All you need to know about installing loft insulation for your home including costs of materials, labour and time frames.
One third of the heat in the average home escapes through the roof, which of course is reflected in the heating bill. With the current high energy prices, it's no surprise how popular loft insulation projects are with homeowners in the UK. But it's not just the lost heat, the increased stress on the boiler can often reduce the life expectancy so you have to replace the heating system more often. As loft insulation is pretty cheap, it's worth ensuring you have as much of it in the loft as you possibly can! This article assumes a standard pitched roof and a traditional cold loft type insulation (where you insulate immediately above the ceiling so little to no heat from your home gets into your loft space).
Laying loft insulation is an easy job to do DIY, but it is still better to use reputable loft installation companies as you can often benefit from energy grants that will reduce, or even eliminate the cost. You should check with local loft insulation companies in your area for information on available grants which are in place for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency in their homes. You should also check with your energy supplier(s) as they often run free energy efficiency programs which may include loft insulation works. If you are eligible for incentives, experienced loft insulation installers will have experience and know-how to help you connect with the various agencies to recoup the cost of the loft insulation.
If you do not qualify for a grant and have to pay for the loft insulation work yourself, then expect to pay in the region of £300 for a typical 3-bed semi-detached property. That price assumes no insulation currently fitted, but if you just need to “top-up” your current insulation (say from 100mm to 270mm), you can knock off £50-£75 from that price. Even paying for the insulation yourself still makes financial sense with a reasonably quick payback, plus it will improve the property energy performance certificate.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save up to £250 a year simply by adding roof insulation to a currently uninsulated loft. In practice however, you will struggle to find a loft with no insulation at all, most will have some though usually much less than the recommended 270mm. It is worth noting that modern insulation is sold in depths of 100mm and 170mm, so if the current insulation in your loft is less than 100mm, it is likely to be old and should be disposed of. Older insulation types will not provide the same thermal performance as newer materials and the 170mm depth assumes modern materials. So do not simply lay new insulation on top of older materials.
If you are having loft insulation installed there are a number of additional jobs that could be carried out at the same time. For example any exposed pipes in the loft space should also be insulated, as should any water tanks. Whereas any electric cables in the loft should be left exposed so they remain cool. The loft hatch needs to insulated too and this is best done by attaching a block of polystyrene insulation to the upper (loft) side. If you are having the insulation professionally fitted then this is a good time to get the installers to check for any dampness in the loft space and discuss loft ventilation, dampness will severely reduce the thermal efficiency of the insulation so you should endeavour to remedy and damp issues before any insulation work is carried out.
The average material cost of loft insulation roll can vary from around £2-£5 per sq metre or more depending on the quality.
The average loft insulation specialist will usually charge around £150 to £200 per day and will usualy work independently to complete the job. The typical insulation specialist is expected to take around 2 to 4 hours to fully insulate your loft. It may take longer depending on the size of your loft and if you are looking to fully replace existing insulation.
Below are some estimated costs of hiring a specialist to install loft insulation:
|Job Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Installing new insulation where none is present||£300-£350||2-4 hours|
|Topping up your current insulation||£200-£250||2 hours|
Individual Costs of Topping up your Current Loft Insualtion - Total Cost: £250