Loft Insulation: Costs, Quotes & More

Loft Insulation comes with many benefits, including reduced energy bills and a warmer home.

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The cost of running a home seems to be rising year on year, with inflating energy bills hitting headlines and draining the pockets of homeowners and renters. Not to mention the hefty cost that the planet pays when we use fossil fuels to heat our homes. 

Luckily, there’s a solution, which reduces your energy bills as well as your impact on the environment – loft insulation. Since according to the Energy Saving Trust, we lose around one quarter of our home’s heat through an uninsulated roof, insulation can make our homes more energy efficient and cost-effective, as well as generally warmer and less prone to damp. 

But what exactly are the different types of loft insulation? How much does it cost? what are the advantages and disadvantages of insulating your home? And where can you get loft insulation quotes? We’ll dive into these questions and more.

Loft insulation

What is Loft Insulation?

Loft insulation involves applying a barrier of a given material into your loft to trap heat. Insulation keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, increasing its thermal efficiency.

Loft insulation comes in various types, with some being more suitable for certain spaces than others. As well as thermal insulation, other types of insulation can keep your home quieter, such as acoustic insulation.

The Types of Loft Insulation

There are various types of loft insulation, each coming with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The main types of loft insulation are blanket insulation, loose-fill, insulation boards, blown fibre insulation and spray foam insulation.

This type of insulation is arguably the most popular for lofts – and for good reason. Blanket insulation comes in rolls and slabs, made from either mineral wool, rock wool, or sheep’s wool. To install it, you have to cut the loft roll insulation to size and fit it within the joists of your loft space.

It’s recommended to have blanket insulation at around 27cm high. If this takes the insulation above the height of your joists, you’ll need to use loft legs to install a floor above the insulation.

It is fire-and-water-resistant and easy to install, so it can be done as a DIY project. Plus, it’s one of the best materials for blocking the flow of heat out of your property.

It’s worth bearing in mind that this type of insulation can be irritating when you come into direct contact with it, so take the necessary precautions if you decide to install it yourself.

This type of insulation is made from various lightweight materials, including mineral wool, cork, or cellulose fibre. Loose-fill can be used by itself, or as a top-up for existing insulation. 

One of the biggest advantages of loose-fill is its ability to find into nooks and crannies, making it perfect for hard-to-reach corners. Plus, many types of loose-fill are treated to be fire, mould, and pest resistant. 

Loose-fill can create a lot of mess and dust during installation, so be prepared to have a thorough clean-up afterwards. It’s also one of the few types of insulation that absolutely must be installed by an experienced professional. 

Loose-fill may not be the best choice if your loft is particularly draughty, as it is prone to blowing around.

Insulation boards are ideal for moisture control. These solid insulation boards can be installed either over the joists of your roof or in between them. In order to fit them between joists, leave space between the rafters and the insulation boards. That way, you’ll leave space for adequate ventilation. 

Insulation boards are ideal for use in loft conversions, and they can be covered with plasterboard for a more attractive finish.

Blown-fibre insulation is installed by blowing mineral fibres around the joists of your loft or your roof joist. These fibres stick together, creating a foam-like effect. Like loose-fill, you’ll need a professional insulation contractor to install this type of insulation, but it’s ideal for hard-to-reach spaces. 

Blown fibre is one of the greener insulation options since you can use recycled material, such as paper or wool.

Similar in nature to blown-fibre insulation, spray foam insulation is a blown in solution that provides unbeatable quality and efficiency. It’s effectively a liquid foam that is sprayed into position and sets as an effective insulating layer.

It can be used to insulate those hard to reach areas and can provide additional soundproofing. While the spray area should be avoided for a period of around 24 hours after insulation, it is perfectly safe once any harmful fumes have dispersed.

How Much Does Loft Insulation Cost?

The cost of loft insulation depends on multiple factors, including labour costs, the type of material you choose and who you get your loft insulation quote from. 

The following table sets out approximately how much you can expect to pay for loft insulation materials.

Type of Loft InsulationCost per m2 for the material only
Blown-fibre/spray foam£25-£50
Insulation boards£8-£15

Blown fibre insulation is significantly more expensive than the other insulation materials, but it’s one of the best loft insulation options for getting into tight corners and spaces. If you can’t afford to have all of your loft decorated with blown fibre, consider having it installed only in hard-to-reach corners. 

The labour cost can vary based on the size of your house and whereabouts in the country you live. Getting your loft insulation might be more expensive in the South-East of England, for example. 

Loft installers might charge a day rate of anywhere between £200 and £500. Some types of insulation, such as blanket insulation, can be installed as a DIY job. It’s worth making sure you have the skills and knowledge to complete a DIY installation before getting started, as mistakes could be costly to fix. 

Luckily, insulation rarely takes less than a day to install, so don’t worry about having to spend a week’s worth (or more) of labour costs to transform your home’s thermal efficiency.

Are There Any Ways to Get a Discount on Loft Insulation?

Many households are eligible for cheap or even free loft insulation, as part of the government’s bid to keep household costs low and make the country more environmentally friendly. 

If you’re in receipt of one or more of the following benefits, you’re likely to be eligible to have your loft insulated completely free of charge thanks to government grants:

  • Armed forces independence payment
  • Attendance allowance
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Disability living allowance
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Industrial injuries disablement allowance
  • Industrial injuries disablement benefit
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit Element
  • Personal independence allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • War pensions mobility supplement
  • Working tax credit
  • Child benefit dependant on income & dependants.

How Much Energy Does Loft Insulation Save Per Year?

The amount of money and CO2 you’ll save each year depends on multiple variables, including the size of your home, your energy use, and how much energy you used before. Here are some ballpark figures suggested by OVO Energy to demonstrate the amount of carbon dioxide you can save, as well as how much you can knock off your annual bill. 

Type of homeEnergy bill savings per yearCarbon dioxide savings per year

The advantages of loft insulation

The greater the energy efficiency of your home is, the less it costs to heat it – the economics are simple. Loft or roof insulation can significantly reduce the costs of your heating bills, as well as reducing the cost of repairing damage from damp and mould.

Not to mention that having loft insulation adds to the value of your home, so you can expect to get a better price when you come to sell it.

It’s recommended to have blanket insulation at around 27cm high. If this takes the insulation above the height of your joists, you’ll need to use loft legs to install a floor above the insulation. 

Blanket insulation is fire-and-water-resistant and easy to install, so it can be done as a DIY project. Plus, it’s one of the best materials for blocking the flow of heat out of your property. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that blanket insulation can be irritating when you come into direct contact with it, so take the necessary precautions if you decide to install it yourself.

We all know the feeling of laying awake at night because of a noisy neighbour or hustle and bustle outside. Believe it or not, certain types of insulation do much more than improve the thermal efficiency of your home; they can actually soundproof it, too.

Acoustic insulation reduces the amount of noise that enters your property. Say goodbye to interruptions from the outside world, and hello to a better night’s sleep.

The more you put your boiler to work, the more it runs the risk of wear and tear. Over years, this can mean your boiler doesn’t last as long as it should, leading you to fork out more than necessary for a new one.

Having proper loft insulation means better heat retention so you won’t have to turn your heating on as frequently in the colder months.

With the climate crisis upon us, it’s imperative that everybody does their bit to make the planet healthier. One of the easiest ways you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by making your home less reliant on fossil fuels is by insulating your roof.

Thanks to thermal insulation’s ability to keep your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer, you’ll use less energy trying to regulate your home’s temperature.

Damp and mould aren’t just detrimental to your home’s aesthetics; they’re hazardous for your health. Older homes in particular are prone to damp, which can transform into mould and eat away at your home’s structural integrity.

Some forms of loft insulation reduce the chance of moisture becoming trapped in your home, which in turn keeps mould at bay. Mould is a common cause of respiratory problems, so by insulating your home you’ll not only keep the planet healthier, but your family, too.

The disadvantages of loft insulation

Not all insulation is created equally, and some types are more suited to particular properties than others. Cellulose insulation, for example, is not waterproof, so if your home is particularly damp, the insulation can begin to get damp and rot. 

Before getting any type of insulation fitted, check which is best suited to your property to avoid damage.

Unless you’re able to get your loft insulated for cheaper through a government scheme, the fact is you’ll have to pay a decent chunk of money to have your loft insulated. On the flip side, loft insulation significantly reduces your bills by up to hundreds of pounds per year according to Which, so you’d be spending more in the short term for long-term financial rewards. 

Plus, some types of insulation can be fitted as a DIY project. It’s much cheaper to buy and fit insulation yourself, as you won’t have to pay labour costs. Loft insulation materials usually cost around £20 per 100m roll, which is designed to cover approximately 8.3m2.

With all the costs weighed up, loft insulation is an investment that promises a serious return on spending. The Energy Saving Trust says that when installed correctly, loft insulation pays for itself multiple times over in a 40-year window.

There’s no way around it, loft insulation does take up space that could otherwise be used for storage. Despite this, there are ways of insulating your loft that don’t leave it short on space for your items.

You can use loft legs, for example, to create a floor over your insulation, leaving you with a strong surface to hold goods.

Can I Insulate My Own Loft?

DIY insulation is certainly possible, especially with blanket insulation. If you meet the following criteria, DIY insulation will be a possibility:

  • Your loft is easily accessible
  • Your loft joists are regularly spaced
  • You plan on using blanket or board insulation
  • Your roof isn’t flat
  • There are no damp and condensation problems.

On the other hand, if any of the following criteria apply to you, it’s time to call in the pros:

  • Your loft is hard to reach
  • You’re using blown-in or loose-fill insulation
  • Your roof is flat
  • Your loft has damp or condensation issues
  • It’s a particularly large space or time-consuming project
  • You’re not comfortable installing loft insulation yourself. 

Whatever the condition of your loft, don’t undertake an insulation installation job lightly. DIY projects of this kind can quickly get messy, and if you fail to install insulation properly, you could be left with insulation that doesn’t work effectively, or, worse, actually causes damp problems.

can you install loft insulation on your own?

Things to Consider Before Insulating Your Loft

If you plan on using your loft for storage or as its own room, you’ll need to lay boards over the joists to make the floor comfortable to walk on. The problem is that only insulating between the joists before laying boards won’t give you insulation that’s thick enough to do the job.

You’ll need to raise the level of the floor either by fitting timber battens or buying purpose-built loft legs that fit on the joists to support the new floor. Make sure to leave a ventilated air gap between the insulation and the boards. That way, you’ll prevent condensation and damp.

If you have a smaller loft or one that’s particularly hard to access, it can be difficult to install some of the most traditional types of insulation, like boards and blanket insulation.

A better option is to get blown insulation installed by a professional, who can blow the material into a suitable space. They may use treated cellulose, polyurethane spray foam, or mineral wool fibre.

While insulation keeps your house warmer, which helps to prevent mould, failing to leave adequate ventilation in a cold loft can introduce damp to the loft itself.

Air needs to flow in and out of your house to prevent damp from developing. An experienced installer will be sure not to block ventilation, but if you’re doing a DIY job it’s something to be conscious of.

Avoid covering any vents, air bricks, or grilles. If you suspect there aren’t enough vents in the loft to keep the air healthy, consider installing more.

If you have a flat roof, you’re still able to install insulation, but it’s better to install it on the outside rather than the inside. Insulating the roof from the inside/from below can lead to condensation and long-term damp issues.

What is a Warm Loft?

If you plan on storing items in your loft, or you’re worried about the risk of freezing pipes, you can opt to create a warm loft instead. In a warm loft, a professional will fit rigid insulation boards between and over the rafters.

This method leaves the roof space much warmer than the standard loft insulation, and allows you to board the floor for storage without having to raise the level. On the other hand, insulating your roof at the rafter level is more expensive than traditional insulation, and you’ll have to insulate any chimneys, gable walls, and party walls, too.

This technique is also less efficient than insulating your loft floor because you’ll need to heat a larger volume of air. Not only will you need to keep the air in the rest of your home warm, but you’ll need to heat the air in your loft, too. Only opt for a warm loft if it’s a must-have – you’ll be spending money unnecessarily otherwise.

If you plan on using your loft as a room, you’ll likely need more than just warm loft insulation. The best method is to carry out a loft conversion instead, to make the space more suitable.

Loft Insulation Checklist

Before embarking on a loft insulation project, make sure you tick off all the actions on this handy checklist for best results. 

Depending on which type of installation you choose, there might be regulations that dictate how it can be used. Regulations can cover everything from the thickness of the insulation material required or rules around ventilation. 

In Northern Ireland, for example, regulations require a certain level of ventilation in your loft for the insulation to be allowable. 

For best practice, check with your council’s planning department before starting your insulation project. This is especially important if you plan to insulate a listed or protected building. In the worst-case scenario, failing to abide by regulations can incur a significant fine, so it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to double-checking.

Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or you’ll looking to update your current one, you’ll first need to check the status of any existing insulation. If it’s been there for a few decades, it’s likely to need updating, topping up, or removing entirely to make way for new insulation. 

If you already have insulation installed but it doesn’t seem to be doing its job, check there’s adequate ventilation and that the insulation isn’t squashed beneath your loft’s raised level. 

When insulation is squashed by an incorrectly installed floor, airflow is prevented from moving adequately between the floor and the insulation. This can reduce the insulation’s thermal efficiency, not to mention threaten your ceiling and your home’s structural integrity. 

If you see your insulation has been squashed and is no longer working, or if you can’t establish the cause of the insulation’s ineffectiveness, call in an expert to talk a look.

Before you contact a trusted loft insulation installer, assess the overall condition of your loft to see which type of insulation might best fit your needs. If you’re experiencing damp or condensation, for example, some types of insulation will be more beneficial for your home than others. 

If your roof is difficult to access, you wouldn’t be able to install traditional types of insulation; you’ll need to find a professional who can install loose-fill insulation. 

If you’re unsure of your loft’s condition or the type of insulation best suited to a loft like yours, book a consultation with an expert.

How to Find a Loft Insulation Installer Near You

Insulation is a game changer in terms of thermal efficiency, reducing noise, and keeping energy costs at a minimum. Not to mention that properly installed insulation lasts for around 40 years, during which time you’ll have enjoyed a sizeable return on your investment. 

If you’re inexperienced at installing insulation or working with a material that requires a professional (such as spray foam insulation), you’ll benefit from working with an expert that covers your local area. 

If you submit an enquiry via our forn, Insulation Advisor will match you with highly rated local insulation contractors who can provide competive quotes. 

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