Easiest way to stop a draught

29 Jul 2016
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Lee, London
United Kingdom
Hi all,

At the rear of our property the external wall has been opened up (H200cm x W125cm). This leads into a poorly constructed lean-to/conservatory. In the summer things are great, it's lovely and warm and the kitchen and the rest of the downstairs benefits from nice warm air. In the winter it is so cold and there is a huge draught coming through the house.

Next spring we are planning to rip down the lean-to, turn the extra space into garden and renovate the kitchen area. Until then I'd like to at least try and warm things up a bit. I am thinking about installing a couple of internal doors in the gap. I have also had a look at some thermal curtains though I'm not sure these will do the job as well.

What would you guys recommend I do? I'd like to try and keep costs as low as possible as it is going to be a temporary solution after all. Access to the lean-to needs to be maintained as we use it as a sort of utility room/workshop.

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if you are planning to knock it down, I wouldn't spend money on doors etc.
What is causing the draft, just that it is colder, or are there gaps? if gaps, expanding foam. Looks like a bodge, but will stop drafts and is a cheap and quick solution.
If the end result is you will have internal doors there anyway, then put them in. Otherwise, it'll be another waste if money - maybe cheaper just to heat more? You could maybe cover the windows with some insulation boards, that can then be re-used when you do the building work next year?
Thanks for the reply jonbey,

It is a proper bodge. The previous owners had the lean-to installed and it leaks air in from nearly every window and every corner. I fear I would have to use quite a bit of expanding foam to even make the slightest of differences.

If I go for internal doors then eventually these will be replaced by glass external doors once the lean-to comes down. I don't want to throw loads of money at it but could swallow £100 if it means the winter is a little more comfortable/bearable. Our heating cannot heat the downstairs enough to counteract how cold it is. We have to keep the living room door closed when it gets really cold.

Thanks again
In that case, surely you can put the external doors in now?
Under building regulations, they should probably have had glass doors anyway - conservatories are supposed to have a secure and warm door between house and glass box.
Doesn't sound very secure either, if the windows are that bad, probably wouldn't take much for somebody to break in.
Put in some French doors now.
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You're right, it is neither secure nor warm. Luckily we're mid-terrace so the risk of a rear break-in is decreased.

My only reservation with installing the proper doors now would be that a steel beam needs to be installed prior to this. See pic below. This is what we're ultimately after. Beam needs to go in, wall gets opened up and then the large windows/doors go in.


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that looks very cold too! Why not have a proper extension done, with loads of insulation in the floor, walls and roof?
We considered a proper extension but to be honest the cost put us off. Just to replace the lean-to the cost of the extension itself would be around 35k. Perks of living in London I guess.
so you plan to open the wall up more than it is now?
Yes. I've attached our floorplan as I'll do a poor job explaining. It is how the property exists as of right now. I've also attached a mockup of what we'd like to achieve. The wall isn't completely glass. I don't want to boil us in the summer and turn the kitchen into a hotbox. The wall between the kitchen and bathroom will be removed to make way for one large galley style kitchen. There are other works towards the front of the property planned but these aren't relevant to this.



Thanks for all your help. It has prompted me to ask more questions which is keeping me busy during my lunch break.

Bubble wrap around the windows -commonly used by gardeners to make greenhouses warmer.

Or you could buy some of the secondary glazing plastic kits -its a thin film of plastic that is stretched in place then a hairdryer to shrink it tight.

Or buy a cheap flush door and some timber -probably possible for the £100 -depends how handy you are! (you will need to fit door stop beads with some weather seal on to minimise the gap).
I like the idea of bubble wrap (I can get this from work and take small rolls home each day). I think I will do this and install some doors. I am moderately handy, although if there are any chippies on here willing to quote me for their time I would be very grateful. Otherwise I will give it a go myself.
Look in skips for doors.
Use one door plus some ply/chipboard/whatever for the rest of the width.
Thanks for the replies guys. I'll keep an eye out for doors and bubble wrap. Whilst I'm at it, can anyone recommend a good builder? I have been burnt in the past by a number of tradesmen (failing to turn up on time, if at all, not responding to messages, incomplete work etc). What with the work we have planned I'd like to get a reliable builder on-board.

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