Fitting new central heating if you are converting the loft is a big job but it isn’t necessarily complicated if it is planned right.
The bulk of the work with the new, or extended, heating system will
take place during the first fix plumbing stage of the project.
This means that the structural work is complete and most of the infrastructure is in place.
But this is a crucial time in all loft conversions.
When the first fix stage is reached the finishing line is in sight and the new loft room is really taking shape.
But it is very important not to lose sight of the end goal at this point.
Good Planning Is Critical
The main issue, from the homeowners perspective, with central heating in loft conversions is to make sure that the positioning of the new radiators is well thought out.
The great thing about all loft conversions of course is that the new room in the roof space is a blank canvas and no doubt at this stage the homeowner will be mentally picturing exactly where all the furnishings are going to be positioned.
But a potential problem here is that a radiator in the wrong place could derail all the plans.
Because of this it is essential that the plumbers are given exact plans on where to place the radiators.
This is very important because if a plumber is told that the radiator needs to go on the back wall he will place it at the easiest point for him.
This isn’t necessarily the best place for you so ensure that a lot of thought and direction is given to where the radiators will be placed.
Central Heating Systems
So far we have only discussed radiators as this is by far the easiest and most common way to provide central heating in loft conversions.
Traditional heating systems work by a boiler pumping hot water through pipes to the radiators in each room in the house.
Sometimes it is necessary to fit a new boiler to cope with the added work though most modern systems should be fine.
With the new loft rooms it is important to calculate correctly the number and size of the radiator(s) needed and where they should be positioned. Often radiators are placed near windows as that is where most rooms tend to be the coldest.
There is an alternative to radiators of course and that is underfloor heating.
This kind of system is very popular nowadays but it is difficult, though not impossible, to install in a loft conversion.
There are two basic varieties of underfloor heating systems; wet and dry.
The wet systems work in a similar way to radiators in that hot water is pumped through pipes laid under the floor. This works well but is usually completely impractical when converting the loft.
However the ‘dry’ kind of underfloor heating can be utilised in loft conversions though, again, the installation isn’t straight forward. Dry underfloor heating works with thin mats laid beneath the loft flooring .
These mats are then heated to provide the warmth. These systems, though neater than radiators, are very expensive and, in my opinion at least, are not as effective as radiators as they take longer to provide the a comfortable level of heat.
For more info see the related pages below
Vermiculite Loft Insulation is an echo-friendly alternative to traditional insulation materials
The old loft water tank will need to be moved if the roof space is being converted into a habitable room
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations