Can you board a loft in new build houses?

Published: 19th February, 2020.

So you’re settled in your new build, and now you’re thinking about optimising the space in your roof. But wait a minute, can you even afford to change your loft if you want to keep your new build warranty?

At the Loftman Company, we get this all the time - Let’s explain!

Usually people start looking into getting some loft work done to their home, or building a new one, and then discover that you can’t just go changing parts of the house as you please, there are regulations for a reason, and you can’t just use any handyman for a professional lofting service either.

CDM regulations and the NHBC both actually require you to have boarding if you have maintainable equipment in your loft. This includes everything from boilers and vents to solar panels and CCTV. Anything that may require you to need a worker to enter the loft, fix or install something, needs a safe floor for them to be able to move around, regardless of if you’re planning on using the space for storing items or not.

Voiding your NHBC warranties can and should be a concern for new build owners, more specifically the Buildmark cover. To be clear, the idea of this is not to stop home owners from making changes to alter spaces and improve their home, but to ensure only the necessary and safest options are pursued, so by all means renovate your house, but only make safe changes that don’t badly affect the houses efficiency.

Sustainability

As a standard new build owner, the NHBC Buildmark cover looks after you if you look after your property - at The Loftman Company we define this as being responsible with the adjustments made to your house. So we feel it’s best to point out that standard loft boarding is not an efficient solution. Usually it can be found in pre-1975 homes where different policies apply.

With the NHBC Buildmark Warranty you’re not covered by anything like damp, condensation and shrinkage of components, following wear and tear that resulted from neglecting the property, which under this also is lack of maintenance.

That’s why as the UK’s favourite loft boarding company, we advocate the use of raised loft boarding in post-1975 homes, as the benefits make a huge impact to how sustainable the nation can live as well the lifetime of your loft insulation and your stored items.

The raised loft boarding system is the one method for boarding an insulated loft that is approved by the NHBC and meets all the BBA Building Regulation requirements regarding property insulation and efficiency. The BBA is a regulatory body set up by the government which certifies products for use in many different areas of the construction industry.

Raised Loft Boarding for new builds

Due to the extra bit of height above the insulation, the raised flooring allows the heat in the flooring to spread evenly rather than gather in particular parts. This would be a main reason for getting condensation and this heated airflow is unlikely to change its path to avoid damaging your loft and its contents. This is achieved by fixing the boards onto a strong subframe, which is raised above the joists. Over time raised loft boarding over your insulation will save you money.

More Insulation
Allows you to fit thicker, more effective insulation underneath the boarding if desired.

Efficient
Allows you to keep down the costs of energy per year by retaining heat, while also running a greener home.

Approved for New Builds
That's right, not only is it more the efficient option, but actually standard loft boarding is not approved for new builds.

Still suitable for Old Builds
Especially for many pre-1975 houses around the UK, this simple has been able to guarantee them a warmer solution and a more efficient household.

Protects Insulation
Because of the raised floor, the insulation does not get squashed and damaged, and the airflow is maintained. This means the risk of condensation is reduced.

Protects Pipework & Wiring
With the reduced risk of condensation and increased heat retention, you’re creating an environment where your pipework and wiring can live optimal conditions for much longer.

Designed to British Standard 6399-1:1996
Meaning the truss must be designed to carry 25kg per square metre loading for storage, and a 90Kg load to account for a Loftman accessing the loft

The reals issues with Standard Loft Boarding

Usually the panels are slapped straight onto the joists or on to timber in an attempt to make a suitable floor that doesn’t flatten your insulation - this is not how to board a loft properly.
Throughout the years lots of UK lofts have been boarded this way, at risk of voiding their New Build warranties - unknown by the homeowner that they’re damaging their loft and wallet later down the line.

With standard boarding, you're living with a huge hazard in your home whenever someone enters the loft, think of the risk involved in stepping on an old, rotting piece of floor and ceiling.

Thermal bridging is caused by an inconsistent airflow, often because the flooring installer has not particularly cared for the insulation, and has squashed it in some way. Unless you know the damaging effects of standard boarding, you wouldn’t even know how wasteful your insulation is. Plus the extra damage to the ceiling below and loft items when they remain slightly damp overtime.

Standard loft boarding has never been approved as a method for boarding out lofts - so to round up our main points, you’ll see that choosing raised loft boarding is not only the safest, most efficient, logical option, but it’s the only option available for new builds that guarantees you’ll hold onto your warranty!

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With so many years of experience in the business, our company is your source for the highest quality loft products.

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