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If you’re wondering how to install loft/roof insulation, the simple steps below will guide you through the process to follow to ensure that you’re left with the most professional finish at an affordable cost, or even totally free if using the government ECO scheme grants that are available to some people; 

Follow these steps to install loft insulation

  • See if you’re eligible for the Government’s ECO loft insulation grant 
  • If you are eligible, the Free Insulation Scheme can assess your suitability for part or total funding, then find an approved and accredited fitter in your area to manage the process of insulating your loft from start to finish
  • A home survey will be conducted and a quote provided 
  • A contractor will be instructed to carry out the loft insulation works ensuring all professional and building regulations are met 

As energy prices continue to rise at unprecedented levels, homeowners around the UK are looking for ways to make their homes more energy-efficient to help their cash go further when it comes to their heating bills. With around a quarter of all heat lost in the home being lost through the roof, loft insulation is a popular, affordable and effective way to reduce heat loss in the home and reduce energy bills. 

Read on for a simple overview of the process to follow when installing loft/roof insulation in your home. We will summarise the framework to follow and things to be aware of whether you choose to work with companies like Free Insulation Scheme that take care of everything for you or if you prefer to follow a DIY approach to home improvements. 

Get Help With Insulation

Free Insulation Scheme offers a completely free service to help you to access grants available under the government’s ECO funding scheme. The scheme means that home insulation upgrades can be completed for free or with a small contribution for millions of people in the UK. 

If you are a homeowner or private tenant, with a household income of below £31,000 or are currently receiving one or more income-related benefits then you qualify to apply for a loft insulation grant. 

The Free insulation scheme team will arrange the fitting of the insulation by certified and fully accredited insulation experts from start to finish. Simply get in touch with our friendly team to check if you’re eligible and be on your way to a more energy-efficient home in no time! 

Even if you do not qualify for a full house insulation grant, it is still worth applying as you may be able to get a subsidised grant to partially cover the cost of your new insulation.

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Loft Insulation Installation Process And Things To Consider

Whilst loft insulation can be installed by competent DIYers, you will need a professional and approved fitter to install your loft installation if making use of an ECO grant to cover the full cost or partial cost of your installation. When installed correctly, loft insulation should pay for itself many times over in its 40-year lifetime. Note that a DIY approach is not recommended if you have known damp problems in the roof area or if you have a flat roof that needs insulating. Both require professional assessment and repair before work is carried out. 

  • The first thing that will be checked when assessing your house before loft insulation is fitted is how easy it is to access the loft space that needs insulating. If there is enough room for an adult to stand or crouch in the loft without issue then standard insulation installation will be possible. If however the space is very small or has awkward to reach areas within it, specialist equipment may be needed to blow insulation material into any awkward space. 
  • You will need to know if you want to board the loft over the joists on top of the insulation as this will impact how the insulation will be installed. Having a boarded loft is useful if you want to use the space for storage or a habitable space at a later date. If you only insulate between the joists to allow for the boarding, the insulation won’t be thick enough. A professional installer can work around this by raising the level of the floor so that enough insulation is fitted beneath the new floor level but they will need to know this information at the beginning of the process to prevent incurring additional costs of re-doing work already done before this is mentioned. 
  • If opting to raise the floor of the loft, this can be done by using timber battens across the joists or using purpose-built legs that fit the joists and support any new flooring laid above it. Just make sure that there is enough ventilation air gap between the insulation and the bottom of the boards to prevent condensation from building up on the underside of the boards and that the boards don’t squash the insulation as this reduces its insulating properties. 
  • When assessing the loft, before installation, it needs to be reviewed for signs of dampness and condensation. When insulation is installed, it stops heat from escaping which could worsen any existing damp or condensation issues if steps aren’t taken to increase ventilation in the areas of concern.  
  • As well as insulating the roof space via the rafters or joists, you will also need to ensure that any gable walls, party walls and chimneys in the loft space are properly insulated too. Failure to do this means the rest of your new insulation will be ineffective as the heat will simply pass the insulated points and escape via the uninsulated points. 
  • Ensure that air can still flow in and out of the loft space. Never block or seal up vents, grills or air bricks in the loft when insulating. 
  • Loft insulation installation not only refers to fitting loft insulation to a property where none exists, it always covers bringing any existing insulation up to the current building regulations standards of at least 270mm. This standard includes lagging old water tanks and pipes to prevent them from bursting in the cold weather and installing draught-proofing and insulation to the loft hatch where possible. 
  • Rather than insulating between the joists, an alternative way to insulate your loft is to fit the insulation between and over the rafters. The rafters are the timber supports that slope in line with the roof and support the structure of the roof above it. Insulation material can be fitted between the rafters but this is usually more expensive than standard joist insulations.
  • If you have a flat roof on any area of your home, this is best insulated from above with an insulating board being installed on top of the weather-proof layer, with an additional weather-proof layer on top of the insulating layer. As replacing a flat roof can be expensive, it makes sense to plan for insulation work to a flat roof to take place when it is due to be replaced and not as a stand-alone job. Flat roof insulation is worth doing as it can save a similar amount on your energy bills as loft insulation but will vary depending on the proportion of the property that has a flat roof. 

Costs To Install

Whilst the exact cost of loft/roof installation will vary depending on the size of your home, the insulating material used and the fees of the fitter instructed to carry out the installation for you but the following average costs will give you an idea of the cost of insulating materials required to insulate your home.

If you have a currently uninsulated loft, getting it insulated to the recommended 270mm depth of insulation is likely to cost between £285 for a mid-terrace to £395 for a detached house. This excludes the fee for fitting. 

If you already have some insulation in your loft but want to increase it to the recommended 270mm depth, then you can expect to pay between £230 for a mid-terrace and £290 for a detached house. This excludes the fee for fitting

Related Questions 

Who Qualifies For Free Insulation?

Now that we’ve covered the main points to consider during the insulation process above, it’s worth finding out if you will qualify for free insulation via the government’s ECO scheme grants. 

To qualify for a Government loft insulation grant, there needs to be 100mm (4 inches) or less of insulation already installed in your loft. Usually, this will be level with or below the joists. If it is over this level, you could have a survey and a quote to top up to 270mm.

Government insulation grants may make it more affordable and accessible for low income and vulnerable households to reduce energy consumption in their household and at the same time protect the environment through reduced carbon footprints. 

Free home insulation grants are available through the ECO scheme to install cavity wall insulation, internal wall insulation, loft insulation, and room in roof insulation. All private UK homeowners, and some private tenants, who meet the eligibility criteria can qualify for new insulation. 

  • As long as you own your home or are privately renting, and it is currently occupied, meaning it is not under renovation, you should qualify for a free insulation grant, AND,
  • If someone in your household receives one or more of the benefits listed below then you should be eligible to get cavity wall insulation, internal wall insulation, loft insulation, or room in roof insulation installed completely free.
    • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
    • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Income Support (IS) 
    • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit 
    • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
    • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
    • Universal Credit (UC) 
    • Housing Benefit (new eligible benefit under ECO4)
    • Pension Credit Savings Credit (new eligible benefit under ECO4)

Even if you do not qualify for a full house insulation grant it is still worth applying as you may be able to get a subsidised grant to partially cover the cost of your new insulation.

If you don’t qualify for the grant scheme above, you can find an approved installer on the National Insulation Association website or take the DIY approach to insulation following this guide if your loft doesn’t have a flat roof or damp issues. 

How To Apply For A Grant Through The Home Insulation Scheme

Visit Free Insulation Scheme to apply online for an insulation grant and you will be contacted by a registered loft insulation installer to check that you meet the criteria for funding and can apply for the grants. 

When applying, make sure you have the following information to hand:

  • Your living status, are you a homeowner or renting?
  • If you have any existing loft insulation installed or this is your first insulation job
  • Your current EPC rating 
  • Details of any income-related benefits that you are receiving 

Benefits To Loft Insulation

Loft insulation is an affordable way to insulate your home and comes with the following benefits: 

  • Protection from cold in the winter and excess heat in the summer
  • A well-insulated house is energy efficient therefore requires less heating and cooling mechanically which leads to less money spent on energy bills 
  • Reduces noise pollution in busy urban areas
  • No planning permission is required and if eligible for a grant, it won’t cost you a penny to install 

Summary 

Having the recommended 270mm of loft insulation installed at your home can save you money on your heating bills and reduce wasted energy as it prevents up to 25% of heat from being lost through the roof.

The best answer we can give to how to install loft/roof insulation is to ensure that the loft is fully assessed by a professional insulation fitter before any works are carried out and to ensure that you have checked if you’re eligible for funding towards the full cost of the insulation works required. 

Taking these two simple steps will ensure that you get your loft insulated at the best possible price and that the work is carried out to a professional standard to minimise any further heat loss through the roof of your home.  

Loft insulation should be installed by a professional if applying for a government grant, the roof is susceptible to dampness or if there is an area of flat roof involved but a DIY approach can be taken when following the key considerations outlined above if you do not meet the eligibility for the grant. 

In this Article

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Oliver Creevy

Ollie has been writing content in the home improvement sector for over 3 years and over the last 18 months has really specialised in Government grants, researching the different funding available to UK citizens. Ollie is well placed to provide households with access to the right advice when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of your home. With knowledge of the various grant schemes past and present, including Boiler Upgrade Scheme, ECO4, LAD Scheme, Green Homes Grant and more, his knowledge will be invaluable to those looking for ways to reduce their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint through eco home improvement measures such as solar panels, insulation & heat pumps.

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