While turning your attic into a habitable and attractive loft room adds extra space (and significant value) to your home, if you are looking for something less transformative, then creating additional storage space within your roof could be an appealing option.
Boarding a loft by laying wooden flooring is perhaps the simplest way to achieve the conditions necessary for an effective storage space, providing a safe platform that can take the strain of heavy items (as well as yourself as you scrabble around to find that box of receipts you stored up there).
Tips and Advice
It’s worth bearing in mind that you needn’t board up the entire loft, depending on your requirements. Many find that the pitched angle of the roof at either end doesn’t leave much room for storage, and boarding up the floor in these areas might not be worthwhile.
When purchasing loft boards, don’t forget that you will have to get them through your hatch or access point in order to lay them in your loft, so don’t just simply opt for the biggest piece you can find in the hope that installation will be easier. Tongue and groove boards are popular, providing a neat and secure fit.
Laying your boards in a staggered formation will help to prevent structurally weak areas as a result of long, lined up joins, and be sure to check for electric cabling before fixing them in place.
If your loft is not to be used as a habitable living space, this means that no permanent stairway is legally required. This presents a number of access options, including simple and cost-effective sliding ladders that can be stored in the loft space without taking up room on the landing below.
Similarly, if your loft will be used just for the storage of the Christmas decorations and a few boxes of rarely used items, permanent lighting won’t be entirely necessary. This includes both natural and electric lighting, eradicating the need for the installation of a loft window (although ventilation might need to be considered) and wiring up fixed lighting systems.
Get the Experts In
Though it may seem like a relatively simple task, boarding over a loft is physically demanding, and often requires a number of elements to be in place before work starts – not to mention a number of complications that can occur should something go wrong along the way.
Calling in the professionals to carry out the work for you can often prove cost-effective, saving you money on materials and preventing you from having to pay for any mistakes/unforeseen hiccups.
For example, considerations regarding insulation must be made. Most properties will have a minimum of 270mm of insulation laid in the joists of the loft floor/ceiling of the room below. Laying boards over this may be problematic, as compacting insulating material can drastically reduce its efficacy and reduce airflow crucial for ventilation.
Safety is another consideration, as scrabbling around on your hands and knees in a dark and dusty loft can lead to accidents – especially when there are tools involved. Professional loft conversion specialists not only have the equipment and experience necessary to avoid accidents, they will be insured against injury, too.