LBNW Timber Supported Sub-Frame For Older Houses With Weaker Ceilings?
We come across a lot of weaker ceilings or ceilings with smaller joists
than normal and we advise not to just board direct to the joists or
batten and board directly to the joists because the ceiling joists are
too weak to allow the additional boarding & storage weight (load).
With older terraced and detached houses pre WW2 and after WW2 when we
started building again we had a short supply of materials, so houses were
built to a very minimal specification. Although the ceiling joists are
adequate (in most cases) to support your ceiling only they were never
designed to take any extra weight on them, so they must be strengthened
or built above correctly to allow for the extra weight from boarding, storage items and you to
walk about safely. By adding more support this will prevent problems
in the future.
Insufficient strengthening or supporting of a storage floor will cause
problems with weaker ceilings, and unfortunately a lot of "loft
companies" out there are not aware of how to create strong safe storage
sub-frames (storage platforms) in a loft. Installing directly or on some
3x2 batten only increases the load on the existing ceiling and will not
strengthen it. Add your storage items, you, someone else and without
the correct extra support your ceiling could essentially be
There is more to it than you think, see
the pictures below? this shows the extra work that goes in to creating a
leveled structurally supported storage platform (sub-frame). The sub-frame is
supported by hangers in places
where it cannot bear down on your existing joists for support, usually
above the central area of a bedroom, near the light bulb in the room where there is no
additional support. Hangers must be fitted to the purlins to help
support and suspend the sub-frame, in most cases this is required
before any boarding can be installed.
Cutting corners to falsely reduce quotes for loft boarding is common
place in this industry, so this means using inadequate materials,
inferiors products which will
not conform to any regulations.
We do not cut corners just to falsely reduce costs like others
But is it really necessary to build a sub-frame?
can get a load calculation done for your loft storage requirements
before you have loft boarding installed, but this is not required and can
be quite costly.
however, highly recommend extra strengthening and would be silly to
ignore as anyone can see adding more weight to a ceiling without support
can, and will, damage a ceiling beyond repair. Get a LBNW timber supported
sub-frame and feel confident that your ceilings will never be over
However, newer built properties (with a truss roof in the past 50 years
or so) are a little different as they have support from a web truss
frame that is installed in your loft every 600mm, this supports the roof
and ceiling all in one.
So our LoftZone raised loft floor sub-frame system can be installed directly to
this type of ceiling to gain height above the insulation of 270mm, so you
can create a storage area without removing or squashing any insulation.
It is bad practice to remove or squash installation to board your
loft for storage, and this is why your homes developer or builder
will most likely not recommend using your loft for storage because of the
cowboy methods used previously by unqualified and amateur