Tomorrow's terraces?

Two into One Terrace in Page Hall
Two into One Terrace in Page Hall
Eco Terrace in Page Hall
Eco Terrace in Page Hall

Story: Rohan Francis

A recent Council project to renovate rundown houses in Page Hall opened its doors to residents in November.

The project aims to demonstrate new ways to improve the quality and energy efficiency of the area’s Victorian terraces. However, the high cost of materials and construction could make the scheme too expensive for many local families to carry out for themselves.

After winning their fight against plans for demolition in 2005, residents face the problem of how to maintain and improve their homes, many of which are around 100 years old and can suffer from a range of problems, including poor insulation. Added to this, rising fuel bills mean home-owners and tenants also have to consider ways to cut their energy use.

The Council project used government funding to purchase 32 empty properties in Page Hall. 28 of these will be brought up to a ‘decent’ standard with limited refurbishment and then sold. The remaining four are ‘showcase refurbishments’ – the ‘Eco Terrace’ which features solar roof panels, high-tech thermal insulation and a heat-exchange unit and ‘Twice the Terrace’ which knocks two houses into one spacious five-bed home. The ‘21st Century Terrace’ which is designed to appeal to a young couple who want a property with the features of a city centre loft apartment, will be completed in the next few months.

Modern technologies have been used to improve the buildings’ energy efficiency and design. The ‘Eco Terrace’, for example, uses a high-tech fibre insulation to line its single brick walls. This surprisingly thin product claims to provide heat insulation without dramatically reducing room size. At the same time the building has also been carefully ‘sealed’ to prevent loss of heat through draughts. Its solar panels will collect heat and energy from the sun, while a heat-exchange unit recycles warmth from the kitchen and bathroom and delivers it to the ‘cooler’ areas of the house. Testing carried out before and after renovation work revealed the building’s energy efficiency had increased from an E to a B rating.

The scheme originally aimed to refurbish each terrace at a cost of £50,000; however, costs rose considerably when unexpected problems were encountered during the building programme such as under-sized roof joists, poor brickwork and structural problems.

The ‘Eco Terrace’ is currently valued at £80,000 and ‘Twice the Terrace’ at £130,000. They will go on sale in January 2010 – residents affected by the demolition of Skinnerthorpe and Bagley Roads will be offered first refusal until that date. Money from the sale of all the refurbished properties in Page Hall will be ploughed back into local housing projects.

Page Hall’s recent renovation project proves that terrace houses can be transformed into modern and efficient homes, although at a higher cost than newer housing – over double the cost of standard alternatives in the case of wall insulation. With very few loans or grants available to individuals for such expensive measures, the Council’s plan to “kick-start the regeneration of housing in the area” will fall to those with substantial personal funds.

More Information about the refurbishments in Page Hall

Twice the Terrace

Information about the two into one Terrace refurbishment in Page Hall, including material costs, plans and photos.

Eco Terrace

Information about the Environmentally friendly Terrace refurbishment in Page Hall, including material costs, plans and photos.

Where to go for information about refurbishing your own house

Building regulations

The planning portal website has information about any planning permission and building regulations for building projects in your home.

Support with keeping your house warm

Sheffield City Council is offering free cavity wall and loft insulation to all home owners and private tenants. The scheme is moving around the city area by area, but anyone aged 70 or over, or in receipt of certain benefits can apply now – no matter where they live. For more information call 0800 915 9096, email or visit

NB: Cavity wall insulation is only possible in homes with cavity walls, most terrace houses do not have cavity walls. Also it may not be possible to insulate converted loft space.

Warm Front is a government run scheme that will pay for up to £3500 of work to improve insulation and heating in your home if you are eligible. The grant is open to homeowners and private tenants who receive qualifying benefits. For more information call 0800 316 6011 or visit

South Yorkshire Energy Centre provide advice on making your home energy efficient, including up to date information about choosing and fitting insulation in your home. They can help you avoid common problems that can arise from increasing insulation in your home. You can visit the centre to see examples of insulation and other eco measures. Find out more on their website

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The content on this page was added to the website by Ivor Wallace on 2009-11-25 17:51:09.
The content of the page was last modified by Lisa Swift on 2009-11-30 15:16:56.

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