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How to Insulate Your Loft Conversion

Posted by NK Lofts on 25/11/2016

Not only is a loft conversion the perfect way to create brand new, space in your home, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to make sure that your property is as energy efficient as can be.

Around 25% of the heat loss we experience in our homes is through the roof, but this can be simply remedied by installing the proper insulation in your loft space. That’s why, this month, we’re looking at how your loft conversion can be insulated to help keep your home warm and the energy bills low – just in time for the winter!

How are you using your loft conversion?

There are two main techniques used for installing insulation in a loft, and these are dictated by how you use your loft space. Loft insulation can either be laid:

  • Between and over the ceiling joists creating a cold loft – which can be used for storage, but not as an habitable room.
  • Directly under the roof, creating a warm loft – suitable for lofts converted into a bedroom, office, playroom etc.

If you’ve converted your loft space into a dedicated storage room, then a cold loft will make sure the heat elsewhere in your home won’t infiltrate into the loft space, where it would be wasted.

However, if you’ve converted  – or are thinking of converting – your loft space into a bedroom, for example, then you will want to not only keep the loft space itself warm, but take measures to avoid heat loss through the roof. That’s where a warm loft comes in.

Proper implementation of either insulation option will mean less reliance on central heating or other external heating solutions, helping you save money on your energy bills throughout the year.

Cold lofts

There are a couple of options available for cold lofts, with the most common being laying mineral wool between and over the joists. However, if you’re converting your loft with storage in mind, you will likely need a flat floor surface to enable a more comprehensive and attractive storage space. You can do this by raising the floor itself, or by opting for rigid board insulation which can then be boarded over by flooring.

In any case, insulating a cold loft will keep the heat from the rest of your home from entering the loft space, saving energy throughout the property.

Warm lofts

For a loft conversion where you’re creating a new, habitable room, it is vital to ensure that it is properly insulated. Insulating under the roof will keep the loft room warm in the winter and cool in the summer, blocking heat from the outside while keeping heat generated inside from escaping. This kind of insulation is incredibly cost effective, and can help keep your loft as heated as any other room in the home.

Insulating a warm loft is done by installing insulation materials directly under the sloping roof. Mineral wool can be used here, although rigid board insulation is preferred – it offers a neat finish and can be cut to fit perfectly between the rafters.

It’s important to leave space between the roof slats and the insulation, so that the roof has enough ventilation to prevent moisture and condensation, which can lead to rot. Adding a vapour control layer during the insulation process will also help to fight against this.

attic bedroom

External insulation

It’s also possible to insulate your roof from the outside, adding a layer of insulation directly above the rafters – along with a vapour control layer. This will prevent heat from penetrating into the loft from the outside.

External insulation is effective, but only worth pursuing if you’re having an entirely new roof. If you’re simply converting the loft space, the insulation methods we’ve already looked at will be the most cost effective.

If you are after a new roof, however, this kind of insulation is definitely worth considering, so make sure to discuss your project with your roofing company to find the ideal insulation solution for your property.

Payback time

Investing in insulation is one of the easiest and most effective ways of saving money in your home. On average, you can expect properly installed roof/loft insulation to pay for itself after roughly seven years – and will last for a few decades after that.

Whatever conversion you’re going for – be it adding a whole new room to your loft space or carving out more dedicated storage space for your belongings, it pays to consult a professional, reliable and experienced conversion company.

NK Lofts have a wealth of experience when it comes to providing a variety of loft conversions throughout Northampton, Peterborough, Coventry and the surrounding areas. Our expert team will help you plan your loft conversion from the start, carrying out every aspect of the project with complete safety and care at all times. To find out more about our loft conversion services, dont hesitate to get in touch with us today we are always happy to help.