Your trusted property experts

What Is Retrofitting?

Author avatar
Share Share article to LinkedIn Share article to Twitter Share article to Facebook

A term relating to home improvements that has had a lot more use recently is ‘retrofitting’. But what is retrofitting? We delve into what it is, what the average project costs are, and its cost savings potential.

Definition of retrofitting?

Retrofitting is the process of upgrading or improving an existing building by improving its energy efficiency or its sustainability. It involves making strategic changes to a property’s structure, or mechanisms to bring it up to modern standards.

It covers a wide range of upgrades, from insulation improvements to the installation of solar panels.

Why retrofit your home?

Retrofitting your home with energy-efficient features is not just better for the planet but for your wallet too.

According to Rightmove, upgrading your home’s energy performance from a D rating to a C rating can increase your home’s value by 3%. If you go from an F rating to a C, you could see a whopping 15% increase!

On the other hand, a surge in energy costs has made energy-efficient homes more appealing to homebuyers. So, in times of the housing market becoming a bit more volatile. Properties with better energy ratings tend to gain more interest and hold their value better.

With more buyers looking for energy efficient homes it’s a great selling point to be able to highlight green features and better EPC ratings. Working on your energy rating now could also put you ahead of upcoming government regulations.

There are ongoing consultations about requiring all homes to have a C energy rating by 2030, while the current average is a D rating.

What are the benefits

As demand for sustainable and energy efficiency homes continues to grow, retrofitting has become a key strategy for some homeowners.

Retrofitting comes with many benefits and can lead to substantial long-term savings. From lowering your energy bills to reducing its environmental impact.

The overall cost of retrofitting can however add up. It’s important to make sure you do your research beforehand. And to see if the retrofit project you’ve got in mind is also feasible financially.

The costs of retrofitting a house

If you’re considering retrofitting your house, you might want to find out the average cost. The truth is that the cost can vary significantly depending on the size of your project, the materials you’re looking to use, the complexity and so on.

On average, a retrofit can cost as little as £500 for simple improvements like insulation. A complete house retrofit can cost anywhere between £10,000 – £50,000.

We’ve put together a more comprehensive cost overview for you. Bear in mind that these are just average ballpark figures to help as a guide:

Insulation: loft insulation costs can start at £930 for a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house, depending on the material. Based on insulating a gas-heated home that currently lacks any loft insulation. Adding 270mm of loft insulation is the estimated scenario.

Boiler replacement: usually expect a new boiler supply and the labour to install it to pay about £2,000 to £4,500.
Solar panels: solar panel costs start around £2,400 to £11,000+ for a typical system.

Double glazing: The price for installing windows in a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house can range from about £2,500 to upwards of £6,000. This variation largely depends on how many windows you’re looking to put in and their respective sizes.

Labour: a handyman typically charges you anywhere between £45 to £60 per hour. Prices for handyperson jobs differ depending on the specific task at hand.

Homeowner Loan Quotes

Try to get at least three quotes from reliable suppliers or contractors. Remember, that the cheapest quote isn’t always the best. So, consider value as well for money and always check reviews from previous customers.

Other costs of retrofitting a house

Other costs that come into play when retrofitting are things like planning permission (if applicable), scaffolding, and waste disposal. Also hiring an architect can cost you money but can be of impeccable value. Our preferred architects can also help you with obtaining planning permission.

Find Architectural Services


With the increasing demand for domestic retrofitting in our homes, the government introduced VAT changes payable when installing Energy Saving Materials in residential accommodation. This means zero VAT is payable on such installation and is available until 31 March 2027.

To stay in the loop on more home-related topics subscribe to my newsletter. For the latest tips, trends, how-to guides and free and discounted tickets to some fantastic home shows!


Last Updated: November 22nd, 2023

Phil Spencer

Join Phil Spencer's 'My Move iQ'

Sign-up for FREE and access

FREE home moving toolkits

Exclusive offers and discounts

FREE tickets to the biggest property and home shows

My Move iQ Competitions

Unlock exclusive benefits

Browse more in this category: