Depending on who you ask, this can be a question with many answers: Some house builders advise that you should only fit a small amount of flooring in the middle of your loft. Others suggest that you don’t floor your loft at all. So, when it comes to new build lofts, how much can you floor and why are developers so anxious about using the loft at all?
Flooring new build lofts can be a contentious topic with developers often pointing to your warranty or regulations. (We’ve debunked those myths in our posts about NHBC & Loft Boarding and Loft Boarding & Building Regulations.)
But let’s look at the main reason why builders are right to be cautious about new build loft flooring – and what that means for your loft and how much you can use for extra storage space.
Dampness & Mould
It’s important to know that loft flooring done poorly can lead to serious damp problems in new build lofts. Whether flooring is placed right on top of your insulation or the vents in your eaves are blocked by boards, restricted airflow over time leads to dampness and mould.
Apart from affecting everything you are storing in your loft, it will keep your loft insulation from doing its job.
Not only that, it will be difficult for you to prove in case the issue is actually due to faults in the design, workmanship or materials and not because of your loft flooring.
So when flooring new build lofts, it’s important to keep a very keen eye on your ventilation. For example, to ensure enough airflow above the insulation use a raised loft flooring system like LoftZone.
Additionally, you should leave a gap of approximately half a metre between the edge of your new build loft flooring and the roof. This will ensure nothing is blocking ventilation in the eaves. Something you should also keep in mind when adding or topping up your loft insulation.
How Much You Can Floor in New Build Lofts
If you maintain loft ventilation by using a raised loft flooring system with a gap around the edges, you can floor almost all of your new build loft. Depending on the footprint of your house, this can be in the region of up to 40sqm or 50sqm of extra storage space!
Even better, when choosing LoftZone, your flooring can usually be fitted snug up to the gable walls, so you will only have to leave gaps on the sides. This is because LoftZone, as opposed to traditional methods, allows good airflow across the joists as well as in line with them.
And if that’s now enough storage space for you, you can always add truss shelves to your loft. They can take a load of up to 12kg – perfect to store smaller items and containers.
Loft Flooring that Grows With Your Needs
Don’t want to floor your whole loft right now? Then we have even better news for you! With a system like LoftZone, you can always add more flooring when needed.
A lot of our customers choose to go down this route: They only get the middle section or part of the middle section floored at first, depending on their needs and budget. And if their circumstances and storage needs change, they have the option to extend their loft flooring.
The middle section of new build lofts is often 1.8m or 2.4m wide, so having it floored can give you an area of up to 12sqm to 20sqm.
How much of your new build loft to floor for storage depends mostly on your storage needs. In our experience, however, flooring the middle section of your loft is usually the most cost-effective solution.
This is because most new build lofts have a ‘fink’ (or ‘W’-shaped) trussed rafter design where the middle area lines up with the peak of the roofline. Which makes it the area with the most headroom.
This is an important factor because raised flooring will reduce the headroom in your loft by about 1ft.
But that doesn’t render flooring the eaves sections useless. The gaps in the trusses make great storage locations which allows the middle area to be kept clear and accessible.