Whether you’re looking to sell your house, increase the amount of utilisable space or improve your home’s energy efficiency, loft boarding could be an ideal solution for your needs. But what actually is loft boarding, and is it suitable for everyone?
In this guide, we will tell you all you need to know regarding loft boarding - from what it is to the benefits it offers. Keep reading on to find out more.
What is a Loft Boarding Installation?
When people talk about loft boarding, this quite literally is as the name suggests; it involves laying down fitted boards on top of the floor in your roof to create a usable loft space.
Since your loft will have insulation inside and exposed structural features, such as joists, there are certain considerations that need to be made when loft boarding. For example, you may choose to cover your loft insulation with the boards. This is a great idea to increase surface space, however it is important that you leave a gap between the insulation and boards, as failure to do so could result in condensation (leading to mould) or squash your insulation and reduce its thermal performance by up to 50%.
This is the reason why you should also avoid installing your loft boards directly onto joists or trusses, as these usually sit lower than your insulation, so would most definitely compress it - which is what you want to avoid.
If you have any downlights in your roof, then these should also be taken into consideration. If you have light fixtures beneath your insulation, covering these fittings with boarding could cause them to easily overheat and pose a potential fire risk. If you do want to board over downlights, you can get special downlight covers for these to create a safe air volume around the light.
Before planning on undertaking loft boarding, you should first have someone complete a structural analysis of your loft for you to check that it is able to hold the extra storage weight. According to the most recent Building Regulations guidance, all lofts in new-build homes should be designed to withstand 25kg per square metre.
The Benefits of Loft Boarding
1 | Extra Space
One of the main reasons why people choose to board their loft is for the extra space that it offers them - extra usable space that is. In fact, did you know that loft boarding can create beyond 50% extra space for you to make use of in your home?
Extra Storage Space
This space can then be used in a multitude of ways. For one, it is a storage haven; having a flat surface to work with and not having to worry about being exposed to copious amounts of insulation (which is not ideal considering that most modern insulation contains fibreglass) allows you to organise your belongings much more efficiently and intuitively, having designated areas for certain items, rather than having to put your tetris skills to the test and precariously balance things on top of one another wherever they may fit.
Not only this, but you will be able to navigate your loft more easily in order to do so. Rather than balancing on a stand-alone ladder, you will have an in-built loft ladder that will allow you to much more easily and safely access your loft. This not only makes it easier for you to get in and walk around to organise things for storage, but makes it easier to get such items in and out of the loft with less risk of falling or dropping them.
In addition to this, you can improve your storage solutions further by having loft shelving installed at the same time as your boarding, so you have the option to store things above floor level if need be.
Loft conversions have been increasingly popular in recent years, with many people choosing to convert their loft as a way to create an additional, functioning room in their house for a fraction of the price they’d otherwise pay to move home all together.
Whether you’re looking for an additional bedroom, a hobby room or a quiet little reading nook, loft boarding creates the perfect foundations you need to go on to convert your loft into any kind of room. Think this space would be too cold to spend time in? Well, the great thing about loft boarding being placed over your insulation means the room would have insulated flooring, so it would still be comfortable to be in!
2 | Energy Efficient
Since loft boarding involves adding an extra layer over your insulation, this means heat is better retained in your loft area, thus increasing the energy efficiency of your home. In addition to this, if your existing loft insulation is less than the government-recommended standard thickness of 270mm, then you will likely have extra energy efficient insulation added at the same time as your boarding in order to bring it up to this amount.
This is why it is important to use a raised system when boarding your loft to ensure the utmost efficiency of your insulation rather than boarding directly on your joints, which, as we’ve already mentioned, instead reduces the efficiency of your insulation.
This means you won’t require as much energy to heat your home to the same temperature as you currently do, and you will feel that warmth in your home for longer, also - which brings us onto our next point.
3 | Saves Money
Since your home will take less time to heat up and will stay warmer for longer, thanks to the increased energy efficiency loft boarding provides, you will end up spending less money to do so than you currently are! With sufficient loft insulation and boarding , you could save upwards of £250 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust (though others quote this number to be even more!).
Not only are you saving money on your energy bill, but creating a usable space for your storage works out at a better value than it would cost you to pay for a self-storage facility. Not to mention, you’ll also have more space to use than you would at a storage facility - unless you hiked the price up even further.
4 | Increases the Value of Your Property
If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, then you’ll be glad to know that loft boarding will actually increase the value of your property. The more usable space you have in your home, the more it is worth; likewise, any additional energy-efficiency improvements will also hike the value up a little further. Loft boarding provides both of these benefits, which could see the value of your property increasing by up to 10%.
If you have used your loft boarding to convert your loft into a usable living space (rather than just for storage) that is connected to other utilities, such as gas and electric in order to have lighting and heating in the space, then this could see the value of your property increasing even further.
5 | Creates Opportunity to Earn Money
If you’re looking for some extra, passive income, then loft boarding could be the answer. Whether you do it alone, through an agent or a third party company, it is actually possible to rent out your loft space to other people looking for storage and not wanting to pay the price of a storage facility (or perhaps they don’t have one near them).
If this is something you’d be interested in doing, one such company that specialises in this and can help you to rent out your loft space with all the necessary checks and permissions is Stashbee.
Although loft boarding can technically be a DIY job, it is best to leave it to the experts to ensure it is carried out as safely and effectively as possible, ensuring the highest standards are met. With over 35 years experience, The Attic Guys is an established loft boarding company you can trust.
We are able to provide loft boarding solutions to both old and new properties, as well as offering additional services such as the installation of loft hatches, ladders, lighting and windows.
Retrieve your free quote today, and don’t hesitate to contact us. Simply tell us what you need, and we’ll deliver.