The Loft Boys are constantly getting called by folk who decided to have a bash at boarding their own loft, to then only realise that the job in hand is far more taxing than first thought.
Lugging big heavy loft boards from the front garden up the stairs and into the loft is a large job in itself, never mind then having to contend with manoeuvring the gear about up there whilst walking on floor joists, trying not to put your foot through the ceiling in the process, makes this task a little more daunting than first imagined. Throw in the deep insulation found in many a house now days, that sits a lot higher than the top of the joists, it certainly gets many head scratching sessions going, leading to most finally admitting defeat!
The Loft Boys specialise in flooring lofts for storage, and there really isn’t anything that we haven’t seen or dealt with before. In fact each Loft Boy spends approximately 2,000 hours a year carrying out this task!
We have got it down to perfection, through years of trial and error, trying to establish the fastest, safest and easiest way to get lofts boarded. We now firmly believe to have achieved this and want to help everyone who is looking to complete this job themselves by sharing our trade secrets.
Below you will find guides for each stage of the job to aid you in creating that storage space in the loft with ease.
A little flooring forethought helps!
There are a few things to consider before you dive straight into boarding the loft that will have an impact on the work needed to complete the loft to a professional standard.
Listed below are the main points to consider before picking up that saw and drill.
- Roof Design
- Deciding the size of boarded area
- Electrical cables & pipes
- Working Safely
Consider Your Roof Design
The design of your property’s roof construction can play a large part in deciding the area of the loft to be floored, and what will need to be done to complete the job.
Older properties with a joist and rafter roof construction will usually allow more flexibility and are favoured by The Loft Boys due to most being large open spaces with little obstructions other than tanks and diagonal roof braces. You will usually find that these properties will allow for larger floor boards to be used (8’x2′) which reduces the cutting greatly. The only issue you may find with using the larger loft boards is getting them into the loft itself. It may be best to call that favour in from your neighbour now!
Houses built in more recent years usually have trussed roof constructions. These tend to restrict the usable floor area and involve a lot more work notching the boards to sit neatly around the central points of the roof construction. The Loft Boys favour the smaller loft packs for these jobs as we are able to manoeuvre the boards around easier and get the cuts nice and tight.
A little word of advice here… to get the professional finish try and cut the boards in between the roof trusses rather than butting them each side and then bridging the gap. Take a look our gallery of work under the loft flooring section and you’ll see how the pro’s do it. OK… it takes a little longer and adds a few more cuts but the end result is more than worth it.
How much loft flooring do I need?
Deciding how much of the loft area to board depends on a couple of factors. The first is how much you intend on storing up there, and please do take in consideration how much more stuff might end up there compared to what you have currently. It really does spoil the experience of a usable loft space if it is jam packed with gear, so much so that you end up not using it as you are unable to move about and retrieve what you are looking for. We always try to advise people to utilise the eaves in the loft to actually store their items leaving the central area clear to enable you to move through out the loft easily. Some people opt for a small area just around the perimeter of the loft hatch. This allows them to climb the ladder and retrieve their items without actually entering the loft. This is fine if you only have a few items to store up there but again should the amount increase the over head of extending the boarded area is greater than doing the job initially.
The next factor to deciding how much to board is what your loft will accommodate. It is absolutely pointless wasting your time and money boarding an area of your loft that will never get used. Even if you are looking to maximise on the loft floor space we always try to convince people not to bother boarding right into the eaves. Where the pitch of the roof meets the floor reduces the usability of this area hugely. If you imagine how many square metres you could save by reducing the loft floor boarding by 500mm on each pitched roof elevation. What is the point of paying out for an area that will never serve any purpose. We also try to advise that a 2″ (50mm) upstand is attached around these exposed edges. This will stop any small boxes or items from being pushed off the new loft floor boarding and onto the ceiling below.
Electrical Cables, Pipes & Insulation
In any loft, new or old, you will find the electrical cables feeding the lighting for the rooms below travelling across the top of the joists. We have witnessed many times in the past people cutting into the ceiling joists to lower the cables and allow for boarding to be fixed on top. The Loft Boys never do this and do not recommend this at all. Ceiling joists are there mainly to carry the ceiling below and are not like the construction of purpose built floors. When boarding a loft to store items, you are adding weight to these timbers and cutting into them to accommodate electrical cables will interfere with the integrity of these joists. A big no no for The Loft Boys!
As standard, The Loft Boys raise the finished loft floor above all wires and cables; and we hugely recommend you do this if you’re having a boarding session yourself. Another little tip here… If using loft panels (the smaller ones you will find in the local DIY store) you should fix them at 610mm centres, larger boards (8’x2′) fix at 600mm centres. This will reduce the work load massively and you will find the install takes a lot less time.
the LoftZone StoreFloor system
StoreFloor is a unique, patented, modular system designed to protect the insulation underneath it whilst providing a safe deck for access and storage. It’s strong components and design allow StoreFloor to be the only loft floor system that complies with building regulations.
Why Use LoftZone?
LoftZone does, what traditional loft boarding procedures can’t! Not enough for you? Ok, let us tell you why.
- Allows you to maintain full height of insulation (to Government guidelines of 270mm without impairment)…..no squashing!
- Maintains airflow between the underside of the flooring and the insulation (stopping the build up of condensation and all associated problems).
- Independently tested for safety. Giving you absolute piece of mind (read below for more information on safe storage limits).
- Winner of the ‘Best New Product‘ category at the Ideal Home Show & backed by The Carbon Trust.
Get a FREE quote or just some general loft boarding advice from our experts!