DIY Loft Boarding Tips
DIY loft boarding is cheap, as you will not have to pay lots for a contractor. Boarding out the loft will help generate more free space in your home. It means you can hoard even more things, just like the other stuff you been keeping for years.
Hoard? No, I meant store. And by things, I mean all of those boxes of ‘memories’ you have, that you feel like you can’t get rid of. Not to worry, we all have special things we store over the years. However, we do not like to use the word hoard, even though you know that’s the right word for this situation. Yes, I am talking to you!
You may want to consider getting someone to help you do this task. Even though it is not complicated, it will be physically hard work. Choose someone you enjoy spending time with and who is fit because you will be working in a small room. It will be uncomfortable, warm and it will take a while to complete. I know, I am not really selling it am I? Since I am being honest, be prepared to hit your head a couple of times during this process.
Handy Squad, a London team of handy men, provided this how-to guide to ensure you board your loft like a pro. You will need to gear up on tools for this task. Homebuilding & Renovating made a tool list, in which they stated you would need the following:
Loft boards are designed to fit through your loft hatch, and made from chipboard. Usually they are approximately 1.2m long by 32cm wide. Typical thickness is 18mm.
Ideally, you should use screws that have a countersunk head. Also, they should be long enough to effectively secure your loft boards. Screws that have a corrosion resistant coating is recommended.
Loft Wool Insulation
Boarding out your loft is a good opportunity to review your current insulation. At the bare minimum, you should have 100mm. Super Homes recommends that you have at least 270mm of loft insulation, however, you can also get a bit more as it is always better to be prepared. If your house is more than ten years old, you will benefit from extra insulation, as it will slow down the heat loss process.
Loft legs may be required if you need more insulation layers. They raise the floor by 175mm.
- Tape measure
- Workbench (in case you need to cut the boards)
- Screwdriver (preferably an electric one).
Safety Wear Needed
When it comes to DIY loft boarding you should wear appropriate safety wear, especially if you are handling insulation.
- Hooded disposable paper suit
- Dust mask
If you have water or gas pipes in your loft, make sure you board around them. The last thing you want to do is to rip up your loft boards if a water pipe bursts. Do the same for your electrical connections, it could be a fire risk!
Also, ensure your loft space has adequate ventilation so warm humid air do not condensate within the loft.
Firstly, you will have to work out the area that you need the boards to cover. Place a board between the ceiling joists to act as a temporary work platform. Do not try to balance on the joists as you increase the changes of stepping through your ceiling!
Measure the space required for you storage. This measurement will give you an idea how much materials to order, such as the amount of loft boards in metre square.
Get to work
If your old insulation has become squashed, damp, or if you have old insulation, you may want to consider removing it. If you do decide to remove your old insulation, expect a lot of dust. Make sure you do not forget your goggles, dust mask and gloves. Lay new 100mm thick insulation out between every joist, remembering not to cover the loft hatch. If you have poor ventilation in your loft, then allow a 25mm gap between your loft boards and joists. Then will help prevent moisture build up under your loft boards.
Next, plan the location of your loft boarding, ideally close to the loft hatch. If you only have 100mm of insulation, then you could screw loft boards directly into your joists. Continue doing this step outwards, in all the directions that you intend to board. Screw in one board at a time to help you remember where the joists are, it will help with screw locations.
If you want to achieve over 100mm of insulation, you will need to raise your loft boarding using loft legs. This guide from Warton Woodworks explains step-by-step how to install the loft legs.
And you’re done!
I hope that our DIY loft boarding tips was useful. Now that you have created more storage space, you can organise all your things better and make the most out of this awesome space that cost your sweat and maybe some tears.