House extension   UK
 Home extension guide - how to build a house extension and refurbish your home


About Us Advertise on this site Contact Us Privacy Disclaimer Site Map


Use our professional services for your own home extension plans

Roof insulation

Existing roofs should be insulated to Best Practice standards.

The following two technical factors affect the insulation of existing roofs.

• For an insulated pitched roof (where the insulation is placed between the rafters) the building regulations specify that a 50mm wide ventilation gap must be maintained above the insulation (and beneath the roofing felt and tiles); this is to reduce the risk of interstitial condensation. Consequently, the thickness of any insulation placed between the rafters must be at least 50mm less than the depth of the rafters. Eaves ventilators and ridge or abutment ventilators must also be installed, in order to let ventilation air in at eaves level and out at the top of the roof.

• Where new ceiling linings of plasterboard (rather than thermal boards) are fixed beneath the newly insulated construction, polythene vapour barriers must be fixed beneath the joists or rafters (behind the linings).This reduces the risk of interstitial condensation. Edges, joints and any breaks in the vapour barriers (e.g. at electrical switches and sockets) should be sealed with tape.

If the existing rafters are not deep enough to take the depth of insulation needed to achieve the recommended U-value (plus the 50mm ventilation gap) there are three options:

• supplement the insulation between the rafters by using a thermal board (instead of ordinary plasterboard) for the internal ceiling lining;

• increase the depth of the rafters by fixing timber battens to them (but this involves a loss of headroom);

• use a form of construction called a 'vapour-balanced' or 'breathing' roof.

These options may be combined.

If an unheated roofspace or residual loft remains beneath a pitched roof, flexible insulation quilt may be placed immediately above the ceiling, between the timber ties (or ceiling joists).The insulation will be supported by the ceiling lining (usually plasterboard or thermal board).

For maximum effectiveness:

• the insulation quilt should be in two layers, one between the ceiling joists and the other across them, so as to prevent thermal bridging;

• the ceiling lining should be thermal board instead of ordinary plasterboard;

• the insulation material should not be compressed when it is tucked into tight corners.

It is important to ventilate this residual roofspace, above the insulation, in order to reduce the risk of condensation. If the area is to be used for storage, bearer boards should be placed across the existing joists, to prevent the insulation being compressed.































©2012-All rights reserved

This page last updated:

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Finder