Get a suspended loft floor and buy more insulation to save on fuel consumption this year
This is the third in our series of reports on this year’s Grand Designs Live. You can read more in the series like what DIY Doctor thought of Tree Tents and our report on clay plaster at the show. While I was at the exhibition I was looking for the unusual, the stylish, and the innovative.
This product by Loftzone comes in the last category, and is unashamedly useful. In fact,you could say this system just floored me!
The Storefloor is a system of loft flooring that uses the strength of the existing roof joists to take a flooring ‘bracket’ that you can load with loft boards. The Storefloor system spreads the load of the boards, and whatever is on top of them, while also allowing enough space underneath it to let you add the recommended amount of insulation, with an all-important air gap to ensure the insulating properties of the insulating material are most effective.
Dave Raval from Loftzone explained about the height of the flooring system: “It is sized to allow up to 300mm of insulation . . . plus an air gap above the insulation and below the boards. We asked the Buildings Research Establishment to advise us on the size of this gap, which helps to reduce any possible moisture build-up on the underside of the boards.”
The system is formed of sectional pieces that use the structure of the existing roof joists to builds a structurally sound floating or suspended floor that can be used for storage and occasional access, and can be strengthened if you want to walk on it regularly, or to allow you to store heavier items.
Compressed loft insulation material is only half as effective
What many people don’t realise is that if they squash the minimum recommended fibreglass wool insulation, it becomes less than half as effective as it would be with enough space for it to sit unmolested by loft boards. You know how it is, you need space to store Christmas decorations, old school books and your scuba diving kit, so you place loft boards on top of your insulation so then it is compressed down to the height of the joists, and it has no air void between it and the loft boards.
When you consider that fibreglass insulation is one of the best loft insulation materials, in that it gives you the best energy saving returns pound for pound, plus the fact that nearly all of us have items stashed in our loft (whether it is properly boarded out or not), then it makes absolute sense to have this system.
Having effective loft insulation makes economic sense
We are all becoming increasingly aware of the costs of energy bills and the savings to be made by improving insulation in our homes. Energy ratings or EPC’s are now mandatory for any property that is marketed for rent or for sale, and so it is likely that systems like this will be taken up to satisfy the need for increased loft insulation while allowing us the convenience of having our loft boarded for storage.
It wouldn’t surprise us to find this system being fitted into new build properties by companies for whom eco building is of paramount importance.
However even if it isn’t already in the loft of the house you buy it would be such a simple job to retrofit, using simple basic DIY skills. The system is modular so you can even fit it without clearing your loft first. For more information on how easy it is to fit, you can visit the DIY Doctor Project on boarding over increased insulation in your loft.
UPDATE – Since we wrote this blog we have filmed a video to show how the system works and how easy it is to fit.