How do I DIY some flooring in the loft - for some added storage space?
Question:We own a newly built house - and as many people will know storage is LIMITED! Hence we want to lay some flooring in the loft to ease our problem. BUT not sure how to go about this.
I assume I need to measure the joists - to see if they will take weight (do i need to measure their distance apart too?)
Yes it would help to take some measurements not only for the joist spacing but also to calculate how much flooring you need to buy.Shouldn't be a problem with the floor joists taking the weight as long as you are not going to put anything abnormal up there or to have wild parties with 20 or so guests.Most DIY stores sell fibre board or MDF board which be suitable. What you may have to consider the size of board to buy as you have got to get it through the trap door.Lay the boards at right angles to the joists and you may have to cut the length of the board get joins in the run in the centre of a joist so both boards can be secured. Don't use nails to secure boards.Drill and screw the boards to the joists.The reason for this is that your electrical cables and connections to your light fittings will be under the floor you re laying and you might need to get to them in the future. Lay as much floor as you feel you will need to accommodate the items to be stored Give yourself as much room as you can so it can be kept tidy and you can easily find something when you need it. Also fit up a light so you can see what you are doing. Do this before laying the boards while you can still access the cables and it will give you the light to work by. Good luck in your project.
It takes some cutting but you can buy some pull down steps that fold down as they come down. Then just screw sheets of plywood up there. I like screws since you can remove them to get at the water and electical if you ever have too. When you butt the pieces together make suure they are on center with the joist at the union.
Yes you need both measurements.
That will give yo an idea of the load you can safely put up there.
You should check with a construction guide to see just how much load bearing you will have.
But if your not going to store bricks you shouldn't have to much of a problem.
Measure the distance between the joists and go to somewhere like B&Q or a timber merchant - they will cut chipboard or plywood for you to fit.
Whatever you put up there, try and spread it out as far as possible. Lofts were not really designed to carry much weight even though everyone puts stuff up there! Put the heaviest stuff over weight bearing walls below (although you'll probably find your water tank will be on top of the best one).
Well, it depends on your loft what you have to do. Have you got access up there that you can get a ladder through? If you have your job is easier. If you havent then that is your first job
After that, and moving carefully about standing on just the roof joists and not the insulation (and ceiling of the room below), remove the insulation so that you can see the wooden roof beams. Leave insulation between the beams though.
DIY shops sell chipbaord loft floor boards, about 18" accross and you can use them - they slot together.
Buy enough to cover the area you want to board out. You may have to cut them to length so that the end of each board sits halfway accross the roof beam. Do one row of boards, cut to length and nailed down and then measure the next length by putting the board down and marking where it needs to be cut.
Keep going till you have finished the loft.
Be very carefull of electrical cables in the loft. If these go under the floored area you may need to cut a groove in the joist to lower the cable out the way of the board - dont lay the board on the cable and squash it, and never nail close to the cables.
The roof joist should be strong enough to do what you need unless you are storing really heavy stuff up there.
If possible, buy Caberfloor chipboard sheets from DIY store, B&Q Warehouse are the cheapest for it, £4.99 per sheet. Sheets are 2400x600 with tongue and groove edges. Run boards lengthways across your joists, but its not always possible to make all joints centrally on a joist. Usually there is no problem with this, depending on distance between joists, ( i can stand on these joints without feeling any movement in floor..and i'm 110kg) as long as joints are staggered. Another reason to use screws is to minimise possible damage to ceiling underneath,
first you need to put 3" x2" timbers across you existing joists & screw them in place this will strenthen your joists then you lay boards on top of these and screw them down be carefull not to trap any wires or pipes that may be up there .
(lay timbers across joists about 400mm apart)
Word of warning. if your electrical cables run on top of the joists, don't saw the joists to flush off the cable. The joists are pre-tensioned and should not be cut.
Be careful prefabricated roof trusses ( which you will have ) should not be notched ( it will weaken them ) just reroute any cables or pipes that are in the way
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