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Your Free Solid Wall Insulation System Worth £9,000*

What is Solid Wall Insulation (SWI)?

Houses over 100 years old are usually of solid brick or stone construction. In the North East most properties built after 1920 were constructed with a cavity between the inside and outside walls. This cavity can be easily filled with insulation. Older, pre-1920 solid wall properties can only be insulated by attaching insulation boards or sheets to the inside wall (this is know as internal solid wall insulation) or to external wall (this is known as external wall insulation). Internal and external wall insulation boards must be sealed with fire retardant layers of plaster, render or sheet material. For external wall insulation the fire retardant top surface must be approved by the Council’s Planning and Building Control Departments. Brick, stone and plain render finishes are all available to suit any property type.

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Park Homes and Non- Traditional Homes 

Park Homes, and some modern non-traditional concrete, steel and timber framed homes are often suitable for external wall insulation as these properties do not have a cavity that can be insulated.

Durham SWI Scheme

Neighbourhoods that have benefited from SWI are:

  • South Moor - Pine, Poplar and Mitchell Streets

  • Craghead - Greylingstadt Terrace, Railway and Wylam Streets

  • Ferryhill - Davy Street

  • Ramshaw - Gordon Lane

  • Cockfield - Esperley Lane

Why do we need to insulate homes and what are the benefits?

We need to insulate our homes effectively to reduce the amount of energy we use to heat our homes. A well insulated home typically uses 25% less energy than an uninsulated similar property. This also saves householders 25% on their heating bills and is good for the environment helping reduce global warming. 

External, solid wall insulation helps prevent penetrating dampness and water ingress and provides a ‘face lift’ to older properties. A good external wall insulation installation also adds value to a property making it more desirable and attractive. 

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Stone and brick renders

The Council’s planning department permits a like for like render finish. That means if a property is of stone construction the external wall insulation rendered surface should also be stone in appearance. If the existing property is of brick construction then the surface render treatment must also be brick in appearance. Good quality brick and stone render finishes are available.


Plain or coloured renders can also be applied however if your home is brick or stone planning permission is required to change the front appearance.

Gutters, rain water and drainage goods?

With many SWI systems it is possible to install a new integrated gutter fascia and rain water drainage pipes. This adds to the energy and environmental performance of the SWI and uplifts the appearance of the property.

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Are you eligible for a free SWI system?

To be eligible to benefit from this scheme you will need to be a Durham County resident, living in a solid wall home which you own or rent from a private landlord:

  1. Home owner or tenant is in receipt of qualifying benefit.

  2. Living in cold home affecting your health (subject to financial assessment). 

  3. Household income less than £30,000 per year.

  4. Landlord contribution of 1/3 may be required.

All subject to survey.

What is the cost?

All SWI work is free to benefiting property owners.

* Free to home owners in qualifying streets. Landlord contribution may be required.