When installing boards or a raised deck in a loft, there are three things to look out for which might otherwise slow you down or, worse, make the deck unsafe.
Irregularly-spaced joists are a very common problem in lofts. Most buildings have joists that are roughly either 400mm (16“) or 600mm (24“) apart. This dimension has however never been crucial to builders, who often put the joists or trusses in only roughly the right place, even in new build properties. But loft boards come in standard sizes, usually around 1200mm or 2400mm long. So if your joists are too close together, then your boards will overhang a joist, which means you’ll have to cut the boards if you want to fit two of them together – and cutting boards is a messy and awkward job to undertake in a loft. Even worse, if the joists are too far apart, your boards simply won’t reach the final joist, which means that you cannot screw the board into that joist, and your deck will be unstable. Even a few centimetres difference on each joist makes a big gap when it comes to the end joist.
This situation is made much worse if you are using a simple vertical support system to raise a deck above the insulation. The boards may not reach the vertical support, or may only just reach the edge of it, which means all the load is concentrated on a very small section. This can make the deck unstable and could be unsafe.
StoreFloor uniquely solves this problem, with a completely different design. StoreFloor’s patented innovation is to use galvanised steel Cross-Beams that sit above the insulation and can have their position adjusted by up to 75mm, precisely to provide flexibility in case of Irregularly-spaced joists. The boards then sit transversely on top of the Cross-Beams.
It’s a simple design feature that deals with Irregular joist spacing, and makes the raised deck easy and fast to install.
Uneven joists heights
Another problem, especially in older properties, is that some joists are higher than others. This could be because they were put in like that, because they have warped over the years, or simply because the wood used at the time was uneven in the first place. This causes a problem to anyone laying boards on the joists, as it means the deck cannot be flat. When raising a deck above the insulation, again it means that if you are using a simple vertical support system, that deck won’t be flat either.
StoreFloor uniquely solves this problem, with a completely different design. StoreFloor’s Cross-Beams need only be supported at each end, and therefore span over typically one or two joists in-between, without anything touching those joists. This means that, so long as you do a little bit of planning before installing the component parts, it is usually possible to identify any uneven joists and completely miss these out altogether.
It’s a simple design feature that deals with uneven joist heights, and makes the raised deck easy and fast to install.
The third major issue in a loft is that there are often things that get in the way. Water tanks, trusses, king pins, pipes and electrical cabling can all obstruct decking in the loft. No system can magic away all of these issues, and sometimes if you want to board in an area with obstructions, you will have to cut the boards around the offending item.
StoreFloor does however have one major advantage over other systems, because it can span over obstructions fixed to joists. As described above, with StoreFloor you completely miss out many joists. So if you have a joist that has a pipe or other obstruction fixed on to it, then plan your deck to simply miss it out altogether. No other system can get around this problem without removing the obstruction.