginger will certainly warm you up!xxx


    1. How lovely to get lots of encouragement … I shall march back in there, full of good cheer and ginger wine, and CRACK my head on the lintel as I do so … 8|


  7. Excellent! Well Done Gilly. :yes: One of those ‘Motor Mechanic Under-car Contraptions’ sounds the ideal….in the absence of which…..Wishing You Luck…to complete the ‘Task’….Hugs! xx


  8. oh well done you two…. I can just imagine how horribly cramped it must be crouching and flinching about etc :no: but will be well worth it! Sounds nice though – playing Wendy houses sort of thing…. only Serious…:) Hope you uncramp and enjoy a nice hot bath or shower or something and a gentle evening…choccy and things maybe to soothe the cramped up brows?


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