Have you ever thought about having your loft boarded but given up in despair because none of the packages on offer meet your needs? The loft packages most companies have put together are designed to suit the most common specifications, but the reality is that no two lofts are exactly alike.
You don’t have to give up, though. If you choose the right company, you may be able to design your own loft package and still have it professionally installed. Here’s a quick run-down of what your options might be and what you need to take account of.
What Will You Use Your Loft For?
Before deciding anything else, you’ll need to be clear what you want to use your loft for. For instance, if you only need very limited storage, you may not need to board the whole space, whereas if you’re intending to spend any time up there, you’ll probably need most or all boarded.
It’s also important to understand who’s going to be accessing the loft and what kind of bulk they’ll be carrying. This will influence the type of ladder and the size of hatch you’ll need.
Choosing Your Loft Boards
You’ll need to measure the length and breadth and the area you’ve decided to board and multiply them to get the area. If you were trying to DIY, you’d then have to do extra calculations to work out how many boards you’ll need, but with a professional company you just need the area required.
Another crucial factor is how high up the insulation comes. In a modern house, the joists may be high enough to contain it, but if the insulation comes above the joists, you may want to choose a raised-floor option.
Choosing Your Loft Ladder
Your choice of loft ladder will depend on various factors, such as how confident and stable users will be and how much space you have both above and below. You may also prefer wood to aluminium for purely aesthetic reasons.
The most basic 2 or 3 section aluminium ladders are fine for occasional use, and there are also models with hand-rails for less-confident users. A ladder that slides up and down attached to the hatch takes up a good deal of room, though, and the folding, telescopic and concertina types can all fit into limited space.
Choosing Your Hatch
You may also need to replace your hatch. If you’re buying a ladder that’s attached to the trapdoor, they’ll come together, but otherwise you can add a trapdoor to your package.
You also need to consider whether your current hatch is large enough and in the right place. The size will depend on the bulk of the items you’re expecting to get through it — one of many areas where your pre-planning will pay off.
As far as position is concerned, consider whether there’s enough space for the ladder to unfold and to manoeuvre around it. If not, there may be a better place for your loft hatch to go.
Completing Your Package
The boarding, ladder and hatch are the main components of your loft package, but remember to check whether your insulation is deep enough (270mm) and whether your boiler needs lagging. You may also need lights, power sockets or even loft windows, which can all be added to your package.
If you need any more advice on designing your own loft package, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.