Knowing how to board out the loft is essential knowledge for anyone who wants to use their roof space to store items.
Unless the loft has been boarded anyone wanting to move around the loft would have to make sure he or she places their feet on the rafters, and the storage of items becomes very difficult.
Boarding a loft should not be too difficult and should be able to be completed even by people who do not consider themselves avid DIYers.
It may not even be necessary to board all the loft area.
It could be a waste as of time and effort to board where space is tight under the eaves because it would be impossible to store anything there, not to mention the difficulty of actually laying the boards there.
The first job is to calculate the amount of space in the loft area to be boarded. Measure the space you are going to board and calculate the amount of square metres required by multiplying the length x width.
So, if the space is, for example, 5m x 4m you would need 20 square metres of boarding. Having made the calculations it is a case of buying the boarding from the local DIY store such as B&Q or Wickes.
How To Board A Loft? A Couple Of Obstacles To Overcome.
Although laying the boarding itself is pretty easy there may be a couple of difficulties to overcome before getting to that stage.
If your insulation has been laid over the joists, or if you have wires and cables running along the tops of the joists, then you will need to raise the joist level. This can be done by using 3x1 inch timber and laying them crossways over the existing joists. Screw the new timber to the existing joists and lay the boarding on top.
The boards are fitted across the joists. It is best to fit them across several joists as this gives extra strength to the boards. Screw the board to the centre of the new cross timbers, or the existing joists if you haven't had to raise the level. But the boards to each other lengthwise but when starting a new row make sure the boards are staggered in length to add more strength.
By raising the level of the joists you will improve the insulating properties of the existing material and allow some air to flow beneath the boards.
The boards could be screwed or nailed down but please don’t take the quick fix solution of nailing the boards. The use of screws is advisable as this means the boarding can be more easily removed at a future date should the need arise to access the electric cabling or insulation.
How To Board A Loft? Stay Safe!
Safety is an important consideration when carrying out a job, even at home. Gloves, goggles and a mask should be worn when boarding the loft.
Working safely is very important when boarding a loft. While there is a temptation to stand on the joists while fitting the loft boarding this is very risky.
One slip could see a foot going through the floor, with the next job fixing a ceiling rather than completing the boarding. So the best way round this is to use one of the boards as mobile platform while the boarding is completed.
For more info see the related pages below
Using Your Loft For Storage
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