ABOVE: This loft space has been converted into an extra bedroom and en suite. Find out more…
Are you thinking of converting your loft? If so, this is the perfect time to not only extend your living space, but also to make it warmer, lighter and healthier by introducing some energy-saving measures.
As with any project, insulation is a key consideration for a loft conversion. It is always surprising how much headroom is lost when converting a loft space – floor joists may have to be strengthened and enlarged, while ceiling rafters and head-heights will be reduced as insulation is added between and beneath them. In effect, the floor level will rise and the ceiling will become lower.
Save some head-height by using Triso Super 10+ multi-layer foil from Actis (from £11 per m²) on the surface of the joists before plasterboarding the room. Three to five times thinner than traditional insulation, it offers the same performance. Every centimetre saved makes an impact, and investing in insulation will make your new space more comfortable and save you money in the long run.
For the floor, consider using British-made sheep’s wool insulation between the joists. It’s a warm, healthy and easy option to install. Available from Sheepwool Insulation, it costs from £74.65 for a pack covering 6.84m².
Often, ventilation is one of those areas left to chance with simple air vents, so why not control the damp and potential build-up of mould by installing a continuous running heat recovery fan, which is a perfect option for en suite loft bathrooms. They run almost silently and will cost under £5 a year to run. Take a look at the Lo-Carbon Tempra from Vent-Axia, from around £180.
In any loft conversion, it’s important to think about how to bring light into the space. A decision will have already been made on adding a dormer or rooflights, but consider fitting a sunpipe while converting the loft, to allow additional light into the areas below, such as hallways and landings, which often have restricted natural light – try the D-25 from Solarspot, which costs from £400 for a pitched roof system.
Offering energy-, financial- and spacesaving opportunities, LED lights are ideal where there is limited space behind ceilings as they are slimline and come in many sizes. They also produce less heat than halogen equivalents, so you can insulate around them. For really tight spaces, consider LED tape – a stick-on tape with embedded LEDs. Try House of Orange for a wide selection of LED lighting.
All prices and stockists correct at time of publishing.