For many homeowners, the loft space becomes a baron storage space they dread to enter. Yet with only a minor investment it can become a highly effective layer of insulation. As the warmth from our heating systems rises, it escapes through the roof. But loft insulation retains this heat, slashing heating bills significantly.
A layer or two of loft insulation could save you up to £250 on your annual bill. With this in mind, the cost of loft insulation can easily be made back within two years.
If this appeals to you, continue reading to discover the different types, applications, and installation costs.
Types of Loft Insulation
Insulation comes in both different forms and materials. Some may be more suitable than others for your home.
Blanket insulation, by far the most popular choice, comes in convenient rolls. The fibrous material is usually glass or mineral based, and backed with foil.
+ Very easy installation, DIY friendly
+ Quick to cover accessible places and exposed cavities
+ Cost of insulation is low (£20 for a roll that covers 8 metres squared, 100mm thick)
– Certain materials will irritate your skin when handling
– Sheep’s wool is a non-irritant choice but quite expensive
– It’s more difficult to lay rolls in tight spaces
Loose-fill insulation is another choice for inaccessible areas and top ups. Lightweight materials such as cork, cellulose fibre or mineral wool are used in a granular form. Recycled options are also available, such as re-used newspaper.
+ Quick to fill gaps and spaces between joists
+ Easy way to top up your existing insulation
– If your loft is prone to drafts the material can come loose
– Installation requires protective gear
Blown-fibre insulation requires help from professionals to install. It can be used to fill small gaps between joists or inaccessible cavities.
+ Professionals can complete the job quickly
+ Green options are available, including sheep’s wool and newspaper
+ Ideal solution for inaccessible spaces
+ Material is light and easy to handle
– Costs higher for material, plus you will need to hire for a professional (£400+)
– If your loft is draughty this option will not be suitable
Do I Need Loft Insulation?
If you do not have loft insulation at all, you are missing out big time! You are guaranteed to make significant savings on your current bills, paying off the costs within a year or two. Go and buy insulation rolls and lay them yourself or consult an insulation specialist for help.
If you already have a single layer of insulation, you should go and check the thickness. The recommended thickness has been bumped up to 270mm. If your loft insulation is lacking, your energy bills could benefit from an additional layer.
How Much Does Insulation Cost to Install?
Considering having professional tradesmen to install your insulation? Use this guide to help you negotiate a reasonable loft insulation quote.
Average prices for installing 270mm of blanket insulation:
Property Cost Annual Saving Payback
Detached house £400 £250 1-2 years
Semi- detached house £300 £140 2 years
Terrace £285 £135 2 years
Bungalow £375 £200 1-2 years
If you only need to top up your existing insulation to the recommended 270mm, the cost will be reduced. From these prices, the price will be around £50+ less, energy savings down to 10%.
For more examples of energy savings, you can check out figures from the energy savings trust.
If you are happy to lay blanket insulation yourself, the installation cost will shrink and your money reclaimed within a year.
Wickes sells three types of insulation roll for £20.
– 100mm thick covering 11 square metres
– 170mm thick covering 6.5 square metres
– 200mm thick covering 5.6 square metres
What If I Want My Loft For Access/Storage?
If you are going to use your loft, piling in the blanket insulation is the most cost-effective option. But that 270mm of insulation certainly isn’t going slip between joists. If you need to lay boards on top you are going to be out of luck!
The next option is to run a single layer of blanket insulation between the joists, lay insulation boards across the joists, and then wooden boarding on top. You can even buy insulation boards bonded to flooring. But you must ensure you don’t squash insulation blanket material, this greatly reduces the performance.
Do I Need Roof Insulation?
The cost of roof insulation is higher and requires more work than loft insulation blankets. Yet, if you are converting your attic into a living space you will need to consider this instead.
Board/sheet insulation is an ideal choice for loft conversions. It’s easily attached to sloping edges of your roof, whilst offering outstanding insulation. Safer options include water and fire resistance boards. They can even be ordered online and pre-cut to fit your exact requirements.
+ Many materials and options available, safer and greener
+ Ideal loft conversions due to high insulation properties
+ Easily finished or decorated over with plasterboard
+ Various ways to attach the boards to a roof
– Higher cost than other types of insulation
– Higher energy cost to produce synthetics used in cheaper sheets
How Much Does Roof Insulation Cost?
Roof insulation board prices vary significantly depending on material respective properties. For good quality 50mm insulation boards, 1200mm x 2400mm in size, expect to pay £25 each for 50mm, £45 for 100mm.
Reducing Attic Insulation Cost
There used to be a government-backed scheme that provided free/discounted insulation back in 2012. Yet there are still a small number of suppliers who still offer incentives. For example, EDF energy provides free loft insulation and even boiler replacements, if you meet their requirements.