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While it’s easy to find tips on insulating your loft or roof if you don’t plan on using your loft as a space, insulating your home to use your loft as a room is a little more complex.
This process is called room in roof insulation. Since the Energy Savings Trust estimates that around 25% of our home’s heat is lost through the roof, there are many benefits to insulating your roof, and it can be done whether or not you choose to use your loft as a space.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to room in roof insulation, including costs, lifespan, pros and cons, and more.
Room in roof insulation is used to insulate a loft that’s been converted into a room. This type of insulation replaces the loft insulation normally seen in an unconverted space.
Installing adequate insulation keeps your loft space warm and liveable, reducing the amount of money you spend on your energy bills.
There are several ways a room in the loft space can lose heat, including sloped ceilings, stud walls, and a flat ceiling. If you don’t insulate the roof properly, heat will escape, leaving the room cooler and prone to damp.
Room in roof insulation prevents the heat from being lost by creating a thermal barrier. The best way to maximise energy efficiency gains is to insulate each element of the room appropriately.
If you’re moving into a new property and want to know whether or not it’s already insulated, there should be information in either the paperwork you received about the house or the survey.
Otherwise, you can check for insulation wool between joists. If you’re still unsure whether your loft is already insulated, hire a professional to carry out a quick survey of the space and let you know.
If you choose to insulate your loft using traditional techniques, you won’t be able to use the space as a bedroom or office. By installing room in roof insulation, you create a new room in your house to use however you like.
Whether you have a baby on the way or simply want a new space to work remotely, transforming your loft can reap rewards. It can also help to increase your home’s value to have another, completely insulated room in your home.
Every type of insulation is excellent for reducing the annual costs of your energy. By keeping your home warmer without having to use central heating or electric heaters, you can expect to save hundreds of pounds on your energy bills every year.
As well as saving money on your energy bills, room in roof insulation promises a return on investment in terms of your property’s value. Prospective buyers are always looking for ways they can reduce their spending on a new home, and having insulation already installed is certainly one of them.
You’ll need to convert your loft into a room using a conversion before insulation work can begin. There are other reasons why your loft may not be suitable for room in roof insulation, including damp or the style of your roof. If your roof is too low or the loft is hard to access, it won’t be suitable for use as a room.
When a roof space is converted into a room, it requires a type of insulation that fits into the gaps between the joists or the rafters underneath the roof. If you try to convert a room without installing insulation, the room will be susceptible to significant fluctuations in temperature in the summer and winter months. Not to mention, the rest of the house will suffer from poor thermal efficiency if you fail to properly insulate your loft.
The most common method of room in roof insulation involves fitting insulation boarding in between the rafters beneath existing plasterboard walls. This type of insulation traps heat within your home, creating a blanket effect.
With room in roof insulation, you can keep your loft warm in the winter and cool in the summer, allowing you to enjoy a much more consistent temperature all year round. This is because the insulation’s heat-trapping properties retain the heat indoors in winter, and stop the heat from entering during the hotter summer months.
This type of insulation also requires you to install a vapour barrier. While some varieties of rigid foam insulation don’t need protection and blanket insulation already comes with vapour-retardant facing, other types will need a barrier.
You can install a thin barrier of polythene on the underside of the insulation to prevent moisture from compromising your material. Always use unfaced insulation (i.e lacking a vapour retarding surface and therefore non-combustible) near chimneys or when you’re adding new insulation on top of existing insulation.
Traditionally, you’ll insulate the vertical wall sections of the attic room with either insulation boards or fibreglass wool. You’ll also place boards or fibreglass wool between the ceiling rafters.
Insulation boards tend to be cut to size to fit your space. These boards are ideal for moisture control, so if your loft is prone to condensation, insulation boards ate the best option. You can even cover them with plasterboard for a more attractive finish.
There are differences in how you insulate your roof depending on whether you plan to use your loft as a room, or simply a storage space. The key difference is the positioning of the insulation.
To insulate a loft used for storage, you’d need to insulate directly on top of the joists to the ceiling below. For room in roof insulation, you need to layer the insulation just underneath the roof. This allows the heat from the rooms below to travel into the converted attic, so the attic room also benefits from extra warmth.
Insulating your loft for use as a room costs significantly more than standard loft insulation, so consider whether you need this type of insulation before going ahead with an installation.
Room in roof insulation can cost more than standard loft insulation, because you’ll need to insulate the room in a way that keeps the attic warm while allowing for the rest of the home to feel the benefit of increased thermal efficiency.
The entire cost is likely to be around £2000 for a typical property. You can expect to pay slightly more or less depending on the size of the room you’re insulating, plus the type of insulating material that you choose. An insulation material such as foam insulation is highly effective for insulating the likes of attic rooms, loft rooms, loft conversions, and for use on sloping ceilings, but is generally a more expensive option.
While a DIY installation in a loft room is possible, it’s not advisable, especially not without previous experience with similar projects. You’d need to make sure all the insulation work meets building regulations, including fire resistance and ventilation restrictions. You’d also have to maximise the efficiency of the insulation and avoid the risk of damp.
While it’s understandable to want to reduce labour costs, a DIY installation could cost you more in the long run if you have to pay for problems that arise as a result of incorrect installation, such as damp problems and mould.
There are a few things it’s worth checking before installing insulation in a loft room, as well as regulations regarding what qualifies for this type of insulation.
Things to consider include:
In many cases, yes. The government is on a mission to make homes more energy efficient, which would reduce the national carbon footprint as well as helping consumers save money on heating bills.
Roof insulation grants can cover all or part of the cost of insulation material and the installation costs and are part of the government’s Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) Scheme.
If you live in an older property with a loft or attic that was built without roof insulation, or the insulation is inadequate, you can get a grant to cover an insulation upgrade. In some cases, you might have to pay a contribution, but the cost will be significantly reduced from the typical £2,000 you’d expect to pay for installation.
If you claim any of the following benefits, or other income or disability benefits, you’ll likely be considered for a government insulation grant:
One of the biggest advantages of insulation is longevity. Once you’ve installed your insulation, you can expect it to last almost for the lifespan of your home. According to the Energy Saving Trust, your insulating material will effectively pay for itself many times over during its lifespan in terms of the annual heating bills savings.
If your insulation has been installed but you haven’t noticed a difference or you’re seeing signs of damp and condensation, check whether the insulation has been properly installed. You can do this with the help of a professional.
If you want to make your home more thermally efficient in order to minimise heat loss and save energy, but you don’t need to use your roof as a living space, you can instead opt for regular loft insulation. Some of the most popular types of loft insulation include blanket insulation, rigid boards, blown fibre, and loose-fill, all of which do a more than adequate job of trapping heat
If you don’t currently use your loft as a room but would like to, you’ll have to convert it properly with the help of a professional installer before insulating it.
Before the installers arrive, you’ll need to clear out your entire loft space so it’s suitable for working in. Seal off air leaks around chimneys, wires, windows, pipes, and ducts that would allow air to escape.
If any part of your roof is leaking, you’ll need to fix this, as well as boxing off light fixtures.
If your property has damp or condensation problems in the loft, avoid getting it insulated until the problem is fixed.
Room in roof insulation is a more challenging insulation job than other types of insulation, so getting the right professional for the job is crucial. This type of installation really should not be undertaken as a DIY project, unless by highly competent people.
Enquire with Insulation Advisor, and we’ll put you in touch with trusted installers who will provide you with a competitive quote for insulating your loft space.
If you’re looking for a way to keep your energy bills in check, insulation is
Insulating your home and making it heat efficient has become a necessity for property. Insulating
One of the most effective ways to boost your home’s thermal efficiency and improve indoor