Google DIY loft boarding and ladder fitting and you will straight away see some of the pitfalls of undertaking these jobs yourself.
Choosing a ladder is not straight forward if you don’t know what you are doing and you have to be confident when measuring up. You will need to make sure that the ladder you choose is the right height by accurately measuring from the floor of the landing to the floor of your loft. That isn’t the only measurement you will need – you must also ensure that the ladder fits the size of your loft hatch when folded. Of course, check that you take into account any clearance or pivoting space in the loft for the ladder once stowed.
No such thing as a standard loft
On to boarding. Having measured up so that you can purchase the boards and struggled to fit them in your car, you will need to cut them to fit. There is no such thing as a standard sized loft. You will need the appropriate power tools and a large supply of screws. A workbench is also invaluable for cutting the boards to size.
Firstly, you will need a temporary work platform so you don’t fall through the ceiling and, if there is no lighting, some good quality work lamps. Pay attention to any light fittings from the celling below, electrical wires or extraction ducts as you work.
Protecting loft insulation
Insulation is the biggest obstacle to work around. You don’t want to remove it and reduce the heat efficiency of your home. It is also not a good idea to squash it down, which will affect its performance and restrict air flow to your ceiling joists. We raise the level of the floor and board over the top to protect both joists and insulation. If you want to do the same you will need to get measuring again and order more timber.
No mess and finished in a day
Plenty of people undertake boarding the loft and fitting a ladder themselves – we are not saying that customers are not up to it. Only that when you start looking at the time it will take you as a novice and factor in the cost of materials and, potentially, the hire or purchase of power tools, then the average cost of £35 per square metre for us to board doesn’t seem that high. Plus, on top of a professional job, we will be finished within the day and take away any mess! A major bonus when weighing up the pros and cons of DIY versus calling in the professionals.