Boarding Out A Loft What is the Best Method To Use?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Divecomuk, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Divecomuk

    Divecomuk New Member

    Hi All,

    I’m currently in the process of purchasing a relatively new house (built 2002), and would like to board the loft out.This is just for light storage, usual Christmas decorations and so on. My question is what is the recommended method to use, as the insulation protrudes above the joists. So far I’ve seen methods using plastic stilts, adding more joists, specialist kits (very expensive) and so on. So at the moment I really don’t know which way to go? I guess when it comes to the boards, the loft panels you can get from the diy chains are ok? Or is there a better and cheaper alternative?

    Thanks In Advance

  2. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Just make sure you don't board over anything that sparks or plumbers might need access to in the future.
  3. frosty82

    frosty82 Active Member

    Plastic stilts are a quick and easy option. For a cheaper way to board than Diy store boards, buy larger flooring boards and cut them down yourself, better value for money especially if you can pick them up from a merchant. You can then measure loft hatch opening and lay in longer lengths, depending on height to pull boards up.
    Also helps if you use a marker to note where cable for TV airiel electrics/pipes etc run and drill holes in these boards large enough to get your fingers in to lift out if needed in the future. Just make sure you cut them down enough so not too heavy to lift out!
  4. sospan

    sospan Screwfix Select

    When boarding out an attic there two main things to consider - keeping the air flow from the eaves clear and compromising the insulation by compressing it.

    So with the modern trusses you have in your house will probably be limited in terms of access and space and you will have to work out how much space you can effectively use. You will probably have one of these popular configurations which are a real pain to board out.


    If you are only using it for lightweight storage I would go with the plastic legs. There are attic boards designed to be used with these legs (and get into the loft) which makes it quite simple but be prepared to make a few cuts around the rafters. If you potentially want to save some money places like B&Q will cut up a large sheet the boards for you but the savings and convenience over the little boards probably work out the same.

    Remember to keep everything at least 50mm away from the felt or breather membrane to maintain airflow.

    After you have finished check the loft again in a month to ensure every thing is dry and there is no condensation or mold

    Attached Files:

  5. Stugadget

    Stugadget Member

  6. SimonH29

    SimonH29 New Member

    Stugadget - Where did you get the EcoBeam / EcoJoist and how much do they cost?

    I can't find anyone supplying them.
  7. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Google Ecojoist loads on there.
  8. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

  9. Hello Divecomuk,

    Apologies if this reply is way too late.

    I have recently created a large guide on loft insulation and boarding. Everything you need to know about this subject can be viewed here.

    The guide provides excellent advice about different types of insulation. It also takes into account loft ventilation, loft boarding and cost effectiveness.

    I hope the guide helps you out.

    Kind regards,

    Warton Woodworks
  10. Shingler

    Shingler New Member

    If it's just for storage, plastic legs are the easiest and cheapest option. Use compatible loft boards; if you purchase larger boards from a DIY store to cut down, you won't save that much money, and it'll be much more time-consuming. Whatever you do, allow 5-10cm at least between boards and the breather membrane; otherwise, you might get damp in your loft which can then lead to a whole host of problems. If you're unsure, call a professional.
  11. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Super Member

    How much does the insulation protrude? If only a bit then add 2x2 timbers scrrwed to the joists, otherwise legs or timbers like KIAB posted I guess.
  12. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    If it's only light storage then why not do as I did and screw bearers across the raking struts and run 18 ply strips across them to form shelves or even a few battenswill support boxes. Just board the centre section through to provide access. I would personally use lengths of 2x7 rather than flimsy looking plastic legs
  13. Colchester_Plumbing

    Colchester_Plumbing New Member

    Fixing timber on timber would create a "cold bridge".
    "A thermal bridge (sometimes called a cold bridge) is a localised weakness or discontinuity in the thermal envelope of a building. They generally occur when the insulation layer is interrupted by a more conductive material."
    Which is why for a few years after 2010 it was forbidden in Building Regs Part L to board on top of insulation. The table in Part L Annex G shows the volume/depth of insulation is required [since 2010]. If the house is new or has had the insulation or boards adjusted [touched in any way] - or the work cannot be signed off by a professional legally.

    The plastic leg system does look flimsy but have been tested to comply, as do the Loftzone system.

    However, Shingler is right where most merchants are not. You must leave at least 50mm, preferably 100mm or more of clearance between the insulation and the board and the eaves and ensure the soffits allow air flow through them. If you don't moisture in the loft is likely to condense on the board resulting in damp and mould will follow.
  14. carl24bpool

    carl24bpool Active Member

    I really cant see how a 2" x 2" area of contact (if cross joists fitted) between the timbers will transmit cold from the top of the top timber right through to the bottom of the truss and through to the ceiling. It just sounds absurd. Timber barely conducts heat at all, especially on such small areas.

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