So what exactly do I need to create a storage area in my loft?
If you have never thought about extra home storage in your loft before, then you might want to know what it involves and how much it will cost.
The most common questions I get asked will be answered right here.
Using your loft for storage isn't a new idea. A small percentage of us have been using our lofts for many years, by placing down old broken down kitchen cupboards and any old lengths of wood we could find.
Most DIYers will simply lay them down on the existing joists by removing or squashing the insulation so they can be fastened down. Or worst still, just laying them perched on top of the insulation with good intentions of fastening them down one day.
What we didn't know back in the day, was that loft insulation was going to get thicker and taller and require air flow and zero compression to work at 100% efficiency.
How times have changed, with thicker insulation, building regulations, government recommended this and that, it's hard to keep up with it all.
These days, we can no longer just lay boards on to joists. We have to raise this boarded level higher than the insulation to avoid any compression or worst of all, having to remove what we put down to save on our heating bills. (Gain storage but lose money day after day on rising heating bills).
Now you don't have to remove the insulation or squash it, as we have specialist equipment to raise the boarded level above the insulation, so no compression and no removal. Keep your insulation down unsquashed and still save on your heating bills, by using a system called LoftZone Raised Loft StoreFloor.
This is a very clever system consisting of 3 components; a tri-support stilt and a uni-support stilt all combined with a steel box section cross beam. All this put together will create a very strong, safe and raised boarded storage area in your loft above the insulation.
So what do you need to create a loft storage area?
If you have never had a loft made in to a storage area before, then this bit is essential reading.
The differences between a new house and an older house can change things slightly, but as a pointer, an older house may need a loft hatch if it doesn't hinge and fold down. It will need to be changed otherwise, and it has to be big enough to get you, a ladder and your things through.
1. Ladders... A fixed stowaway ladder is a must. It not only makes things easier getting in to the loft, but it's also very safe and won't wobble or move like a step ladder. Never balance on a step ladder or use an unsecured ladder to gain access to your loft - a fall can be fatal.
A starting point for ladders is a good quality, aluminium, sliding fold away ladder that fixes to the loft floor sub-frame and stows away neatly in to the loft, using a reach pole to push it in.
There are various ladders on the market for various jobs, including concertina and wood options.
Our surveyor will suggest what is best for your loft.
2. Loft Hatch... You need to get in and out of your loft as easily as possible so the right size is very important. No point squeezing though a tiny hole as you will not get much up there to start with. The standard size today is a 726mm long by 566mm wide plastic draft seal and insulated hinged and folding down loft hatch. a British standard and building regulations accepted hatch used commonly in new build houses throughout the UK.
Most new houses over the past 3 years or so will have suitable loft hatches already installed but if its a lift up plastic or wood then it will need to be changed. The reason for this is not just because of the size of the opening its because the ladder wont operate in the hatch if its to narrow and the hatch lid wont lift up enough to get it off because the new ladders sits right above the hatch door. This is not a big job for professionals like us, but could be for a DIYer.
3. Lighting... You have to be able to see what your doing up there so a light is important. Never use a portable electric light that plugs in on your landing socket as these can be lethal if the cable rubs on the metal ladder (which often does). It must be a fixed permanently wired in to the existing lighting circuit. A choice of a bulb or a tube light is available, the tube being a lot brighter than a bulb.
4. Boarding... All loft boarding must be laid down on a sub-frame. A sub-frame is either an additional set of wood joists laid at right angles to the existing joists or a stilt and beam system (LoftZone Raised loft floor). Either is good providing it is above the insulation and will not compress the insulation when the boards go down. (Remember there must also be an air gap under the boards to allow good air circulation)
Having chosen the correct sub-frame we then install interlocking high density loft panels (or boards) these are specially designed for loft boarding and are of a suitable 18mm thick and very strong when installed correctly.
So how much boarding will you need? well that is entirely up to you and your budget and also what will fit.
We always say go for the higher central area of your loft, if its a trussed roof like in most brand new builds it would go down the centre of the A part of the frame. If its a terraced or a detached then up to the main purlings is usually sufficient storage around 12 to 15 m²
Never completely board your loft out as it is a loft space and it needs air circulation to work so keep the eaves free at least.
So that is it really, unless you want safety rails, roof dust sheets or a mini loft conversion (luxury loft room) there is nothing else to consider.
The cost for basic new build 4m² storage area with ladder and light start from £350
The cost for a terraced or detached 4m² storage area with ladder, light and hatch start from £579
These are only examples and vary depending on the amount of boarding you need.
1. Suitable strong fixed ladder
2: Suitable sized and hinged loft hatch
3: Good fixed lighting
4: sub-frame and boarding central area
Now all you need to do is call us for a FREE no obligation fixed instant quote
Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 370073
Read more about LoftZone raised loft floor by clicking this link
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