Very strong because we use purpose made 18mm tongue and groved
high density particle board which gives a strong secure fit. Its
similar to chip board but uses finer chippings mixed with plastics,
metals and fibres all bonded with a very strong glue.
It's safe to
walk on and store on distributing weight evenly over the sub-frame
(the frame work we build underneath the boards) surface allows
really safe strong storage.
To help achieve a safer more stronger platform we build a self
supporting sub-frame above your existing joists using internal walls
and purlins to strengthen the boarded area. Our timber framed 200mm+
self supporting sub-frame does not rely upon your existing ceiling
joist unlike other companies who use inferior battening or 3x2 laid
directly on to your existing ceiling joists which will weaken them. With
this type of floor we can raise the flooring at least 270mm above
the ceiling level, leaving plenty of room for insualtion underneath
without squashing it or having to remove it. This is what we
Your ceiling joists are only meant to hold up the plaster ceiling,
it is not a floor and therefore a bespoke sub-frame must be built
above the existing joists and self supported to make it strong and
safe to use.
But I have tall loft insulation, can I still board
my loft ? Yes, depending on the height required to build
the sub-frame storage floor above any cables, light fittings, pipes
or loft insulation we use either a timber 200mm raised double self
supporting sub-frame, which is mainly for houses 50+ years with a
purlin style roof or for more modern properties (Within the last 50
years) with a truss styled roof we use a 270mm raised LoftZone store
floor system this raises the new storage floor to a more suitable
level to avoid loft insulation compression especially in new build
properties with government recommended insulations levels.
Compressing your loft insulation is a bad idea as it will reduce its
efficiency considerably and may cause damp and condensation issues.
Removing it is not an option either as this will leave a area that
will lose heat quicker and start to cost you money on your heating
See LoftZone store floor link below for the ultimate loft storage
system for lofts with tall insulation.
Can I Fit Loft Boarding Directly on to My Ceiling Joists?
especially with older properties with weaker ceilings, its just not
worth the risk cutting corners to save a few quid on materials when
it can be done properly. Doing it properly includes strengthening,
installing supports, leveling, making safe and future proofing so as
not to cause damage to your ceilings especially with all the weight
stored up there in the years to come, and for a little more money
why risk a cheap alternative. Seriously, many people have regretted
it. Ceilings are not meant to hold any more weight than for holding
up your ceiling plaster boards or lathe plaster, so consideration in
to the correct type of sub-frame and support is crucial.
Not all lofts are the same hence the reason we carry out free
surveys so we can inspect and advise of how your loft can be
utilised for storage.
One of the first things to consider
apart from the ceiling joist strength is how high your ceiling is,
we need to measure from floor to ceiling height as some ladders may
We then have to measure your existing loft opening
making sure it is of a comfortable accessible size to allow you,
your ladder and what ever you carry up in to the loft.
In some case especially on older properties with old lift off wood
hatches a new energy efficient hatch will need to be installed so
you can safely access your loft with a loft ladder to store in.
Head height is important, we will need to measure the head
height from the loft opening to the roof, its no good if you bang
your head or have to lay down to get in to your loft.
After checking on these crucial details we must allow clearance
for the fold away ladder.
For older properties build before
1960 with a purling style roof, your ceiling joists will need
strengthening by fitting an extra self supporting sub-frame on top
of your supporting walls and hung from the roof purlins to allow the
weight to be taken independently and away from the existing ceiling
joists, after all your house was built with joists to support a
ceiling not to be walked on or stored on so this is very important.
(see diagram below)
Do I need Planning Permission?
do not require planning permission to board a loft for storage.
Planning permission is only required for major works or large attic
/ loft conversions for living extension purposes.
However in some homes the timber joists may not be adequate in
strength to support a "load" or storage weight.
This is why we must do a survey to determine if your loft has
adequate ceiling joist to allow the loft to be boarded. Most
ceilings are only designed to take the weight of the plaster ceiling
and any extra weight must not be put directly on to the existing
In most cases with older properties approximately 50+ years the
ceiling joists must not be used as support so a self supporting
sub-frame needs to be build above the existing ceiling joists.
In most new houses the joists may only require a simple sub-frame
building to support the extra weight (see below for more
information) but some may also require a raised sub-frame to be of a
correct height to avoid loft insulation compression or removal.
Insulation has to comply to the relevant building regulations both
when installed and when fitted retrospectively
Building Regulations & Building Control?
Although we always work to building regulations where applicable,
and always make sure your existing joists are supported or
strengthened building control can be a grey area sometimes when it
come to building work, so if you decide to have your loft boarded
for storage, mini loft conversion or luxury loft storage and
depending on where you are in the country, type of property (listed
or other) and what you are having done this may or may not require a
building regulations application to building control. No planning
permission is required but a wildlife license may be required if the
work affects protected species like bats. This information is
available by contacting your local building authority.
Area Can I Board For Storage?
Normally we only board areas which are accessible by standing or
kneeling but not lying down. Keeping your storage area central
highest point will be most practical.
No point going to the unnecessary expense of boarding your eaves as
they are to low and not really that accessible, plus you need to
keep these areas clear so as to allow airflow around your loft, this
is very important.
New build properties are completely different to older purlin style
roofs house such as Pre-war terraced and detached. Timber self
supporting sub-frames are required in these houses to add support
and strength so as not to rely upon the exiting ceiling joists so a
much safe stronger area can be gained.
Can I board all of my loft ?
completely boarding your loft is not advisable as it can prevent air
circulation in your loft and lead to condensation build up, so
best to leave the lower outer areas like the eaves free from
boarding. And as mention its just adding unnecessary expense
boarding an areas that you cant reach easily so therefor you wont
Any area can be boarded providing the area in your loft
will allow it and it can be made strong enough to allow boarding,
this will be checked by our loft boarding surveyor.
Below are examples of different systems we use to create a safe,
strong storage floor in your loft.
This will give you a better idea of how we professionally construct
your loft floor to make it strong to walk and store on.
Sub-frames are basically a supporting frame under the boarding to
allow the boarded area to be raised above the insulation and / or
for adding better support and strength.
See examples below of different sub-frames we use to create a safe,
strong storage floor in your loft.
We now do three types of Sub-frame. Standard Trussed, LoftZone
StoreFloor, and LBNW Timber Raised and Supported
that have any insulation protruding above the joists will require a
sub-frame of some kind to suit the joist type before boarding.
Boarding directly on to your joists by removing or squashing
insulation is bad practice nowadays. Please if your boarding your
own loft follow the advice given on our website and if you choose
another company to do it please make sure they are doing as advised
here. If you are not confident in what another company describes or
proposes to do contact us for free advice on 01254 879040
You must allow your insulation and loft to breathe. Stopping air
circulation in lofts by boarding all of your loft or blocking eaves,
roof or soffit vents can caused problems like condensation build up
which may lead to damp ceilings and loft timbers. Do not squashinsulation
down, and if you use a sub-frame above your insulation do not box in
the ends leave the end so air can pass underneath your storage floor
and through the insulation so it can work efficiently.
Using a unique system of steel joists and strong plastic triangle
shaped supports we can create a extra strong and safe professionally
raised floor for storage in your loft without the need for major
We can give you an additional height of 270mm above your joist level
for loft insulation to sit neatly and correctly without compression
in between this system.
This is ideal for most new build and houses built circa 1960 with a
trussed style roof.
are usually support by large wood beams or steel RSJ's which spam
across the rafters supported sometimes by central walls and outer
wall or party walls. Purlins are usually found in older Victorian / Edwardian properties
and were used commonly for many years until around 1960 when they
started to change to Trussed style supported roofs.
are the most popular roof support for all standard and common new
builds you see today. They can vary with different web
configurations but the most common is shown in the photo below. They started building with trussed roofs circa 1960 which is a very
clever design being that the ceiling joists are built in to the
roofs structure so giving excellent ceiling support every 600mm or
so. It was an improvement from the old style purlin roof which
had to take its ceiling support from additional rafter hangers.
Although when they were built this was quite adequate but building
practice's have changed many times and these hangers need
replacing with larger ones or additional supports. Its not ideal to
board your loft for storage directly or by some timber batten
resting onto a weak ceiling. See more info below on the methods we
use to get over the weak ceiling problem of older terraced or
Trussed Roof Timber Sub-Frame System (Shallow Roof Alternative/
This sort of sub-frame is best suited for trussed roof systems where
there is no ceiling plasterboard or insulation, for example a garage
roof void or a roof that is so shallow it cant take the height of
270mm StoreFloor system. We can span timber across to get the correct spacing, height and
support to have loft boards placed down as the fixing height can be
LBNW Timber Supported Sub-Frame For Older Houses With Weaker
We come across allot of weaker ceilings or ceilings with smaller
joists than normal and we advise not to just board direct tot he
joists or batten and board directly to the joists because the
ceiling joists are to weak to allow the additional boarding &
storage weight (load).
Mainly 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 your
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
boarding, storage items and you to walk about safely and 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 allot 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 and someone else and without the correct extra support and your
ceiling could essentially be dangerously overloaded.
more to it than you think, see the pictures below? this shows the
extra work that goes in to creating a level self supporting storage
platform. The sub-frame is hung in places where it cannot bear down
on your existing joists for support, usually above the central area
of a bedroom, near the light where there is no additional support.
Hangers must be fitted to the purlins to help support and suspend
the sub-frame in most cases as 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 mean using inadequate materials and
will not conform to any regulations. We will not cut corners just to falsely reduce costs like
But is it really necessary to build a sub-frame? You 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. We do 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 loaded
Newer built properties however (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 and supports
the roof and ceiling all in one. So our LoftZone raised loft floor 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 down
to board your loft for storage and this is why your new build
developer or builder don't like to recommend using your loft for
storage because of the cowboys doing this from the past.
Section Aluminium (A)Minimum
hatch opening width 562mm (22.28") length 726mm (28.58")
with fold down door (B)Minimum
distance required behind hatch 1270mm (50") (C)Suitable
for a floor to ceiling height maximum of' 2692mm (106")
height required in loft: 710mm (28") * Width of ladder is 381mm
(15") * Weight
maximum 150kg (23.6st)
3 Section Aluminium (A)Minimum
hatch opening width 562mm (22.28") length 726mm (28.58")
with fold down door (B)Minimum
distance required behind hatch 1120mm (44") (C)Suitable
for a floor to ceiling height maximum of 3000mm (118")
height required in loft: 710mm (28") * Width of ladder is 381mm
(15") * Weight
maximum 150kg (23.6st)
Having updated your insulation level to the government recommended
270mm, but what about you badly seal and in efficient out dated loft
hatch? The most important part of retaining heat in your home is to
heavily insulate the ceiling area at the top of your landing and
update the old loft hatch to a more efficient modern building
regulation spec hatch. Your upstairs landing is where most of the
down stairs heat ends up and a poor weak loft hatch will just let it
all through costing you £100's a year There is just no point having
a heavily insulated loft and leaving in the old inefficient loft
Reverse hinging an old wood loft hatch is no longer seen as good
practice as it does not comply with air leakage requirements of Part
L of Building Regulations.
Also your loft hatch needs to be a good size to allow items, a
ladder and yourself to pass through.
We can replace, make larger, move and improve your loft access
door (All prices below are including fitting)
The revolutionary design of the multi-point catch mechanism
means that this door (picture below) can maintain a more effective
draught seal around the entire accessible opening, helping to meet
the air leakage requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations
and preventing the problem of moist warm air entering.
This loft door has been independently tested by the BRE to BS EN
13141-1:2004, and easily surpasses the requirements for air leakage
which are outlined in the current building standards, certification
The door is unlocked by hand by sliding to open the catch mechanism.
This door can also be used in conjunction with the aluminum,
concertina or wood loft ladders.
Energy Efficient Loft Hatches
One for One straight swap no alterations required from £90
Have your existing loft opening made bigger from only £120
Build a completely new hatch in a new suitable area or room
from just £190 - £250
Extra long wood hatch with wooden wide tread steps from only
£350 - £490
New building regulation specification energy
efficient loft hatch (726mm Long x 566mm Wide)
Building regulations specifications Energy efficient
design and build Low profile design with sleek, contemporary styling
The door and frame are fully draught sealed
Seals are supported by multiple perimeter catches
Sliding door mechanism is operated from a single point
Innovative hinge detail is hidden when the door is locked
The design allows for the door to be fully removed in
All hinge, catch and fixing geometry outside of the door
Hinge pivot positioned to provide largest accessible opening
Insulated area on the back of the door is fully maximised
Wood Loft Hatch & Ladder
In some cases we come across customers who need a larger loft
opening or may not have the space for a aluminum floor mounted
ladder to stow away, so the alternative is to install a larger more
convenient loft ladder complete with framed hatch. Wide 84mm and
deep timber treads for comfort when climbing.
This kit is the complete loft-access solution, with an timber
loft ladder Measuring (H)1150 x (W)545cm
with spring-assisted stowage and wide, sturdy wide treads for
This loft ladder is stored within the trapdoor so no loft floor
space is used.
Suitable for heights from 2.81m (9ft 2in) to 3.51m (11ft 6in) With extension.
A complete loft access solution including ladder
Loft frame surround
30mm insulated trapdoor and spring assisted stowage.
Free architrave included.
Uses no further loft floor space - ladder stores neatly within trap door.
Wide and deep timber treads for comfort when climbing.
Size / Details
Max Floor to Ceiling Height
3.51m (11ft 6in)
150kg (23.6 Stone)
Timber with Insulation
Yes (In rounded finish only)
Yes (Cut down to fit less than 2.8m)
Approx. Product Weight Kg
Automated Loft Ladders
If you struggle to operate a loft ladder but still want to use
your loft for storage how about a semi automated timber loft
ladder with extra long loft hatch.
Semi automatic electric timber loft hatch with
manual ladder Remote control operated door. Insulated door and features a draught seal, this
ensures the trapdoor is airtight Solid timber construction grade frame and steps
sourced from managed forests Even work in a power cut with a battery backup
system Intelligent safety awareness, by constantly
measuring its progress the system can recognise when
something is jamming or pulling on the trapdoor. Extra large trapdoor openings or for tight spaces
were walls obstruct normal folding ladders Reach height from 2.44m to 3.81m measured floor to
ceiling Width all 560mm & Length from 1048mm to 1990mm Class BS EN14975 (Max Load 150 kg) This item can be installed as part of a package or
on its own Price range from £1200 to £1550 installed
Insulation & Top Up Service
Heat rises, and in a home with just half of todays recommended
levels of insulation a quarter of your heat is lost through the
roof. Insulating your
loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to save that
waste and reduce your heating bill.
Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years, and it will pay
for itself over and over again in that time.
If your loft is already insulated, it's worth checking that you've
got enough insulation to get the maximum saving.
If everyone in the UK installed 270mm loft insulation, we could save
nearly £210 million and almost 1 million tones of carbon dioxide
every year, the equivalent of taking nearly 364,000 cars off the
Installing 270mm of loft insulation will save the average household
around £187 a year.
As part of our loft boarding packages we do loft insulation from as
little as £3.75 a square metre for 100mm and £4.99 a square metre
for 200mm supplied and installed.
Please note: we can only supply and install insulation as part of a
loft boarding package, we do not just install loft insulation.
Storing items in your loft incorrectly can compromise the efficiency
of your loft insulation. Putting boxes and suitcase away in your
loft directly on to your insulation will start to cost you more
money on your heating bills because you are effectively making it
possible to breath and circulate air through the fibre's. Wool fibre
type loft insulation must be none compressed so air can circulate
through it to be at it most effective.
Boarding directly on to insulation or squashing it down in between
your joists will also reduce it efficiency considerably.
So you want to add more insulation and use your loft for storage?
There are now specialist products that allow you to create a raise
loft storage floor consisting of sturdy tri and uni-support 270mm
legs which support a metal cross beam section that allows you to
board on to without compromising your insulation.
Loft safety is very important, accidents can happen and helping
prevent them especially in lofts is very important. The most common
accidents in lofts are falling through the ceiling and falling down
the loft hatch opening.
In both cases we can help prevent this from happening by installing
good quality strong flooring in the areas you want to access and
install a rail or balustrade around the opening of the hatch to stop
anyone from walking backwards or stumbling toward the loft hatch,
its a long way down and could be quite nasty so its worth
considering installing a safety balustrade or railing.
can make and install simple wooden balustrades or we can installed
universal metal rail version which simply install to your loft
joists or flooring.
If you need a helping hand getting in to your loft why not have
installed a hand grab rail to assist your balance when climbing the
ladder in to the loft area.
We can also create a safety balustrade around the edge of the
boarding to prevent stepping off the safe boarded area on to the
plaster board ceiling.
Contractor Safety Work Access
We often get asked to create a working platform, stage or walkway
for any contractors who may need to access your loft to work on
Boilers, Solar panel equipment, TV or networking equipment, pipe
work or electric cables. A contractor can refuse to do this work if
there is no safe area to walk on or if the access to your loft is
We can help provide easy safe access to your equipment in your loft
by providing what is recommend for working at height safety
A suitable loft hatch / opening must be provided of
regulation size (726mm x 566mm) to allow a person and a secured
ladder to pass through without any obstruction
A strong purpose built stow away aluminium ladders must be
fixed in place with lockable sections when pulled down to use.
A safety rail must be provided to surround the hatch to
protect anyone falling down the loft opening from inside the
loft by walking backwards or stumbling towards the opening.
A secure purpose built platform must be provided to allow a
safe walkway and to surround the apparatus / equipment to be
maintained. Several working areas can be provided which are
accessed off the main walkway.
Adequate fixed lighting must be installed correctly and be
installed in accordance with IEE wiring regulations and comply
with building regulation Part P (The light must be fixed and a
switch must be placed in a safe but easy to reach location from
the loft opening)
The walkway / boarding must be constructed by using a raised
sub-frame system to avoid compression of any existing loft
insulation. Any insulation compression will diminish the
effectiveness of the insulation considerably.
Lighting is important for your loft, you need to see what you are
doing and where you are standing.
We can install a simple LED light bulb and pull switch so you can
immediately switch on the light before stepping off your ladder, no
point having a switch further inside where you cant see to switch it
We install LED bulbs as standard nowadays or fluorescent tubes as an
soon to be the norm, as everything is converting to LED because its
much cheaper to run than the older incandescent bulbs and such like.
A 6w LED bulb is equivalent to the old 40w incandescent bulb which
gave off around 470 lumens.
The choice is your, the cost is not really much between them and it
really depends on how much area is boarded in your loft to how much
light you'll need.
We recommend 1 bulb per 14ft (4.5m) or 1 fluorescent tube per 24ft
When going for lighting the modern way is to chose is by Lumens not
The more lumens then more light. Lumens are to light what litres are
LED tube lightingis
our most popular type of lighting because it has a very high Lumens rating (for the
watts output) and spreads the light much further than a standard
If you plan to use your loft quite a lot for storage. eBay, hobby or
study room then we recommend a tube light.
A 4ft LED tube light can give out as much light as 7 old 40w bulbs but
uses less energy to do so as its equivalent to only 36w instead of
280w for 7 bulbs
If you require a quote for your loft boarding requirements simply
call our central enquiries number for the Northwest 01254 370073 ore-mail
we cover the Northwest