What do I need to board a loft? If you want to use your loft for storage or need safe access to equipment in the loft, learn what you'll need in this full checklist.
According to a recent survey, more than 20% of British households say they don't have enough storage. Many of them report living in cramped conditions because of their lack of storage space.
Does your home fall into this category? If so, you should consider boarding a loft if you're lucky enough to have one. It could be the key to adding more storage space to your house.
Before you begin doing any loft boarding, though, you should learn how to board your loft out. This will start with you answering the question, "What do I need to board a loft?"
If you aren't equipped with the right products, figuring out how to board a loft for storage will be impossible. You'll be left saying, "I don't know how to board my loft properly!"
Here is a complete checklist of what to board a loft with so that you'll have all the necessary materials handy.
Does your loft already have insulation in it? Hopefully, it does. This insulation will help make your home more energy efficient than it would be otherwise.
But unfortunately, recent reports have revealed that many homes in the UK aren't as energy efficient as they should be. One report, in particular, found that only about 50,000 UK homes are every bit as energy efficient as they could and should be.
With this in mind, you'll definitely want to add insulation to your loft area if it doesn't already exist. You'll also want to kick around the idea of replacing your existing insulation if it's either on the older side or simply not doing a good enough job.
Once you add loft boarding to your loft area, it'll be very difficult to add insulation to it later on down the line. So you should think about doing it now if you suspect your house might be able to benefit from new insulation.
The loft boards you use to board a loft will obviously be the most important materials you'll pick out during your loft boarding project. It's why you should do your homework on the different kinds of loft boards that exist before you pick out the right option for your home.
Some of the most commonly used types of loft boards are:
Oriented strand board (OSB)
Of all these options, chipboard is the one that's used most often in UK homes. These types of boards are made out of reconstituted wood, and they're known to be both durable and cost-effective.
Plywood is also a good option seeing as how it's even stronger than chipboard. But it tends to be on the more expensive side when compared to your other options.
So when you're wondering, "What do I need to board a loft?", chipboard will typically be the clear-cut winner unless you feel as though it isn't going to work in your specific loft space for some reason.
One of the worst mistakes you can make when you're boarding a loft is allowing loft boards to sit directly on top of insulation. This will compress the insulation and make it a lot less effective when it comes to insulating your home and making it energy-efficient.
To get around making this mistake, you will want to look into investing in loft legs like The Loft Leg. These loft legs will raise your loft boards up by 175mm so the boards don't rest on top of your insulation.
The total number of loft legs that you'll need will change depending on how large your loft area is and which type of boards you're using. But you should aim to buy enough to lift up all the loft boards that'll be scattered throughout your loft area.
You might also want to consider going with The Loft Leg XL if you're boarding a loft in a newer home. These Loft Legs will raise your loft boards up by 300mm and provide more space for additional insulation.
Either way, you're going to discover that Loft Legs will save you a ton of money in the long run since your energy bills won't be so high. They'll also make your home more comfortable by enabling your insulation to do its job.
Most UK homeowners will find that the simple act of adding loft boards to a loft will provide them with more storage space than they'll ever need. But if you aren't sure if this will be the case for you, you might want to find ways to add even more storage space to a loft.
How can you do this? Well, one easy way to do it is by installing Loft Ledges in your loft area.
Loft Ledges are shelves you can install in between the trusses that run throughout your loft area. They'll come with everything you need including the chipboard shelf, the brackets and the screws.
Loft Ledges are great for those who would like to give themselves more storage space during a loft boarding project.
You'll be pleasantly surprised to see how much extra storage space you'll have in your loft thanks to loft ledges. They'll make it possible for you to grow into this storage area over time rather than seeing it all get filled up right away.
Once you start storing things up in your loft area, you're going to need to climb up into it every so often to find items when you need them. It's going to be very difficult to do this if you don't have any lighting in the space.
You could go ahead and have an electrician run electricity up into your loft so that you can install lights for it. But why go through all that hassle when you could invest in battery-powered Loft Lights instead that'll get the job done?
You might be worried about these types of lights not being bright enough at first. But they'll provide you with plenty of light. They're LED lights that are every bit as powerful as 32-watt bulbs.
Depending on how often you have to go up into your loft space, you should be able to get about 3 to 4 years out of loft lights. You can also install several of them at once so that you'll be able to illuminate different parts of your loft area.
Since you won't have to pay to have permanent lighting fixtures installed, you won't have to spend a small fortune to do this. You'll be able to get access to all the light you'll need in your loft without having to hire an electrician to help.
Do you have downlights installed in the rooms that sit underneath your loft? Or are you going to be installing downlights for these rooms during your loft boarding profit?
If so, you're going to want to make sure you have Loft Lids you can use for them. These loft lids will make it possible for you to install these downlights safely.
If you don't use Loft Lids when installing downlights that will be positioned up in a loft area, the lights may come in contact with the insulation beneath your loft boards. This could potentially cause them to overheat, which could eventually lead to a fire breaking out in your loft area.
You won't have to worry about this happening when you utilise Loft Lids. They're going to separate downlights from your insulation so that they don't ever touch.
Plus, as an added bonus, loft lids will stop air from leaking in and out of your home through your ceilings. They'll be a must-have item if you're going to be installing downlights while boarding a loft.
When you reach this point, you should have all the materials you'll need to begin boarding a loft. But you will still need to continue to answer the question, "What do I need to board a loft?", since it's going to be tough to get started without the right tools.
There are a series of tools you'll need to begin installing insulation, loft boards, loft ledges, and more. Here are several of the tools you'll need to put into your tool belt to get your loft boarding project moving in the right direction:
It would also be an excellent idea to set up a workbench somewhere just outside your loft. It'll put you in the right position to begin cutting your loft boards and other materials.
Staying safe during your loft boarding project will be of the utmost importance. Your loft area probably isn't going to be very safe when you first start working in it. You should get your hands on all the safety gear you'll need to prevent injuries while working in your loft.
Here is some of the safety gear you should put to the test as you work to board a loft:
It would also be worth coming up with a clear plan of action for your loft boarding project. You should decide which area of the loft you're going to start with and follow your plan to get yourself on the right track.
Additionally, you may want to enlist the services of a family member, a friend, a handyman, or even a Loft Leg Recommended Installer to assist you. Boarding a loft will be easier when you have the right materials. But it's still going to take some time to get everything done if you don't have any help.
Stop Asking, "What Do I Need to Board a Loft?", and Get Started
After navigating your way through this article, you shouldn't be asking yourself, "What do I need to board a loft?", anymore. You should have a much better idea as to what you'll need to purchase to get your project started.
Loft Leg can provide you with just about all the products you'll need for your project. From loft legs to loft ledges to loft lights, you can rely on us to set you up with the things you'll need to make your project a success. They'll help your new loft area come together in a hurry.
Contact us if you have any questions about the loft boarding products we sell.