The loft conversion is a home improvement task with which many homeowners and property developers will be all too familiar. Traditionally designed to create additional space, often for a home office or spare bedroom, a loft conversion is a relatively inexpensive way in which the value and usability of a property can be extended.
Moreover, if Government plans go ahead to retrofit all existing lofts with heat-saving measures under its Energy Saving Strategy (HES), which suggests that by 2015 all homes with cavity walls and standard lofts must be insulated to the highest standards and by 2030 even so-called “hard to treat homes” (old buildings, solid walls, etc.) must be improved, the loft conversion may no longer be an optional home improvement job.
Indeed, the HES consultation phase outlined potential carbon emission savings of approximately 44,000,000 tons annually through improvements to loft insulation, which is certainly no minor saving in the context of the international battle to reverse global warming. However, forcing homeowners to make such improvements is always going to be difficult in a logistical sense and it will be the case that many homeowners cannot afford to make the necessary changes, which is why the so-called ‘pay as you save’ loans have been suggested as a solution.
Whatever the mechanisms by which lofts are converted into eco-friendly rooms, it is clear there are advantages in improving their energy efficiency. Homeowners who are already looking into inexpensive ways to convert their “hard to treat” lofts whilst ensuring insulation is of a high standard will no doubt be interested to learn walls can be internally insulated to good effect and at a relatively low cost using 110mm Celotex rigid foam, which offers around double the insulation of traditional fibreglass boards. Celotex is approximately £21 per square metre, whilst TLX Silver (£11) and plywood panels can be used for doors and flooring.