This is the second article in a series considering whether flooring your loft can affect your warranty. Read the other articles here:
- Does loft flooring affect my new home warranty? Part 1 – Your Warranty
- Does loft flooring affect my new home warranty? Part 3 – Building Regulations
- Does loft flooring affect my new home warranty? Part 4 – The BBA and LoftZone
NHBC Standards and Loft Flooring
The NHBC requirements are defined in the NHBC Standards they publish.
The current 2017 document applies to every new home registered with NHBC where foundations were begun on or after 1 January 2017. The 2018 standards are already available and will apply where foundations are begun on or after 1 January 2018.
Section 7.2 – Pitched Roofs
The chapter which is most relevant to you for loft flooring is Chapter 7.2 – Pitched Roofs. However, there is very little detail pertaining to what you can and cannot use your loft for. Instead, the focus is on the construction of the timbers making up the roof space and the methods required to adequately damp-proof, ventilate and insulate the roof space.
Section 7.2.12 – Access
Suitable access to the roof void is required to access things such as cisterns, tanks, HVAC or solar panel equipment if present. In such cases, the NHBC Standards actually requires that securely fixed boards are fitted as walkways to the equipment. The only requirement relevant to us is that “boarding should be securely fixed without compressing the insulation.”
Section 7.2.15 – Ventilation, vapour control and insulation
The only other section of interest to us is 7.2.15, which give some requirements for how the roof void is ventilated to the outside air, the application of damp-proof membranes and the insulating performance of loft access hatches. Regarding insulation, the only relevant requirement for us is that it should be of suitable thickness so as to meet building regulations. Leading us on neatly to…