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Loft Boarding in the News


A LOFT storage expert is expanding its workforce as it moves into much larger premises.

Loft Boarding NW, of Junction 7 Business Park in Clayton-le-Moors, is interviewing as it starts to settle into its new 4,000 sq ft base, which is four times bigger than its current home on the same estate.

The loft storage company specialist was formed in 2009 as a maintenance company. It now employs 16 people.

Managing director Andy Greenhalgh said: “The new premises is on two floors with plenty of office and warehouse space, exactly what we need.”

Loft Boarding NW is run by Mr Greenhalgh and his wife Andrea. They saw a gap in the market for a quality loft storage specialist and initially ran the business from a tiny bedroom.

Last year it became a limited company that now operates from offices and a warehouse.

Loft Boarding NW provides energy-efficient loft storage solutions. Besides specialising in loft storage and insulation, it installs the most energy-efficient loft hatches combined with top- quality loft access ladders.

Since 2010 the area of coverage for Loft Boarding NW has grown considerably and it now covers about 90 per cent of the North West. It is also expanding into Yorkshire.

Mr Greenhalgh said he was particularly seeking to employ electricians.

He said: “It’s all go at the moment. We haven’t had the room to swing a cat really and we have a lot of work to do at the new place.

“It’s difficult to say how many more people we will need because we are continually advertising. We fill roles but the demand is still there.

“We need to get people in and get them trained, but I think we will top 20 people by Christmas.”

As for the expansion into Yorkshire, Mr Greenhalgh said he was targeting the west and the south of the county.

He said: “We will dip our toe into the water and see what response we get from the website.

“We are getting quite a lot of interest and we will probably have an employee working out of Leeds.”


Can I cover fire rated ceiling down-lights with loft insulation?


It is important to assess your energy efficiency in your home and the best way to make sure of this is to take measures to insulate you home correctly. Getting the right amount of insulation in your loft space is the first step to saving energy, which will ultimately save you money on your fuel bills. The government recommend 270mm+ of loft insulation. This may cause a problem in some lofts that have down-lights fitted in the ceiling. You cannot cover these down-lights even if they are fire rated. All electrical lighting especially in a loft, requires some form of ventilation. So its important that these lights are not covered with insulation unless a vented box has been fitted over the light to allow air circulation.


Welcome our new apprentice


We welcome Taylor to Loft Boarding NW as our new recruit and joinery apprentice who will be studying at Accrington & Rossendale college for the next 3 years.
Only been with us a few weeks now and is showing great promise.
He will be assisting our qualified installers in creating some great loft storage solutions throughout the Northwest of England, including building raised loft floors, strengthening raised sub-frames to create support for storage in older properties like terraced and pre-war houses.
Taylor will also be involved in building loft storage rooms for study, hobby or home office.
He has a great future to look forward to.
Taylor will be taking over the apprentice role from Arron who has now completed his 3 years at college and is now a fully qualified joiner.
Here at Loft Boarding NW we always support apprenticeships, the UK needs good tradesmen, and trained qualified tradesmen can always earn top dollar.


Hyndburn Business Awards 2017


Sorry, another late post, but we have been very busy at Loft Boarding this year and getting some news out on the site has been almost impossible to get too. But here we go. We found out in May we had been chosen as a finalist for the Hyndburn Business Awards 2017, we were so happy to hear this news our loft boarding staff have done really well this year helping our business grow into the largest approved loft storage solutions installer in the North if not the UK.
We attended the awards at Accrington Town Hall which was such a great event, great food, lots of local businesses attending love to see the buzz of the place. Loft Boarding were directors in attendance hoping to receive an award having a great time. Unfortunately, we were pipped at the post by a joint first with Whewells and Devlan office furniture, well done to two top local companies.
We will have another go next year, and will be seeing everyone again for the 2018 awards.
Well done all who won an award, its a great achievement for Hyndburn businesses.


Ideal Home Show 2017


Well were a bit late with this news but weve been so busy this year, what with getting ready for the show and more expansion in new areas like Yorkshire, its been hard to keep up.

But the show was on for 4 days at the beginning of June at Event City in Manchester and was an absolute success. Loads of people looking for quality loft storage solutions.

1000s of people coming through the doors to see the best property related event of the year in the North of England.

We had loads of interest thanks to an amazing stand this year and all involved worked very hard to make it all happen as smoothly as possible thanks, team.

And if you missed our special offers at the show, dont worry because now you are reading this news item just quote LOFT7160 and you will receive 10% off any loft storage package deal we can do for you.

To get this deal just call 0800 8799967 today.


Home Storage Versus Self Storage


Ive been doing a bit of research on storage options recently. Self storage is big business at the moment, which is great as its telling me that we are keeping more stuff and throwing less away.
Ok some people would say its junk, but I disagree. Why not up-cycle? save the baby toys for the next one. I think we are now realising that we have to do something to help the planet and stop throwing so much stuff away when really, its not finished with, worn out or even classed as junk yet.
I once stopped a customer who was about to throw a laser printer into a skip. It only needed a new cartridge which cost me just £15, plenty cheaper than a new printer costing £90.

I put it down to becoming a throwaway society, having that disposal income to just simply replace things if they dont fit the decor any-more or just because you want the latest model.
In my job I see a lot of stuff people keep in their lofts. Like baby clothes, accessories, hardly used or unopened toys, xmas gifts, books, collectables, family heirlooms and so on.

Anyway moving on. So what did I discover when comparing self storage with what I do, loft storage.
Mainly I was amazed at the cost difference. I worked out that the average self store operator in the North charges around 35p per sq ft per week. So 100 sf/ft of storage space would be £35 per week or get this!! £1800 per year...

Thats where I was quite shocked that people were paying this amount long term. The average renter-of self storage hangs on to a unit for around 3 months, and a good proportion never empty them completely and keep them for longer. Especially when moving home. Some how all the stuff doesnt fit in their new home but they dont want to get rid of it. Understandable, why would you put it in storage, pay all that money and then decide months later you dont really need it!.

So what is the alternative? well its the reason I am in the storage business ,because I saw the trend of storing things & keeping hold of things was growing. I wanted a piece of this and decided to open Loft Boarding NW in 2010. I wanted to specialise in home storage, and became the largest loft storage installer in the North of England. Utilising your homes natural wasted space by converting your unused, unloved loft into a clean, pleasant, safe, accessible storage area. All you need is good loft access by having a suitable loft door installing, a decent quality ladder you can leave stored in your loft, some energy efficient lighting, and a safe strong platform to walk and store on.

Now you see where I am going with this one? so what does it cost to board out a loft for storage?
Well there is no average cost because everybodys lofts are different. Some small, some huge. Some need special access ladders and hatches etc.
So lets base this cost on the average newly built house that has a new loft hatch so just requires, ladder, lighting and some raised boarding, say 100 sf ft.
So what will that cost to install? everything all in, £546 and thats costing you only £10.50 a week compared to £35 for the same amount of storage space at a self store unit. And its right above your head safe, secure and easily accessible when you need something.
Having your own home storage means you dont have to panic if you miss paying your unit rent and finding a padlock slapped on your unit so you cant get in unless you pay up. Most of the time they have made an error by not sending you the bill to remind you on time. A lot of these places employ people on minimum wages with barely enough skills and training . They are left with the major responsibility,most of the time, of running these places and they have no idea what they are doing. (Thats from experience some time ago).
So maybe I am biased, but the facts speak for themselves, its far cheaper to convert you own loft to use for storage than to pay for self storage. Its more convenient and once you bought and paid for it, not a single penny rent to pay anyone. Obviously you cant put a motorbike up there, but thats what a garage is for, unless thats jammed full as well!.
Just one more thing, there are even some people out there who actually rent part of their loft to other people to store in. So you could even get your money back in time! thats FREE storage for life. Think on!


Now you can see the real difference between quality loft boarding and cheap loft boarding


This is not new news, its a fact that Loft Boarding NW Ltd have been fitting quality loft boarding and storage systems for over 6 years now setting the bar very high for the competition.
With their unique sub-frame systems which add strength and height to the loft storage floor area to allow the all important air flow in the loft which will allow your insulation to do its job in the most energy efficient way possible.
Bad loft boarding or companies claiming to do a professional jobs when they simply cut corners to compete on price, which means they have to cut back on materials and quality. Sad to say there are many companies out there doing this.
All sounds a bit OTT? no, not at all, the rules are the same for loft boarding companies as it is for a building company.
Loft Boarding NW always consider the storage load and the sub-frame load. In an older house with weaker ceiling joists the sub-frame for the boarding must not only be raised above the insulation it must also be installed in a way that it does not put any load on the existing ceiling. Loft Boarding NW Ltd specialise in theses methods so you know you are getting a well produced job in accordance with any regulations there maybe.
To find out more visit the experts in loft boarding.
http://www.loft-boarding-nw.co.uk


Why its important to get a written quote not a phone or email estimate!


A quote is a promise from the contractor to do the work at a fixed price. Don’t rely on a verbal quote - get it in writing.
After you say yes to a quote, it’s a binding agreement between you and the contractor, whether it’s written down or not. But having it in writing means you can check what you agreed and prove it if there’s a dispute later.
Make sure you get a quote, not an estimate. A quote is a fixed price, so you'll know what you’re getting and how much it will cost. An estimate is just a rough guess, so you could end up paying more.
The contractor can’t charge you more than the price on their quote unless:
• you ask for extra work that’s not included in the quote
• they let you know they have to do extra work and you agree to pay more for it
• they made a genuine mistake when writing down or calculating the price - they have the legal right to charge you what it should have been
Be wary if a contractor won’t put a quote in writing. It’s a sign they could be unreliable.
Also be cautious if their price is a lot lower than other quotes you get. It could mean they don’t have the right skills or experience, or they’re not being honest. It could also mean they’re not quoting for exactly the same work.
What a quote should include
Be very clear about the work you want done - this will help you get the most accurate price and prevent misunderstandings later.
A quote should include:
• a fixed total price - not a daily rate
• a breakdown of all the work to be done and the materials needed
• separate costs for each material and part of the work
• how long the price is valid for
• if the price includes VAT
• when the price can go up, eg only if you agree to extra work
Before saying yes to a quote, you should check the contractor has the correct insurance in place and try to get a written contract.


Semi Automatic Loft Hatches - Made To Measure Start From Only £999


Yes we can now have manufactured semi automated quality made timber loft ladders to suit your exact measurements of your home.
If you are finding it a little harder these days to get in your loft, then why not invest in a state of the art remote controlled semi automated loft hatch.
You no longer have to reach up or climb on a chair to unlock your hatch, you can now simply press a remote control and the door opens automatically so you can fold out the ladder.
Comes with a backup emergency ceiling button and even works in a power-cut.

We can install in to any suitable ceiling, enlarge your existing loft opening or install in a new location altogether. Sizes start at around 116cm long and 55cm wide but can be made to suit any size opening and step length. Comes with safe to climb wide tread steps and has ISA Intelligent Safety Awareness so no trapped fingers.
If you would like more info on these products and to get a FREE no obligation survey please call 0800 8799967 or 01254 879040 or email enquiries@loft-boarding-nw.co.uk


Bought a new build house? Been told you cannot have loft boarding? NOW YOU CAN


Bought a new build house?
Been told you cannot have loft boarding?
Now you can have the loft storage you desire without risking your home owners warranty
Our BBA Approved Products will NOT affect your new home warranty by NHBC or any other
Raised 270mm above your insulation so no squashing or removal of your loft insulation unlike other company’s do
Strong and safe to walk and store on, far superior than the DIY stilts or loft legs
Three components make up the rigid strong storage sub-frame
Tri-Supports , Uni-Supports and a metal interconnecting cross beams, no other product does this
Any size loft can be done
We are the only LoftZone approved installer in the Northwest
Fully trained, qualified & adequately insured installers
5 Year guarantee – Made in England – Supported by the Carbon Trust
Normally installed in a day – No mess or inconvenience
FREE no obligation surveys with an instant written quote
Deferred 3 payment option if you spend over £750
We can install with a loft ladder (hatch if required) and a light
Here is a link to the only approved loft storage system in the UK
Watch the video see what it’s all about
http://www.loft-boarding-nw.co.uk/storefloor

We also have systems for older properties http://www.loft-boarding-nw.co.uk

For a FREE no obligation survey and quote Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 879040
Or email enquiries@loft-boarding-nw.co.uk
We have local installers working in all areas listed in these postcodes
CH PR SK M WA BB OL L BL WN LA FY CW
(Some LA CH CW postcodes are not covered at the moment, please call)


Now you can get your loft boarded for storage on interest free payments


Now you can get the loft storage space you want and pay in 3 easy interest free payments.

Totally interest free and you only need to spend £750 or more on loft storage or any loft services we provide to apply*

Already had a quote from us?
Deferred Payment Scheme is also available even if you've had a quote from us in the past.

Takes just two minutes to complete over the phone.

AS EASY AS 1 2 3
Example:
Total amount £855
1st payment on completion of the work of £285
2nd payment 30 days after the installation date of £285
3rd payment 60 days after the installation date of £285

Total paid £855 Interest £0

*This is a deferred payment option over three months with no interest and no credit checks. You can pay off in full at any time and no deposit is required or fees to be paid.
The only stipulations are that the applicant must be a home owner and in full time employment, self employed or retirement pension income and have the means to pay the total amount within the 60 day period.

It really is that simple....

For more information Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 879040 email us enquiries@loft-boarding-nw.co.uk


Do you really need to do a survey for loft boarding?


It surprising how many people will ask, "Do you have to come out to do a quote? I just want a price"

Well contrary to popular belief that most people still think loft boarding is a simple easy job and requires no thinking out, I'm afraid this is wrong.

Long gone are the DIYers we now have a industry of professional loft storage companies who do things properly.

Like any building work it requires planning and lots of thought. Do you think your loft is the same as your neighbours house even if the houses are identical from the outside? No always some slight differences that really matter.

For instance, when the house was built where did the electrician run all his cables? where did the plumber put all his pipes, boiler. Where did the put the TV aerial?, ventilation system, extractor pipes and now solar PV equipment, etc.

So bearing all this in mind when older houses where built variations of these houses was pretty huge so supporting walls, purlings, pipes and cable runs and loft access could all be different.

This is why at Loft Boarding NW we always do a FREE survey and written fixed price quote.

Seriously how un-professional it is to just guess and quote blind over the phone or by email, this is just lazy and stupid as mistakes will be made like under pricing and when they arrive to do the job the quote will be wrong and they will increase the price when they start the work.

Doing a survey will check to see if firstly, you can have loft boarding done. Secondly, to check to see if the ceiling is strong enough and to work out the area to be boarded and thirdly is to see if the ladder and hatch will go in the place you want it to.

The price we quote is the price you pay when you are happy with the completed work and NO deposits required.
A survey and written quote is free so its worth the time to get it done.

Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 879040
We cover these postcode areas : CH PR SK M WA BB OL L BL WN LA FY CW
(Some LA CH CW postcodes are not covered at the moment, please call)




Want loft storage but your builder / developer recommend you don’t?


Do you have a new build house?
Want storage but your builder / developer recommend you don’t?
Want to know why they recommend you don’t get your loft boarded?

This is very common these day’s that pretty much all developers / builders of new homes do not recommend you board your loft.

So why won’t they recommend boarding out your loft?
The answer to this is twofold. Firstly they do not like to recommend any products, tradesmen or service providers for the simple reason if things go wrong they don’t want the comeback. This I can understand as they cannot guarantee these tradesmen will be reputable even if they have been used by others in the past, so they leave it to you to find your own tradesmen / services.
I recommend you use a Safe Trader scheme, usually run by your local council by trading standards who have a list of reputable tradesmen in your area.
http://www.traderregister.org.uk

The second reason they don’t want you to board your loft is the fact that there is a lot of insulation in new builds and its very high, so they presume to board a loft they insulation would have to be removed or worse still squashed.

Unfortunately this can be the case with a cowboy builder or DIYer who has no knowledge of building regulations or good building practice.

Not too many years ago there was an influx of these “so called joiners” knocking on the doors of new build housing estates and selling cheap loft boarding from as little as £200. What these guys didn’t know is how to install a safe strong supporting sub-frame to hold the boarding and storage weight.

They used to remove the loft insulation and throw in the eaves or worse still they would squash it down so much it popped the plasterboard fixings, and later caused damp and mould issues.
So as a result of all this come back on the builders / developers over the years they have decided not to recommend using your loft for storage.
But…. There is now a way to safety board your loft for storage even if you have high insulation levels without having to remove it or squash it down.

We have a system called LoftZone raised loft floor, and this allows a simple but very unique raised platform to be built above the insulation levels of up to 300mm, without any compromise to the existing insulation. This system is supported by the carbon trust, its energy efficient and is made in the UK. It’s won many awards including invention of the year at the Ideal Home Exhibition.

So now you know there is a product to board a loft in a new build house why won’t the developers use it? Now the problem is that the builders / developers still have their blinkers on and even though some are starting to see the light, they still won’t recommend boarding your loft for storage for no other reason than because of bad boarding in the past.

Now this new system has been introduced on to the market and is professionally installed by factory approved and certified installers only, with a five year guarantee. Things are about to change.

Oh yes, although the builders / developers will never recommend a trade these having your loft boarded professionally they cannot disagree with as it is all done to a code of practice, is safe and does not affect the loft insulation, cause condensation or weaken your ceiling or roof.
Done professionally you can get storage in your new home without fear of it being done in the wrong way or some poor DIY job someone may charge you for.

FREE surveys and written detailed quotes are always provided for this type of work, (as simple as it may seem) it cannot be guessed at.

A professional loft survey is always recommended and always given.

If you would like a FREE professional survey and quote please Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 879040


Topped up your loft insulation? What about the old inefficient loft hatch ?


Replacing an old loft hatch must be done correctly, no point modifying an old push off hatch by reversing it putting hinges on and a catch without adequate draft seals, insulation and locking points.

In some cases it can't be helped as you may want to preserve the look of the ceiling by keeping to traditional wood or finish to match the rest of the house. Although when done correctly it will be a little more expensive than a new purpose build loft hatch.
In most cases it is not necessary to do this and it's far more cost effective and makes more sense to install a brand new draft sealed British Standards approved hinged door hatch and frame.
Most of us at some point or another had our insulation updated to the government recommended level of 270mm.
This will make a vast difference to your energy bills over the years. In some cases you can get green deal grants to have this installed for free, but even if you are not eligible for free insulation it doesn't cost a fortune to buy your own, or have installed professionally.
The one thing we do forget to upgrade is the loft hatch.
Old loft hatches have gaps and they don't seal shut properly, whistle to you on windy days and are pretty much useless to climb through to enable you to fit a ladder or use your loft for storage.
It's important to consider having a brand new latest specification draft proof loft hatch installed if you're considering using your loft for storage as it may need to be done just to get a ladder in.
Hand made or reversing the door (Like picture above shows) to convert an old hatch is not recommended as this will not reach building regulation specifications and not all reliable at draft excluding or being energy efficient.
Professionally Installed Loft Hatch Replacement or DIY?
Professionally installed as it can be a pretty big and physically demanding job depending on the age of your property and location of the hatch. You could say the older your house the more difficult and expensive it can become.
But it's still affordable you get a brand new enlarged loft opening and loft hatch professionally installed from only £90 on average so it is always worth considering.
The Manthorpe GL250 loft hatch that we use has been independently tested by the BRE to BS EN 13141-1:2004, and easily surpasses the requirements for air leakage which are outlined in the current building standards, certification is available.
The revolutionary design of the multi-point catch mechanism means that the GL250 door can maintain a more effective air tight seal around the entire accessible opening, helping to meet the air leakage requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations and preventing the problem of moist warm air entering.

Many drop down hatches suffer from ‘sagging’ over time, a problem that can cause the middle of the door to bow away from the door seal, creating an air leakage path. To prevent this issue, the GL250 door has 12 independent catch points located around the perimeter of the frame, operated from a single position with a unique sliding mechanism.

With the sliding cover replacing a conventional twist action locking mechanisms on the door, all of the hinge, catch and fixing geometry has been carefully located outside of the door seal, meaning that there are no holes through the door that could pose an air leakage risk.

When the cover is located in the fully closed position it also completely conceals the hinge detail. The positioning of the doors pivot point is intended to maximise the accessible area available to the user when the door is open and the pioneering hinge design allows for it to be fully removed from the frame quickly and easily for simpler installation and better access with larger insulation options.

The fixings for the frame also screw directly up into the ceiling for easier installation, also providing pressure in the optimum direction for the frame to ceiling seal.

The back of the door panel has been optimised to increase the amount of space available for insulation, allowing the 50mm of expanded polystyrene to cover a greater area within the structural opening to create a better thermal barrier.
Our expert trained installers can do most hatch replacements within a day or less and without too much fuss or inconvenience to you and your home.

DIY on the other hand! well you would need to be very competent to take on this job and you must have good knowledge of general building work to understand what you can cut away and what needs to be strengthened.
Cut away the wrong thing and it could weaken your ceiling and may collapse if walked upon. If you are not a 5 star DIYer I wouldn't tackle this job yourself, let the experts do it.
Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 879040


High pressure salesmen - Unreliable companies - Cutting Corners


When I am out on my rounds surveying lofts for storage I am often asked a series of questions about my companys ability to do a good job, obviously as we are very well setup we have no problems answering these questions comfortably.

Sometimes I can sense from the initial knock at the door to the walk upstairs to the loft hatch that there is a bit of tension coming across from some customers.

Maybe slightly apprehensively, they are thinking, (I am not going to be pressured into anything I dont want).

I can understand this feeling its what I call the PSS (Pushy Salesman Syndrome), normally related to dodgy double glazing salesmen, quite a lot of people in the past have been put under pressure by a pushy salesman or heard of the likes on TV shows like Cowboy Builders and Watch Dog.

To remedy this I always reassure my potential customers that I do not employ salesmen or use a pushy forceful manner to sell my products and services because my products and services really do sell themselves. I do all the Northwest surveys and quotes and I tell customers that I am here to give advice and to listen to their requirements and try my best to fulfil them within their budget. In 95 percent of cases we can give the customer what they want within the budget they have. Sometimes people want more but simply cannot afford to commit to it, so I am always happy to lower the storage area square metres to a size that they can afford.



It surprises me when I am told how unprofessional other companies are that have already been to quote, if they have turned up at all. They say thank you for turning up (always a good start if you really want work) and they say its good that we really do give actual quotes on a proper headed pad, not a piece of scrap paper or cigarette packet. One person said they had to use their camera phone to take a picture of the prices they scribbled by some company they had done on the back of a receipt from a builders merchant. They also say we look professional, sign written vans, uniforms and all our credentials check out and the websites we run are very informative.

We invest a lot in to our business and staff, regular training, health and safety, product courses and making sure we confirm to regulations as a business. Doing things right cost money which some companies refuse to spend, eventually they will fail to succeed.

I have been asked to reduce my prices on occasions as it may have been a little over budget, but I have had to refuse on the basis that the quality and quantity of materials I used is far superior to other companies and the only way we can reduce our prices is to cut corners and sacrifice something to do so. I will never cut corners just to compete for a few quid, it simply isnt worth it, Id rather lose the job that be caught on cowboy builders.

This is why my company do regular training with the fitters and I always mention that they should never cut corners or leave materials out simply to save some time, I would rather pay overtime so they do the job correctly.


IS YOUR LOFT CEILING STRONG ENOUGH FOR LOFT STORAGE?


I get asked a lot about how strong a ceiling needs to be, or will it be able to take the weight of boarding on the existing ceiling.
A ceiling is a ceiling that is all it is meant to be, they were built to hold up the plaster board or lathe plastered ceiling and for the occasionally walking on the joists for services reasons.
Some older properties because of the type of roof timbers such as a purling support system or a trussed roof will make a difference to the overall strength.
Older ceilings like a Victorian terraced tend to have a purling supported roof which is a big beam from supporting wall right through the support wall opposite. Some have extra support in the centre which rests on the internal supporting brick walls so the purling’s do not sag over the years.
If you have ever had a look inside an older terraced house style loft you may have seen strips of wood hanging around attached from ceiling to roof? These are known as hangers, and they are there to give extra support (especially in the center of a bedroom) to prevent the ceiling joists from sagging over the years.
Usually 3x2 timber joists runs from the back wall under the eaves of the roof to a central wall for support then from the central wall another set of joists run to the front of the house under the eaves. A lot of older properties suffer from ceiling sag which is normal because the roof may have also sagged but the hangers come loose where the nails have rusted away so they stop bearing weight. These all need to be checked and broken or loose ones need to be replaced with modern timber versions anyway before considering boarding.
So will your ceiling take the weight required to board, store and to walk upon?
Answer is, yes if done correctly.
Adding a batten (2x1 or 2x2) strip of wood is nowhere near any use or support and hardly adds any strength to the existing ceiling, new supporting timbers must be much more substantial than this.
Also you cannot get hardly any insulation underneath to insulate your home.
It’s not rocket science but some “cowboy builders & joiners” really have no clue. But a specialist will know all there is to know about doing this job correctly.
Here are a few ways to add strength and support for a professionally built loft storage area;
• Check all ceiling hangers are fixed and not rotten or broken, replace if they are.
• Check ceiling joist thickness must be at least 3 inches by 1.5” (75mm x 38-40mm)
Any thinner than this and a suspended floor will have to be installed
• Construct a new floor frame called a sub-frame out of minimum 4”x2” set at 24” Centre’s
• Lay the frame in the centre of your loft with the supporting wall in the middle of you frame and the outer edges underneath a purling’s.
• The reason for this is the central area weight will be taken on the supporting central wall of your Victorian house which goes all the way through to the ground floor footings and the overhang under the purling’s is so you can add purling hangers to your sub-frame
• Adding purling hangers to the sub-frame will take the weight and allow you to level the floor in line with where the sub-frame fits on the central supporting wall (highest point)
• Hanging the frame on the purling’s will take off any pressure to the ceiling joists below and will raise it enough to get insulation underneath as well as allowing important air flow ventilation through the insulation.
• Once the sub-frame has been leveled and adequate supporting hangers have been fitted the new sub-frame will be very strong and allow at least a couple of people and lots of storage to be supported without any worries of it damaging your ceiling.
• Once the sub-frame has been levelled set in place and fixed down then you can lay down the boards, ideally in staggered formation if possible without creating waste.
• Never nail down only screw down you may need to remove the board at some point and nailing can crack ceiling plaster work with the impact.
So if you didn’t do all this preparation work before hand and you simply laid boards on to the existing ceiling without the extra support and strengthening you will be asking for trouble? It will put pressure on the ceiling causing increased sag and the more weight the more it will become worse and eventually it will crack or damage the ceiling beyond a simple repair and replacing a ceiling timbers and plasterboard is very messy and very expensive to do.
Worst case scenario is that the ceiling falls through!!!
Loft boarding is part of general building, as simple as it may sound as a professional company we have to work to building rules and regulations. Building in general is all about making it safe to use and sticking to rules to prevent any weakening of the existing structure. Anyone choosing to ignore these rules should not be in the building profession.


SO WHAT ABOUT A NEW PROPERTY WITH A NEW TRUSSED ROOF?
A trussed roof has a lot of extra support via the web timber frame work (the criss cross timber frames in your roof)
Usually the ceiling joists are part of the actually trussed roof frame so they are already very strong and never really require any added support if the new storage floor system being added is designed to distribute the weight evenly.
We use LoftZone StoreFloor which is a unique stilt and beam system designed to be installed directly to the existing ceiling joists to raise the ceiling floor above the insulation so as not to squash or remove any existing insulation which is normally up to 270mm high.
The new metal cross beam (sub-frame) runs opposite to the existing joists so this allow the new storage floor to distribute the storage weight more evenly and solving the problem of tall insulation getting in the way. Three jobs in one;
1. Adds better storage weight distribution
2. Raised the storage level above the insulation
3. Create extra storage where you could normally have it
Most new loft joist are around 4” to 5” tall allowing room for the first 100mm of insulation to go perfectly in between the joists then a second 200mm layer laid opposite the first.
Being on average 2” thicker and slightly wider than is predecessor in the Victoria era this instantly give the ceiling joist more support to handle modern style loft boarding solutions like the LoftZone StoreFloor system.
Normally as we did with the Victorian house we only use the central area in this case this would be the highest parts down the centre of the loft known as the apex of the roof. Using the eaves can be done but this restricts access and the pitch of the roof is lower which also cuts down on the storage height, so you must consider if it is worth using these area.
So how much weight can a new loft take?
It can handle a fair bit of weight as a rule if you cannot lift it to the loft then that one item is too heavy so you need to split it up in to different boxes.
Total weight is really determined by the strength of the ceiling timbers, extra reinforcement and how well the storage floor is built. Most strengthened ceilings can manage at least two or three people and many storage boxes containing general items so long as you distribute things evenly throughout the loft then you would be surprised at how much weight can be stored in your loft.
For advice on this please ask the surveyor when they do a site survey they will give you their professional opinion on your type of loft as to how much storage weight is possible.


So what exactly do I need to create a storage area in my loft ?


If you have never thought about extra home storage in your loft before then you might want to know what it involves and how much it will cost.
The most common questions I get asked will be answered right here.
Using your loft for storage isnt a new idea, a small percentage of us have been using our lofts for many years by placing down old broken down kitchen cupboards and any old lengths of wood we could find.
Most DIYers will simply lay them down on the existing joists by removing or squashing the insulation so they can be fastened down. Or worst still, just laying them perched on top of the insulation with good intentions of fastening them down one day.
What we didnt know back in the day was that loft insulation was going to get thicker and taller and require air flow and zero compression to work at 100% efficiency.
How times have changed, with thicker insulation, building regulations, government recommended this and that its hard to keep up with it all.
These days we can no longer just lay boards on to joists, we have to raise this boarded level higher than the insulation to avoid any compression or worst of all, having to remove what we put down to save on our heating bills. (Gain storage but loose money day after day on rising heating bills).
Now you dont have to remove the insulation or squash it as we have specialist equipment to raise the boarded level above the insulation, so no compression and no removal, keep your insulation down un-squashed and still save on your heating bills by using a system called LoftZone Raised Loft StoreFloor.
Very clever system consisting of 3 components, a tri-support stilt and a uni-support stilt all combined with a steel box section cross beam. All this put together will create a very strong, and safe raised boarded storage area in your loft above the insulation.


So what do you need to create a loft storage area?

If you have never had a loft made in to a storage area before then this bit is essential reading.

The differences between a new house and an older house can change things slightly but as a pointer an older house may need a loft hatch if it doesnt hinged and fold down, it will need to be changed, and it has to be big enough to get you, a ladder and things through.

1. Ladders... A fixed stowaway ladder is a must, it not only makes things easier getting in to the loft but its also very safe and wont wobble or move like a step ladder. Never balance on a step ladder or use an unsecured ladder to gain access to your loft a fall can be fatal.
A starting point for ladders is a good quality aluminum sliding fold away ladder that fixes to the loft floor sub-frame and stows away neatly in to the loft using a reach pole to push it in.
There are various ladders on the market for various jobs including concertina and wood options.
Our surveyor will suggest what is best for your loft.

2. Loft Hatch... You need to get in and out of your loft as easily as possible so the right size is very important. No point squeezing though a tiny hole as you will not get much up there to start with. The standard size today is a 726mm long by 566mm wide plastic draft seal and insulated hinged and folding down loft hatch. a British standard and building regulations accepted hatch used commonly in new build houses throughout the UK.
Most new houses over the past 3 years or so will have suitable loft hatches already installed but if its a lift up plastic or wood then it will need to be changed. The reason for this is not just because of the size of the opening its because the ladder wont operate in the hatch if its to narrow and the hatch lid wont lift up enough to get it off because the new ladders sits right above the hatch door. This is not a big job for professionals like us, but could be for a DIYer.

3. Lighting... You have to be able to see what your doing up there so a light is important. Never use a portable electric light that plugs in on your landing socket as these can be lethal if the cable rubs on the metal ladder (which often does). It must be a fixed permanently wired in to the existing lighting circuit. A choice of a bulb or a tube light is available, the tube being a lot brighter than a bulb.

4. Boarding... All loft boarding must be laid down on a sub-frame. A sub-frame is either an additional set of wood joists laid at right angles to the existing joists or a stilt and beam system (LoftZone Raised loft floor). Either is good providing it is above the insulation and will not compress the insulation when the boards go down. (Remember there must also be an air gap under the boards to allow good air circulation)
Having chosen the correct sub-frame we then install interlocking high density loft panels (or boards) these are specially designed for loft boarding and are of a suitable 18mm thick and very strong when installed correctly.
So how much boarding will you need? well that is entirely up to you and your budget and also what will fit.
We always say go for the higher central area of your loft, if its a trussed roof like in most brand new builds it would go down the centre of the A part of the frame. If its a terraced or a detached then up to the main purlings is usually sufficient storage around 12 to 15 m²
Never completely board your loft out as it is a loft space and it needs air circulation to work so keep the eaves free at least.

So that is it really, unless you want safety rails, roof dust sheets or a mini loft conversion (luxury loft room) there is nothing else to consider.

The cost for basic new build 4m² storage area with ladder and light start from £350
The cost for a terraced or detached 4m² storage area with ladder, light and hatch start from £579

These are only examples and vary depending on the amount of boarding you need.

Recap:
1. Suitable strong fixed ladder
2: Suitable sized and hinged loft hatch
3: Good fixed lighting
4: sub-frame and boarding central area

Now all you need to do is call us for a FREE no obligation fixed instant quote
Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 879040

Read more about LoftZone raised loft floor by clicking this link


Last week I removed some loft boards and guess what I found underneath


I was asked to survey a loft last week by a customer who wanted a new loft hatch and some additional boarding.
They already had some boarding three years ago by another company.

We always try to fulfill customers requests but I did mention that the existing boarding would have to be up to scratch for us to be able to build next to or attach in some way.

There could be a height difference as the way we do it we always raise our loft floors above the insulation with an air gap, and in my experience not many companies actually care about this and either remove or squash insulation down.

I arrived at the house and was greeted by a nice couple who guided me upstairs to the tiny old wood hatch. As I looked up I noticed the hatch was not going to be right for the job as it needed to be bigger and hinged downwards so you can access the ladder and be able to use it safely correctly.

I climbed in to the loft and immediately noticed the existing boarding. Oh dear, I said as I glanced at the nailed down boards attached to the existing joists.

I explained to the customer what I was looking at and I asked them, Have you ever noticed a funny smell up here?. The husband said he had when he had been in the loft. Smells like damp I said, yes thats it the customer replied.

I asked if I could remove some boards to investigate, which I did and I found that the underside of the boards had black mould spots and the insulation was damp and also mouldy and it stunk.

This had been caused by not leaving an air gap underneath the boards and that the boards had been compressing the insulation so much it couldnt breath and its efficiency was very poor so instead of collecting air as it circulated it was like a sponge collecting moisture instead.

The solution was to remove all the old mouldy boarding and the mouldy insulation and replace with some new 200mm rock wool insulation and then create a raised boarded storage area over the top of the insulation allowing an air gap for circulation, a total height of 270mm.

As I always say, anyone can board a loft for storage but its how its boarded that matters.

You must always allow room under the boarding for air to flow, this allows good loft air circulation preventing damp and condensation and for your insulation to work at its most efficient. The combination of all of these things will save you money on your fuel bills when its done right.

I have seen incorrect boarding time and time again.
I advise you get an expert loft storage company in that knows what they are doing. See what sort of products they use to raise up a storage floor, if they even bother. Sometimes just a bit of battening is no where near enough height to allow good air circulation under the boards.

The only product we would recommend and use is the LoftZone 270mm high raised loft floor solutions.

Get more info on this product from here



BEWARE! Dodgy loft boarders in your area once again.


I am concerned that a few of our new customers have expressed to us before choosing us to do the work.
Something I wasnt aware of until now is that some loft boarding companies are going around quoting for work then passing on to another company or contractor to do without advising the customer who will be doing the work. It was only because of a few vigilant customers that this was discovered when phoning the company back and asking who will be installing the boarding, being told it was another company who will be doing it, but would not say who or given any contact details.. !!!!!!
This to me is just not good practice if the company you call to quote doesnt actually do the work, then the customers should be informed and it should be clear in writing on the quote and all the facts attached!!!

But who are these contractors? are they odd job men? are they qualified? approved? insured? a guy down the pub? who guarantees the work?

Not only that I have also heard jobs being passed on down the line to 3 or 4 so called installers before one of them chose the work, mmm maybe its who will do it the cheapest?

This is a disaster just waiting to happen to someone.

I would advice anyone who has any doubts to get the quote on a proper letter headed quote, with full address, land-line phone number and VAT registration number if applicable.

Also when getting a quote ask questions about the company, ask, do you employ your own installers? are they trained, qualified, accessed, approved, certified, insured? If the answer to any of these questions is NO then think twice about who they are. Are they a real business or just in it for the money until they get caught?

Here today gone tomorrow! with no contact details, or guarantee.

Please check out any company beyond questions, if they are of any good standing within the building world they will be registered with some authority like Safe Trader run by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards. Not the likes of Rated People, My Builder, unfortunately these companies only sell leads to them they dont access the companies work or credibility, even the feedback they have can be fraudulently made up. Ask for references from others who have had work done, even ask to speak to existing customers, we always have customers who are willing to vouch for us.

Loft Boarding NW answer YES to all the questions above and we are a member of LCC Safe Trader who keep a check on what we do and how we do it 24/7.
We only employ our own certified approved and trained installers and we give a 5 year guarantee on the equipment we install.

Remember: Anyone can install loft boarding, but its how its installed that really matters.

Please be vigilant, watch out, there are cowboys and fly-by-nights in every trade.


Loft boarding for storage in a rented property


In most cases if your rent a property, privately or through a social housing scheme you will definitely require written permission before any work can go ahead. In some cases the landlord or association may require a full breakdown from us of what you intend to have done and for what purpose.
Unfortunately there is no way around this as it would be breaking your tenancy with your landlord or association for failing to inform them of the intended work (Classed as building work) and they will demand it to be removed at your expense.

If you are renting a property its always best to seek advice from your landlord/association before going ahead, a simple letter of consent from them is all we require so we can proceed and give them the desired information (copy of quotes and survey) if required.
Once we have approval we will then proceed with a survey and to install your loft boarding solution.

Please be aware that not informing your landlord or association of intended work in your loft could be seen as a breech of your tenancy agreement and may have serious consequences.


Condensation in the loft? Why do I get it? and how do I prevent it?


Winter is the time of year when the temperatures can suddenly drop dramatically and rise quickly due to the sun coming out.
The sudden change in the weather means our loft spaces start to get colder and the immediate heat generated by the sun hitting the roof will generate warm air quickly before the loft space has adjusted to it, and warm air contains moisture, warm air plus cold surface equals condensation.
Moisture can form on the underside of the roof felt/membrane/wood to form droplets of water. This is especially common with older houses but can also be present in newer properties.
So whats is the cause? well some percentage of warm air hitting a cold surface is to blame so make sure you loft is well insulated (government recommended level is 270mm). Check you have a quality draft sealed and insulated loft hatch. If you have an old wood one check the seal is tight and make sure there is insulation on top of it, but its best to have it replaced with a modern one as the old ones tend to leak badly letting warm air in to your loft, no point having loads of insinuation when he heat is seeping through your hatch.
Check for any old holes left in ceilings and walls by workmen where old pipes/cables used to be, seal these up.
Never block the eaves of your loft as this will stop vital air circulation.
The biggest culprit for condensation is the lack of air circulation.
Fit some soffit vents or slate/tile vents and clear the eaves so air can flow correctly. DO NOT board directly on to your ceiling joists and DO NOT squash your insulation to board for storage. This will cause or add to the problem as well as reducing the efficiency of your insulation by up to 50% or more. To get around this so you can add some loft boarding is to install a raised storage area at least 50mm clear of the top of the insulation level so that air can circulate around and underneath the boarded area without being restricted. Its best to use a raised loft floor system like LoftZone Raised Loft Floor to do this job correctly and professionally, or you can use a timber trussed raised sub-frame if the LoftZone system is not suitable.
Also look for other heat generating appliance in your loft, un-lagged hot pipes from boilers? etc
add more soffit vents, wall or roof vents to help create air flow, un-block the eaves & check the seal on your loft hatch. If your loft is already boarded check to see if it squashing your insulation, there should be at least 50mm above the insulation of clear space.
Some simple checks could solve this problem. In some small cases it could simply be bad design but more commonly blocked soffit & air vents or suffocating loft insulation.
Here is a link to raised loft floors

All about sub-frames


LoftZone Raised Loft Floor - We are now certified installers on the new installer course


As well as being an approved installer of the LoftZone StoreFloor products, we are now certified installers as we have just completed the online CPD certified LoftZone installers course.
100% score as expected from Andy Greenhalgh our boss.

As a professional company we always strive to improve or better our knowledge in our industry because we want to be the market leaders and the best at what we do.
Only those who put in the time and effort to do this will succeed in this ever growing industry.

Thanks to PPL training for the course and Dave at LoftZone for designing such an informative and straight forward course.

Onwards and upwards as we continue to grow from strength to strength


Warning about bogus and cowboy loft boarding companies in your area


Important Notice:

Quite recently I have been receiving a lot of emails from people who have problems or complaints about other companies who have been boarding lofts. Their main concern is that they feel they have not had their lofts boarded correctly or safely because they have seen the information and examples on our website. From investigating this information I have found that there are a small group of people passing themselves off as a loft boarding company who are using cheap materials and cutting corners to give competitive quotes.

This is how you can recognised them:-

The quality of workmanship is not even equal to poor DIY standard, cheap materials and insufficient support will lead to an unsafe loft, they will probably be uninsured and have no aftersales service or guarantee, they will probably only advertise or give you a mobile number and not issue a genuine printed receipt with the company details on.

We install loft boarding professionally, safely and using the right material and the right quantity of materials to do the job safely and correctly, we do no compromise on the materials quality or quantity simply to compete on price.

We give you a 5 year guarantee and carry full PLI ELI insurance and a member of LCC Trading Standards Safe Trader Scheme, Help Direct. We are factory approved, qualified and trained to install LoftZone StoreFloor loft boarding system.

”Don’t be caught out simply to save a few quid, its really not worth it!” Andy Greenhalgh MD


What not to do if you plan on boarding your loft for storage


The biggest mistake made when boarding out a loft is boarding directly on to your existing joists.
To do this in most cases you have to remove or crush your insulation, don&rsquot do this.

To do it right you must use a raised sub-frame to create an air space under the loft boarding and above the insulation to allow air to circulate underneath.
This will allow your insulation to continue to work 100% efficiently and prevent condensation build up, not doing this will reduce your insulation thermal efficiency by 50% or 100% if you remove it.

There are still companies that don&rsquot build raised sub-frames before boarding.
This was the method used before the days of insulation.

The reason is clear some companies are still not doing this, by leaving out a sub-frame it will keep down the costs and therefore they will be more competitive simply because the consumer does not know the effects of not using a raised sub-frame.

So whoever you choose to board out your loft, make sure they are using a raised sub-frame that allows your insulation to breathe.


Fully automated loft hatches


We are soon to introduce some great new loft storage ideas to make things even easier to gain access and use your loft space for storage.



Coming soon are fully automated loft hatches, balustrades and hand & grab rails.





Watch this space


Ideal Home Show a huge success


Held at EventCity in Manchester the show had an amazing turnout somewhere in the regions of 10 to 13 thousand people a day over the weekend.

A little bit of traffic chaos but it was well worth the wait.

The place was huge and there was something for everyone. Nice to meet and demonstrate to so many people who came to our stand.

It was very busy and none stop all day, we are tired and aching but it was well worth it.


Thank you all who came to see us, and hope to see you all again next time at the Ideal Home Show.


The lucky competition winner for the £300 storage solution will be drawn today 9/6/14 and be announce on this news page


Ideal Home Show comes to Manchester 6th 7th 8th June 2014


For the first time in its 106 year history the iconic Ideal Home Show will be welcoming visitors from across the North through its doors at EventCity Manchester.

Split into seven dedicated show areas, from Interiors to Home Improvements, Food & Housewares to Technology, Gardens, Woman and Shopping.

The show gives you the chance to explore thousands of products, exclusive show offers and items you won&rsquot find on the high street.



Loft Boarding NW along side LoftZone will be standing at the show on stand H452, you are all welcome to come and visit us have a chat about loft storage and what our solutions can do to solve your storage problems.


Gas boilers in your loft space - Access - New regulations and law


Are you considering having your boiler moved or installed in your loft?

You may have be told that you must provide access for the engineer so he can install the boiler and service it.

By law these new rules must also include the installation of a fixed fold away ladder, building regulation sized loft hatch, grab / safety rail near the hatch area, secure & safe boarding platform with sub-frame from the hatch to the boiler and adequate fixed lighting.

If you need this work doing we specialise in this service from only £350 (Survey required)

We cover most of Lancashire and NW

Call our central enquiry number for the northwest area on 01254 879040


LoftZone StoreFloor - The future of loft boarding


Loft boarding NW now provide a bespoke system of store floor which will work for any loft with high loft insulation.

This will avoid any loft insulation compression which will reduce its efficiency.

The cheapest and simplest solution to the very common problem of storing items in a fully-insulated loft is to install a raised floor above the insulation.

The LoftZone StoreFloor is a lightweight, low-cost, easy-to-install and very strong platform for storing items and walking on while protecting the 270mm loft insulation and allowing it to save energy and cut fuel bills as intended.

A fantastic idea to enable you to store in your loft from only £350

View link to storefloor