For many homeowners, loft space can quickly become a baron storage space they dread to enter. Yet with only a minor investment, it can become a highly effective layer of insulation, making your home warmer in the colder months.
As the warmth from our heating systems rises, it escapes through the roof – but loft insulation has the power to retain this heat, slashing heating bills significantly. What’s more, you are guaranteed to make significant savings on your current bills, paying off the costs within a year or two.
In this article, we’ll be covering:
- How much loft insulation costs
- What affects the cost of insulating a loft
- How to save money on loft insulation
- Which type of loft insulation is best
- What’s involved in insulating a loft
- How to find and hire a professional
Whether you’re happy to go and buy insulation rolls and lay them yourself, or if you want to consult an insulation specialist for help, this article will provide you with everything you need to get started on making your home the warmest ever this winter.
How Much Does Loft Insulation Cost?
The price you’ll pay for loft insulation will differ depending on the size of your home, as well as the type of insulation you choose.
|HOUSE SIZE||BLANKET INSULATION||LOOSE FILL INSULATION||SHEET INSULATION||BLOWN FIBRE INSULATION||LABOUR COSTS||TIME REQUIRED|
|Terraced house||£125 to £160||£180 to £225||£250 to £310||£1,375 to £1,720||£150 to £300 per day||3 to 4 hours|
|Semi-detached house||£200 to £250||£290 to £360||£400 to £500||£2,200 to £2,750||£150 to £300 per day||3 to 4 hours|
|Detached house||£300 to £375||£430 to £540||£600 to £750||£3,300 to £4,125||£150 to £300 per day||4 to 6 hours|
If you live in a terraced house, your cost of loft insulation can range from £125 to £1,720. For blanket insulation, it’s between £125 to £160; loose-fill insulation is between £180 to £225; sheet insulation is between £250 to £310; while blown fibre insulation is between £1,375 to £1,720.
For those in semi-detached houses, the cost of loft insulation can range from £200 to £2,750. For blanket insulation, it’s between £200 to £250; loose-fill insulation is between £290 to £360; sheet insulation is between £400 to £500; while blown fibre insulation is between £2,200 to £2,750.
Detached homes have a lot of roof space to be responsible for, meaning the costs are the highest out of our three categories, ranging between £300 to £4,125. For blanket insulation, it’s between £300 to £375; loose-fill insulation is between £430 to £540; sheet insulation is between £600 to £750; while blown fibre insulation is between £3,300 to £4,125.
Typically, you’ll encounter labour costs of between £150 to £300 per day; with blown fibre insulation installers typically charging more due to the specialist equipment required.
You should expect lead times of around three to four hours for installers to complete a terraced or semi-detached house’s insulation, while a detached home is likely to take longer due to the size and will need somewhere in the region of four to six hours to complete.
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What Affects the Cost of Insulating a Loft?
If you’re trying hard to keep within a budget while insulating your loft, it’s good to get to know the areas that affect the cost so you keep on top of your finances while getting the insulation you need. We take a look at these areas in closer detail below.
Your Choice of Insulation
As with most renovations, there are choices to be made – and your first (and biggest) choice comes in the form of the insulation you choose.
There are pros and cons to the different types, but looking at them from a financial standpoint, we can see that blanket and loose-fill insulation are the cheapest options by far, at around the £125 to £180 entry point.
Blown fibre insulation is the most expensive solution to your heating needs, coming in at around £1,300 entry point for a terraced house, and going all the way up to £4,000 for a detached home.
The Size of Your Loft
You can expect that with a larger size, comes higher prices – and that’s true of loft insulation. While a terraced house can cost between £125 to £160 for blanket insulation, for the same material you can be charged up to £375 for the same treatment in a detached home.
While cost is a deciding factor, you also need to think about what will be best for your property in the long term. Where possible, consider the long term value and the cost of having to replace the insulation in a few years if you want something more premium.
Ease of Access
Some loft spaces are incredibly tricky to get access to – it’s probably why the spaces are so neglected in our homes.
This factor will come into play for your builders, too. If it’s hard for you to access, your workmen will have a hard time negotiating the space to fit the insulation.
While spatial issues can’t be mitigated, you can forewarn your workers what to expect so that you’re not stung with an expensive labour bill at the end of the job due to the space being harder to navigate than they had expected.
Insulating your loft doesn’t stop with the insulation itself – there’s the removal of the old insulation to contend with; adding a loft hatch or ladder; moving the electrical wiring and insulating pipes, too.
Some of these are optional extras. If you don’t intend on accessing your loft space often, you mightn’t find the need for a high-tech loft ladder solution, so there are ways to trim back the excess.
However, removing the old insulation or whatever is in your loft cavity, to begin with, will have to go before your workers can get started with the new, so remember to factor this labour charge into your budget for this project.
How Can I Save Money on Loft Insulation?
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your insulation project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple insulators near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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Loft insulation is one of the few home renovations that quite literally will pay for itself within a few years of installation.
Typically within two years of being put in place, your new insulation will start to slash your energy bills, with results you’ll see year on year.
You want to make sure you’re choosing the best insulation for your space, and don’t cut corners with the installation. With an expected life span of forty years, you want to get the loft insulation right the first time to avoid any changes sooner than they need to be.
You can look to save money by doing some preparation work yourself where possible, or simply by making the space easier to access – or at least alerting your traders to the likelihood of it being a hard to access spot, so they aren’t surprised when they come out to meet you to complete the work.
Which Type of Loft Insulation is Best?
Insulation comes in both different forms and materials, and some may be more suitable than others for your home. Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of different types of insulation for you to make an informed decision.
|TYPE OF LOFT INSULATION||ADVANTAGES||DISADVANTAGES|
|Blanket Insulation||Very easy installation, DIY friendly||Certain materials will irritate your skin when handling|
|Quick to cover accessible places and exposed cavities||Sheep’s wool is a non-irritant choice, but quite expensive|
|Cost of insulation is low (£20 for a roll that covers 8 metres squared, 100mm thick)||It’s more difficult to lay rolls in tight spaces|
|Loose-Fill Insulation||Quick to fill gaps and spaces between joists||If your loft is prone to draughts the material can come loose|
|Easy way to top up your existing insulation||Installation requires protective gear|
|Blown Fibre Insulation||Professionals can complete the job quickly||Costs higher for material, plus you will need to hire a professional (£400+)|
|Green options are available, including sheep’s wool and newspaper||If your loft is draughty, this option will not be suitable|
|Ideal solution for inaccessible spaces|
|Material is light and easy to handle|
Blanket insulation is by far the most popular choice, and it comes in convenient rolls. The fibrous material is usually glass or mineral-based and backed with foil.
Installation for this material is very easy and DIY friendly, as well as the cost being relatively low (£20 for a roll that covers 8 metres squared, 100mm thick). It’s quick to cover accessible places and exposed cavities.
Certain materials, however, will irritate your skin when handling – sheep’s wool is a non-irritant choice, but quite expensive. Blanket insulation is more difficult to lay rolls in tight spaces.
Loose-fill insulation is a good choice for inaccessible areas and top-ups. Lightweight materials such as cork, cellulose fibre or mineral wool are used in a granular form.
Recycled options are also available, such as re-used newspapers. Loose-fill insulation is an easy way to top up your existing insulation.
However, if your loft is prone to draughts the material can come loose and do keep in mind that installation requires protective gear.
Blown-fibre insulation requires help from professionals to install. It can be used to fill small gaps between joists or inaccessible cavities. Green options are available, including sheep’s wool and newspaper.
It’s an ideal solution for inaccessible spaces as the material is light and easy to handle.
However, the costs are higher for the material, plus you will need to hire a professional (£400+) and if your loft is draughty, this option will not be suitable.
What’s Involved in Insulating a Loft?
The Energy Saving Trust says that if we take blanket insulation, for example, your trader will lay the first roll between the joists in your loft, and then a second layer will be laid at right angles to cover the joists and make the depth to the correct dimensions.
Whether or not you have existing insulation that can be added to, or have dangerous insulation such as asbestos which needs to be removed before the fresh material goes in, will change the timeline slightly, so it’s best to speak to your professional first to get their say on how long the job will take, and what’s entailed.
Is Roof Insulation the Best Choice for My Home?
The cost of roof insulation is higher and requires more work than loft insulation blankets. Yet, if you are converting your attic into a living space you will need to consider this instead.
|Many materials and options available, which are both safer and greener||Higher cost than other types of insulation|
|Ideal for loft conversions due to high insulation properties||Higher energy cost to produce synthetics used in cheaper sheets|
|Easily finished or decorated over with plasterboard|
|Various ways to attach the boards to a roof|
Board or sheet insulation is an ideal choice for loft conversions as it’s easily attached to the sloping edges of your roof, whilst offering outstanding insulation. Safer options include water and fire resistance boards, which can be ordered online and pre-cut to fit your exact requirements.
The advantages of roof insulation is that there are lots of materials and options available, which are both safer and greener to use. These are all ideal for loft conversions due to high insulation properties, and can be easily finished or decorated over with plasterboard
Considering the disadvantages, there are higher costs associated with this than other types of insulation, as well as higher energy cost to produce synthetics used in cheaper sheets.
How Do I Find and Hire a Professional?
Finding the right insulator can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to insulators in your area.
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Seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbours – if they’ve had work done recently and they would be happy to recommend their trader, then it saves you time and effort in finding one of your own.
If this isn’t possible, you can always search through the National Insulation Association to find traders who are reputable within the insulation industry and will guarantee to do a good job.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
First and foremost, ask for a written quote. You don’t want an awkward encounter at the end of your job where you’re being charged more than you thought.
Finding out a trader’s experience is worthwhile as it helps to distinguish if they’re a good match for you and your needs. If you have a particularly tricky space, or one containing asbestos insulation that needs to be removed, you want to make sure you’re choosing the most qualified person to do that job for you.
Seeking out references, much like how you would in a job interview, is a good thing to ask for too, as it will help you see if their claims live up to the service they give their customers.
Finally, you should double-check the traders have relevant insurance to carry out the work safely in your home.
If you’re tired of paying your energy bills and watching the heat rise out through the roof of your home, opting to get some loft insulation is a great solution.
Here’s our final checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything off your list:
- Do you already have loft insulation? Have a professional check it for asbestos if you’re concerned. In some cases, you can simply top up your existing insulation, which can be a money-saver
- If you haven’t got any insulation yet, decide what’s best for you. Is your roof space prone to draughts? If so, loose-fill insulation might not be your best choice
- Prepare the space as much as you can, if you are able
- Consider any extras you might want like a loft hatch or ladder, or any pipe insulation too
- Enjoy your newly warm home in the winter months!
Use HouseholdQuotes to find local insulators and potentially save money on your insulation project.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Thick Should Loft Insulation Be?
Depending on the type of loft insulation you go for, the answer to how thick it should be will differ.
The National Insulation Association (NIA) suggests that 270mm is needed for glass wool, 250mm is needed for rock wool, and 220mm for cellulose. They continue to say that the current regulations under the EEC programme state that a minimum of 270mm of loft insulation is required.
If you aren’t sure about your particular type of insulation, your professional fitter will be able to answer the query for you and ensure you have the right amount to provide the warmth you need.
Can You Use Any Type of Insulation in a Loft?
There are types of insulation better suited for different spaces, and your professional will be able to advise you on the best type for the space you have, and the desired outcome you want to achieve.
For some draughty lofts, you won’t be able to use blown-fibre insulation, and the same goes for loose-fill insulation. Blanket insulation is a good all-rounder but is hard to fit into tight spaces.
How Long Does It Take for Loft Insulation to Pay For Itself?
Money Supermarket states that getting loft insulation is one of the ‘easiest and most effective ways to cut down your household expenses’.
If we take the average insulation installation cost for a detached house to be £395, the annual saving in energy bills will roughly be £225. This means the insulation will pay for itself in a little over one and a half years.
For a terraced house, the average installation price is £285, and the annual savings are £120. For a semi-detached home, this changes to installation of £300 and annual savings of £135.
While there is no static amount of time to say by which your insulation will have paid for itself, we can roughly estimate that within two years (or just over), your insulation will have paid for itself – and then those savings will continue for years to come.
Can I Get a Government Grant for Free Loft Insulation?
Over the past few years, the British government has been keen to tackle the energy efficiency of housing. Though the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme finished at the end of 2012, it was replaced with the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) initiative.
Under this scheme, many energy providers will still give you free loft insulation. To find out if you’re eligible, read our article on free loft insulation.
How Long Should Loft Insulation Last?
The Energy Saving Trust says that loft insulation should be able to last for up to forty years. As you can see, insulation is a long-term investment and something if you get right the first time, you won’t have to touch again for a long time.
How Much Does Loft Boarding Cost?
Boarding up your loft space can give you back some valuable floor space to store the things you don’t want to see day-to-day, such as suitcases, winter or summer clothes while they’re out of season, or festive decorations.
It also adds a layer of insulation, so the process can work twofold. Depending on the size of the space you’re looking to board, and with what material, the prices will differ.
For our full guide on boarding your loft, take a look at our article .
How Expensive Is a Loft Conversion?
An alternative use for your loft space is to convert it into a living space. This is considerably more expensive than simply insulating it, but doing so will add value to your home – and another space to live in!
As you would expect, depending on the size you have in mind, the costs will vary. You can see our entire guide on loft conversions here.
What Does Asbestos Loft Insulation Look Like?
There are a few different types of asbestos loft insulation that will be commonly found in older properties, used before the true risks of asbestos were apparent. You musn’t disturb this, or breathe in the fibres as it can be dangerous – if you think you have asbestos in your home, you should get in touch with a professional for advice and specialist removal.
The types of insulation most commonly made with asbestos are loose-fill or blown-in insulation. Loose-fill can come in a range of guises but can be identified as loose, lumpy, fluffy or granular in appearance.
Vermiculite loose-fill insulation is the name under which you’ll commonly find asbestos. This type of insulation is pebble-like in appearance, typically with a greyish-brown or silvery-gold colour.
If you think you may have asbestos insulation in your home, don’t attempt to remove it yourself. Get a professional in to test the material to determine if it’s contaminated with asbestos, and let the professionals take it from there.
What If I Want My Loft For Access/Storage?
An option is to run a single layer of blanket insulation between the joists, lay insulation boards across the joists, and then wooden boarding on top – you can even buy insulation boards bonded to flooring. But you must ensure you don’t squash insulation blanket material, as this greatly reduces the performance.
What Is Ceiling Insulation?
Ceiling insulation is another great way to reduce your energy bills by stopping heat from escaping through your home’s roof. It can also help to reduce noise from the floors above, which can be useful if you live in a flat with noisy neighbours.
R-30, R-38 and R-49 are the typical types of insulation used in ceilings. This is a great option for those wanting to make their home more energy-efficient, helping to regulate the internal temperature in both summer and winter.
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