Draughty rented Grade 2 listed cottage

(40 Posts)
MrsBigBadBeck Mon 25-Mar-13 11:31:31

Hi!

So hubby and I have just moved into a beautiful grade 2 listed Georgian cottage. When we viewed the house everything seemed lovely. It was cold when we looked around but understood that because of the lack of heating that had been put on as it was vacant it would be a bit chilly.

Anyway, we're into our third week of our 6 month contract and we've had enough of the draughty front door and sash windows. Our landlords don't seem all the fussed about helping us out, but we have yet to bring this up with them. Hubby has slightly mentioned the draughty door but the landlady subtly said she couldn't change it due to it being listed. Where do we stand?!?! Surely this can't be right. I noticed when I stood outside the door when it is dark and the lights are on indoors, we can see a huge gap at the top of the door!!! This can't be right?!

I've googled until my eyes could fall out, and briefly read something about getting the environmental agency out to assess the house but its not just downstairs its our bedrooms too. Mine and hubby's room is terribly cold, and the guest room in the attic has a black grid like feature no bigger than a 10cm square which my dad has understood to be used in the old times to reduce condensation. Poor dad when he came to stay had to sleep fully clothed as that also made it very draughtysad

Help!!!! Any advice would be appreciatedsad

EverybodysSootyEyed Mon 25-Mar-13 21:33:26

We can't get permission to do much to make the place more energy efficient which is really frustrating!

One thing we did as a temporary measure which Has worked very well to keep the draught out from the windows is

Use the clear silicone stuff that you use for bathrooms (comes in a tube with applicator). Works really well to fill gaps up to half a cm. we have sealed all our top sashes (and some of the lower ones). Advantage is that it is really easy to remove.

Sausagedog27 Tue 26-Mar-13 07:01:08

Don't seal your sash windows with silicone- you could get into trouble amd also be a fire risk as you are unable to open your windows.

A fire would really help warm select rooms (I'd take something for my sinus' if it were me and have a log fire smile)
Shame about the landlady attitude - I don't have details but read an article only last week in the Evening Standard or Metro newspaper that landlords are obliged to insulate a house efficiently and not allowed to increase bills for a year after or something? try Googling it.. i did find this in a quick search
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Take-action/Improve-your-home/Persuading-your-landlord-to-install-energy-saving-measures

Also buy nice stuff that you can take with you when you leave - eg we have just bought great bedroom curtains from Jim Lawrence - they are handmade and sooo thick, they interline them as well as line them and make such a difference - look cosy too!
people have said about door curtains - you need a Portiere rod for that, and good old-fashioned Sausage dogs! again http://www.jim-lawrence.co.uk/ they do fire stuff to - all very warm & cosy stuff in general

you need the weather to sort itself out don't you x

A fire would really help warm select rooms (I'd take something for my sinus' if it were me and have a log fire smile)
Shame about the landlady attitude - I don't have details but read an article only last week in the Evening Standard or Metro newspaper that landlords are obliged to insulate a house efficiently and not allowed to increase bills for a year after or something? try Googling it.. i did find this in a quick search
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Take-action/Improve-your-home/Persuading-your-landlord-to-install-energy-saving-measures

Also buy nice stuff that you can take with you when you leave - eg we have just bought great bedroom curtains from Jim Lawrence - they are handmade and sooo thick, they interline them as well as line them and make such a difference - look cosy too!
people have said about door curtains - you need a Portiere rod for that, and good old-fashioned Sausage dogs! by that I mean draught excluders! again http://www.jim-lawrence.co.uk/ they do fire stuff to - all very warm & cosy stuff in general

you need the weather to sort itself out don't you x

MinimalistMommi Tue 26-Mar-13 16:19:00

Sit in the evening with a pile of blankets and a hot water bottle and thick socks on, it will make a real difference if you're warm when you get into bed. If I'm relaxing i the evenings on the sofa I always have a hot water bottle and quilts/blankets so I'm warm and cosy. I also take a hot water bottle and extra blankets to bed grin
I live in a victorian terraced cottage with draughty sash windows which was built around 1870 so I know what's it like.

EverybodysSootyEyed Tue 26-Mar-13 18:18:29

Maybe I dot mean silicone - just bathroom sealant. The windows open easily when you don't want it there anymore and it doesn't stick to he paint an peels of easily.

We did that the first winter and then had them properly draught proofed which has made a real difference.

MoreBeta Tue 26-Mar-13 18:28:11

In our draughty cold Grade II listed house we have a similar landlord. Good suggestions above and one additional one I would add.

Our bedroom is cold and we found the solution was a really good quality heated underblanket.

Lovely to slip into a warm bed and if you get a good one you can leave them on the lowest setting all night. Really good investment in the current cold weather.

MinimalistMommi Tue 26-Mar-13 18:37:34

MoreBeta can you recommend one? Stupid question, but are they safe? I have no experience of them and I feel cold at night and lots of blankets feels heavy on me LOL but I have no choice

MrsBigBadBeck Tue 26-Mar-13 18:46:49

Thanks ladies! I have seen the electric bottom sheets. They look amazing! Hubby isn't so keen purely because he is a tight arse and is worried about the electric bill lol but it's just tempting to buy one, turn it on and he'll get a treat when he gets into bed of no cold bottom sheet!

Yeah I've definitely learnt I need to have a hot bath/shower then clothe myself up and relax before bed and pop a hot water bottle in the bed. I hate how much our gas bills area mounting up at the moment hmm

Deux Tue 26-Mar-13 19:33:36

I lived in cold and draughty flats with sash windows.

I wonder if this might work? It is what we did as students and was easy to remove and didn't make a mess of the windows.

Take a sheet of newspaper and fold up about an inch or so and keep on folding so you have a thick strip of folded newspaper.

Dampen this by dipping it in water quickly and squeezing out the excess water. Make sure it's not dripping wet and is only damp. Pat/squeeze in a towel if necessary.

Put these dampened strips around gaps in your sashes and make sure you fill the gaps tight with the dampened newspaper. As the paper dries out the paper will swell and expand to fill the gaps. You may need to use several sheets folded up depending on the size of the gap.

When the weather is warmer, you can just lift out the dried newspaper.

It worked a treat for us and never caused any damage.

georgedawes Tue 26-Mar-13 20:09:10

electric blanket is brilliant and doesn't cost a lot to run at all. Our bedroom is freezing but you don't notice it at all with it on. Best buy ever for a cold house!

MrsBigBadBeck Tue 26-Mar-13 20:30:34

Are the blankets safe l sleep with on too? Ahhh sounds lush I must saysmile

georgedawes Tue 26-Mar-13 21:18:06

Yes and machine washable too.

Bramshott Wed 27-Mar-13 11:04:20

Not sure if anyone's mentioned this, but the easiest way to fit a curtain over the front door is to use a door pole or portiere rod, which means you fix the curtain to the door and not the wall.

MrsBigBadBeck Wed 27-Mar-13 18:39:54

Ah thanks bramshott shall take a looksmile

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