Boarding loft and loft ladder advice

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Doug71

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Think I can get away with putting this in the general woodworking section 🤔

I have been given the job of sorting out my ex's loft so after a bit of advice please.

I need to add some more insulation and board out an area for storage. What is a good system to lift the boarding up above the insulation? I have seen everything from the little plastic legs to the loft zone type kits, any advantage of either system?

For example


Also after a decent loft ladder, something good quality and easy to use (think planning ahead for old age).

Any advice or experience appreciated, I won't say budgets not an issue but happy to spend more to get some decent kit.

Thanks, Doug
 

Jameshow

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How about 4x2 running perpendicular to the existing joists and insulation in-between this preventing cold bridging. Or the kit above or the plastic legs but they look a little flimsy....
 

macca

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second the 4x2 run across joists, i have boarded a fair amount of old lofts in this manor, (picture horrendous Cornish cottages with hand hewn joists!) with the cost of timber as it is currently I would think the cost could add up if the area is very large but there are some advantages especially if it's an older property. The timber will give you a flexibility to adapt around obstacles such as rafters, ties etc; level any undulation and layout even centres at your desired spacing.

I have been reasonably impressed with hatches that have integrated folding ladders, not the highest quality, circa ÂŁ150 IIRC but all sprung to counterweight and pretty user friendly compared to pull down ladders etc. If the ceiling is out of level the hatch will need a bit of magic with architrave after as it should be installed level to work correctly
 

Jameshow

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I'd avoid sissor action pull down ladders the ones I have used have been as wobbly as anything.. !
 

jimmy_s

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I put one of the TB Davies Luxfold ladders in our house, I got it from toolstation. I thought it was pretty good.
 

Ollie78

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My mate does loads of loft hatches and floors, he uses the loft legs system available from Wickes.
The loft hatches vary depending on application but I have one that is almost like stairs once folded out. They stay only on the hatch itself when folded so no ladder extending into the loft, bloody brilliant method, very easy to use and all spring loaded.
Its a BPS loft ladders one.

Ollie
 

Bingy man

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second the 4x2 run across joists, i have boarded a fair amount of old lofts in this manor, (picture horrendous Cornish cottages with hand hewn joists!) with the cost of timber as it is currently I would think the cost could add up if the area is very large but there are some advantages especially if it's an older property. The timber will give you a flexibility to adapt around obstacles such as rafters, ties etc; level any undulation and layout even centres at your desired spacing.

I have been reasonably impressed with hatches that have integrated folding ladders, not the highest quality, circa ÂŁ150 IIRC but all sprung to counterweight and pretty user friendly compared to pull down ladders etc. If the ceiling is out of level the hatch will need a bit of magic with architrave after as it should be installed level to work correctly
The wooden counter weight ladders are the only ones I’d trust , they have one of the highest weight ratings . NB wouldn’t the existing joist size dictate what you can use due to the increased weight load ( the timber used+ the weight of the stored item’s combined) just a thought as this is how I would approach this type of job .
 

Steve_Scott

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The wooden counter weight ladders are the only ones I’d trust , they have one of the highest weight ratings . NB wouldn’t the existing joist size dictate what you can use due to the increased weight load ( the timber used+ the weight of the stored item’s combined) just a thought as this is how I would approach this type of job .
In a structural engineering world, yes, but in the real world any method of standing off an existing floor will add negligible weight per given unit area and should* be ignored.

*disclaimer… there’s always the exception that proves the rule and you have to hope it’s not your house!
 

Richard_C

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We have an aluminium counterbalanced extending loft ladder, here when we moved in 26 years ago. It's OK.

But I sort of wish we didn't. If we didn't have one, I wouldn't have put stuff up there (instead of being decisive and getting rid) then I wouldn't be thinking bother, need to spend days clearing it while I can still get around easily. Set myself a target of doing it when I was 65, keep putting it off, 70 next month.

Ideal, one visit a year to get the Christmas decorations out, one to put them away and nothing else up there. Don't need boarding or a ladder for that.
 

Bingy man

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In a structural engineering world, yes, but in the real world any method of standing off an existing floor will add negligible weight per given unit area and should* be ignored.

*disclaimer… there’s always the exception that proves the rule and you have to hope it’s not your house!
So the good old method of common sense should be applied given the situation you are faced with, a lot of pre war terrace housing in my neck of the woods and some ceiling joists are 2x3 or less and have long spans , you can feel them flexing as you walk across hence my previous post .
 

GuitardoctorW7

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Think I can get away with putting this in the general woodworking section 🤔

I have been given the job of sorting out my ex's loft so after a bit of advice please.

I need to add some more insulation and board out an area for storage. What is a good system to lift the boarding up above the insulation? I have seen everything from the little plastic legs to the loft zone type kits, any advantage of either system?

For example


Also after a decent loft ladder, something good quality and easy to use (think planning ahead for old age).

Any advice or experience appreciated, I won't say budgets not an issue but happy to spend more to get some decent kit.

Thanks, Doug
Hi Doug

I just fitted one of these this weekend Loft ladder clickFIX® thermo comfort

Not cheap but really well made, good instructions and took me about 6 hours to fit all in. I bought an extra hand rail so that my wife is comfortable using it.

Bought mine from the Loft Centre and saved about ÂŁ75

G
 

Alasdair

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My folks have an old ramsay loft ladder which was expensive but absolutely solid. Its even got a hand rail. I have a cheap one (cant remember maake but probably from wickes) which you wouldn't want to be carrying anything heavy as its pretty flimsy. Depends on how often and whats being stored in the loft.
 

hairy

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We have an aluminium counterbalanced extending loft ladder, here when we moved in 26 years ago. It's OK.

But I sort of wish we didn't. If we didn't have one, I wouldn't have put stuff up there (instead of being decisive and getting rid) then I wouldn't be thinking bother, need to spend days clearing it while I can still get around easily. Set myself a target of doing it when I was 65, keep putting it off, 70 next month.

Ideal, one visit a year to get the Christmas decorations out, one to put them away and nothing else up there. Don't need boarding or a ladder for that.
I disagree.
A friend just got someone to spend about a week emptying years worth of highly valuable vintage items down, cleaned, mould wiped off and put up on the auction site. Returned well over ÂŁ50!
( ;) )
 

Trextr7monkey

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Recently did about 22 square meters and ladder in son’s modern build house. I used the tall legs and managed to buy up several lots of unused surplus items from 3 or 4 local peopl over the previous months as we knew we would be doing it while he was on holiday.
T and g chipboard locks together nicely and legs are very stable but I used hundreds of screws Battens along solid walls can save wasting legs.
Got ladder from Wickes with handrail which works well, put a guard rail along 2 sides just to stop someone walking down the open hatch. 02A6EB1D-8F06-4E97-87EF-E640EA9E7A43.jpeg
 

Terry - Somerset

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Our first detached house had a large boarded out loft with steps.

Other half was keen to ensure that we threw nothing away and used the loft for storage "just in case". In went prams, partial sets of crockery, old fan heaters, surplus curtains, unused lamp shades etc etc etc.

Twelve years later we moved. Spent two days clearing out that which had accumulated. Carefully inspected. Some items which may have been useful had obviously been forgotten. Some we still had no foreseeable use for. Lamp shades and curtains previously consigned to the "upstairs storage facility" were now both unattractive and dust encrusted.

Since then, despite reasonable loft space in subsequent houses, NOTHING has been allowed to obscure the ceiling joists. A waste of effort to put stuff up there, years later bring it down, and take it to the dump whence it should have gone in the first place.
 

TheTiddles

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Unless you’re using foam board you need a large gap to get enough insulation in to be effective, the weight of timber to counter batten will be significant and the existing truss structure may not be designed for it.

Loft legs are crude but work, chipboard over the top is quick to do. We have a small area for light storage where its weight will have least effect.

Buy a ladder that has enough length to go through the hatch and up onto your raised platform, many standard length ones only just reach the ceiling and you’ll need another 200mm at least.

Don’t do what my neighbour did and fix the ladder to the noggin secured with two nails between the trusses to hold the plastic hatch, made a large hole when it fell out with him on it.
 

Doug71

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Thanks for all the replies, plenty of good info there.

It was the wooden ladders around ÂŁ400 we were looking at so good to know people like them.

I was originally thinking of just running some timbers the other way but the current recommendations seem to be minimum 270mm of insulation with a 50mm airgap above it so it would need some 9x2 on top of the existing 4x2 ceiling joist which sounded a bit overkill.
 

scholar

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Thanks for all the replies, plenty of good info there.

It was the wooden ladders around ÂŁ400 we were looking at so good to know people like them.

I was originally thinking of just running some timbers the other way but the current recommendations seem to be minimum 270mm of insulation with a 50mm airgap above it so it would need some 9x2 on top of the existing 4x2 ceiling joist which sounded a bit overkill.

I don’t know what £400 options you are looking at, but I have recently fitted a couple of these ladders https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/product/youngman-timber-eco-s-line-loft-ladder-815179 with extensions as we have high ceilings, so a few ££ more.

I modified the frame and added to the face of the hatch to make it a panelled door effect with mouldings to match our doors.

cheers
 
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