Installing a loft conversion in your dead space can be a bit of a money spinner. Not only does it add significant value to your house and save you a small fortune than shelling out tens of thousands in moving costs, with the right insulation and ventilation you can improve the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your heating bills.
To make your loft extension pay however, it is the best option to hire an experienced loft conversion specialist rather than a jack-of-all-trades builder that will offer to install an attic room for less cost. You may get away with it, but the chances are you will lose money on your investment.
Experienced knowledge is therefore essential, and one of the critical areas in which a specialist will save you money is with proper insulation to keep heat in, and ventilation to circulate heat to other rooms of the house and prevent costly repairs because your timber and walls have rotted further down the line.
Insulation requirements are governed by building regulations. Loft insulations must have sufficient insulation, typically a U-value 0.18 W/m2K which measures the heat transfer between surfaces. The lower the value, the slower the heat is transferred, thus the room stays warmer for longer.
A typical loft conversion will feature three different types of insulation; rigid insulation boards, flexible insulation and thermal lining. Effectively insulating the areas of your loft with the right materials will ensure you can reduce your heating bills and make your money back in the long-term – thus is worth the investment.
If the attic room is not adequately insulated, not only will it fail to save you money on energy bills, but will also cost you cash further up the line. Problems with condensation and damp lead to the growth of mould which ultimately damages the structure of the room and is costly to repair at a later date. Get it right from the off and you have no worries.
Heating is obviously an essential part of any home and the type of system you install to warm your loft space requires consideration. Not all homes have heating systems that are powerful enough to sufficiently power water and radiators for another room. You may find that the running water is only lukewarm – an obvious disappointment!
It may be that you need to upgrade your existing heating system. If so, opt for an energy efficient heater that is A-rated heating system as this will reduce your energy bills over the long-term. Also, rather than radiators which rely on water to provide heat, consider installing renewable energy heaters such as far-infrared panels which use electricity. You can also install solar photovoltaic panels or solar thermal panels on your roof.
Ventilation in attic rooms is not always necessary, but is generally a good idea to help prevent condensation and can be used to circulate heat to other parts of the house. Heat rises, a ventilation fan pushes it back down. If you plan to install a bathroom with a shower in your loft space, install an extractor fan.
Installing a loft extension is an exciting project you receive a lot of benefits from, including the financial gains. But if they are not fitted properly with all the necessary materials for heating, they can be hugely disappointing and end up costing you more money than savings.
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