How much does loft insulation cost? This is a question that many people ask when they are considering taking measures to heatproof their property. The cost of loft and roof insulation varies depending on the type of insulation you choose and the size of your home. It may cost only a few hundred pounds for a smaller home or several thousand for a larger property.
But what you may not realise is that you may be able to get a government loft insulation grant to help pay full or part of the cost of insulation.
In this article, we will discuss how much loft and roof insulation costs, the benefits of a properly insulated home and what financial assistance may be available to you.
Why do Older Homes Need New Insulation?
As homes get older, they begin to lose their ability to trap heat inside. This may be because their insulation has degraded over time or because they didn’t have adequate insulation installed in the first place. Modern insulation is much better at keeping the heat in than the materials that were used in the past and so it is very important that your home’s insulation ensure your insulation is up to scratch.
It is particularly important that you install proper roof and loft insulation because as much as 35% of your home’s heat can be lost through an uninsulated roof. This simple home improvement is one of the most effective ways to increase your energy efficiency as your home will be able to retain more heat and so won’t need to rely so much on your heating. With annual UK household energy bills set to hit £3,000 by the end of this year, any measure that could help to reduce these costs is definitely worth considering!
Types of Loft Insulation
As we mentioned, the cost of insulation will depend on the size of your property and the type of insulation you choose. The different types of loft/roof insulation available are:
This is one of the cheapest and most common types of insulation. It is usually made from the fibres of glass, rocks or minerals and is installed in the form of 270mm thick blankets. This type of insulation costs around £5 per sqm but you will need to pay a professional to install it.
- Easy installation
- Non-irritable materials
- Cheaper energy bills
Unlike blanket insulation, loose-fill insulation is made from lightweight materials such as mineral wood, cellulose fibres and cork granules which are placed throughout the loft space for even insulation. It is seen as a convenient choice by many people because it’s very easy to pack loose-fill insulation into every nook and cranny. However, it can be quite messy to install and if you have a particularly draughty loft, the insulation can get blown around. Loose-fill insulation costs between £4.80 to £6.50 per sqm
- Suitable for all lofts
- Good for difficult to reach areas
- Quick and easy installation
- Can be used as standalone insulation or as a supplementary measure
Sheet Loft Insulation
Sheet loft insulation is most commonly used for insulating the angled sides of a loft. Other types of insulation are not very effective at this but sheet insulation uses insulated boards that are fit to measure across the loft joints. There are various different types of boards but many are moisture and fire-resistant, are easy to paint or wallpaper over and can be measured to fit any space. However, with these advantages comes a higher price so sheet loft insulation is the most expensive insulation option at £7.75 per sqm to £11 per sqm.
- Very high insulating value
- Moisture and fire-resistance options are available
- Easily decorated
- Can be measured for difficult spaces i.e. in converted lofts
Blown-fibre insulation is similar to loose-fill but is less commonly used. It is usually made from cellulose or fibreglass (although there are also more environmentally-friendly options available like wool or recycled paper) with the loose material being literally blown into the spaces. This requires a professional who can add to the price, but generally speaking, it will cost a similar amount to blanket insulation.
- Recycled options are available
- Quick and easy installation
- Good for reaching difficult spots
Roof Insulation Options
The best way to insulate your roof will depend on what type of roof you have but the most common options are:
1. Warm deck/warm roof insulation
This is where the insulation is installed between the rafters but above the roof deck. This is the panel (usually made of wood) that is found beneath the actual roofing material. Warm deck/warm roof insulation is common in most homes as it’s easy to install and can be done without removing any tiles and is particularly recommended for cold, damp areas like the UK.
2. Cold deck/cold roof insulation
This is where the insulation is installed below the roof deck and corresponding joists with a gap left for ventilation (very important as the formation of condensation can cause rot). In both cold roof and warm roof insulation, the weather membrane is a key layer as it protects your roof from the rain.
3. Inverted roof insulation
This is where the insulation actually goes above the weather membrane itself. This protects it from cold and heat and even general wear and tear, all of which can affect its lifespan. Inverted roofs generally have a top layer of gravel or something similar which adds further protection.
has insulation that goes above the weather membrane, effectively protecting it from heat and cold that can shorten its life and that of the roof deck. It can even protect against wear and tear if there is access to the roof. With an inverted roof, the top-most layer is generally gravel or a similar material.
Cost of Insulation
Taking all of the above factors into account, the cost of insulating your loft will look something like this:
|Type of Property||Sheet Insulation||Loose-Fill Insulation||Blanket Insulation|
How to Choose an Insulation Installer
Not all insulation installers are created equal and it is important that you choose the right one to ensure they will do a quality job and won’t overcharge you. Here are a few key things you should look out for when choosing an insulation installer:
- Make sure the company is registered with the National Insulation Association (NIA) or another professional body – This will ensure that they are reputable and qualified to do the job.
- Ask to see their insurance policy and make sure it covers public liability and employers’ liability – This will protect you in case anything goes wrong during the installation process.
- Get quotes from at least three different companies – This will help you compare prices and find the best deal.
- Make sure the company provides a guarantee for their work – This will give you peace of mind that the job has been done properly.
The ECO Scheme for Insulation
In order to help people with the costs of insulating their homes, the government has introduced the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. This is a way for energy suppliers to help improve the energy efficiency of homes across the country. The scheme could provide you with up to 100% of the costs required to purchase and install roof/loft insulation in your home.
In order to be eligible for the ECO scheme, you must:
- Be the owner or tenant of the property (including housing associations and council tenants)
- Receive certain benefits, such as Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Have an annual income of less than £31,000
An application can be made directly through your installation installer. They can help you with the process and advise you on what measures you might be eligible for.
What Else is Available through ECO?
In addition to insulation, the ECO scheme also offers other measures to improve the energy efficiency of homes, such as:
This will enable you to produce your own renewable electricity, reducing your consumption of fossil fuels and saving you hundreds of pounds a year on energy bills. You can claim up to £10,000 from ECO for the cost of the purchase and installation of a new solar power system. Enter your postcode here to find out if you are eligible for a solar panel grant.
An air-source heat pump/ground source heat pump
These are environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional gas boilers. With the UK government committed to phasing out gas boilers by 2025, now is the perfect time to switch to a renewable heating system. You can claim thousands of pounds from ECO for the cost of a new air source heat pump or ground source heat pump with the same eligibility requirements as insulation.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Warm?
There are a few other things you can do to keep your home warm, such as:
- Installing double glazing – This will help to keep heat in and cold out.
- Draught-proofing your home – This will help to prevent heat from escaping through gaps around doors and windows.
- Getting your boiler serviced – This will ensure that it is running efficiently so that it heats your home more effectively.
- Installing cavity wall insulation – Along with your roof/loft, this will help to keep heat in and bills down.
- Insulating your hot water tank – This will help to keep your hot water at a consistent temperature.
- Installing an air source heat pump/ground source heat pump – These are energy-efficient solutions for heating your home on a daily basis. As noted above, you can get help with the cost of heat pumps through the ECO scheme.
Tips for Reducing Your Energy Bills
As well as insulating your home, there are a few other things you can do to reduce your energy bills, such as:
- Install solar panels – Solar panels can help you to generate your own electricity, which can save you money on your energy bills. As noted above, you can get help with the cost of solar panels through the ECO scheme.
- Switch to a green energy tariff – Green energy tariffs are usually more expensive than standard tariffs but they tend to be sourced from renewable sources, such as wind or solar power.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs – These use less electricity than standard bulbs and can last up to 12 times longer.
- Turn appliances off at the socket – This will prevent them from using standby power and wasting energy.
- Wash clothes at a lower temperature – Washing your clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40 can save you a surprising amount of money on your energy bills over the course of the year.
- Dry clothes naturally – Drying your clothes on a clothes rack or washing line rather than in a tumble dryer will also save you a lot of money.
As you can see, the answer to “How much does loft insulation cost” depends on a number of factors including what kind of roof you have and your preferred material. However, there are many benefits to insulating your home, including reducing your energy bills and making your home more comfortable. With the help available through the ECO scheme, this is a great time to get started! To find out what assistance you are eligible to receive, enter your postcode here.