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Period properties 'require extra care when installing thermal insulation'

People have been advised to take care when installing thermal insulation in a period property.

Writing in response to a query about how to prevent heat loss in a timbered roof cottage, the Daily Telegraph's Jeff Howell explained it is possible to adequately insulate an older home.

However, he described how it is important to ensure there is a "vapour barrier" on one side of the thermal insulation and plenty of ventilation on the other to avoid condensation build-up.

Mr Howell explained that the lagging could lead to the warm air from rooms in the house retaining more water, which when it meets the colder underside of the roof, would "condense out and drip on to the timber battens and rafters".

To retain an authentic look, he suggested inserting thermal insulation between the rafters and finishing off with a plaster finish in the 17th century property.

Mr Howell is the newspaper's resident builder, who provides advice on a variety of home improvement queries.