Your Furbnow Privacy Settings

In order to give you the best experience, we use cookies for performance, analytics, personalisation, advertising and to help our site function. Want to know more? Read our Privacy Policy.

FAQs

General

Are there any competitors in the market offering similar services to Furbnow?

    Not that we know of. While some competitors may focus on providing individual solutions, Furbnow stands out as a one-stop-shop for all your retrofit needs. Here's how we differentiate ourselves:

    Plan

    We provide you with a customised whole-home retrofit plan designed to achieve your specific goals. Our team of experts analyzes your home's energy needs and tailors a plan that maximises efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

    Install

    Furbnow takes the hassle out of finding reliable installers. We connect homeowners with trustworthy professionals who have the expertise to execute the retrofit plan. We provide a detailed contract and warranty for the work, giving you peace of mind throughout the process. Additionally, a dedicated Retrofit Coordinator oversees the project, ensuring smooth execution and adherence to specifications.

    Monitoring and Aftercare

    We’re currently trialing this service with our customers - ask us to join our trial. We go beyond the installation phase by monitoring your home's energy performance post-retrofit. This allows us to assess the project's impact on your energy consumption and make any necessary adjustments. We also provide annual inspections of the completed work to ensure ongoing efficiency and performance.

    Support

    We understand that the retrofit process can be complex and overwhelming. At Furbnow, customer satisfaction is our top priority, and we strive to eliminate any pain points along the way. Our dedicated operations team is readily available to address any concerns or issues that may arise during or after the project, providing you with exceptional support and assistance.


    At Furbnow, we take pride in our holistic approach, attention to detail, and commitment to customer satisfaction. We aim to simplify the retrofit journey and empower homeowners to create energy-efficient, comfortable, and sustainable homes.


    Contact Furbnow today at hello@furbnow.com to learn more about our unique services and start your retrofit journey with confidence. Visit our website to get a quote for your Home Energy Plan to get started on transforming your home into an energy-efficient haven.

I’m a private landlord who doesn’t currently reside in the property. Can Furbnow help retrofit my property?

    We appreciate your interest in Furbnow's services. However, at this time, our focus is primarily on assisting owner-occupiers with their retrofit projects. Regrettably, situations where homeowners cannot move into their houses or do not live in their homes are not within the scope of our current services.


    If you have any further questions or require guidance on retrofit options for rental properties, we suggest consulting with professionals who specialise in retrofitting for landlords or seeking advice from local energy efficiency organisations that may offer specific programs or assistance for rental properties.

Are all our Retrofit Assessors (RAs) / Retrofit Coordinators (RCs) trustmark accredited?

    Typically, our RAs/RCs will hold accreditation with a specific scheme (such as Elmhurst or ECMK) as well as Trustmark.

Home Assessment

How long does a home assessment take?

A typical assessment for a 2-4 bedroom home can take from 2-3 hours to complete, depending on the size and complexity of your home.

What are the standard tests that Retrofit Assessors carry out on Assessment Day?

    To summarise what is done by an assessor as standard:

    • Description of the building (location, orientation, construction, heritage, architectural features, etc).
    • Any constraints.
    • Location and severity of any existing defects.
    • Review of existing ventilation (position and type).
    • Review of main construction materials and their u-value.
    • Measure of the dwelling’s ‘heat loss envelope’.
    • Occupancy Assessment (actual usage).
    • Significance Report which looks at any limitation to installation energy efficiency measures in the home
    • What EEMs are possible/recommended.

    Take a look at our blog to see what you can expect from a Furbnow home energy assessment.


    This summary provides a general understanding of the standard assessment process followed by our assessors. For more in-depth information, you can refer to Section 7 of PAS 2035. To maintain high standards, we adhere to the guidelines outlined in this document.

What happens during a home assessment?

A home assessment involves an accredited contractor spending 2-3 hours assessing your home and talking with you about your priorities for the home.

They’ll then carry out the assessment known as the Reduced Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP). This looks at how much energy your house is using to reach a specific level of heat. The assessor will also carry out a ventilation report, to see how your house handles damp and the like The information they compile will go on to form your Furbnow plan and details the jobs you need to be carried out, their cost, and the timeframes for putting them in place.

Why are technical surveys (e.g. borescope inspections, air tests) not a standard part of the Furbnow Home Assessment? Can I request to carry out additional investigations on the assessment day?

    We do not initially include technical surveys such as thermal imaging in the home survey as they significantly increase the cost of the Home Energy Plan and are not typically necessary.


    However, after the assessment day and once you have received your plan, our Retrofit Assessors/Retrofit Coordinators may recommend further investigations, such as boroscope inspections or thermal imaging, depending on the specific condition of your home. These additional investigations are typically carried out during the design/tender stages of the project. In some cases, the installer may conduct their own surveys, for example, a cavity wall insulation installer may perform a survey of the cavity before providing a quote. These additional investigations are not included in the initial cost of the Home Assessment.

Do I need to be in for a home assessment?

You do indeed. If you can allow for between 2-3 hours, some of which the assessor will need to chat to you for that’d be ideal. The assessor will also need to access as much of the property as possible, for example the loft space and the cellar (if present). The Assessor is on a data gathering mission. They are not (usually) the Retrofit Coordinator assigned to you, who will be able to answer all your technical questions.

Why is a whole house approach best?

A whole house retrofit it important because:

- It often works out cheaper. For example if the scaffolding is in place for solar panels you can leave it there for the external wall insulation meaning you only pay the once for two jobs worth of scaffolding.

- It’s better for the environment. Making retrofit changes to your house can often result in emissions from the work itself as well as the release of carbon from the building materials. But by having workers only travelling one time to your house and combining certain jobs you can be sure to see a reduction in this.

- It’s less disruptive. Importantly it means you only have to have the installers in just the once, so you can have a month’s worth of work for a lifetime of lower bills and emissions. Rather than having them in and out of the house multiple times over the years.

Home Energy Plan

What’s in a Home Energy Plan?

    Why not check out an example plan and see for yourself.

    Bear in mind you will also get a consultation with your Retrofit Coordinator to answer all your questions and chart a path forward.

    Not shown in the example plan which you will also get are write-ups of the existing condition of the building detailing any existing defects, a review of existing ventilation (position and type), and a review of main construction materials and their u-value.

    The Home Energy Plan will give you:

    - An overview of where your home is now in terms of bill costs and energy efficiency, and where it would be if the plan is undertaken.

    - A breakdown of each recommended job, the associated cost and the time it will take, it lays out each job as a step to follow.

    We can then take on the work for you, or you can look for your own contractors.

Why should I get a Home Energy Plan?

The hardest part of making your home more energy efficient is knowing where to begin. Our plan gives you all the information you need to improve your home’s warmth, and reduce its emissions and running costs, like energy bills. Our plan shows you the current state of your home’s energy efficiency, it tells you what improvements could be made (broken down by cost, time and disruption), and lays out step by step guidance to carry out those jobs. It’ll show you how much your bills will be after the work is carried out, the new value of your house and its new energy rating. The Home Energy Plan makes starting your retrofit journey simple.

How can I trust the Home Energy Plan is accurate?

The plan will be put together by our trustmark accredited assessors who are expertly trained and follow government regulations to the highest standard. In the making of the plan we use BRE accredited software (so the industry standard) and regularly perform internal quality assurance to ensure that all plans are fully accurate to the home’s they’re for.

What is the current price of the Home Energy Plan?

    The cost of Home Energy Plan includes the time taken for an accredited Retrofit Assessor to survey your home, produce your bespoke Home Energy Plan and the 1-2 consultations you receive with your Retrofit Coordinator to discuss the recommended energy efficiency measures.

    The price of your Home Energy Plan varies depending on your location to account for transportation and supplier costs.

    For UK homeowners in the East of England, North West, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, Bristol, Bath and Durham, the Home Energy Plan costs:

    No. of bedrooms
    Price (inc VAT)
    1-2 bed
    £420
    3-4 bed
    £540
    5+ bed
    £720

    For homeowners in London and South East England, the Home Energy Plan costs:

    No. of bedrooms
    Price (inc VAT)
    1-2 bed
    £550
    3-4 bed
    £750
    5+ bed
    £950

    We periodically offer discounted prices (hint: sunshine) for our plans, so do check out our website or sign up for our email lists so you can be informed!

Why do we need a copy of your latest energy bill? What if I’ve just moved into the property and don’t have my latest energy bill to hand?

Retrofit Coordinators in the UK use several software programs based of SAP to calculate the energy efficiency of your home based on the data gathered during your survey. The software does not collect specific actual data on energy consumption and expenditure; instead, it provides indicative values based on the gathered data and national average energy consumption figures. At Furbnow, our goal is to provide you with the most accurate data possible. Therefore, we kindly ask customers to provide their latest energy bill, which may reflect their actual consumption.

If you do not have a copy of your latest energy bill, we will send you a provisional plan with indicative values generated by the software. These values are still relevant to your property, and you will be able to see the recommendations the Retrofit Coordinator has provided for your plan.

Once we receive your energy bill in one or two months, we will be happy to update your data with your actual energy consumption.

Retrofit Work

So, what is Retrofit?

‘Retrofitting’ simply means installing energy efficiency measures to improve the energy performance of your home by reducing the amount of heat loss. These measures help you save money, keep warm and reduce your carbon emissions.

It often involves:

  • Improving insulation of walls, floors and lofts
  • Upgrading windows and doors
  • Improving ventilation within the home
  • Adding low carbon generation, such as solar panels
  • It may include replacing services such as heating, hot water and lighting with low carbon or energy efficient alternatives

See our Retrofit Guides to learn how to retrofit your home.

Can you recommend contractors and installers?

When taking up Furbnow’s services, you will have access to our pool of Retrofit Assessors and Retrofit Coordinators.

Unfortunately, we are unable to share the contact details of our unless you take up our services. This is because we receive a high volume of requests, and we have processes in place to efficiently manage and coordinate the services for our customers.

If you are currently in search of contractors and installers, we recommend exploring TrustMark. They are a reputable organisation that features government-endorsed practitioners in various trades. By visiting TrustMark's website, you can search for local tradespeople in your area who specialise in home retrofitting and energy efficiency services.

Do you provide retrofit services for individual measures in the Home Energy Plan?

Yes we do provide services for individual energy efficiency measures! Our plan includes a comprehensive assessment of your entire house, allowing us to consider any necessary building condition improvements and account for any future work dependencies.

For instance, if you express interest in starting with wall insulation, but we identify ventilation issues that could lead to a high risk of dampness, we will ensure that the design and installation of your wall insulation also incorporates appropriate additional ventilation solutions tailored to your home's needs.

Our whole house approach ensures that improvements are carried out in a structured and logical way, with installations and refits complementing each other rather than working against each other. This approach also enables key issues such as air quality, damp management and ventilation to be managed appropriately.

See our blog post to learn more about our whole house approach.

What project services do you offer? What’s the difference between Stage 2 (Design & Tender) and Stage 3 (Construction & Handover)?

Here's an example project proposal that provides details of our project services.

Stage 2 (Design & Tender)

  • We'll help you plan your project, enabling you to get started with the peace of mind that nothing has been overlooked
  • We'll support you in finding installers from our network and be on hand to answer any questions that come up (e.g. guidance on suitable insulation materials/methods for your specific property)
  • Our engagement typically runs runs up to the start of the on-site works, after which point you will work directly with the contractor/installers
  • The cost of Stage 2 is typically 5-8% on top of the cost of your selected energy efficiency measures

Stage 3 (Construction & Handover)

  • We'll manage the project on your behalf, saving you time, energy and potential stress of the process
  • All you need to do is confirm the work you'd like done, feedback on the provided specs and agree to the work plan developed by your Retrofit Coordinator
  • Our end-to-end involvement supports timely delivery and our visit(s) to your home ensure everything is up to standard
  • The cost of Stage 3 is typically 10-12% on top of the cost of your selected energy efficiency measures
  • Visit our “Services” page on the Furbnow website for more information. Alternatively, feel free to submit an enquiry or book a call with us - we’re more than happy to chat!

What are the payment schedules for Stage 2 (Design & Tender) and Stage 3 (Construction & Handover)?

For Stage 2, we require full payment in advance. For Stage 3, 50% of the quoted cost is payable in advance, with the remaining 50% payable upon project completion.

What if the work ends up taking longer than expected? Will my quote change as a result?

No. Both Stage 2 and Stage 3 quotes are inclusive of the time taken to tender the project.

We may revise the quote if the project scope deviates from what we originally agreed (for example, if the Retrofit Coordinator has identified any Technical Surveys required, such as Thermography, Borescope Inspections, Air Tightness Tests)

What work do you carry out?

We help homeowners with the following upgrades and many more:

- Double and triple glazing - Heat pump installation - Cavity wall insulation - External wall insulation - Internal wall insulation - Loft insulation - Solar PV - Underfloor heating

We also offer monitoring and aftercare to ensure your new energy efficiency measures are working to the best of their ability

What if I’m carrying out work with other contractors already?

This is no problem and can be helpful. We recommend you always get jobs done together which means the scaffolding is already up for some jobs, it’s more environmentally friendly and you only have to have people working in and around your home just the once. We can liaise with any other builders or architects you might be working with to ensure our work is carried out to compliment theirs. Just let us know and we can adapt to suit your needs.

What if I want to find my own contractors to complete the Home Energy Plan?

That’s absolutely fine, we want to give you as much flexibility as you want. We can let you source your own, we can also offer advice on who to pick if you want it, and we can provide all the contractors for the jobs. It’s up to you.

How do you ensure your contractors are reliable?

All our contractors are supervised by a Retrofit Coordinator who’s responsible for quality assurance in all the work that we carry out. We also ensure that we vet all contractors and provide the onboarding and training needed to deliver high quality upgrades to your home in the smoothest possible way.

Do you do new build properties?

Yes! We do buildings of all shapes and sizes. The UK has the most varied housing stock in the world so it’s important we can adapt to all its different properties. However, we mostly work with older properties that tend to be less efficient.

Can you do older properties?

We sure can. We do buildings of all shapes and sizes. The UK has the most varied housing stock in the world so it’s important we can adapt to all its different properties.

Why should we hire Furbnow to carry out retrofit projects instead of hiring our own installers to do the work suggested in the Home Energy Plan?

Hiring Furbnow to retrofit your home means you can benefit from our expertise, streamlined processes and quality assurance. We can help you focus on other aspects of your project while ensuring that your retrofit goals are efficiently and effectively achieved.

Here are just a few benefits you get from working with us:

  • Expertise and support: we have extensive experience in managing retrofit projects and can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process. Whether you choose Stage 2 (Design & Tender) or Stage 3 (Construction & Handover), we will be there to offer help and advice, ensuring that your project runs smoothly.
  • Contractor evaluation: we will review all the contractors you need for the retrofit project and invite our contractor network to tender if you don’t have existing contacts. We can ensure that you choose reliable and skilled installers who can effectively carry out the work suggested in the home energy plan. This saves you the time and effort of evaluating and selecting contractors on your own.
  • Quality assurance: we offer consultations and quality assurance to ensure that you are getting the best results from your chosen contractors. We will review quotes, designs, and installers to ensure that the work is done effectively according to specifications, minimising the risk of future problems.
  • Integration with any future work: our Retrofit Coordinators will review the design of energy efficiency measures to ensure they integrate well and allow for future retrofit work. This holistic approach ensures that the improvements made align with your long-term retrofit goals.
  • Convenience and efficiency: our Stage 3 (Construction & Handover) option effectively means we handle everything for you. You simply need to provide feedback on the specification, confirm the work you want to be done, and agree on the work plan. We’ll take care of coordinating accredited installers, scheduling their work and ensuring correct specifications and designs before installation.
  • Collaboration with architects: If you're already planning a building project or renovation, hiring us works to your advantage. We can work with your architect to integrate the retrofit plan into your extension plans, ensuring a comprehensive approach to energy efficiency and minimising disruption to your home. It’s best to include us in the early stages to ensure any plans include the energy efficiency measures.

How do I decide which measures are a priority? Can Furbnow help me stage the retrofit work to fit my budget?

Our Home Energy Plan’s recommended measures are based on which will get you the most impact, in alignment with your budget and project priorities. We can of course limit our recommended measures to your more immediate needs to fit within your current budget in the first phase of your Home Energy Plan.

In our Home Energy Plan, we group energy efficiency measures into suggested delivery phases to suggest an appropriate order for their implementation and to highlight any critical interactions between them. All the measures in Phase 1 can be implemented now, while later Phases can be implemented in the future. Some measures are best installed together, and some are independent of each other. Typically, any repair work and defects should be addressed first, then fabric measures, then heating systems, then renewables. However, this is not always the case, and your Retrofit Coordinator will be able to advise you on the best order for your home.

What if I want to adopt some but not all measures?

We can work with you in order to determine which measures you would like to proceed with and the overall impact it may have. You may not want to carry out some of the measures for various reasons and so we can work around this to customise your works to your needs.

What if I want to change my phases?

That is fine. We will work with you to make sure you are happy with the phases you choose. These initial phases are recommendations as a starting point, but you can change them to suit your needs. We recommend you discuss the order of your measures with your Retrofit Coordinator.

Are there multiple installers carrying out the works?

Our aim is to ensure that your retrofit project is executed seamlessly and efficiently. In most cases, it is ideal to have a single installer unless there is a specific need for different materials or specialised expertise. The selection of installers will be based on the unique requirements of your project, and our team will provide advice on the best course of action.

During the contractor evaluation process, we obtain multiple quotes from reputable installers. This allows us to carefully assess each quote and discuss the options with our Retrofit Coordinators. By doing so, we can ensure that the chosen installer is the most suitable for your project, taking into account factors such as cost, expertise, and materials to be used.

Will the same Retrofit Coordinator who oversaw Stage 1 (Assessment and Plan) also manage the project (Stage 2 and 3)?

While we strive to maintain continuity and provide a seamless experience for our customers, please note that the same Retrofit Coordinator who oversaw Stage 1 may not always be available to manage the entire project. This is primarily due to capacity, workload and scheduling reasons.

Rest assured that regardless of the specific Retrofit Coordinator assigned to your project, you can expect the same level of expertise, professionalism, and commitment to delivering excellent results.

Is the Retrofit Coordinator a project manager?

Yes, in basic terms a Retrofit Coordinator is a project manager for your project.

However, their expertise goes beyond this as they are also construction and building energy experts, able to advise on the practicalities of installing energy improvements to your home and make sure the materials and overall design approach are suitable for your home.

Aftercare

How do you show a return on investment?

We’ll always talk to you upfront about the savings your upgrades will make to your energy bills and the payback time it takes for those upgrades. We also show the value your property will have before and after the work so you can see how much it increases before the work gets carried out. We can also provide monitoring after the work has been carried out if you would like to ensure the upgrades live up to expectations.

What if things go wrong?

Our retrofitters are all responsible for quality assurance and we vet and onboard all our contractors following a proper procedure so that everything goes to plan. In the unlikely situation that something does go wrong all installers will have professional liability and public indemnity insurance. All individual measures will have collateral warranties associated with them which will warrant their performance. Furbnow will work on your behalf to aim to rectify any issues with the installer.

What grant funding might I be eligible for?

There are a number of grants and schemes available directly to members of the public (as well as to organisations who then distribute money towards projects). There are grants towards upgrading your boiler to a heat pump (Boiler Upgrade Scheme), there’s also the Home Upgrade Scheme (HUG) if you earn less than £20,000 per year, and the Great British Insulation Scheme, if your home is an EPC D to G, and in Council Tax bands A-D in England or A-E in Scotland or Wales.

You can read our blog post on different funding options here.