Key SummaryHere are the key points:
- Loft boarding traps heat, reduces energy bills, and offers additional storage space.
- Boarded lofts can increase property value and serve as rentable spaces.
- Boarding costs vary: standard loft boarding averages £55 per m2; raised systems cost more.
- Choosing boarding method, loft size, and professional vs. DIY significantly influences cost.
- Avoiding insulation, overloading, and poor ventilation are critical pitfalls in loft boarding.
What are the Benefits of Loft Boarding?
Prevention of heat loss and maximisation of insulation
Loft boarding is an excellent way of trapping heat, reducing heat loss through your roof. When heat rises, having boarded insulation ensures that the warmth remains within the living spaces, providing a comfortable environment and possibly reducing heating bills.
Creation of extra storage space
Boarding your loft creates additional, usable floor space, effectively turning an often-neglected attic into a functional storage area. This optimises the vertical space in your house that would otherwise go unused.
Improvement of existing storage solutions
If your loft already serves as a storage space, boarding can significantly enhance its functionality. It provides a stable surface to walk on and can be sectioned off for better organisation.
A cheaper alternative to external storage solutions
External storage solutions like renting storage units can be expensive. Loft boarding offers a one-time cost for a permanent increase in space within your own home.
A potential renting option that can help you make extra money
If properly insulated and boarded, some homeowners have turned their lofts into rentable, habitable spaces, providing an additional income stream.
Reduction of External Noise and Improved Acoustic Insulation
Loft boarding, especially when combined with proper insulation, acts as a sound barrier. It helps to dampen external noises such as traffic, weather, or neighbourhood sounds. A boarded loft can significantly enhance the acoustic properties of a home, providing a quieter and more peaceful living environment.
How Much Does it Cost to Board a Loft in the UK?
Boarding a loft costs in the UK aren’t a one-size-fits-all pricing affair. A standard loft boarding price, with a process that involves laying chipboard flooring directly over the existing ceiling joists, averages at about £55 per m2. Meanwhile, the raised system, a solution designed to prevent dampness by ensuring air circulation below the boards, costs around £1,350 for a 15m2 space.
Top Tip: Always account for material and labour costs when budgeting for loft boarding in the UK. Prices vary based on region, loft size and the boarding method so gather multiple quotes.
Different factors, such as the method of boarding and size of the space, play pivotal roles in the total loft boarding cost. Here’s a look at some of the common loft boarding types and their average costs:
|Type of Loft Boarding
|Standard Loft Boarding
|Basic boarding directly over existing joists
|Standard Loft Boarding
|Suitable for smaller homes or partial boarding
|Standard Loft Boarding
|Typical for medium-sized homes
|Ideal for allowing air circulation beneath boards
|Can accommodate larger lofts with more space
|Raised System with Insulation
|Includes extra insulation beneath boards
|Raised System with Insulation
|For larger lofts requiring both raised boarding and insulation
What to Consider when Boarding a Loft
The choice between standard and raised boarding is fundamental. Standard boarding involves placing boards directly onto the existing joists, while raised boarding provides a platform elevated above the joists, aiding in better air circulation. This decision plays a vital role in determining the loft boarding cost in the UK, as raised boarding systems generally command a higher price due to their increased complexity and benefits.
Professional vs. DIY
Hiring a professional team ensures precision, adherence to safety standards, and high-quality results, however, this expertise comes at a price. In contrast, the DIY route might save on labour costs, but it demands a significant investment of time, the right set of tools, and a certain level of skill. Missteps in DIY can also lead to additional future expenses.
The overall size of your loft directly impacts the materials required and the time it takes to complete the boarding. Understandably, larger spaces demand more materials and man-hours, escalating the overall cost of loft boarding, therefore, having accurate measurements or an assessment of your loft size is essential when budgeting.
Access to Loft
The ease of access to your loft can significantly influence the boarding process. Lofts with straightforward access enable quicker and simpler boarding, reducing labour hours. Similarly, lofts with constrained or complicated entry points might necessitate additional tasks, tools, or specialised techniques, which can inflate the overall cost.
If your loft is already insulated, this can both complicate and potentially increase the boarding cost. The type of insulation, its condition, and its thickness can all affect how the boarding is installed. In some cases, old insulation might need to be replaced or supplemented, leading to added expenses.
Money Saving Tips for Loft Boarding
Maximising the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your loft boarding project can be achieved through smart planning and informed decision-making. Here are some essential tips to consider that can help you save money without compromising on quality:
Bulk Buy Materials
If you’re leaning towards a DIY approach or even if you’ve hired professionals but are sourcing the materials yourself, consider purchasing in bulk. Many suppliers offer discounts for larger quantities. This not only saves you money on the per-unit cost but also ensures you have a consistent stock of materials that match in terms of quality and aesthetics.
Obtain Multiple Quotes
Every contractor will have a different overhead, margin, and method of operation, which means quotes can vary significantly. Before settling on a contractor, get multiple quotes to understand the market rate and to find the best value.
Adopt a Hybrid Approach
Certain tasks in the loft boarding process are more labour-intensive than they are technically complex. Adopting a hybrid approach means you can save money by doing simpler tasks yourself while leaving the more technical aspects to professionals. For example:
Clearing the Loft
Before boarding begins, the space must be cleared. Doing this yourself can save on labour costs.
While it’s always good to have a professional confirm, taking preliminary measurements can help you get a better idea of material needs and costs.
If you have the means, transporting materials to your home rather than paying delivery fees can also result in savings.
Time Your Project Right
Believe it or not, the time of year can impact the cost of your project. Contractors often have busier seasons where their rates might be higher due to demand. If you can, plan your loft boarding during their off-peak times. This might not only save you money but can also ensure the work is done more efficiently when contractors have a lighter workload.
Explore Tax Incentives or Rebates
In certain regions, home improvement or energy efficiency projects may qualify for tax deductions or rebates. Loft boarding, especially if it includes insulation improvements, might fall into such categories. It’s worth checking with local authorities or tax professionals to see if any such incentives apply to your project.
What to Avoid when Boarding a Loft
Successfully boarding a loft not only involves taking the right steps but also avoiding potential pitfalls. Here are some crucial mistakes to steer clear of during your loft boarding process:
Insulation is an essential component of any loft boarding project. A well-insulated loft not only helps in maintaining an optimal temperature but also aids in energy efficiency by preventing heat loss during colder months. Neglecting this step could lead to higher energy bills and a less comfortable living environment.
Overloading the Loft
While it might be tempting to use every inch of your new space, it’s vital to be mindful of weight limits. Overloading can put undue stress on the loft’s structure, potentially compromising the overall structural integrity of your home. Before storing items, it’s essential to assess the weight distribution and ensure that you’re not exceeding the safe load-bearing capacity.
A properly ventilated loft is pivotal for the longevity of the space and the items stored within. Ensuring good air circulation helps in preventing the buildup of moisture, which can lead to dampness and mould growth. When boarding, it’s crucial to leave adequate gaps or install proper ventilation systems to allow for consistent air flow beneath the boards, ensuring a healthy and dry environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Board a Loft?
The time taken can vary based on the loft size and method used. On average, a professional team can board a standard loft in 1-2 days.
Is it cheaper to board a loft myself?
While DIY might save labour costs, consider the tools, materials, and expertise required. Sometimes, hiring professionals can be cost-effective in the long run, avoiding costly mistakes.
How can I maintain my boarded loft?
Regularly check for dampness or mould, ensure good ventilation, and avoid overloading the space to maintain its condition.
Boarding a loft in 2023 offers multiple benefits from enhanced insulation to increased home value. The loft boarding cost in the UK varies based on several factors, including method, size, and whether you’re choosing DIY or professional services.
Remember, while considering the cost of loft boarding, it’s an investment that not only enhances the usability of your home but also its market value. Proper research, considering all factors, and making informed decisions will ensure a smooth loft boarding process.
We are specialists in boarding out lofts to provide additional, safe storage- contact us today for a free quote!