Renovating the property sustainably: what really pays off

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Renovating the property sustainably: what really pays off
  • By deutschewhiskybrenner

There is a lot of talk about the sustainable renovation of a property. There are countless pieces of advice and even more possibilities. If you own a property, such a renovation makes sense and is sometimes even necessary. After all, the energy costs can be reduced and the CO2 costs are reduced at the same time. At the same time, the value of the building increases. But which measures are actually worthwhile and should be considered if possible? This article takes a look at that.

Replacing the roof: energetically a very big lever

The fact is: Sooner or later, all homeowners will have to deal with this renovation work anyway. If the conditions are good, a roof should be renewed after 30 years at the latest, as the tiles become rotten and have gaps again and again. If the roof is still in order, an energetic renovation can still take place. It also works without re-roofing, but only if certain requirements are met:

An insulated roof truss makes sense, however. Up to thirty percent heat energy can be saved in this way. The reason is simple: warm air rises. However, the costs cannot be ignored. Including thermal insulation, the roof costs around 16,000 euros. If additional windows are used to make the roof truss livable, the costs increase. If insulation is only used from the inside and no repairs have to be made, the amount will of course be reduced. But now there are again funds for the cladding and the actual roof truss expansion.

Replacing the heating: high state subsidies are waiting

Depending on the current heating system, homeowners have little choice because old heating variants lose their approval. In principle, however, the exchange makes sense, because the savings with modern models are sometimes enormous. Not only do new types of heating work more efficiently and can use lower flow temperatures, they are also encouraged. The BAFA promotes a number of heating models with quite high amounts, while the KfW offers cheap loans for heating. But what is general?

Depending on the age and condition of the house, replacing the heating system is not all. Even old radiators are not as efficient as the new models. Many homeowners therefore rely on a complete overhaul of the entire heating system, which increases the costs but also significantly increases the value of the house. Narrow, barely noticeable radiators are simply more attractive than bulky models from the old days.


Retrofitting a solar system: producing your own electricityThis point is heavily highlighted in the media. In the future it will probably be the case that new buildings must have a photovoltaic system, but existing buildings are also often associated with regulations. In general, it is no longer the case that a solar system is financed by the feed-in tariff. The remuneration is falling steadily, but the homeowner can still benefit financially:

Sustainably renovating the property: What really worthwhile

Normal solar systems offer energy savings of 15 percent. Anyone who uses the entire roof area or also uses the garage roof to generate electricity will achieve much higher values. However, the costs increase with the size of the system. Retrofitting the house costs around 12,000 euros.

The cost of a solar system is no longer as easy to quantify as it used to be. Once upon a time, the homeowner would buy, have it installed with the system, and pay a price for it. Added to this were maintenance costs. Today there are various models in which the system can only be rented in the size of your choice. The modules are installed and the homeowner pays a monthly rental fee that includes maintenance, insurance and other costs. In many cases, these variants are also cheaper in the long term, especially since the homeowner usually has the right to receive newer and thus improved modules after a few years.

Replacing windows: an important component along with other measuresWindows are one of the permanent weak points in a building. They are only indirectly connected to the facade, which is often seen in older houses: cracks and gaps form around the window because the window frame does not work with the facade. The indirect – and unintentional – constant ventilation of the premises is already in place and the heating air escapes to the outside. For this reason, too, the rule applies that windows in living spaces should be replaced after twenty to thirty years, even if they are still usable. Come in addition:

The disadvantage of window refurbishment is that this cost item can only rarely – and should – stand alone. Ideally, windows should always be replaced as a package together with other energy-related renovation measures. This is the only way to really achieve a significant effect in the end.

Facade insulation: A good supportUninsulated facades are one of the main reasons why heating energy is lost. Good insulation can save up to 24 percent of energy costs, although there are differences. The well-insulated facade paired with an uninsulated roof and basement will have less of an impact. For this reason, a combination of the important energetic renovations is always the most effective.



Depending on the building, it may be possible to carry out the facade insulation at least partially on your own. Attaching the typical insulation boards is not difficult, but nobody should act without professional advice. It is important to have the façade appraised in advance, just as the homework itself should be professionally inspected after the work is done. Flaws and gaps can otherwise contribute to the formation of mold again. Although doing the work yourself can certainly save money, homeowners should not forget the necessary tools and security equipment. Scaffolding is absolutely necessary for facade insulation.

Conclusion - the basic points are worthwhileRoof, heating, facade, windows - these are the renovation work that are always worthwhile. They are usually necessary at certain intervals anyway, because they make a massive contribution to the preservation of the building fabric. A leaky roof inevitably leads to moisture damage, which in the long run weakens the entire house. Windows and facades usually belong together, since it is hardly worth improving one aspect if the other weak point remains.

New windows in a poorly insulated facade lead to mould, while an insulated facade allows old windows to disappear into the brickwork. The solar system also makes sense, although no longer for reasons of making money. The feed-in tariff is too low, but today there are many ways to use and store the electricity yourself. Owners of e-cars can now conveniently charge the car at night with electricity from the roof. Whether a solar system is bought or rented depends on personal taste and the offers. It is important to consider the funding options for all renovation projects on the house and to check whether funding is suitable for your own project.