When residential space is at a premium and house prices are high, it makes sense to free up space in a home by converting its loft. A loft that you might have long left as a soulless storage space could be effectively repurposed as an extra bedroom, games room, playroom… you get the idea.
However, if you are going to put your loft to any purposes like these, you need to make sure that this space will remain sufficiently warm to comfortably use over a long period of time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the loft’s insulation will be an important part of that equation.
Your loft must be insulated in line with building regulations
In the UK, building regulations pertaining to loft conversion work have tightened up significantly in recent years – to the extent that a loft converted, say, two decades ago could actually have scarce insulation. That would sharply contrast with the standard of loft insulation required today.
According to UK building regulations outlined by TheGreenAge, the roof’s u-value must not exceed 0.18W/m2. For you, the exact implications of this rule would differ depending on what type of insulation you intend to use for your loft conversion project.
For example, this rule would call for a 270mm-thick layer of fibre or wool insulation, roughly 175mm of rigid board insulation or about 125mm of high-performance spray foam. However, there are also differing implications to heed depending on where in the loft you will insulate.
What parts of your loft would need insulation?
Regardless of whether or not the following areas of your loft are currently insulated to the standards specified in building regulations, these are the loft areas that would need to have suitable insulation if you are intent on converting and repurposing your loft…
Firstly, you should look at the residential loft space, which is part of the loft’s joist area but not the roof room. Fortunately, it’s so cheap and easy to insulate the residential loft space that you can do so like you would a standard loft – in other words, in a DIY fashion.
Then there are the stud walls – the small walls located where your loft’s sloping ceiling ends. Insulating these is also relatively simple and inexpensive, and entails affixing wool insulation or rigid boards to the walls in question.
The largest area of your loft’s roof room is likely to be its sloping roof – which, sadly, is also the trickiest to insulate. While you could always task a professional builder with this job, it’s an expensive job where the financial returns are unlikely to be particularly quick.
Don’t forget your loft’s floor insulation, too
When it comes to this floor insulation, it’s likely to be less a matter of adding more in and instead more a matter of protecting what is already there.
Fortunately, the award-winning loft boarding service from Instaloft can – in a range of residential properties located throughout English counties including Staffordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire – provide this protection, whether the lofts being converted are old or new.