What is Loft Insulation?

Before going into the nuts and bolts of the price and budget necessary for loft insulation, it is crucial to understand what it is. Loft insulation is the practice of padding your loft space with insulation material to slow down the transfer of heat from the house to the atmosphere.

It’s an easier concept to understand when you take the words apart. For instance, a loft is described as an attic or upper region of a house. Meanwhile, insulation is material used to trap heat or sound within the confines of a space.

With that said, if you put the words together, you can glimpse a clearer picture of what we want to talk about. So, in this article, we’ll consider the cost of loft insulation, how much the materials can be purchased, and the amount of money you should budget for labour costs and so on.

How Much Does Loft Insulation Cost?

Loft insulation isn’t too expensive, and it further benefits you by keeping the energy costs down with estimates discovering that you can save as much as £215 per annum in energy bills. Therefore, whatever amount of money you spend on loft insulation is worth it.

That said, the price of insulation is dependent on the size of the house and a couple of other factors.

Also, the insulating material is of great importance, and in this section, we’ll talk about the different types of loft insulation and what each type costs.

It should be noted that for the purposes of this article, we’ll be calculating loft insulation cost per m²

Blanket Insulation Cost

First off, we have Blanket insulation which is usually used by those in need of cheap loft insulation. Blanket insulation is very common and makes use of rocks, mineral fibre, glass, or rolls of foil-backed felt.

It is also a very simple method and can be carried out by anyone. So, if you want to go with blanket insulation, it is advised that it has a minimum thickness of 270mm for whatever material you decide to use.

In terms of cost, this comes to about £5 p/m² , and for a small home, it can be achieved for about £100-£150.

However, getting a professional to do it, which is advisable unless you have some experience, should bring your total spend to about £300-£400 depending on the size of the home.

Loose-Fill Insulation Cost

Loose-fill insulation is another method of retaining heat in your home and as opposed to the blanket variant, makes use of loose, or lightweight material. These include cork granules, cellulose fibre, or mineral wool.

Moreover, if you want to be environmentally conscious, you could even use old newspapers. Loose-fill insulation can be used to reinforce existing insulation or on its own.

That said, it does have a few disadvantages, including the mess it makes and how insecure it is. In terms of budget, the average cost of using loose-fill insulation should be about £4.80 p/m²-£6.50 p/m² and the total cost will vary depending on the size of the house.

Sheet loft insulation Cost

This is an insulation method that makes use of firm boards to secure the sloping sides of the roof. This is the most expensive form of insulation, but it has numerous benefits, including fire or moisture-resistant variants.

Also, it is easy to decorate over, and it can reach difficult spaces. As mentioned before, this isn’t a cheap option, and it generally costs anywhere between £7.75-£11 p/m².

Furthermore, the price will be determined by the size of the house, the thickness of the sheets, and the sizes you request for (custom sizes cost more)

Blown-Fibre Insulation Cost

Finally, we have the blown-fibre insulation, which makes use of fibre and other materials to be blown into different sections of the loft.

It is also pretty expensive and requires the services of a professional to install it. Therefore, it usually costs between £300 and £450 if you factor in the price of the materials and labour costs for the professional.

Overall Costs

Type of House Blanket Loose-fill Sheet
Detached £350-£420 £735-£760 £1000-£1250
Semi-attached £310-£365 £578-£605 £930-£964
Terraced £280-£315 £515-£532 £850-£880
Bungalow £375-£420 £700-£730 £1000-£1200

What Are the Supply Costs for Loft Insulation?

Now that we have an idea of how much it’ll take to install loft insulation in your home, we can take a look at some of the materials used to achieve it and how much they cost.

This is necessary if you want to do it yourself, although it should be noted that loose-fill and sheet insulation require professionals. However, knowing the cost of the materials is pivotal for your budgeting plans and to ensure that you aren’t charged more than you need to.

Blanket Cost

As mentioned before, blanket insulation employs the use of materials such as glass, mineral fibre and so on. Therefore, blanket loft insulation per roll is dependent on the material used for the project.

For instance, buying Rockwool will set you back anywhere from £35-£57 loft insulation per roll. Meanwhile, using glass wool could be as cheap as £20-£40 depending on the size or brand.

Loose-fill Cost

The loose-fill method of insulation makes use of a lot of materials, including cellulose, fibreglass, and mineral wool. So, with fibreglass, you can purchase it for as low as £27 or go as high as £40.

Meanwhile, for a 12kg bag of cellulose, you can shell out anywhere between £10-£15, which makes it really affordable and attractive. We have already discussed how much mineral wool goes for, so you can consult the price above.

Sheet Insulation Cost

Sheet insulation usually makes use of materials such as foam boards. So, what is the cost of loft insulation and boarding? Well, you can purchase foam boards at about £20 depending on the thickness.

For instance, 10mm foam boards go for between £45 and £50 as they are thicker and, therefore, more effective.

Blown-fibre Cost

The blown-fibre method of insulation makes use of mineral fibre, but it is blown all around the loft rather than laid. This ensures that the fibre reaches all the corners of the loft and is evenly distributed.

That said, the cost of materials is similar to blanket insulation because it uses the same materials with the difference being the style of application and the need for a professional.

However, if you are looking to find spray foam loft insulation costs, those are pretty pricey and could run between £44-£52 p/m².

Ladder Cost

Now that we have an idea of how much the materials for the various styles of insulation cost, it is time to look at a few other materials you might need that add to the loft insulation price.

The first is the ladder as they are generally the safest way to access a loft. Thus, loft ladders go for between £250-£300 devoid of labour costs for installation.

Hatch Door Cost

Also, of importance is a hatch door as it is the best way to access the loft. If your home already has one, then you might not need to worry about it. However, if you need a new hatch installed, you should be prepared to spend between £250-£300.

However, there are some deals that combine ladders and hatches together, which could go for between £350 and £400 to purchase.

Loft Legs Cost

The loft leg is a design scheme that protects your loft from insulation compression.

This is usually used when you want to use the loft for storage. That said, loft legs usually come in sets with a 48-piece set priced between £40 and £60.

What Are the Additional Costs of Loft Insulation?

The price of loft insulation isn’t limited to just the cost of materials and labour, and there are a couple of other factors you need to consider. These other factors usually come with extra costs which could make the job a tad more expensive.

In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the other factors to consider before insulation and how much they usually cost.

Pipes

Loft insulation is done with the assumption that the space is devoid of any extra item or substance that could affect the insulation process adversely. Therefore, if you have some pipes in the loft, you’ll need to insulate them too, or they will freeze over.

This is not much of a biggie, and you can do it yourself with the help of some insulating foam tubes which you can get for about £1.75-£3 p/m. But, if you’d prefer to have a professional look at it, the cost of the job, including the materials should be between £70 and £100.

Ladder and Hatch Installation

As mentioned in the tools necessary for loft installation, you’ll need a loft ladder and a hatch which grants the professional access into the loft to carry out their duties. Also, it has been mentioned how much such an installation could cost.

A lot of homeowners opt to insulate their hatch as this prevents heat from escaping from your home into the loft through unfilled spaces. Since there isn’t a large area to insulate with the hatch, this isn’t a particularly expensive project to take on.

So, you can purchase a polystyrene board for between £10 and £20 (1200mm x 2400mm).

Electrical Wiring

If you have some electrical wiring in the loft, it might need to be relocated so as not to interfere with the insulation once installed. Therefore, you’ll require the services of an electrician which could cost anywhere between £100-£150 and if they insist on working in a two-person team, then £200-£250 might be a more realistic budget.

Skylights

This is an ideal way to get some more light into the loft, especially if you use the area as storage space. Installing a skylight window requires some sophisticated manoeuvres, which means you’ll need to call on a profession to help you out.

Also, you should plan a budget of between £1000-£1500 for this project for both materials and labour. In addition, this is a simple job and shouldn’t take up more than one day for completion.

Tradesmen Costs for Loft Insulation

The next thing to consider when looking for the best price loft insulation is how much the labour costs.

While with an insulation style like blanket insulation, you can undertake the project yourself, other methods such as loose-fill, sheet, and spray insulation require the services of a professional. As to how much they cost, these depend on a few factors, some of which we’ll briefly highlight below.

Current State of the loft

If the loft is pristine, then you have nothing to worry about, but if it needs to be cleared out of rotten wood or other pieces of junk that have taken it over, then the price of the installation will increase.

Loft Size

The size of your loft is definitely a factor when pricing the installation. It is advisable to insulate the entire space with no leaks as this could undermine the entire operation.

Added Extras

These are some of the stuff we’ve already covered including the presence of pipes or electrical wiring in the loft which might need to be relocated or insulated. These are all factors that need to be considered before any work can start.

Once that is sorted, you can easily get a quote for professionals online, but to have an idea of what an insulation job could cost, have a look at the table below.

Insulation type Cost
Blanket insulation £150-£250
Loose-fill insulation £75-£130
Sheet insulation £180-£350
Boarding £800-£1200

How Long Does It Take to Install Loft Insulation?

Another important factor when considering insulating your loft is how much time it would take.

This is important in case you need to be around while the professionals are at work as it gives you the opportunity to properly plan around the project.

Also, the duration of the project is affected by a few factors, including the size of the loft and the insulation method being used.

The table below highlights the duration for most projects so you can add it to your loft insulation cost.

Insulation type Duration
Blanket insulation 2-6 hours
Loose-fill insulation 1-4 hours
Sheet insulation 2-12 hours
Boarding 6-24 hours

Types of Loft Insulation

A cursory glance at this article sees the mention of the different methods through which you can insulate your loft, but what are some of the benefits of using each style and what does each entail.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the different ways in which loft insulation can be achieved.

Blanket Insulation

This is the most affordable style as you can do it yourself as long as you have the right materials at hand. Consequently, many people go for blanket insulation as the materials are very easy to purchase and aren’t too expensive.

Therefore, you can use the blanket option and spend as little as £75-£120 to install it.

Of course, the price rises if you employ a professional whom you’ll have to pay for the labour. Therefore, with a professional, the cost should rise to between £150-£200.

Pros:

  • Very easy to install and can be done by hand.
  • Some of the materials are very friendly and don’t irritate your skin.
  • It decreases energy bills.
  • It reduces noise from outside while keeping you warm.

Cons:

  • The blanket’s rolls can be difficult to manoeuvre.
  • Depending on the brand, things could get really expensive.
  • Some of the material could cause a skin reaction.

Loose-Fill Insulation

This style of insulation involves the use of different materials to insulate the loft. Some of the most common materials used include wool, cellulose fibre and in some cases, recycled newspapers.

To achieve this, these lightweight materials are placed in various parts of the loft to insulate if evenly. This system should cost about £4.80 p/㎡-£6.50 p/㎡ and is attractive as it can reach all the tricky spots in the house and the nature of the material also dispenses of the need to cut and size it for the loft.

These benefits also play into the time it takes to install as it can be done within 4 hours, especially if a piece of blowing equipment is used.

Pros:

  • They can be used in any loft space and reach all the tough areas
  • It doesn’t take much time as no cutting or measuring is needed.
  • It is an affordable method.
  • Some of the materials used are incredibly eco-friendly and non-toxic.

Cons:

  • It could get really messy in some situations.
  • Could come loose within a draughty loft.
  • Safety equipment is required for the installation which increases the price.

Sheet Loft Insulation

Sheet insulation makes use of material to insulate the sloped sides of the loft as other methods aren’t as effective. There are also insulated boards that are made specially to fit across the joists in the loft.

That said, this method is considered expensive and mandates the presence of a professional to install it.

However, it is not without its perks as some of the materials are very eco-friendly. Also, you can ensure you get fire, or moisture resistant sheets or boards that protect the house.

Pros:

  • Some of the materials have other properties that make them so attractive.
  • The insulating value for each sheet is quite high, so they don’t need to be as thick.
  • They are ideal for converted lofts.
  • In some cases, they can be decorated to look pretty.

Cons:

  • They are pretty expensive.
  • They are quite fragile.
  • Some of the materials used aren’t very eco-friendly.

Blown-Fibre Insulation

This is quite similar to the loose-fill insulation method and commonly makes use of materials such as fibreglass and cellulose to insulate the loft. As the name implies, the insulation needs to be blown in, which usually means getting a professional to do the job.

Pros:

  • Recycled materials such as recycled paper or wool make this a green option.
  • It doesn’t take much time with the help of a professional.
  • The material is easy to deal with and causes no problems.
  • Capable of reaching challenging spots.

Cons:

  • It is a costly project.
  • If cellulose is used, it could sag over time.
  • It absorbs moisture easily and takes ages to dry out.

How Much Does It Cost To Board a Loft?

Storage areas are at a premium in a lot of UK homes, which is why many homeowners turn their lofts into an extra space. However, to do this, you’ll need to board your loft, which is a time consuming and labour-intensive effort.

But, once it is done, you’ll be amazed at how much more space you now have. Also, there are numerous benefits to boarding your loft, some of which are:


  • It creates extra storage space in the house
  • It helps to get rid of clutter that would normally have stayed in the house
  • It can even increase the value of your property
  • It prevents heat from escaping which, in turn, helps to reduce energy bills
  • There are two options when it comes to boarding your loft for insulation; they are:

  • Partial boarding
  • Full boarding

For the first, you can do it yourself if you have some experience working with wood. Essentially, it is the act of boarding up part of the loft, especially close to the hatch for the purpose of storage space.

You can buy PIR, Polystyrene, or phenolic boards to get the job done. And, if you secure the services of a professional, you can expect to pay between £200 and £300 for a few hours of work.

A full boarding job is significantly more expensive and might require more than one person to accomplish. To this end, you can expect to spend anything from £1500 to £2000 for the labour and materials.

Types of Boards

There are various types of boards that can be used for boarding a loft, and below we’ll take a quick look at some of them.

PIR Boards

These are possibly the most popular type of board as they possess fantastic thermal efficiency and are not known to emit harmful substances that can harm your health. Also, these boards are fireproof and are sturdy enough to handle your loft space.

Phenolic Boards

Phenolic boards are the most expensive, but they are worth it as they are thermally efficient and are also fire resistant. This makes them an ideal material to have in your home without worrying about a hazard.

Polystyrene Boards

Polystyrene boards have been in use for a long time and have the advantage of being easier to customize. Also, it is a cheaper alternative to most of the boards on the market while retaining its efficiency. On the downside, it is flammable and isn’t the safest material to have in your home.

Raising the Loft

Raising the floor level is an important part of loft insulation as most loft joists are only 100mm thick. Therefore, to get the insulation to the required 270mm, you need to raise the floor, which, in turn, creates enough space for both the insulation and an air gap. The air gap functions to prevent condensation.

Furthermore, loft legs are commonly used in this practice and are typically screwed to the joists. They can be purchased in sets for about £50. Meanwhile, employing labour to raise the floor level and board the loft should set you back between £900-£1200.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Loft Insulation?

There are situations in which you’ll need to remove your loft insulation, especially when some elements have gotten into the space as this could damage the insulation and affect the conservation of heat.

Some of the most common reasons to get a loft installation removed are:

  • To install a new and improved loft insulation.
  • If there has been a vermin infestation.
  • If there have been leaks that have caused moisture to damage the insulation.

Also, depending on the level of damage, you might not need to remove the entire thing. For instance, if only the insulation has suffered damage, then you can top it off and replace the boards once you’re done.

For this reason, a lot of homeowners use loose-fill insulation to replenish their lofts.

As for the cost, removing a loft insulation should cost you between £300-£600 for a typical 3-bedroom apartment.

Disposing of Loft Insulation

Disposing of loft insulation is a bit different as you aren’t allowed to use some of the common methods like bin bags or recycling trash bins. Instead, it is advised that you dispose of your loft insulation at the local household waste recycling centre.

If you don’t want to do it, you can have the professionals who help you remove the insulation deal with it for an extra cost.

FAQs

Q: How thick should loft insulation be?

A: The recommended depth for loft insulation is between 250 and 270mm. Therefore, you should check to ensure that you buy enough material to achieve this depth.

If you already have insulation and you want to top it up, you’ll need to check the depth of the one you currently have and top it up accordingly.

Q: How much different does loft insulation make?

A: Loft insulation makes a world of difference as it helps you retain heat in the house, which in turn, saves you a lot of money in energy bills.

It doesn’t stop there as it cuts your carbon footprint significantly due to the reduced amount of energy consumed. Finally, it provides you with some extra space for storage, especially if your home is cluttered.

Q: What is loft insulation made of?

A: A: Some of the most common materials used are wool, rock mineral, fibreglass, and foam. Each method of insulation works with different materials. For instance, loose-fill insulation usually makes use of fibreglass, cellulose and recycled paper.

Q: What does asbestos loft insulation look like?

A: Because of the dangers associated with asbestos, it is no longer used as a form of insulation. However, older properties might still have some asbestos in them, especially in the loft and floorboards.

So, if you are looking to identify the asbestos in your home, look out for a white or blueish fluffy substance.

Q: Can I get free loft insulation?

A: It is possible to get free loft insulation installed if you qualify for the government’s ECO scheme which seeks to improve the energy efficiency of homes. You can check to see if you are eligible here.

Sources

  1. https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/the-ultimate-guide-to-roof-and-loft-insulation
  2. https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/main/insulation-information/insulation-cost-and-savings/
  3. https://www.thegreenage.co.uk/article/loft-insulation-using-rigid-boards/
  4. https://www.edfenergy.com/insulation/loft-insulation
Author: Sam J

I have a degree in English & Writing. I have been working as a content developer for three years now and have also been freelance writing for three years. I have been focussing my freelance writing within the home improvement and DIY sector.