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6 Common Loft Boarding Mistakes to Avoid for New Homeowners

Loft boarding can help you achieve your storing objectives if you know how to do it correctly. Here are loft boarding mistakes to avoid in your new home..

Congrats! You and your partner have just bought a new house!

This house is your dream home. It has the layout, style, and features you’ve always desired from your home. But there is one small issue, storage. There is a loft with access but there is insulation everywhere and nowhere suitable for storing items.

To save money, you both decide to tackle the loft project on your own. As you read and learn about lofts, you find there are many loft boarding mistakes people have made in the past. Of course, you want to avoid making the same mistakes.

Loft boarding mistakes can cause serious problems in your loft in the future. Some serious mistakes can cause other problems in your house or lead to injury.

Whether you’re adding flooring, insulation, or looking for ways to add more space, you must be aware of common loft mistakes. Here are the 6 most common loft boarding mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Loft Boarding Mistakes

Making a loft boarding mistake can cause damage or danger to your loft and home. Learning about the most common loft mistakes will help you make smart choices when boarding your loft.

1. Forgetting a Structural Analysis

New build home roof trusses are designed and built to BS 6399-1:1996 which means that they are capable of supporting 25kg/m² for storage and a 90Kg load to account for a person accessing the loft as well as the load of the roof tiles etc..

However, for some older properties the loft may not be able to bear the weight of both people and storage. Ignoring structural issues with the ceiling joists or roof will cause problems in the future, at worst it could lead to a collapsing floor or roof.

If you don’t have a new build home and you are unsure if your loft will be suitable, before you start boarding, you should contact a professional to do a structural analysis. They will carefully analyse the ceiling joist size and span, walls, support beams, and roof for any issues.

2. Compressing Insulation with Boards or Stored Items

Compressing Insulation Reduces its Thermal Performance by Over 50%

Compressing insulation with loft boards will significantly affect the insulations thermal performance. Studies have shown that compressing insulation from 270mm (current UK government recommended depth) to 100mm (the height of a typical joist/truss) will reduce its performance by over 50%. This will lead to increased heat lost through the roof and increased energy bills.

Best practice advice is to raise the loft floor on plastic legs such as loft legs to ensure the insulation is not compromised. For lofts with more than 270mm of quilt insulation installed then loft leg XL will be required.

3. Removing Trusses to Add Space

Every truss in your loft works together to support the roof. A truss is an engineered timber triangular structure that is made up of individual timber components . The layout transfers the weight throughout the trusses causing some to compress and others to stretch.

Removing a truss without the guidance of a professional is one of the biggest loft boarding mistakes a homeowner can make. It can jeopardise the strength and reliability of your roof.

In severe cases, removing a truss or two can cause your roof to sag and possibly collapse!

4. Insulation and downlights

Downlight covered with a Loft Lid Downlight Cover

If there are downlights in the ceiling below the loft it may be dangerous for insulation and boarding to be laid directly over the top of the light fitting. Halogen lamps run very hot and directly covering the fittings with insulation can cause them to overheat and in extreme cases cause house fires.

Modern LEDs run much cooler but some manufacturers still advise against covering directly with insulation. If in doubt, check with the fitting manufacturer.

Downlight covers can be used to create both a safe air volume around the Halogen or LED fitting as well as creating an airtight seal to the ceiling. An airtight ceiling will be more energy efficient, reducing the amount of heat escaping into the loft as well as preventing dust and insects dropping through the fitting into the rooms below.

5. Insulation Blocking Ventilation at the Eaves

Insulating your loft will improve your home’s energy efficiency. It will ensure you and your home stay warm and cosy all year-round.

The mistake some DIY renovators do is block important soffit vents with insulation. These vents are necessary for natural ventilation to prevent excess humidity, condensation and overheating. Avoid this loft mistake by adding vent baffles or simply leave the vents uncovered to prevent blocking the airflow.

6. Improperly Installed Ladder

Installing a ladder to the loft seems straightforward, right? But many homeowners continue to improperly install their ladders. An improperly installed ladder doesn’t only look bad, it’s a safety concern.

You’ll hear stories about people installing their ladder backwards or not following the directions. Others place the ladder in the wrong place making it difficult to climb into the loft.

Almost all loft ladders come with detailed instructions for proper installation. Follow the directions carefully and use the proper screws mentioned. Make sure to provide a landing space at the top of the ladder to make climbing in and out of the loft safe and easy.

Board Your Loft the Smart Way

By avoiding these common loft boarding mistakes, you will ensure your loft is safe, sturdy.

Once you complete the hard work, you will definitely love your new spacious loft and uncluttered home below.

Have questions about Loft Leg? Let’s get in touch. We’re happy to help.

1 Comment

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Jeffrey Jones
Jeffrey Jones
Jul 22, 2021

Very nice. I like your blog.

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