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Storage space in insulated lofts

Question: How can we create a storage space in our insulated loft?

Answer: Lofts should be insulated to at least the recommended 270mm, and preferably at around 300mm. However, a recent study found that the effectiveness of the insulation can be undermined if lofts are also often used for storage. When a loft is boarded out, the insulation is often reduced to the height of the joists, which is either 75mm or 100mm, or the insulation is compressed below 270mm by placing items on it which can reduce thermal performance of the insulation and undermine its effectiveness.

The only solution to this is to build a free-standing platform which doesn’t squash or compromise the insulation below. This can be done in a variety of ways:

  • For a truss roof you can put bearers on the timber work
  • Hang the platform from the purlins
  • Add a vertical member coming up off the ceiling joists – acting like stilts for the platform

Obviously, structural stability needs to be considered (especially if you are planning to store large amounts of items). You don’t want the ceiling giving way and the stored items falling on the rooms below! If in doubt, consult a structural engineer.

Another area which often gets neglected is the loft hatch itself. Make sure that it is well insulated and draughtproofed.

All information is provided in good faith. However, any use of the information is entirely at your own risk, no guarantee is given as to its suitability and Green Building Store does not accept any liability whatsoever for building performance or safety, regulatory compliance, or any other outcome which may result from its use or implementation.

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