Loft Insulation Costs
Material Costs, Labour Fees and Time Frame Estimates for Loft Insulation
How Much Does it Cost to Insulate the Loft?
According to estimates, most homes have 25% of their average energy escape through the roof— the devastating effects of which are often printed on the monthly heating bill. This should be addressed by selecting the right home insulation. In essence, getting the loft insulated utilizes barriers made of materials that effectively prevent the heat from going out.
A variety of materials is available, with blanket insulation being the most popular. With costs running at £2.50 a square metre, it is cost-effective and is great to install between joists. Among the other choices you have include sheet insulation at £10 a square metre and spray foam £55 a square metre.
For pricing purposes, this article tackles the possible costs involved in insulation the loft of a semi-detached home with 3 bedrooms. Note that the actual costs may significantly vary and are usually banked on insulation material used, property size, as well as which installation company you choose.
Prices for Loft Insulation
Loft insulation costs will be largely affected by your chosen materials and how big or small the loft is. According to the Building Regulations L1B of 2010, loft insulation should be at least a minimum of 270mm. there are cases when you may need to get the insulation topped-up, especially if it’s a relatively older one. For really old ones, the best thing to do is getting a total overhaul and replacement to ensure top performance.
Another option to consider is the addition of a layer of thermal foil on top of the already existing insulation. This could cost about £3 a square metre. Note that the efficiency will depend on your chosen material. A foil-backed variation may also be looked into too.
This type of insulation has the foil directly attached to the insulation roll. It can be fitted as the top of the insulation, which can help get radiative heat reflected into your home.
Costs will generally be at £8 a square metre. It should be noted that a mere single layer of this type of insulation will not be enough. It should only be considered as additional insulation and not a replacement.
Time Frames and labour Costs
Assuming that you have an empty loft, it’s common for an insulation specialist to charge around £150 -£200 a day. They will generally work independently to get the job done.
- It could take a specialist about 4 hours to get your loft insulated with insulation rolls.
- Blown-in and loose-fill insulation are generally easier and quicker to install since no measurement is involved.
Labour costs are generally going to be similar no matter the method of insulation. However, it may cost you more if you go for the spray foam material as additional equipment is needed to get the job completed. If there are things in your loft that need decluttering, you can always negotiate with the tradesman to help clear it out. Of course, this would mean added costs for you to cover.
Cables and pipes in the loft space also needs to be looked into. If there are exposed piping, they need to be properly insulated as well to ensure that the cold temperature will not get to them.
Cables must be left as is due to their tendency to heat up. Your insulation expert can take care of getting your pipework insulated or you can also do it yourself.
If using insulating foam tubes, expect that the cost will be at £1 a metre for tubes with 155 mm diameter. A 28 mm diameter tube is going to cost £2.50 per metre. You’ll also need to cover for cable ties to make sure that the fitting will be secured. This should cost £2 for a pack of 100.
Options for Loft Insulation
With the current costly energy prices, it’s understandable how loft insulation has become a popular option among homeowners across the UK. More than just the heat, improperly insulated lofts can also add stress to the boiler, thus reducing its life in the process.
Considering how cheap it is to get your loft insulated, it is the more practical choice. Several insulation options are available for you out there, below are some of them:
This is a generally cheap option with material made of mineral wool or fibreglass. Some companies also use natural fabric alternatives or plastic and could cost around £2.50 a square metre.
To ensure that building regulations of 270mm depth is complied, costs for blanket insulation can reach up to £5 a square metre.
Blanket insulation is perhaps the most diverse option out there. It’s also considered to be most suitable where insulation is concerned. You do have to see to it that your insulation isn’t compressed after getting fitted as this can reduce its efficiency as a result. This can also lead to condensation problems, especially since the air may not be able to effectively circulate as a result.
Also known as blown-in insulation, it usually carries an average cost of £7.20 a square metre and can be made of fibreglass, mineral wool or recycled paper.
It’s perfect for ensuring that irregular nooks covering existing pipework will be duly insulated as well. It’s also ideal when used in small spaces that could be challenging to navigate as it can just be inserted via equipment or poured in using your hands.
This is a reliable go-to material if a warm loft is what you’re aiming for. It is significantly affordable too. Generally, it is applied along the roof’s underside so heat can be retained.
Costs for sheet insulation will usually be around £10 a square metre. This type of insulation is usually used as floor top players as they can help stabilise the surface underneath, making it easy enough for lightweight items to be stored atop it.
Considered the costliest insulation option out there, it also needs specific equipment to install. This makes it less than ideal for DIY-ers to attempt to do. The process is considerably quick as cutting or measuring isn’t going to be involved. It is also considered to be the most efficient in terms of home insulation.
While this option is considerably more expensive, it tends to last longer. In the UK, this insulation option could cost around £55 a square metre. Your current location is going to have an influence on the final costs as well.
What Does the Job Entail?
Cold lofts need insulation fitted between the joists, this effectively establishes a barrier between the home below and the loft space to ensure that heat will not get out through the roof.
You need to get your loft cleared up. If there is any existing insulation, check if it needs to be removed first. See to it too that there is proper ventilation in the space otherwise you might have to deal with damp and condensation as a result.
Blanket Insulation Installation Process
If you’re picking blanket materials for your insulation needs, note that there may be two layers that need to be added. These rolls tend to come in a variety of widths to ensure that joist spacing is properly accommodated. See to it that the joist spacing is accurately measured before starting so the rolls will be cut to the right size.
The first layer then gets unrolled to the appropriate length and then cut. Once done, another layer will be put on top at a 90-degree angle to effectively cover the joists and to make sure that the depth required by building regulations is successfully met. If you’re considering transforming the loft into a storage space, backed-boards may be necessary. You might also look into the possibility of raising the floor level.
Insulation must not be squashed otherwise this will decrease the overall efficiency of the fixture. It can also cause condensation concerns too due to problems with condensation.
Loose Fill Installation Process
Specialist machinery can be used to install loose fill. It can also be done by hand. Large scale projects are better off handled by professionals as they will have the necessary equipment. They’ll be much faster as well. If the area is smaller or all you have to do is top up the already existing insulation, it may be done DIY.
Installing loose-fill materials is easy and quick to do. The materials will just be blown or poured into specific parts of the space that requires insulation. Just be sure that you have no plans of adding boards or the loose-fill material though as this can cause the materials to move, leaving the area exposed. This is also why regular checking is highly recommended.
Spray Foam Installation Process
The process involved here is entirely different because a specialist is needed to get the work completed. The loft space gets inspected first to make sure that there aren’t any spots that could be possible condensation risk. This is also essential in calculating how much of the spray foam will be needed. Less than 270mm depth is required in this case due to the high efficiency of the material.
Prior to starting the work, your insulation specialist should be able to give you estimates on the costs involved which cover materials and labour. When using this material, pipes are best avoided since there may be a need for you to access them down the road. The same is true for cables since they require ventilation or they would overheat.
Loft Insulation Benefits
When loft insulation is correctly installed, it will bring about numerous benefits to your home. This makes it a project really worthy of investing time, effort and money on. You’ll likely see a more affordable energy bill once the installation is carried out.
According to estimates, about 25% of heating gets lost through a property’s roof. When there is a barrier in the loft spaces, it becomes easier to keep the heat locked in, leaving your home more energy efficient in the process. It can even impact your Energy Performance Certificate too which may help improve your property value by as much as 16%.
Annual Payback and Savings
Loft insulation, when done right can help you save an average of about £150 annually where your heating cost goes. It can also increase your home value by about 16%. There will be initial outlay costs for you to cover but the amount you will save where your heating costs go will be more than enough to offset this.
Factors Affecting Costs
Before pushing through the loft insulation, it’s important to consider a number of factors that could affect costs.
Insulation Amount and Type
Prices can significantly vary with a top-up project costing around £2.50 a square metre and a new and full insulation job costing around £50 a square metre. In many cases, it’s up to you to decide which material to use.
However, in some cases, the kind of space you have is going to dictate the type of insulation material and method you should go for.
Removal of Old Insulation
There are instances when you may need to get the old insulation in the loft removed before putting any new materials in. If you have old insulation that has suffered from poor ventilation or one that got squashed over the years, the removal costs could be around £300.
This prize is tentative though and will depend on the loft size and if it’s easy enough to access it.
Loft Space Accessibility
A potential addition to costs you have to cover is when there is content inside the loft. If there are items inside that might hinder the work from being done, then you’ll need to have them removed first.
You can always ask the insulation specialist to help you with removal but they are likely to ask for additional costs of around £50.
Getting a loft installed usually comes with various potential jobs that also need to be completed as well.
Pipe lagging– If the loft has exposed pipework, there might be a need for you to have them insulated or they might freeze over come winter. Insulating foam tubes are ideal for this, which should cost you about £1.75 a metre. You do have the option to ask the insulation experts to complete the job themselves but this might come with an added cost of about £70.
Relocating electrical wires– There are instances when some wires will need to be removed so they will not interfere with your insulation. Most electricians would charge around £150 daily although they will usually work as a pair not just for safety but to also improve their speed and efficiency. So, expect that the price can increase to £250 where labour goes. Another thing you might want the electrician to do is to install a loft light, especially if you expect to use your loft more often.
Loft boarding– Boarding is necessary to ensure that the loft is indeed functioning at its best. This helps diminish the loss of heat in the loft, at the same time, this is effective at keeping the space considerably strengthened whilst making sure that the insulation isn’t damaged in any way. Loft-boarding usually costs around £460 with labour and parts included, although this varies per region.
Loft access– It may also be worth investing in a loft ladder and hatch. It’s quite common for older properties to have smaller hatches, which makes accessing the loft more difficult. It would cost around £275 to install a loft ladder and about £200 if you need to reposition or widen the hatch.
Loft hatch insulation– You need to get the hatch insulated properly to make sure that the warm air will not go through the uninstalled spots. Polystyrene is often the insulation material of choice by most homeowners when it comes to their loft hatches, it’s effective and it’s cheap at around £15 for 2400mm by 1200mm board.
Loft Insulation DIY
You can save up to £20 by choosing to do the insulation yourself. Most loft insulation projects can be pulled off DIY anyway, as long as there are no condensation or damp problems. If present, these problems need to be addressed beforehand otherwise, the insulation effort will just be rendered useless. There are some things you need to remember when doing the loft insulation DIY:
- The floor joists are unable to handle weight so be extra careful when laying the insulation.
- The material in blanket insulation such as fibreglass and rock wool are irritants, so wear the necessary attire including long sleeves, gloves, protective eyewear ad breathing mask to better protect yourself.
- Loft insulation installation requires manoeuvrability and balance so make sure that you are physically fit to do so.
- Getting a friend to help you do the job may be a better idea so there is somebody that can pass the materials up to you whilst you lay them down, saving you from having to make multiple journeys. This also speeds up the process.
Just like any DIY undertaking, always remember that there are risks involved so make it a point to prioritise your safety at all times. If you aren’t getting things done as fast and efficiently, you always have the choice to hire the professionals instead.
Never attempt to DIY a spray foam insulation installation. This requires essential specialist expertise and experience to pull off. There is special equipment used to get the job done and one wrong move can only lead to possible accidents and injuries.
Can I Still Use the Loft?
Before proceeding with the loft insulation installation, take note of how you’d expect to use the space later on. If it is going to be used for storage purposes, make sure that the floor has adequate strength so the insulation gets installed in a manner that won’t affect its efficiency due to the presence of compression. You can consider the following options:
Insulated boards- With costs around £10 a square metre, insulated boards can be positioned across the joists to help raise the insulation and meet thickness that regulations require. Floorboards will then be laid over it to ensure that pressure will be evenly distributed whilst making sure that there isn’t any compression to the insulation underneath.
Loft stilts- You can use stilts to raise the joist height. This ensures that the insulation will remain between the joist and the floor that will then be laid over the top. Stilts will generally cost about £10 for every 12 pieces or 83 pence per stilt.
Reducing the Costs
Getting your insulation fitted around summertime may not always mean it is cheaper, but when the demand for such a service is low, you may have a lot of opportunities to enjoy more reasonable costs. More importantly, this ensures that come winter, you won’t have to worry about the state of your loft since you have already prepared ahead of time.
Choosing to do the installation yourself could lead to benefits like purchasing the insulation from specialist suppliers or wholesalers that can offer you some attractive discounts compared to what most DIY stores would be willing to offer.
Also, buying the materials you need in bulk could lead to additional discounted rates, so you might also want to look into that. You can look for a friend who is also looking to do the same project so you can buy the materials you need in bulk, get the discounted rate and then split the costs.
If a warm loft is what you’re aiming for, you need to insulate the roof and not the floors. Creating a warm space in your loft is most ideal, especially if your goal is to create an extra space that is properly heated that would be perfect for storage purposes. This should be differentiated from a loft conversion though as the latter means actually adding living space to your property.
There is an on-going debate on whether this project is best left to the experts or if you can pull this off DIY. Generally, it is best to leave insulation jobs to the experts as they have the experience, needed knowledge, and equipment to get the task done fast and right.
More importantly, when the insulation isn’t installed right, there is a very good chance that it might damage the structure of your home, this could mean thousands of pounds spent just to rectify such a mistake.
Generally, it would take up to a day for insulation experts to get the job done. As far as labour costs go, it could cost up to £150 for the installation job to get completed.
Loft Insulation Removal
There may be instances when the insulation in your loft has to be removed. This could be due to the existing insulation getting damaged or squashed, there are mould or condensation issues, or you want your loft converted into an additional living space.
If you intend to take on the removal job yourself, a skip hire makes sense for all the waste materials. An alternative is to have the experts do the job. It could cost you around £300 to successfully remove loft insulation as well as get it properly disposed of.
The final price will be affected by the size of the loft, accessibility to the area, as well as how much insulation needs to be removed.
It should be noted that the removal process is quite a complex process— possibly as intricate as the actual installation. Blanket and batting insulation materials need to be rolled up and duly condensed and then placed on bags. The bags are crucial to prevent the fibres and other materials from accumulating inside your home.
Removal for spray-foam insulation can be quite a labour-intensive process and it can get messy too. The foam will need to be cut deep whilst taking note of the surrounding materials and making sure they are undamaged. It then gets removed with the rest scraped off using your hands.