To help get the islands more energy efficient through a locally based company, staffed by island tradesmen, is the vision of the newly established business Western Isles Insulation.
And with a dedicated office now opened in Stornoway, at 9 North Beach Street (next-door to The Lewis Bar), it couldn’t be easier to pop in and visit the Western Isles Insulation team to find out how they can help improve your home’s insulation – at no cost to you!
Established by Directors Cornelius Kleynhans and Marc Burrows, Western Isles Insulation offers ‘Room in Roof’ insulation installation through the government-led Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO), introduced to help UK families reduce their energy bills.
“My vision is to all work together to help each other get these islands more energy efficient,” said Cornelius.
“Many of the properties up here are older houses, with rooms in the roof that have little or no insulation, making this the coldest room in the house and letting a lot of heat escape.
“The fuel poverty on the islands is awful, and installing Room in Roof insulation can help so much in reducing that.”
Yet, for Western Isles Insulation, it’s not simply the installation that’s on offer but an entire end-to-end client experience, including seamless communication, on-site organisation, and solid, quality workmanship every time.
“Through the ECO scheme, we’re obliged to install the insulation and then to taper-join or plaster over on the walls and that’s all,” expanded Christian Cooksey, Operations Manager at Western Isles Insulation. “But for us, that’s not good enough.
“We understand that we are going into people’s homes and we want to cause as little hassle as possible, so after we have installed the insulation, we then get our joiners in to replace all the skirtings and window frames, then they are followed by our decorators who paint the walls basic white, unless our clients have another colour they want to use.”
He continued: “For us it is vital that our workforce respect people’s homes that they are going into and for every job we put down plastic sheeting everywhere we go to protect furnishings and then make sure everywhere is hoovered and cleaned spotless before we leave.
“It’s got to be the finished job, it’s got to be right, and the customer has got to be happy for us to be pleased with the job.”
Indeed, such is the work that Western Isles Insulation put into each and every job that they’ve received high praise from external industry inspectors, with one commenting that he’d ‘never seen a finish like this’ on other insulation works.
“The quality of our work is what’s important to us,” said Cornelius. “With the ECO scheme there is enough money to do the job and finish it well and still make a profit, so that’s what we do.
“Unfortunately this industry has been tarnished by a lot of cowboys, but at Western Isles Insulation if we’re going to give a service then we’re going to do it right and be the best. We go the extra distance,” he continued.
“And the only way we see to get the quality right is to employ local people and run a local brand. It’s a local company, for local people, and adding its bit to the local economy.”
Using island suppliers and businesses is also key to Western Isles Insulation; and with three installation teams, surveyors, joiners, plasterers, and decorators, Western Isles Insulation currently employs 13 island tradesmen.
But Cornelius and Marc are also keen to help expand the islands’ trade-base, and in particular, get young islanders involved: “We are more than open to trade enquiries at Western Isles Insulation,” said Cornelius.
“There are only a handful of plasterers on the islands for example, so we feel we can help in building that and are hoping to get involved with the College to see about helping young islanders learn the trades.
“It’s not just for our business or the islands, but for the young people themselves – insulation is the biggest way to make homes more energy efficient so there is always going to be work there for a good quality tradesman.
“And I would urge any young islander looking for a new opportunity to get in touch and contact us.”
To find out more about Western Isles Insulation, why not pop into the new Stornoway base at 9 North Beach Street (next-door to The Lewis Bar), call the free phone number 08000 062 2950, or visit the website at www.westernislesinsulation.co.uk
The company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/westernislesinsulation - also has an excellent display of images from completed jobs and customer testimonies, which include comments such as: “A clean and professional job”; “Recommend anytime”; and “Could not be happier. Good workers, good finish, job well done. Highly recommended.”