DIY Retrofit for Homeowners – Spring 2017

by Blog

A hands on three day course covering DIY retrofit. Designed to give homeowners an insight into carrying out thermal performance improvement works on their own homes.

  • WHEN: Sat 6th, Sun 7th, Sat 20th May 2017
  • WHERE: Central Manchester
  • COST: Details below. Book before 15th April 2017 for earlybird rates. A bursary is available, please contact for more.
  • BOOK:


EARLYBIRD £200 £275
STANDARD £225 £300
DAY 1 ONLY £50 £70


Course Scope

The course tackles the key areas of fabric upgrades applicable to most homes. This includes airtightness works, and insulation, covering basic measures such as draft-proofing, moving on to more advanced subjects such as floor and wall insulation.

The focus will be on teaching principles through practical examples. Signposting will be included to show how and where to get further assistance when these systems are not applicable.


Course Format

A mixture of presentation, demonstration, and practical exercises. Delivered over three 1 day sessions. (6 hours teaching time)

*Day one: Retrofit Key Principles (theory only) can be taken as a stand alone training.*


Course Overview

Day One – Retrofit Key Principles

The first day of the course covers the background theory, introducing the key ideas and looking at some of the building physics that we need to understand, and the basic principles we need to follow, to get retrofit right.

We will cover:

  • How and why do buildings lose heat?
  • What is a thermal bridge and why do they matter?
  • What’s a U-Value?
  • Moisture risks with retrofit and how to limit them.
  • Ventilation – Why it matters, and how to do it effectively.

Days Two and Three – Practical Applications

Day 2 and 3 of the course focus on the practical application of the theory learnt on day 1. We take the different elements of retrofit, including walls, floors, roofs and draught proofing, and through a mixture of presentation, demonstration, and hands- on practical exercises cover solutions for them we are most likely to be widely suitable.

We will cover:

  • Airtightness and Draught Proofing
  • Underfloor Insulation
  • Wall insulation
  • Pitched Roof Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • The links between these.


Testimonials from the 2016 DIY Retrofit for Homeowners course

The course exceeded my expectation by miles! Gained so much knowledge. Really good structure, especially learning the theory before the practical parts.  Really in-depth teaching, especially around risks involved.

It is a very complex subject but it [the course] gives the right amount of guidance to start on the right path and not make basic errors.

For me it was a good comprehensive summary of the principles (which I don't think is easy to get anywhere else), and what I particularly found useful was the hands-on work

Very useful course for a very complex subject, I enjoyed it a lot.

Great course! A lot of effect, clearly, and thanks for that… being able to pick Dan's brain was hugely fun, and very valuable!

Definately [will be able to use learning from the course in my life] – it's really helped me prioritise what to do next and I feel I now know how to do it right.

I would recommend this [course] to my friends who are buying houses for the first time/future proofing the house they intend to live out in.

Read our report back from the November 2016 course here.



Dan Chaplin has more than 10 years of experience in domestic refurbishment and retrofit, with a proven track record of delivering quality, award winning buildings. Having worked in a variety of roles, from operational site work through to project management and technical specification he has strong insight into all aspects of the subject. Dan has a particular interest in the risks that exist around retrofit and has worked with Leeds Beckett University to further our understanding of how these play out in reality. He’s a graduate of the Centre of Refurbishment Excellence, having undertaken their Retrofit Co-ordinator Diploma in 2015.

Dan also has 6 years of experience of working with adult learners, having developed and delivered a range of construction based courses for a training workshop in Leeds, as well as roles supervising construction volunteers, and training staff in the delivery of high quality retrofit. He has a PTTLS adult teaching qualification, and has a particular aptitude for delivering practical training to kinaesthetic and less academic learners.