Our Loft Boarding FAQs
Got questions about how we can help create more storage space in your home? Check out our frequently asked questions below!
Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Get in touch or book your free survey today.
How high will the deck be?
The deck will be raised 279mm above the top of your joists. This is to allow for a full depth of loft insulation (up to 350mm, measured from the floor of the loft) plus an air gap above the insulation and below the boards. This essential air gap is there to allow air to flow over the insulation, thereby taking away any humidity which might otherwise condense on the underside of the boards and cause damp. LoftZone took advice from the Buildings Research Establishment for the size of the air gap during the design phase – hence the 279mm.
What loading can I put on LoftZone?
Probably a lot more than your ceiling can take. See FAQ: Will my loft floor be strong enough for flooring?
StoreFloor is extremely strong and LoftZone is the only raised loft floor manufacturer to have put its products through robust accelerated lifetime tests in extremes of temperature beyond those normally found in the UK. Even in these conditions, a StoreFloor deck survived loads of over 500kg per square metre, without failure.
In addition to being strong itself, StoreFloor’s lattice-beam structure also strengthens the joists it is screwed into. Nonetheless, StoreFloor is only intended for storage and occasional access, and we recommend that you don’t overload your joists. If in doubt, consult a structural engineer.
I have an old house with uneven joists, how do I fit LoftZone here?
LoftZone has been installed in thousands of properties, from new build right through to heritage period houses. It works well in all of these but some older properties do cause certain issues when the joists are of uneven height or not flat. This doesn’t stop StoreFloor being fitted, but it’s worth considering the following points:
The first point to note is that LoftZone bridges over, and completely misses out, most joists, since the Cross-Beams span 1200mm. Therefore, with a bit of planning, you can often choose to place the supports in such a way as to completely miss out the joists that cause the problem.
Occasionally however you will find that, even with the best planning, some of the joists you fix the supports to could be higher than others, or too uneven to screw into. The way our installers get around this is either by fitting a wooden shim underneath some supports, to make everything level, or to screw a small new piece of wood to the side of the original joist, and to fit the support on to that.
Does the spacing between my joists matter?
The vast majority of joists in the UK are either 400mm or 600mm apart (measured from the centre of one joist to the centre of the next one). That is why LoftZone Cross-Beams are designed to span 1200mm, so they fit perfectly. Importantly, there is also up to 75mm tolerance in case your joists weren’t built exactly to these dimensions (many weren’t!). And because the Cross-Beams bridge over intermediate joists, if you find there are any that are uneven or warped, you can just miss these out. So for most UK properties, everything will work fine.
Some houses however have other, or variable, joist spacing. In that case, you’ll need to cut the Cross-Beams to the right size, so that they span between joists without overhanging or falling short. Cutting the Cross-Beams is easy; just use a saw or tin-snips. The beams are strong thanks to their design but only 0.7mm thick.
If you need help working out exactly how many parts you need, get in touch with us.
General Loft Flooring
Is my loft suitable?
LoftZone StoreFloor is suitable for almost all lofts, including cut, purlin and truss-roofed types. It’s frequently fitted in both houses and commercial buildings. Your joists will be need to be made of wood and be at least 32mm (1.25″) wide and 75mm (3″) tall.
Will my loft floor be strong enough for flooring?
Although many house builders have historically discouraged buyers from using their loft for storage, the British Standard for roof trusses (BS5268) permits up to 25kg/m2 of storage plus the weight of one person (assumed to weigh up to 180kg) accessing the belongings.
LoftZone StoreFloor uniquely allows new home builders to safely allow house buyers to use their loft space for storage, in a way that has passed all required tests, and even for modern truss roof properties. In fact, the lattice-beam structure of the product strengthens the joists.
How much of my loft should I deck?
Most people would like to board their whole loft, but you don’t have to. StoreFloor is modular so you can start small and build more later when your storage requirements go up. Most people choose a square or rectangular deck, or an L or T shape near the hatch. Some people have more than one deck, on either side of the hatch. Don’t board right up to the eaves though, as you’ll want to keep a gap for ventilation.
Regulations, Requirements, Standards
Are roof windows an acceptable fire escape route from a loft?
No. If your loft can be considered as a ‘habitable space’ then building regulations for fire safety must be complied with.
According to the Technical Handbook for Scottish Building Regulations (section 2.9.4),
“the use of windows for escape should only ever be considered in an emergency situation as a last resort and should not form part of the principal route of escape”
This applies to windows in a storey height not more than 4.5m above ground – most likely the first floor – and windows above this height are considered not even suitable for escape in an emergency.
For rooms in a storey height above 4.5m, a protected enclosure should provide direct access to an exit door and suitable escape route (a permanent ladder is not suitable – stairs must be available).
Will a loft survey wake my sleeping baby?
We often conduct surveys in the evenings, and are able to do this very quietly. Our ladders are fibreglass so do not clatter, most loft hatches are plastic and can be opened softly, and in the vast majority of cases our surveyor can take all laser measurements from the ladder without needing even to set foot in the loft. All that remains is to return downstairs to discuss the options with you (sotto voce)… or even just follow up with a call at a later time.
When will I receive my electrical certificate?
If you’ve had lights or sockets fitted, then you will receive and NICEIC or SELECT certificate. This will be emailed to you usually within a week of your installation. Our electricians tend to do these in batches, which is why they are not sent immediately after installation. If you have not received your certificate but are still expecting one then please let us know.
Can flooring the loft restrict airflow and cause dampness?
Yes, if done the traditional way of fitting floor boards directly on to the joists, or onto timber batons placed on top of the joists, this prevents air from flowing across the roof space.
The warm, humid air rising from the house may condense on the cool underside of the decking and cause dampness and rot. A LoftZone deck will be raised 279mm above the top of your joists. This is to allow for a full depth of loft insulation (up to 350mm, measured from the floor of the loft) plus an air gap above the insulation and below the boards.