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Loft Extension Stairs: The Ultimate Guide

Although your loft extension stairs may not seem like the most exciting part of your attic conversion, you do have to give them due consideration in order to make the space work. In fact, loft conversion stairs can actually make or break a project, because by designing the space properly and by giving them the time and attention they deserve, you’ll ensure that you get the most out of your new loft room.

To enable you to make the most of your new space, here’s our ultimate guide to loft extension stairs.

What you need to know about loft extension stairs

There are certain things you’ll need to consider when deciding where to place your new stairs, such as headroom.

Building Regulations state that there needs to be at least two metres of headroom above the ‘pitch line’ (the imaginary line which would follow the nosing – the edge of the tread protruding over the riser - of each step) of a staircase.

With this in mind, the middle of the room where you have the most head height would seem like a good choice to site the staircase. However, this probably isn’t the most practical, as you’ll lose a lot of usable space.

There are ways and means around this. You could create more headroom by adding a new dormer window, for example, or a small roof window which could add a potential extra 100mm headroom, to create just enough space. Similarly, when creating a hip to gable loft conversion, this can help make extra headroom.

Your new loft stairs will also need to adhere to current fire safety standards and must, therefore, be fitted with a fire door. There are plenty of design options for fire doors, and they are no longer the preserve of the functional, so speak to your loft conversion company and architect about where best to site this new fire door, and which style will suit the overall look of your new loft space.

Where to put loft extension stairs

The position of your loft conversion stairs is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your roof space build. This is not only because it will affect your new loft room, but also because it will affect the layout of the first floor, too.

Depending on the headroom available, it’s common to place the stairs above the existing staircase, as this will usually work with the layout of the floor below and also save space. If this isn’t possible, you may need to take space from one of the existing rooms on the first floor, such as a box room.

This may not, however, work with your plans for your home. Will you gain enough space in the loft to make up for the space you’ll lose on the first floor? A specialist loft conversion company will know the best way to make your new loft extension stairs work for you to get the most out of your space, so be sure to discuss everything with them.

Loft stairs for small spaces

In some instances, no matter the configuration of your new loft room, there are times when a standard set of loft extension stairs simply won’t work in the space you have available. In this case, speak to your specialist loft conversion company about options for loft stairs for small spaces.

There are some space-saving loft conversion staircases available which can fit in spaces where a standard staircase won’t. Examples include:

  • Fixed ladder stairs: this type of staircase combines the flexibility of a ladder with the stability of conventional stairs. Their typical incline is 60%, and they are fixed (retractable ladders are not deemed acceptable by Building Regulations).
  • Spiral staircase: these are a stylish alternative to normal staircases, and usually save space compared to a traditional staircase. However, do check with your loft conversion company about the overall dimensions, as sometimes spiral staircases do not save as much space as you may think.
  • Alternating tread stairs: this type of staircase is designed with each paddle-shaped tread of the staircase projecting in turn, saving space by not being a ‘full’ staircase on every step.

Consider the designs available for loft conversion staircases

Don’t forget that your staircase doesn’t have to a traditional design, nor does it have to match the style of the staircase connecting the floors below.

You can choose a completely different design if you wish. This could be a glass balustrade or metallic spindles, and you can also include downlighting under the handrail if you desire. Speak to your loft conversion specialist about the options available.

Ready to learn more about loft extension stairs? Speak to Bespoke Lofts.

If you’re ready to start your loft extension journey, don’t forget to give the staircase due consideration. Make sure you’re using a loft conversion specialist for the build so that you get the staircase just right.

Speak to Bespoke Lofts… as experts in loft conversions, we’re happy to help from planning through to the final fixtures and fittings.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you with the in loft extension stairs for your new loft room.

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